TOP 5 Podcasts For Mental Health

Speaking as someone who is diagnosed with BPD alongside PTSD, coping with mental health difficulties can be really challenging.

I’m always trying to find new ways to distract myself, and help better my mental state in the long run, and recently podcasts have been my go-to thing, I use either Spotify or listen on my laptop depending on where I am but I must say I do prefer listening through headphones as I feel way more connected (especially on days where my mind is running wild).

I think in general it’s safe to say that it is nice to know you are not alone and hearing other people talk openly and honestly about it all can really help when your struggling. Below you can find a shortlist of my favorite trending podcasts that focus on mental health at the moment, they include humor, honesty, and real people talking about real experiences! 

1.Mental Illness Happy Hour – https://mentalpod.com/

With weekly uploads of new content online, I most enjoy this podcast with headphones but that might just be me. It is hosted by a comedian which I think helps give it a lighter touch, but they touch on subjects like addiction, depression and negative thinking, with a wide variety of interviews from all different people, they talk about real problems and help let you know you are not alone. 

2.WTF with Marc Maron – http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast

Another weekly hosted podcast, my favorite thing about this podcast is that Marc doesn’t fake it, there are no pretending happy endings always happen, that things will go our way or that life is easy and he’s not afraid to ask all the questions we really want to know, there are some really interesting interviews on here with actors, comedians, directors and it gives a little insight to the human being behind the celeb masquerade. 

3. The Happiness Lab – https://www.happinesslab.fm/

My favorite one to tune into at the moment. This podcast combines science, culture and history to give a different view on happiness and mental health. With a holistic approach on how to be happy, this podcast is truly inspiring and has so much great advice on working towards being happier. It definitely helped me shift my views on how to live my life, maybe it has the potential to help you too?

4.The Hilarious World Of Depression – https://www.hilariousworld.org/

The name may give you a clue as to what this one about, and not that depression is a laughing matter but if you do struggle with depression like me then this hilarious podcast is definitely one to add to your list. With its unique episodes on openly talking about the dark days, personal experiences, they discuss which movies got depression right and everything in-between, there are some really interesting and helpful episodes out there.

5.Terrible, Thanks For Asking – https://www.ttfa.org/

Despite the witty name, this podcast really gives you a feel that your struggles do not lie with you alone. Hosted by the wonderful Nora McInerny, it really touches on the subjects most viral podcasts are too afraid to discuss, asking people to talk about how they are really doing on the inside and in life. Each episode is different, from sad and traumatic stories to funny and inspirational ones its a really great listen, I connected with a lot of the stories helping me feel like if these people can cope, I too can cope.

Let me know your recommendations for any great podcasts in the comments section below! Follow me on Social media at Millie’s Madness on Instagram and Pinterest. And for more tips on how to cope with your mental health difficulties, check out my article on how to grow mentally stronger –https://wordpress.com/post/milliesmadness.com/169

xoxo

9 Easy Go-To Baking Recipes!

Fancy getting your bake on but don’t know what to bake?

I have a handful of regular recipes I keep in the kitchen, as most of the time choosing a recipe or picking what treat to bake can be the hardest part. You will also find that you already have most of the ingredients for all of these recipes in your cupboards, there is no need to go out and spend a fortune, or spend 2 weeks hunting down the perfect specific ingredients just to bake a tasty cake! 

Ginger And White Chocolate Cake – This one always goes down a treat in my house, you can use white chocolate or dark chocolate depending on your preference and I also like to grate some fresh ginger over the icing on top to give it that extra zingy flavour! With its easy-to-use ingredients and quick prep time, it’s the perfect cake to share around. If you don’t have the bundt tin to do this one, you can just bake it like a regular cake but for a little longer. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ginger-and-white-chocolate-cake)

Chocolate Chip Traybake – Serving up to 35 portions its a great easy recipe for parties and sharing around the room, and if you keep them stored in an airtight container they will keep for up to a week a still taste just as great! (although to be honest they have never lasted that long in my house!) It is also a great recipe to make with the kids too, with having only three simple steps it’s a great way to get them involved in the kitchen without having to get too complicated. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-traybake)

Marble Sandwich Cake – Who said making a fancy cake had to be difficult? If you are looking for more of a show stopper cake (this is my favourite for a birthday cake especially) then you need to try this one out, it looks like it should be more tricky than it is, using an easy swirling method you can create this masterpiece too! You can use the food colouring of your choice, it doesn’t have to be pink like the recipe, I like to do it with blue or green as it stands out really well against the normal coloured batter. Don’t be afraid to add some fun decorations on top for the ultimate fun finish!  (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pink-marble-sandwich-cake)

