Sunday, 30 December 2012

What a year! Part 2

I started my round of What of a year! Part 1 but only got half way through before I felt we needed a comfort break!
To recap we are half way through 2012, my mood has lifted, I am back at work, I've started a blog & I've been married a whole year, okay?

I went looking for a car & ended up buying one! That was one expensive window shopping trip.  Of course New Car Equals Road Trip.
New car smell & banging tunes - great combo!


I am settling in well at work, getting used to the office & patients again when I get a bout of toothache.  This is the kinda pain that stops you in your tracks.  I bite the bullet & decide I have to see a dentist, not an easy decision when you have Dentophobia.  I manage to pluck up the courage & they some how talk me into coming back - cue my Reoccurring Dental Nightmare! I have to say though I am very proud of myself for finally facing my fear & getting my oral health back on track.  I have a few more sessions before I am classed as 'dentally fit' (yes, apparently that is a term in the industry) but I am well on my way to a celebrity worth smile.

My birthday month.  Another year older. My work colleagues really pushed out the boat & made me Cola Cupcakes!! I have a bit of a diet coke addiction, something I am hoping may be part of my new years resolutions, if I make any!
They were delicious!!
Ahhh my first holiday of the year & I crank up my knitting again.  

My first Brown family holiday! My first time travelling as Mrs Brown! Just before we go on holiday we accept an offer on the flat - We are Under Offer!! & we are now on the move.

My second holiday of the year! Another first, this time my first time flying business class.  I think it suits me!!  Also my first time in Turkey & my first time on going out with Mr Brown for business with his colleagues.  A lovely break but I did bring along a bit of anxiety on holiday.

Then my proudest achievement of 2012 - my Glass & Fire Walk for Charity.  Enough said! Just goes to show I can do anything I put my mind too!

We are getting there I promise!!

A milestone - I have been back to work following long term sickness with depression & anxiety for 6 months.  I am proud of myself & how I am Dealing with my depression.

I wrote a guest blog post for Black Dog Tribe - Loving Someone with Depression.

We have a new house & move in 14 days!!

And some how I managed to squeeze in another holiday before Christmas in Prague!

So as I wave a fond farewell to 2012 - I say "What a Year!"

Bring on 2013!

What did you do in 2012? What does 2013 hold for you?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Friday, 28 December 2012

T.G.I Friday!!

Thank God It's Friday!

Friday means no work.  Today it means getting back to some sort of normality following crazy christmas.

The aim of the the day is :

Feel Good Friday

So after dragging myself back to work yesterday I booked a pamper session in Sanctuary.  Mr Brown treated me to a lovely facial.  This is no ordinary facial this is so much more.  I get along side my facial, a head massage, a lovely scrub, a hydrating mask AND a neck & shoulder massage! It is an hour of pure bliss from which I emerge with 'bed head' & glowing skin.
I haven't been for ages for any treatments so my skin was badly needing this treat!

As I opened the front door I was greeted with the smell of baking bread, mmmmm.  Our new bread maker is in full swing & looking to be a firm favourite for feeling good.  Today we have an Oatilicious bread to have with my Scottish winter warmer 'Stovies'.
The best part of getting a new house for me is being able to decorate the way I want! So a afternoon perusing the sofas, furniture & paint gave me loads of feel good vibes & ideas for our new home

What do you do to feel good?
How did you spend your Friday?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Monday, 24 December 2012

Little Letters, Dear Santa

Christmas Eve is upon us & for once I am feeling rather organised.  So I've been hop, hop, hopping around some beautiful blogs when I came across a feature called Little Letters.  A link up feature where people can write a little letter to any one or any thing!! 

I haven't written to Santa yet so he was the first person to spring to mind.  So here goes a Little Letter post & my first wee linky up (oooh I feel proud!)

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year, I think!  I have done a lot of learning, I have enjoyed a wonderful year with my hubby & doggy & I am feeling much better in my mood.  I went back to work part time, & I think I am coping just fine.

I know I'm a bit late any requests but that's lucky as I feel already blessed this year.  So my only wish would be for a happy & healthy new year.

