Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mental Health and American Idol

I love a bit of American Idol, yes its trashy TV but I do think the Americans do it bigger and better.

There are often sob stories from the contestants which always make me cry but every now and  then there is one story that really touches me.

Shelby Tweten is 17 and suffers with Bipolar Disorder and instead of hiding it or being made to be ashamed she told the world what she goes through. Its not an easy thing to tell people that you have a mental health problem let alone millions of people and its even harder when you are a teenager. 

She is an incredibly brave girl and honest girl. "Being bipolar doesn't define who you are" how right she is.

Not only is she brave but she is any amazing singer so I will leave Shelby to tell her story and sing her song.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

This Week Is Being Powered By....

Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams

The album was recommended on the Rolling Stone app from Spotify and I have stopped listening to it.  

I had not heard of them before this but I am completely loving this album. You can find more about them here.

I will leave you with their track I Need Your Bedroom Eyes

Monday, 23 January 2012

4-week Slendertone Challenge

I have been asked to take part in the Slendertone Premium Abs Challenge. I will be using it for 4 weeks to see if tones my stomach and let’s face it I need all the help I can get!

As of today I have lost 1stone 6lbs at Slimming World, though I have a long way to go. I do Zumba at home but really need to tone my very wobbly belly. I can’t do proper sit ups as I have a dodgy back so I am hoping this works. I also had a c-section and had some muscle damage so I am interested to see what impact it has on that.

Slendertone claim that The Premium Slendertone Abs belt is now able to replicate traditional toning exercises and using it for 20 minutes is the equivalent of doing 120 sit-ups.

I will be updating you on my progress over the next 4 weeks and to prove that I am really doing this and I’m taking it seriously here are some pictures of my stomach ‘before’.

Yes my bee has its own stretch marks!

I am now off for my first session, wish me luck!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Difference Between Being Depressed and Depression

We all have low days, I call them my blah days. Days where we feel down and low, it could be because of the weather, we’re have a fat day or it’s just gone all wrong. I would take a lifetime of those days over one day of depression.

When my depression kicks in I don’t just want to stay in bed a little bit longer, I want to stay there all day. I alternate between wanting to sleep to wanting to cry constantly. I call my depression my darkness but that’s what happens to my world, it goes dark. A thick fog appears and it pushes me down and I can’t get out of it.

That feeling of dread you get when you think something bad is going to happens lays heavy at the pit of my stomach.  I get paranoid and have to stay away from the internet as everything negative I see written I think is aimed at me.

I want to be left alone to just be, I don’t want to talk, I don’t want a hug and no matter how much chocolate you throw at me it’s not going to cheer me up.

Its hard to explain to people that don’t have any mental health problems. You tell them you have depressions and often they ask me “what are you depressed about” in the ‘you have a nice home, a family and friends tone’.  They can’t understand why I would feel this way, it makes me want to shout “I’m not depressed I have depression!”

Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can 'snap out of' by 'pulling yourself together'. NHS Website

Depression doesn't last a day it lasts a lifetime. 

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Guest Post: Family Festivals for 2012 by Natasha French

I’ll never forget my first festival. For as long as the children and I could remember our friends the Hawthornes had gone to WOMAD every July. And every year they said, come with us, and every year my children said, Can we? And every year we were unaccountably too busy.

Every August we heard about the children’s workshops and the fantastic parade at the end of the festival with giant papier maché giraffes they had made. Oh, and the music too, music from all around the world.

And eventually we did it. The festival was still at Reading, and we camped in a big circle with our friends, and every morning my friend Fiona and I risked unnameable diseases by swimming in the Thames between the swans and the houseboats. The sun shone and the temperature hovered in the 80s. The fun fair lights sparkled every night and Tuareg band Tiniwaren were on the main stage in their cobalt blue robes.

So that was it. We fell in love with festivals. And to those who say that music festivals aren’t for children, I would say: all you have to do is find the right events. In years of writing about and photographing festivals, one of the great benefits has been taking the children with me.
They’re teenagers now and I’ve had the pleasure of taking my daughter with me to photograph her hero Patti Smith, at Hop Farm Festival in Kent. She saw Bob Dylan there too the year before. She’s met Imelda May. (I’ve met Seasick Steve, but let’s draw a veil over that experience). My son came to the Big Chill with me, as did a bunch of his friends and my friend Sarah. (The Big Chill has hairdryers).

So although it’s still winter you can get through the gloomy weather by planning some festival fun for your family this coming summer. In fact choosing your festival now could save you some money - ‘early bird’ tickets for some popular events are still on sale but many of the longer-established festivals will sell out before the end of the Easter holidays.

There’s no Glastonbury this year, as its farmland site needs to be rested, but there are plenty of other options which promise plenty of activities and entertainment for children, quiet areas for family camping and other kid-friendly facilities.

Happy camping
Camp Bestival (Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 26th-29th July 2012) is an award-winning family favourite, hosted by the team which also brings you the larger Bestival (Isle of Wight, 6th-9th September).  This year’s Camp Bestival will feature the ‘Silly Olympics, hundreds of free things for kids to do, music, magic and mayhem.’ There are hot showers and flushing loos, too – bliss for anyone who has endured long queues for freezing water and stinking toilet blocks.