Classic Victoria Sponge – Baking a cake could not get easier with this recipe, I must make a victoria sponge at least once every couple of weeks and it is always my go-to whenever someone asks me to bring a cake too as it never fails in a crowd. Because it uses just the basic ingredients that you normally have lying around in the kitchen cupboards it is a great recipe to turn to if you get a sudden urge to bake like me but don’t always have the stock for creative recipes. You can always jazz it up a bit too by using different flavoured buttercream instead of jam in the middle for a change too, or one of my favourites it to make an orange buttercream and grate orange zest and powdered sugar on top. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-victoria-sandwich-recipe)

Butterfly Cupcakes – If you want to make something tasty to snack on but don’t want to go through all the hassle that many recipes involve then you will want to save this one to your list! They look super pretty too, and all you have to do is cut the tops of the cake and press them into the top of the buttercream to make a butterfl ly lookalike (the recipe explains this step in more detail but its super simple) but if you want to save messing around you can finsih with any topping you like. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/butterfly-cakes)  

Classic Cheese Scones – If your taste buds are craving something a bit more savoury then this next recipe is perfect! Making the ideal treat for afternoon tea, or I like to make them and have them for breakfast as they keep really well in an airtight container or you can even freeze and defrost them as you go, to save any waste! They go great with a smudge of butter and strawberry jam for breakfast or as a side to a nice hot soup for lunch. If you are not such a fan of cheese, just leave the cheese out the recipe, or try doing half and half if serving to guests to offer a variety. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-cheese-scones)

Funfetti Cake – Make sure to get an extra pot of sprinkles next time you are in the supermarket for this funfetti layer cake. It looks great, its tastes great and its straighforward to make. What more could you ask for in a cake recipe? This is the perfect cake to serve up on special occasions, for me it never fails to please a crowd and the bright color the sponge gets from the sprinkles always looks amazing. It can also be a fun one to try out with the kids as with the incorporation of the sprinkles can be an attention grabber for the younger ones. The recipe makes four layers but if you want to keep it simpler just half the recipe and split the mix into two baking tins instead. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/funfetti-cake)

Banana bread – Need a way to use up those overripe bananas? Look no further, as this is the perfect recipe for doing just that and it only takes fifteen minutes to prepare! Its a modern
take on the classic banana loaf but works just as well. My favourite thing about this recipe is that its freezes downs really well, I like to cook a few loafs at a time and then portion it up and store it away for later date, its a great way to enjoy a tasty treat without having to go through the time consuning process! (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/brilliant-banana-loaf)

Doughnut Muffins – If you adore a freshly cooked doughnut as much as I do this one is for you! a different and easier take on the classic all-time favourite jammy doughnut. I love making these little balls of joy, between the fact that the process is simple and that there is no frying involved, I often find myself coming back to this recipe. I am not a huge fan of frying things plus it just gets messy most of the time so having this oven cooked alternative is a keeper in my book. (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/doughnut-muffins)

The list could go on as nowadays between google, pinterest and youtube baking has been made a lot more accesible to us, but these are defintely some of my favourite recipes to keep handy for those days where I crave the finish product and not the process, please let me know what some of your favourite recipes are in the comments below! 

xoxo

Daily Dose for the Soul

Step 5 Initiate actions that support your feelings of abundance and success. Here, the key word is actions. I’ve been calling this acting as if or … Daily Dose for the Soul


How To Grow Mentally Stronger

Life is far from simple and we all have some level of highs, lows, and straight-up messy times. When struggling with your mental health finding ways to distract the mind and make it better can be tough, I know for me crawling into a ball and hiding is what I want to do most days, but I have also learned (the hard way) that this does not solve anything, and when you unwrap yourself from that protected ball, all the feelings are still present and life still goes on.

We read a lot about how important self-care is but we don’t always know what that actually means or what to do to make it apart of our daily lives. Over time I have tried and tested so many activities, methods, and things to make the bad days not feel so bad, and of course different things can work for different people, but below I have narrowed down my top recommended activities to incorporate self-care into your day to day and to help you find ways of coping with any difficulties you are going through.

  – Keep a journal, I love to write as for me it’s an easy way to express myself and my feelings but if you don’t like writing so much maybe try something simpler like making a list of positive affirmations, a to-do list, or things you are grateful for. There is also a really cool series on Netflix, in collaboration with Headspace (a meditation company ) all about calming the mind that is a brilliant distraction if you’re having a bad day but don’t want to get your pen and paper out. 