Oh & anything you could do to make sure we have a smooth house move on the 11th of January would be gratefully appreciated!

Hope your feeling as organised as me Santa, 
Safe Journey when you are out & about tonight,

Love Mrs Brown xx

I've thought of a few more little letters I would like to add:

Dear Mr Brown - you are amazing.
Dear Brown family - I love you lots & so happy to be part of a caring bunch.
Dear family & friends - I couldn't have made it through this year without you.

Dear movers - thanks for your help in advance!

Dear flat - you have been good to us but we just need more space, you will always be our first home xx

Dear new house - look out we're coming!

And I think that is enough!!

What a lovely feature? Do you have any one you would like to write to?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

What a year! Part 1

What a year! The year 2012 has been a busy one for me.

I read a few yearly round ups & thought it would be a great thing to do.  AND it is!! Going through & remember all the year's achievements is such a lovely task.  I have also read a lot about keeping a jar of memories throughout the year then going through them at New Year.  I may have to try this out!

I have just sat & went through my diary, my blog, & my hubby to work out what happened in the year 2012, hold on to your hats - it's a long one!! In fact think I will do it in two parts!!

The start of the year saw me join the gym! Your probably thinking, yeah like a load of other people!! But for me this was a big deal.  This meant over coming fears of a room filled with buff, fit people all pointing & staring at me the fat, sweaty newcomer.  As with most fears, it was no where near as bad! Did I keep it up, well no I didn't but I can now proudly say I have been inside a gym & I might have even liked ;-)

I think this is where you start to see me stepping out my comfort zone.

  • I enrolled on an online Life Coaching & Counselling course & with 100% on my first assignment I reignited my love of learning.
  • I went to a Vintage Styling night at Miss Dixie Belle & thoroughly enjoyed myself!
  • I did a days sewing class - finally learning how to use my sewing machine properly.
All these things made forced me to focus on myself.  To mingle with other people, to venture out of the flat & to start living again.

This was a tough time for me.  My beloved dog, Bailey was very unwell & the vet couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I started to question myself again but after some tests at the Vet School in Glasgow & a special prescription diet he is back to his chirpy self & helps me through each day. (cue dog photos!)  Also in March having been off my work for a very long time, things started to get very serious with talk of terminating contract & retirement due to ill health (at 29!!) so I had to stand up for myself & March was when I contacted my union representative & started to take charge of my recovery back to work.
Hubby's birthday.  Mr Brown is a wee April Fool.  The day when his mum went into labour & everyone said ha ha April Fool but no joke, Mr Brown was born.  He's getting old but still tries to act young - by sticking out his tongue in photos??
In April I had a few sessions of hypnotherapy & although I was sceptical I do think it helped me work through some issues.

I was obviously feeling brave & enrolled on a Happiness Workshop.  Me & a full day being happy? Well it was great.  A fab trainer in Lesley & learned some great skills to use NLP in real life.  Just what I needed as we raced through the year.

The middle of the year - & things started to get busy!! This was our one year anniversary.  Paper.  A whole year we survived being married.  I got Mr Brown a lovely gift (if I do say so myself) from Tree of Life For You - this talented lady asks you what you want to be included in the design then sets about doing a gorgeous picture entwined with all your memories.  You should definitely take a look at her stuff! Go now! Our picture is even on the front page!!
Team Brown - Tree of Life For You
I went back to work in June.  In deciding to go back to work, we agreed that part time would be a good idea.  So I now work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & enjoy a long weekend - every weekend!!  See my post Monday for Part Timers.  It has definitely made a difference in being able to switch off & I feel that my life no long revolves around work & work alone.  Which is a good thing! All work & no play made Mrs Brown a sad girl.

I was obviously feeling good at this time as I started lots of new ventures too.  I started the blog for one!   Check out my scary first post.

With the help & encouragement of lovely friends I set out starting the Change Challenge.  A weight loss group with a difference.  It was all about healthy eating, but all in an encouraging environment with no selling involved.  The girls did really well & I am extremely proud of setting up such a group & using my skills to help others.  Unfortunately I found the commitment just too much with work & my ever busy head so I had to wind down the group after two sessions, but it doesn't take away from what we achieved during 2012.  So a big thanks to all of the ladies involved.

