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Disney World Florida Easter 2018 Photo Diary

Friday, 13 April 2018
Over Easter myself and some of my extended family spent a lovely lil' week over in Disney World Florida, as usual after a trip I've compiled some of my favourite images to share in a good old photo diary. This one is quite photo heavy, but I'd taken nearly 600 pictures on just my camera alone! If you have any questions about the places we visited, restaurants we ate at, rides we went on or just any questions about Disney World in general please don't hesitate to send me a message! I have so many tips and recommendations! 
I also vlogged the whole trip, which means there are 6 daily Disney vlogs coming to my Youtube channel very very soon! Or once I've edited them anyway! The trailer for my Disney World vlogs is at the end of this post if you'd like a sneak peak into what's coming up on my Youtube Channel over the next month or so!   

God Bless

Phones are a girls best friend?

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

In 1949 Carol Channing sung the song Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, during the hit Broadway show, Gentleman Prefer Blondes; and it was made famous in the 50’s by It girl Marilyn Monroe performing it the film remake. Over the years many many many people have sung or quoted the words from this famous song! But in modern day society it kinda feels like this may have changed a bit.
Rather than diamonds being a girl’s best friend, it’s iPhones!

Over the last few months I’ve become more and more aware of just how much time I spend on my phone each day. But didn’t have a way of accurately figuring out, how much time it actually was rather than what I assumed or wanted it to be. However after seeing a conversation on Twitter, I found out about an app called Moment.

Moment is an app that does one job, it monitors your phone usage. It runs in the background whilst you’re doing your stuff on your phone, and times how long each day you’re on it. For over a month now, since March 8th, I have been tracking my phone usage and it really does seem like my iPhone is my best friend.  I also tracked the amount of time I spent on my phone whilst on holiday, but I haven’t included those in my lil’ analysis as it didn’t seem very representative of my normal life. Over the 22 days from March 8th to March 30th I have cumulatively spent 100hrs and 74 minutes on my phone, out of the 528 hours that those 22 days hold. That is an average of 4hrs, 57 minutes a day.

Looking at those statistics I’m not quite sure how to feel really, I guess without having someone else’s statistics to compare them to it’s a little tricky. But in reality 100hrs over 22 days seems and feels like a lot to me, but then an average of 5 hours a day out of 24, doesn’t necessarily seem that much. Yet going on to the app and actually seeing how many hours a day I’ve spent scrolling and tapping and typing, it does feel like a lot of my day.

The question of do we spend too much time on our phones and social media is one that has raged over the last few years, with many, many, many people saying that the answer is yes. That we need to put our phones down, go outside and actually talk to people. But thanks to phones maybe we actually spend more time talking and connecting with people than previously. We no longer only know the people who live on our street, or in our village or that we go to school with. But can connect with, share and speak to people not only in our own country but those in countries across the globe. We can easily stay in constant touch with friends who we don’t live near anymore, rather than only being able to send them letters and hoping they don’t get lost in the post.

I guess like most things, phones have both their positives and negatives, and monitoring my phone usage these past weeks has really made me think about and consider how much time I spend using it and how I spend my time in general. Being given the time and reason to consider what it is I spend my time doing on my phone and why I do it, has been both really interesting and helpful. I don’t think I can promise that I’m going to drop my average phone usage to an hour next month. That feels very drastic and very unrealistic, but constantly monitoring how much time I spend on my phone versus doing other things. Or keeping an eye on what it is I’m doing on my phone, so playing games compared to keeping in touch with people, is something that I definitely want to do.    

I would highly recommend downloading Moment and monitoring your phone usage. It’s a very, very interesting experiment, and really does make you think about things and consider how you spend your time and what it is you’re really using your lil’ phone friend for. 

The Internal Struggle is Real - Why Mental Health Needs to be a Priority.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

When you break a bone you are sent to the hospital for x-rays, you have a cast put on for a number of months and you sometimes have to have physiotherapy too. Can you imagine if during the incident in which you broke your arm or leg bone your sports coach, teacher, family member or boss told you to get over it or just carry on as normal, that you’d be fine and over it in a week or so. I’m pretty sure you and anyone else in the vicinity would be pretty shocked at that response.
The sad thing is, many of those phrases are things that people who struggle with or suffer from mental health illnesses or disorders hear on a regular basis. According to mental health charity Mind, 1 in 4 people in the UK will struggle with a mental health problem (Source). To break that down, I have 920 friends on Facebook, by those statistics over 200 of my Facebook friends have, or will have struggled with their mental health at some point in their life. According to the World Bank there is over 65 million people in the UK, according to the statistics from Mind, if my maths is correct, that means that over 16 million people in the UK will struggle with their mental health. And that, in my opinion, is a huge amount of people!