 (This is the one I have – https://www.amazon.es/Legend-Planner-Planificador-Organizador-productividad/dp/B07H4KBS4T/ref=sr_1_3?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=legend+planner&qid=1615066948&sr=8-3)

– Be physically active, I will always take the opportunity to encourage someone to take up exercising for all the obvious reasons, whether it be working out or something lighter like yoga and pilates, but the truth is we don’t all want to exercise, and a lot of the time we don’t have the time! however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get active, try going out for a walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. My personal favorite is to dance around at any given chance, doing housework, or sometimes I just take a half-hour to turn my music up and like the saying goes ‘ dance like no one watching’. 

– Get creative, you don’t have to get too complicated and spend a fortune when trying to bring out the creative side in you. Adult coloring books are a great way to bring about mindfulness and an easy way to distract yourself from any negative thinking. If you don’t want to get a book, try just printing a free downloadable page on the internet. There is also research that it increases self-esteem. 

I like to use this page especially https://www.art-is-fun.com/free-adult-coloring-pages/

– Get enough sleep, lack of sleep often underpins mood swings or anxiety. Sleep helps reduce stress and anxiety and can also help increase your immune system. Try to establish a good sleep pattern, remember we need 7-8 hours at least to be fully recharged! If you struggle to get to sleep at night try developing a nighttime routine and be consistent with it to help you settle down before bed. 

– Organize yourself, even if you think they are little things, make yourself a habit tracker, and try making a monthly goal plan to help focus your priorities. I like to make lists and keep a daily planner filled out, you can use printables from google or invest in a planner diary (my friend got me one for my birthday and I use it all the time) especially on the bad days as it gives me a focus point to come back to and it motivates me to do something. Most of the time it’s silly things like email granny or do washing so don’t feel like you need big events going on all the time to feel busy.

Here a link to an easy planner you can print out – https://pin.it/4JechxD

I hope this can help you as much as it has me, don’t forget to leave me your feedback,comments, and questions below!

xoxo

Tools To Start A Nail Salon On A Budget!

Knowing where to start sometimes can be so overwhelming, or at least for me, it was when I made the decision to start my own business and become a mobile beautician (I started with nails and worked my way to a wider range of treatments). There are so many articles and blogs on the best products and what you need to get started, not to mention all the different tips and information on techniques that are available, it can be difficult to know what to buy to start with (especially when you’re on a budget like I was) and to know what you are actually going to use the most.

Honestly, I took so long doing all this research, making sure I had everything I thought was essential, I stressed myself out a lot in the process, and then when I started doing my first few clients I realized I didn’t actually have half of the most important tools that I needed. I started out mobile so before you read the list below if you are also going to be a mobile nail tech my first and best recommendation is to get a good travel case for all your things. I started out with three big shoe boxes that I carried around everywhere, and then for Christmas, I got a gorgeous pink trolly case that just changed the whole concept of doing mobile beauty, it looks so much better but more importantly, it saves a lot of hassle lugging lots of equipment around.


Regardless of whether you are thinking of starting a nail salon or doing mobile beauty, the biggest start-up cost to it is always supplies, so here are some basic essential tools and equipment you should include on your list: 

Nail file 

Half your time being nail tech is spent filing, filing and more filing, whether you’re removing polish, shaping nails, or doing infills you need to file. Having a decent and sharp nail file is key as without one you’ll find yourself spending double the time with your client. Change your nail files regularly as they will wear down after use and not have the same effect.

Nail Drill

I highly recommend investing a little more in your nail drill if your planning on using one, spending a bit more on this piece of equipment will save you money in the long run as cheaper drills have a tendency to burn the nail more and they wear out quickly! I replaced the initial drill I bought within 3 months as I got fed up with it not being powerful enough and if I used it on a few clients in a row it would just get super hot. (don’t forget the nail drill heads too)

2 in 1 Cuticle nipper

Get yourself a cuticle pusher with a nipper on the other end. I like to use a stainless steel one but I also have a bamboo one that’s good. It might seem like a small step but for me being able to just flip my tool for the step of cleaning up the cuticles is so much easier than switching between the two! 

Nails extension tools 

Do not cut back the expense when you are selecting your glue for your nail tips, you don’t have to buy a crazy expensive glue but just make sure it’s decent, and test it out to make sure it holds the tips. The better your glue holds the less chance there is of the nails breaking.

Make sure you have a range of sizes in your nail tip box (transparent tips works best as you can’t see them from underneath like you can with the white ones) You will also need nail forms if you offer this technique as well. 

Basecoat and Topcoat 

A good basecoat will help your polish stay put and help the manicure last longer in general. It can also prevent any damage to the nail, and stocking a good topcoat is key to that perfect shiny finish. I like to stock a Matte topcoat too as an option.