Only half way through the year & what a year! Soo much to look back on with proud fond memories.

What are you most proud from 2012?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dealing with depression

At present we are very much dealing with my depression.  I say 'we' because it's not just me that has to learn to cope.

Today I came across a story that seemed similar to my own.  The absolute denial that I had depression.  When I first started to struggle with my mood I could not admit to anyone, not even myself that I may be depressed.  You can not start to deal with your depression if you are spending all your time trying to prove that you are not! When I was referred to the mental health team I spent many a session trying to convince them & myself that it must be something else.  Something we were missing.

It took me a long time to get the place I am at now.

I still have bad days.  Everyone has bad days, but I need medication to help me through mine.

I need to go to bed at the right time, make sure I am eating a balanced diet, get enough fresh air, enough exercise & talk about my feelings just in order to get through the week in one piece.

I wasn't sure I was strong enough when I started my blog.  Confident enough to put myself out there.  Strong enough to talk about my struggles.

This week I proved  - I am.

I wrote about my achievements here & I sent a post to Black Dog Tribe (a campaign run by SANE - a mental health charity) to be shared with others.

The 'Black Dog' is a metaphor for depression.  By calling it 'the black dog' it definitely allows me to speak more openly & honestly about feelings of depression, despair, suicide, loneliness & asking for help.  Exactly what the campaign is all about.

My other black dog, Bailey, is my rock but I couldn't get through this without my husband. So the post I put forward was about him also dealing with depression, my depression.  I am very proud of his words and him.

Today I also feel proud of me.  Proud that I am indeed dealing with my depression & I hope my words here can be some hope for anyone else trying to tame the black dog.

Start dealing with depression I know you can.

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

I did it!

I did it!
I was walked across broken glass then just for fun did a fire walk!

There was a bit more prep to it than that, but yes on a Friday night in November I took my socks & shoes off and walked across broken glass & then hot coals.  

The Glass Walk
The glass walk was all about being relaxed and overcoming your fears. Razor sharp broken glass might I add, that makes relaxing a bit more difficult.

Did I enjoy it?
Yes I think I did! For me being relaxed is something I am trying to work on so perfect chance to use some skills! I did struggle a bit but acceptable I think under the circumstances.

Try to picture a line of broken glass, the sounds of crunching glass beneath the instructors feet, a crowd of people ooohing & ahhhing, & then me realising I have my jumper on the wrong way & you get an idea of the feelings that were bubbling inside me as I took my place.

But I did it! I even have a cut to prove it.

For someone who at this time last year could hardly leave her bedroom you would think a walk bare foot across broken glass in front of a crowd would be enough excitement for one Friday night but nope I then was set to walk over hot coals.

The Fire Walk
Now this is where the fun really started. The instructor guy was amazing.  He took me from being an introverted, hide at the back, don't say a word, keep your head down kind of girl to 

Standing tall, chest out - he told us too ;-), feeling amazing, pumped, ready to go, look me in the eye, on a mission kinda girl!

I can't emphasise the change in me.  I literally went from looking at the floor to scrape me off the ceiling.  At this point we headed to the fire.

My mum & hubby were there to watch & also couldn't believe the difference in me.

The queue formed & as each person ran across the fire pit instead of feeling fear, anxiety, dread I was feeling excited & desperate for my turn!!

I got to the front & they needed to rake up the fire get it all hot again, Thanks!

Instructor: What's your name?


Instructor: Are you ready for this?


At that point I skipped across the fire.  Shouting "Yeaaahhhhh" as I went (very American, I know). The crowd cheered, I air punched it was amazing.

Did you enjoy it?
Hell, yeah!! I would recommend it to everyone! It is an amazing feeling.  No fear, knowing I can do it.  

This was a charity event for Yorkhill Children's Foundation in Glasgow.  It is a kids hospital that does soo much great work in Scotland, & as a child I did have to use their services so it was lovely to be able to give back.