If someone has broken a bone you can see them wearing a cast. If someone has asthma you will regularly see them using an inhaler. If someone has diabetes you will see them having insulin injections. However if someone is struggling with a mental health illness, 90% of the time you cannot tell from the outside. Mental health illnesses are internal and unseen, and because of this they can unfortunately seem or be regarded as less of a problem or priority than physical illnesses; even by some medical professionals.  

I recently found out that in my local area of Stoke on Trent if someone is struggling with their mental health and wishes to seek treatment through a form of counselling it can take at least 4 months for them to get an initial appointment. But if you break a bone you head over to A&E and usually get seen in under 5 hours, with 4 hours being the target set by the government for all A&E visits. Breaking a bone is not usually life threatening, however mental health illnesses can be. According to Mind, 20 in 100 people will struggle with suicidal thoughts, 6 out of 100 people will attempt suicide, and 8 out of 100 people will live with a mix of anxiety and depression. In their annual report the Samaritans have found that over 6,500 people committed suicide in the UK and ROI in 2015 (Source). I wonder how many of those people may still be alive if they’d had access to support, therapy or treatment faster or more regularly, or if they’d been taken seriously when they asked for help or opened up to people. Breaking a bone isn’t usually life threatening, however the deterioration of someone’s mental health definitely can be.

In this 21st century, ultra-connected, social media age people have become very good at showcasing the life and story they want you to see and believe. Someone may look like they’re having the best month ever, when in reality they’re really struggling or suffering. Or just because your family member had a smile on their face when they visited for dinner last week doesn’t mean everything is ok. 

The phrase, “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about” is one that I say and think about regularly. And is one that is absolutely true! You can never truly know what someone is walking with or dealing with on a daily basis, because mental health illnesses are an internal struggle, an internal unseen problem.  Telling someone they should just pull themselves together, or stop being daft is the most unhelpful and inconsiderate thing you can say. When talking about a friend, relative or colleague you say you just want to shake them or slap them, to make them snap out of their mental health illness, this is an extremely unloving and unkind thing. I only say that last part as about a month ago I heard some family members talking about someone openly dealing with mental health problems and those where the exact words they said, to say I was disgusted isn’t even close!

Battling your own brain or thoughts on a daily basis is extremely difficult, and to anyone struggling from a mental health illness, you are a badass, brave and an absolute boss and I tip my hat to you. To those with friends, family or work mates who are struggling, love them and love them hard. Please don’t call them names or tell them just to snap out of it! Drive them to doctors’ appointments, ask them if they’d like to go out for cake, allow them the time and space to open up in their own time. And to the government and those who allocate funding, you’re letting far too many people down!
So yes, this is a 21 year old graduate calling you out and saying things need to change! You need to change and realise that you can't just shove problems under the rug and hope they'll go away, because I don't think this one is going anywhere, although I do wish it was. 

God Bless 

Is that really me?

Monday, 19 March 2018

Last week I did a very fun shoot with an old friend of mine, Tamar Willoughby. Tamar and I went to school and youth group together, and have known each other for years. For as long as I've known Tamar she's always loved photography, and over the last few months she's decided she wants to turn her hobby into a career and launch her own business/career in photography. 
We headed over to a local garden centre to shoot, and Tamar really did work her magic with the photographs! I ended up having over 200 pictures to choose from, but for this post I've compiled a very small selection of my favourites.  

If you live in the Staffordshire, Cheshire area and are looking for a photographer to do a family, portrait, couples, wedding, or any other type of shoot definitely head over and check Tamar's website out! There's a direct link above! 

God Bless

Take a Hike

Monday, 12 March 2018

Jacket - Missguided  Tshirt - Topshop
Jeans - Topshop  Boots - ASOS