Acrylic powder and liquid,

Having a high-quality acrylic powder and monomer is essential if you are doing extensions. The durability of the nails will be noticeable longer when you use a better quality powder, and getting a good monomer will make building the nails themselves much easier. (There are beginner monomers that take a little longer to dry and give you more time to work with for anyone starting out) If you are going to do Gel or Polygel nails, apply the same theory, the better the quality of the product better the outcome. 

(Top tip – invest in a good brush, and make sure it is a Kolinsky brush for acrylic)Brushes are different depending on the product you will be using, gel or polygel brushes in particular tend to come with a spatula on the end. There are also different sizes, if you dont know which size works for you yet I would say start with a smaller number and then work your way up.

LED Lamp 

You have the option to get either a UV lamp or a LED lamp, the difference? LED lamps are time-savers… An LED lamp will dry your polish or gel in half the time! YOu should change the bulbs or change your lamp every year or so to make sure it’s working to its full potential.

Brush for dusting

I stupidly made the mistake of not having a little brush to clear all the dust that gathers on the nails when filing, after just two clients I headed to the nearest Primark and got myself a little makeup blusher brush. I got a makeup one as it was cheaper and twice as soft (all my clients comment on the softness too!) But definitely make sure you have a brush of some sort to clear all the dust away! 

Nail Polish 

Offering a wide selection of colors or nail art is so important, making sure to include even the ‘ugly’ colors, as the saying goes one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure! Make sure to update your color collection regularly and keep up to date with the latest trends and styles around as this can be key to not just attracting clientele but an important factor to keep your client coming back! 

Good Lighting

Find yourself a table lamp, you can get portable ones or bigger ones for a salon but no matter where you are planning on doing your nails, having good lighting is a must. I shall leave the link to the one I found on Amazon that works great, and is affordable below. 

(Lampara Pinza LED)

Of course, there are so many different utensils and equipment out there, and I like to add to my collection as I go, but starting with the above tools is a good place to begin. I said it before but I will say it again, stay up to date with new products and nail art (there is stamping, dip powders, chrome powders and so much more that makes jazzing up your nails easy if you are still new to nail art). Make sure to replace everything once in a while too! Try not to get too overwhelmed when starting up your nail business, time is key is growing your collection and knowing what products work best for you. 

Some product reviews will be on there way soon and make sure to subscribe for more articles on starting your nail business!

xoxo

How To Make Soft Pretzels

These were the first ones I made

 
With a crispy outside and salty finish, if you are a pretzel lover like me then this is the perfect recipe for you! 

Baked until soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy and sprinkled in flaked Himalayan salt, these super morish soft pretzels are delicious when served with butter, or my family really enjoyed them with strawberry jam too (perfect for breakfast or lunch!) 

How to make Soft Pretzels: 

Prep ahead – the recipe I followed, to begin with (which can be found in the link at the end), caught me a little off guard when it mentioned using baked bicarbonate of soda, so a helpful tip from me would be to make sure you have it ready baked. 

– If you are like me and have no idea how to bake bicarbonate of soda it’s super simple, preheat your oven to 120° if using a fan oven/ 140° for non-fan assisted ovens, then get a packet (or pot in my case) of Bicarbonate of soda, pour it out evenly on a baking tray lined with tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Leave it to cool, and if you put it in a Tupperware it will last up to 3 months! 

Don’t rush the process – An important thing I’ve learnt over my time of baking, is when your working with homemade dough, leaving it alone to do its thing is key! And by that I mean when you reach the stage that you leave the dough to prove and double in size don’t get impatient and take it out before its ready. 

The ingredients: 

500g strong bread flour

8g sachet dried yeast 

25g brown sugar 

50g unsalted melted margarine

3 tbsp of baked bicarbonate soda

2 beaten eggs for glazing 

The Process: 

1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt together in a big bowl. 

2. In a large jug mix the melted butter and 300ml of lukewarm water 

(If you forget to pre-melt the butter like me, I put the butter in the jug of room temperature water and then put it in the microwave for 20 secs to melt the butter )

3. Make a well in the bowl of mixed flour ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug. Mix together to form a rough dough. it will still be a little sticky and pull apart at this stage but don’t panic! 

4. Tip out the dough onto a floured worktop and knead for about 5-7 minutes until it is smooth and uniform. Slowly try to form a big ball.

5.Once smooth place the ball of dough back into a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with cling film for at least an hour (it should double in size, so try to remember what it looks like at this stage)

6. Once the dough has risen in size, take it out and push the air bubbles out of it. Then divide into roughly 8 equal pieces ready for rolling. 