But I would say I got loads out of the night too!  It was certainly a challenge.  I had to ask people for sponsorship.  I had to go into the training for the event on my own, that was a big thing for me.  Then had to be in front of a crowd of people & all this before I even take my shoes & socks off!!

But as this you may have guessed this post is about reminding myself that - I DID IT!

I can do what ever I put my mind to.  I can overcome my fears.  I can do things I never thought were possible.  I can surprise people, including myself.

Oh yeah & if you get a chance to do it - you should! It is awesome & I am glad I will have these memories. My plan is to pull the feelings & thoughts from that night any time I need it during the rest of my recovery!!

Caution feet pictures coming up!!

I leave you with some wise words & a link to my donating site!! (See my confidence is still sky high!)

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” - Robert Schuller

Love Mrs Brown  xx

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The dog that saved my life

I have an amazing black labrador.  Meet Bailey Brown.

My beautiful boy

He was 2 years old in March.  He is a strong boy though.  He is strong enough to carry me, when I can not longer carry myself.

I never had a dog when I was growing up.  I really wanted one, but my mum is scared so just wasn't going to happen.

When I moved in with my husband it took him a lot of adjusting (that's one word for it, others may have seen it as arguments) to my messy habits, he could never have believed we would be dog people.  He was a clean freak, hadn't used the oven - to keep it clean till I moved in!  We took our shoes off before entering the flat, our beige carpets were hoovered every day, basically there was no way we had been thinking about getting a dog.

Too much hassle.

But then again we didn't think I would be crying everyday, hiding under the covers, off work for nearly a year and that my every thought would be about how I could end it all without Mr Brown having to find me.

We were getting married.  We were saving for our dream day.  We also had one of those ceramic pots that said "Wedding Fund" in which we faithfully deposited any £1 or £2 coins we had.  It sat high on the shelving unit in out living room as a reminder to save, save, save.

I was in counselling, which wasn't helping.  I was changing meds again, no lift in symptoms despite taking them faithfully.  I was on a waiting list to see the mental health team and psychiatrist and was beginning to feel even more hopeless.  When I read online in many pages that a dog could help with depression.  With a naivety of the responsibility a dog would be, I proposed this as a flippant suggestion to Mr Brown.

We joked about for a few days then we signed up to see a puppy would cost, ever the budget man Mr Brown thought it was doable.  So my pester power kicked in! Can I get one? Can we? Please, please, please.  It was the most enthusiasm he had seen in me for months.  We had to get one if this was how it could make me feel.

In the pet shop getting food for our hamster (RIP Ellie, Mr Brown's idea, this one didn't work out as well, she was very much a solitary animal, didn't really like us!)  he saw an advert for black labrador puppies that were ready NOW!  Mr Brown is impulsive, not like me at all.  If he decides to do something it gets done straight away, me on the other hand can sit on a decision for years.

Anyway long story short we came home, got a hammer out and smashed that ceramic pot into small pieces.  The next day we purchased a crate, blankets, toys and a black labrador.

The responsibility was just what I needed.  I couldn't quite manage to look after myself but this helpless little puppy needed me.  A reason to live all wrapped up in black bundle of fluff and sharp little teeth!  I allowed my dog to see a side of me that I just couldn't let my amazingly supportive husband see.

He made me sleep when he did, get up, go to puppy classes and generally use my brain a bit more.  He made me smile and loved me unconditionally, even on my darkest day.  And still does.

He grown into a fine man.  So well behaved, even my mum who's scared of dogs loves him! Every day he reminds me that I am loved.

He's very special to me and deserves this proper introduction.  Such a nice post to write.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Monday, 3 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Every where you go
That's what you call a tree!
I don't usually get 'into' the Christmas spirit.  The past few years my mood hasn't lifted enough to allow much festive fun.  In fact, the "C" word brought more issues - panic of putting on a brave face, not letting it slip that I had been off work for months, trying to get gifts when you can hardly leave your bed, trying not to cry at every little thing, my heart racing at thoughts of how many terrible ways my hubby could die due to bad weather - anyways you get the picture.

This year is different.  For our anniversary in June my hubby bought tickets for the Christmas markets in Prague.  A lovely city break just me & Mr Brown, something to look forward to.  My mood is holding up with only a few dark patches these last few weeks, so I was in a great place for enjoying this gift.