Latitude (Southwold, Suffolk, 12th-15th July) has a literary persuasion, with plenty of poetry, comedy, cabaret, art, craft, drama, dance, film and music plus dedicated areas for children and teenagers.

This year’s Cambridge Folk Festival ( 26th-29th July) features roots, acoustic music - and kids’ workshops, including instrument-making and story-telling, as well as a fully-equipped playground and crèche. This year’s Secret Garden Party (19th-22nd July, Huntingdon) is also inviting the audience to get involved – build an art boat or vehicle, stage a theatrical performance, and under-12s come free (you can even bring the dog).

Small is beautiful

If the thought of your little ones among 20,000 people is too much to contemplate, then there are smaller ‘boutique’ festivals, nonetheless featuring well-known performers. The Larmer Tree Festival (near Salisbury, 11th-15th July) has just announced Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra as a headline act this year, and the Wychwood Festival (Cheltenham Racecourse, 8th-10th June) has much-loved indie band James; the Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire (29th June-1st July) has yet to confirm this year’s stars, but its line-up last year included Cyndi Lauper, the Kinks’ Ray Davies, The Faces, Status Quo – and a particular focus on gourmet food stalls.

Specialist interests

Almost every niche musical interest can be catered for, with specialist events the length and breadth of the UK. From Fairport Convention’s traditional folk festival at Cropredy (9th-11th August) to the super-diverse Green Man (Crickhowell, Wales, 17th-19th August) or electronica-fest Glade (14th-17th June, Norfolk, under-12s free), ‘80s retro, country, bluegrass, jazz or blues, there’ll be something to your taste. Check out for comprehensive listings. There are loads of one-day events to choose from if you’re too fond of your home comforts to camp ­– and provided you book early, you can always stay in a B&B near to your chosen festival.

Be cautious of third-party websites offering tickets, and make sure you book directly or through an authorised agency. Also be aware in advance of any booking fees that you might be charged by buying tickets online. A credit card can help you book tickets safely and spread the initial cost, especially if you've got a card that offers a 0% period on purchases or rewards your spend. It's important to bear in mind though that if you don’t clear the balance outside the introductory period, you will be charged interest.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. You and the children will never forget your first festival – or the ones after that.

This is a sponsored post 

Friday, 13 January 2012

Tots100 Book Club: The Drowning Pool by Syd Moore

One of my goals last year was to read at least one book a month. I made sure I put time aside each week to read and I really enjoyed it and I plan to do the same this year.

I was asked if I want to take part in the Tots100 Book Club and as I have always wanted to be part of a book club I jumped at the chance. I have to recommend a book I have written and then nominate a blogger to receive the book, so here is my choice:

I am not normally a ghost story reader but after seeing the Woman In Black last year in the theatre I went through a phase of reading them and this was one of them.

I liked it for many reasons including the fact it is based in Leigh on Sea in Essex which is not far from where I was brought up.  The story is about a recently widowed woman called Sarah Grey who becomes haunted by her namesake who is supposed to be a local witch.

The book scared the life out of me but I had to keep on reading, not one to read late at night on your own! I couldn't put it down and found myself desperate to find 5 minutes to find to time to read it. I have found myself being quite disappointed in the ending of books in recent years, finding them predictable but this wasn't.  

I have never read a book before that made me jump but this did. You really feel for Sarah as well losing your husband is bad enough but then to be haunted by a ghost! 

I am recommending this book to everyone even if you are not into ghost stories.

I am passing this book on to a fellow serial blogger Becky who writes Baby Budgeting, Family Budgeting and Book Reviews for Mums. I would love her to take 5 minutes for herself and sit down and read for pleasure.

Some info about the book club:

The Tots100 Book Club is where bloggers share their favourite stories. Every month, the Tots100 invites 10 bloggers to tell us about stories that have moved and inspired them – and to share their favourite books with another blogger. Each month, we’ll be publishing a round-up of the Book Club’s recommendations over on the Tots100 site, meaning you need never be short of great reading inspiration again!

Tots100 Parent Blogger Book Club

Monday, 9 January 2012

Music Monday

Welcome to the first Music Monday of the year. If you are new to Dance Without Sleeping, Music Monday is all about getting ready for the week. I choose a track to get myself motivated and to get over the Monday blues.

Last week was a pretty good week BG started preschool and I got a new client not bad for the first week of the year. As I work from home sometimes I am super lazy busy and forget to get dressed and end up all day in my PJ's. 

This week I am going to try and get dressed everyday so I have chosen Roxette - Dressed for Success to help me get motivated.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Soundtrack To My Year 2011

I was going to do a My Big Brag of 2011 post but to be honest I couldn't be arsed. So I will resort to be default position and post a track that sums up my year. 

Which has been pretty good and slightly manic by the way.

I give you Upside Down by Paloma Faith