7. With your hands take a piece of dough and roll it out from the middle to form a long spaghetti strand of dough.

(Each strand of dough should be about 70cm long but it depends on how much of a gap you want in your pretzel, the thinner the strand is the bigger gap will be in the pretzel shape) 

8.  Now to form the pretzel shape! Curve the strand of dough into a U shape with the curve pointing towards you. And then take each end of the U and cross them over. Take the ends again and lift them backwards, pressing them into the curve of the U to form the pretzel shape. (this can take a few tries to get the hang of making them look like a pretzel, my first ones looked like little buns but still tasted great)

9. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

10. Gently take your formed pretzels and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray, and cover it lightly with cling film and leave them to puff up for around 20 mins. (they don’t need to double in size just fluff up)As you can see the shaping part was challenging for me lol but it got easier the more I tried! 
10. When ready, bring a medium size pan of water to a boil, pour in 3 tbsp of bicarbonate of soda and reduce down to a low simmer. (when you pour in the bicarbonate it will bubble up in reaction, try to be as quick as possible getting your pretzels in!)
11. One at a time, lift your pretzel into the pan and leave to float around for 20 secs on each side, flipping in between. you’ll notice it will change colour slightly. 
12. Place the boiled pretzels back on a baking tray and brush over the outside with the pre-mixed egg wash. To finish sprinkle flakes of salt on the top (Use as much or as little salt as desired). Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they are a nice dark golden brown. 
13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then they are ready to eat! I had mine when they were still warm and in my opinion, that’s the best way! 

Here’s the link to the original recipe that I used, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/learn-make-pretzels, although the recipe above has a couple of personal tweaks to it that I have made over the few times I have made these, they always go down well in a crowd or when I have guests over, and my mum loves them for breakfast with either just butter or butter and jam! (If you want to get creative try them with a salted caramel sauce, or maybe berries and cream!) Happy baking guys!!! Post me your pictures and comments on how yours turned out!!

xoxo

Learning To Accept Myself.

WELCOME TO MILLIE’S MADNESS

As you will be able to see this is my first post out there, so I thought I would just take the time to introduce myself, give you a little insight into my back story and why I decided to launch a blog, and also what you can expect to see here! 

I read so many blogs on a weekly basis, they are always my go-to for figuring out everything, even for things like caring for my new baby turtles when I got them and realized I had no idea what I was doing, and then I also spend most my screen time on Pinterest clicking links from pins to blogs and of course like many I have joked around at the idea of doing it and becoming a blogger since I was younger but I recently discovered that I had never invested my time and money into having my own blog because I was afraid of failure, it took me a while to accept it but I was embarrased at the thought that people who I know could be reading my content, and the thought of people judging me terrified me, but I think most of all I was afraid to put myself out there because I wasn’t yet comfortable with who I was, or better said I wasn’t accepting of who I am, but overtime and through the process of a lot of self-care may I add that has changed, and I have grown more confident, mentally stronger and most importantly I have learnt to love me for me. So lately I havent been able to stop wondering about would could be and then I realized that if I didnt take the risk and explore the path of blogging I was always going to end up coming back to those ‘what if’ questions. And cut to, here I am launching my website and posting my first article hoping that it wasn’t a waste of time and that my fears don’t become a reality! I guess my first message out there is, sometimes you have to take the risk to ever know if it was worth it, and if it doesn’t work out, not to look at it as failure but a learning curve thats guiding you through this crazy journey we call life.

 Now you know how I came to start my blog let me tell you a bit about myself, (I will make this a long story short, you guys aren’t reading this to be burdened with my life story) I am a 24-year-old psychology student, I recently started my own mobile beauty business called Boss Beauty, and last but not least I am diagnosed with BPD (hence the inspiration for the name Millies Madness, every day is eventful in some way in my life). Being diagnosed with BPD has also been a big inspiration for the blog as writing is so good for my mental health and serves as a great way to channel my energy. You will see overtime that I will cover a wide variety of topics and content on my blog including things like baking recipes and tips, or the best beauty products for your skin, mental health awareness articles, netflix reccomendations and so much more. But there will be a main focus on mental health, as its what I am most passionate about and I learn so much amazing stuff with my degree that I want to share, and to be honest I have had a tough time with my own mental health, I just want to be able to help someone else that might need it like I did.

To anyone taking the time to read this, thank you. It means so much to have the support that I do from my family, friends, and partner to pursue my dream of blogging, and of course, I would not be able to get anywhere without the support of readers like yourself!

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