Scotland is cold so the weather wasn't going to be an issue. I packed up my thickest cardies, grabbed some new gloves, a cute knitted hair band & a poncho!  A new look & a new city to explore.

Prague is a beautiful city, the buildings are very pretty & the people were very polite.

It was so easy to walk to all the sights from our hotel so my feet took a pounding but I loved it.

Back to work tomorrow but for the first time in years I am feeling the Christmas cheer.  Enjoy some lovely pictures of Prague & Christmas, just wished you had smell a blog because the market was filled with the scent of gingerbread, pretzels, cakes & the famous Prague Ham.

Hubby at Heatrow

Gorgeous Xmas window displays

We went on a romantic horse & carriage tour

The famous Prague Ham

Mr B's great picture of the Old Town Square

An early Xmas pressie - traditional Czech Garnet
Do you always enjoy Christmas? Ever been to the Christmas markets?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Comfort in Food

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

Benjamin Franklin

The nights are dark and there is a chill in the air the perfect time for a big bowl of piping hot tattie soup!

Comfort food is warming, fills your belly & harks back to good times. I'm thinking of a warm hug from the inside out, you know the feeling.

Your comfort food may be a mug of hot chocolate, a hearty soup, a traditional pasta bake or any food that you associate with feeling good with so a treat such as ice cream or cakes.

Food can affect your mood, and your mood can affect your food choices.

As a dietitian my work life is all about food. I talk about it all day! I have started to notice a pattern and association between my food and my mood.

When my mood starts to dip, my food choices start to slip.  I start choosing quick and easy meals.  My prep of meals gets less and less till I eventually end up eating out of packets.  Now this is not a post on healthy eating but more an observation that food plays a role in my depression.

When your spending most of your time on the sofa and haven't managed to coax yourself into the shower, there is no way your going to have the energy or inclination to cook a healthy meal from scratch. My meal of choice on these days (if I eat at all!) is a packet of crisps. Is this the kind of food that is going to fuel my brain and help with my serotonin levels? Not likely, however this is what I turn to.

Part of the choice comes from the lack of energy and motivation to complete tasks but there is also a part of me that chooses foods that give me comfort.  The downside to the comfort is the associated guilt feelings that I 'should' be choosing foods that will help provide the energy and lift I so desperately need.

I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I desperately want to be thinner and go through periods where I concentrate on weight reduction. I have the nutritional knowledge and if you had a look around our tiny flat you would think I was an athlete the amount of exercise equipment I have! Yet I still struggle.

At present I am going through my "I want to lose weight phase" So I have my fitness pal (follow me on   MrsBrownThought) and I am logging my calories in and out.

My mood has been up and down the past few weeks but I am trying to keep my eating on track and my hubby is home and he never lets me have nothing to eat.  He enjoys cooking and because he can be away alot with work he enjoys being able to try out new recipes when he is home.

He felt we had to celebrate the conclusion of the flat sale (yeah!!) and he chose to mark such an occasion by making a banoffee pie.
Just call Mr Brown - Browngella!
We use foods in this house to celebrate, to commiserate and to treat ourselves. Food is my work and it is a big part of our social life - eating out, cooking, treats, and rewards.

When my mood is low, I find myself looking for comfort in food.  Eating to feel better.  Eating to feed my brain more than my belly.  Eating to dampen the feelings of despair.  Eating to fill my emptiness.

Usually I would have all the banoffee pie and then beat myself up about it for days afterwards, which would send my mood on a downwards spiral.

This week I had a sizeable piece that I enjoyed immensely! Thank you Mr Brown. I logged it in my fitness pal food diary and I did a quick tabata workout to balance out my calories!

Today I right a blog post feeling the real comfort in food.  I enjoyed the treat my hubby had lovingly prepared and I felt the joy of being in control of my mood and my choices.  I think I may be turning a corner folks!

What's your comfort food? How does food affect your mood?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Loving someone with depression

I mention Mr Brown in most of my posts, mainly because he helps me through everything.  He sometimes stop by to read my thoughts & as I was writing on holiday he asked if he could do a piece for my blog.

So without further babbling, I hand you over to Mr Brown, for my first ever guest post.

Being in sales is tough. I work in a large territory that spans many countries, and every day I need to get up and get going. It's never been a problem to me, to motivate myself. I am motivated by doing my best, and it's easy to keep going when I am working hard.

I remember 15 years ago when my mum went to the doctors with a painful lump on the back of her hand. He told her it was nothing to worry about. Quickly this lump spread and her fingers and toes begin to swell. She had severe arthritis. 
 Walking and moving became painful for her. It used to break my heart hearing her sob in the night, from the constant pain. Now it is better controlled, but she still has painful bouts of arthritis and is managed by a team of experts. She needs a hip replacement and this will hopefully improve her again, but the years of pain are etched on her face now.

In December 2009 I had just started my dream job. I was sitting in a hotel in Switzerland speaking to Mrs. Brown. She didn't sound quite right and I pestered her to tell me what was wrong. She had been diagnosed with depression. I hadn't noticed the 'lump on the back of her hand', the low mood and lack of motivation. I just thought she was lazy. That day began the decent for both of us. For nearly a year I felt like I was that helpless 15 year old boy, listening to his mothers sobs, desperately wanting my wife-to-be to begin to pull her self out of whatever was causing her to be 'not herself'. It was a year before I really began to understand. I just couldn't get how anyone could not be motivated. Things did get better. Then after a few months, it got much worse again. 

It isn't easy  caring for a person with depression. There is no help in doing things in the house, no enthusiasm for days out, no intimacy, no laughter and no release from the pressure. But now I see the old Mrs. Brown back from time to time, for longer and longer. There is still some ups and downs but they are less severe and don't last as long. We both have to accept that this, like arthritis, will persist for years, but the better controlled, the less severe the relapses will be. But it isn't arthritis. You can't see the symptoms and we both have to realise when things are not right and act accordingly. Prevention is better than relapse.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Our relationship is strong because I reckon, if we can survive the lows of the last two years, we can survive anything. I love Mrs. Brown, and together we will succeed.

Depression hasn't  pushed us apart, but made us grow together. And our relationship is stronger for it.

His kind words are great for me to hear but I also hope they may help someone else in a similar relationship.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Celeb Spotting

No this is not a post about my awful dance moves.  Over night I seem to have lost any rhythm I had in my early 20s & now have a limited repertoire of daddy dance moves!

Anyways moving on.  I was in the BA lounge in Instanbul when a very thin girl walked past. As she sat down I found myself staring. I don't usual stare, honest, but I felt I recognised her.  I knew it wasn't someone I knew but then I got it! It was Sophie Ellis-Bextor.  

Did my hubby recognise her - no! When I googled a picture of her he said no it's not her.

So twitter to the rescue.  Yes Miss Bextor is in Instanbul for the Turkish Man of the Year awards.  She even tweeted so herself! 

I have only met a handful of 'famous' people.  Now bear with me on this as my idea of famous & your idea of famous may be slightly different. 

I was in a shopping centre when I recognised some guys face.  I stared, how do I know that face then this flew out my mouth
"Oh my god, it's David Sneddon"

I even did the hands on my face, really shocked look.  Right, I know your thinking who is David Sneddon. Well he had just been on a little programme called Fame Academy.  BBC's attempt at Pop Idol, or for the young people who may be reading this, doubt it, X factor.  Now at the time he must have been fairly famous because what happened next was a stampede of screaming young girls.  Where they came from I do not know but they swarmed around him like honey to the bees (I'm properly flashing back to the 90s now with that Billie Piper song reference!)

Ok I digressed anyways it went Oh my god, swarm of girls then me saying "oops I didn't even watch fame academy, why did I just shout that". To which he said
"Thanks!" & was not impressed by my outburst or my lack of interest in his show.

Then there was the story of me at the theatre in Glasgow.  I am a major fan of River City, a Scottish soap & I was excited as 3 of the cast members were in this pantomime, probably the main reason I booked it!  I have a weird crush on one such character, 'wee Bob' (when your reading this in your head think Boab with said with a thick Scottish accent to get it right)  Anyways I digressed again, he was outside smoking a cigarette.  Again my mouth engaged all by itself and what came out was
"Urggggh You smoke! Your not the man I thought you were"
What the ....... embarrassed, I was scarlet.  He laughed & said "afraid so"

One more story then we will get to Sophie. She's 3 rows behind me on the plane as we speak.  Well as I write, from business class don't you know! There is a first for everything & this is my first business class flight & first all inclusive holiday, so i should have been more prepared for celeb spotting! Lol

The last story comes from a day out to the filming of a dance show, so good I can't remember the name.  The host of the show was Davina McCall, we didn't know this at the time. A painful thin lady with a very prominent nose walked past. I turned to Mr Brown & said she looks a little like Davina McCall eh? Just a wee bit? She looked at me & laughed then shouted into the crowd "Hello everybody it's me, Davina here!"


So I don't have a good track record with famous people.  I seemed to get star struck very easily.  In the BA lounge I tried to be cool.  Be quiet, don't stare I kept saying.

I was actually a big fan of Sophie Ellis-Bextor when I was younger.  I loved her songs & her pale skin & glamorous look appealed to me even if I still cannot pull it off! I did not embarrass myself but it would have been nice to pluck up the courage to speak to her, although what would I say.  I struggle to speak to my friends most days never mind a complete stranger!

My hubby did take a sneaky picture though.

Who have you met? Have you ever embarrassed yourself?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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How to relax

And relax .....

Relax, such a small word.

Few months ago I did a group on anxiety management & we got try out different relaxation techniques.  In a group some of them felt bit weird but it opened my eyes to how many different ways there are to relax. Most people will think sitting crossed legged at sunset on a beach or having a massage as the ultimate in relaxation but what happens when you freaking out at work or in the shopping centre, these techniques just aren't gonna work!  Not to forgot that needing a massage everyday to relax could turn out rather expensive unless you have a more than willing hubby ;-)

Holiday is a perfect time to relax.  So I as I am on holiday, that is just what I have tried to do.

First I started with a walk around the resort - this is what they call active relaxing.  Not everyone finds being still calming, so if your the kind of person that think sitting still would be torture then find some activity that relaxes you.  Examples would be golf, walking, swimming or for the more energetic running or the gym to clear your mind. I also tried swimming today & after the whole body conscious stress (sadly I struggle with me in a swimsuit, too much on display) however when i finally got in the pool, I did find this very therapeutic. There is also a gym here, but oh what a shame I forgot my trainers (any excuse!).

The spa would be relaxing if I wasn't so body conscious so I gave it a miss but at home I do find having a monthly facial booked in & knowing its in the diary is nice to look forward to & the head & neck massage I get is bliss!

In this age of technology of course there is an app for relaxing.  In fact there are loads!  So if one app or technique is not for you then please try others.  I have tried a few & the ones I find myself going back to over & over are the apps produced by Andrew Johnson.  He is Scottish so I may be bias about his safe voice & recognisable accent but I started off with his deep sleep app & have never looked back.  The free versions are great so much so I am aleays amazed they are free! So feel free to give him a try.  As I said everyone's technique will differ but it's worth giving it a go.

As my holiday draws closer to packing up & stressful travel time today I decided to make relaxation my aim of the game. I went for a walk, a swim then listened to Andrew but the pool, soaking up some well earned vitamin D & sunlight which always lifts my mood! (Had been considering a SAD light but not got a a SAD diagnosis so? ....)

The main thing I'm learning about relaxation techniques is that it's not fair to call on your deep breathing when your feeling overwhelmed or to turn to your meditation corner only when you've had a nightmare day. Sure these techniques will be there for you if you choose breathing, meditation, mindfullness, visualisation, yoga, Tai chi (wow the list goes on) the more you use the,the better you become at one reducing your body response to stress & two they can be so much more effective when you truly need them!

So if you can try do something everyday, not just on holiday.  Try incorporate your technique into your normal day. Make time for it, a little time out relaxing now can make you more productive in the long run.

Let me know how you relax

Love Mrs Brown xx

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