Friday, 5 November 2021

8th Blog Birthday and Etsy Giveaway

Hi everyone, well it's that time of year again my lovely followers, my blog birthday :-) And if you know what that means, you've been here quite a while, so a massive thank you!
As always on my blog birthday, I love to show my gratitude in the way of a giveaway. 

This year I have chosen one of my absolute favourite Etsy shops Crafty Renegade Design to be part of my giveaway and the best part is, YOU get to pick your prize!*  I have partnered with the shop owner, who by the way hand makes every single item in her shop and there are some absolutely gorgeous items!!  I really had such a hard time trying to choose just one item, in the end I just couldn't decide.

See what I mean!?!

The lovely lady has such a gorgeous range of gift items including handmade greeting cards, enamel pins, beautiful wall-art prints, delicious looking bead kits and now her latest addition, absolutely stunning handmade bracelets!  These are just gorgeous and include not only beautiful glass beads, but fire polished crystals and adorable Tibetan silver charms.  I am obsessed!!

So the prize for my giveaway is - one of the very beautiful bracelets from Crafty Renegade Designs.  If you win, you can choose whichever one you would like from the dozens of lovely designs available.  You will also win a 10% discount off of all other items in the store (not including shipping).  And as a bonus, I am also giving the 10% discount code to 2 more runners up as well.

So if you would like to be in with a chance of winning one of the stunning bracelets or a discount, please see how you can enter my giveaway below.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.  Please read all the T&Cs underneath and I can't wait to read your answers to my question.  Good luck :-)

Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

♥ To be in with a chance of winning my 'Blog Birthday Etsy Giveaway', enter via the Rafflecopter widget

 Please make sure you leave your first name and email address or twitter name in the comments, so that I can contact you if you win

 There will be one main winner and two runners up, picked at random

 This giveaway is open internationally

♥ You must complete all 3 mandatory entries before you can access any of the extra entry options

♥ This giveaway will run for 14 days from Friday the 5th of November 2021 until Friday the 19th of November 2021, 12.00am gmt

 Once the giveaway is over, I will contact the winners directly via email or Twitter, once the winners have been contacted they will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected.  I will then send the winners a link to the Etsy shop and their discount codes, the main winner will then be able to choose which bracelet they would like and use their discount for any other items should they so wish.

Until next time, stay happy, thank you for entering and good luck 

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Saturday, 2 January 2021

2020 My Year In Review

Hi everyone, for many people this year has been the worst year of their life and that is trully terrible.  But honestly for me, it's been the first year in my life I've really felt I've achieved something.  For me this year has been a chance to reflect, to focus on what's important, what I want from life and my goals and to actually start working towards my goals, which is something I've been putting off for years!

Being someone with a health condition and living with chronic pain, the most I ever normally went out was once a week.  So apart from desperately missing seeing my 2 best friends, I haven't felt too much of a hardship not going out and the extra time I've spent indoors has made all the difference to the work I've put in on my goals and I've already seen the rewards.

So to explain in more detail; firstly on January the 10th we welcomed our second furbaby.  A rescue teacup poodle (teacup is the smallest size there is) and she is SO tiny!! We named her Lucy and she has been an absolute joy and makes me smile everyday 😍

In June I was FINALLY able to talk to a counsellor after 2 years of being on a waiting list and after suffering with severe depression for many years.  I talked to her on the phone an hour a week for 8 weeks (I did a blog post all about it here) and it was the best thing I did, it helped so so much and I will be forever grateful to her!

I've been journaling and drawing again and trying to learn to do digital drawing.

And in August, after about 4 years of planning and making and designing, I finally opened my Etsy shop Crystal Sparkly Dreams (link in bio) :-D  I have loads more to list on there, including all my handmade jewellery but so far it's going well. *I will talk fully about it soon, probably when I have a few more items listed and I'll be doing giveaways, competitions, discount codes etc for all my readers.  If you want to follow my shops progress, check out when new items will be listed on the shop etc, please follow the IG account Crystal Sparkly Dreams Shop

I also helped my mum open her Etsy shop in October Crafty Renegade Design again I still have LOADS to list because she has been busy making so many amazing and beautiful craft items but at least it's a start.

I have also really seen who my real friends are this year and had a couple of pleasant surprises as well as disappointments on that score!  But the ones that have been there, have been absolutely amazing, so supportive and I don't know how I'd have got through the year without them! ♥♥♥

I still have stuff to sort out, with my work and my depression/anxiety etc but at least I feel I've finally made a massive start for the first time in my life!

This year has been a very mixed bag of emotions, it's still a huge worry and I'm feeling very anxious of what's going to happen this year but all we can do is hope and look after each other and focus on what we CAN still do.

So until next time, Happy New Year and Stay Safe

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Thursday, 5 November 2020

7th Blog Birthday & Positivity Giveaway

"Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday my little blog, Happy birthday to you"  Wahoo, Crystal Sparkly Dreams is now 7 years old today!!

And to celebrate, as always, it's time for a giveaway :-)

I recently stumbled on this great new website Soul Analyse that has the most beautiful selection of jewellery that is all inscribed with positive affirmations!  Such as 'You are enough' and 'You've got this'.  I decided straight away that I wanted the gorgeous silver 'I am strong' ring and I've been wearing it since it arrived several weeks ago.
I was so happy with the look and quality of the ring, that I thought it would make the perfect gift for a birthday giveaway and of course the winner will get to choose what inscription they would like.

As you guys know, mental health is something very important to me and to have an item like this that you can keep with you at all times with a positive, personal message on that you can read to yourself whenever you need a boost; I think is an amazing idea especially at the moment when we all need a little 'pick me up'.  So I hope you'll enjoy entering the giveaway and maybe winning one of these lovely rings for yourself or of course for a family member or friend to help cheer them up.

To enter, use the Rafflecoper widget below.  Please read all the T&Cs underneath and I can't wait to read your answers to my question.  Good luck :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

    ♥    To be in with a chance of winning my 'Blog Birthday Positivity Giveaway', enter via the Rafflecopter widget

    ♥    Please make sure you leave your first name and email address or twitter name in the comments, so that I can contact you if you win

    ♥    There will be only one winner, picked at random

    ♥    This giveaway is open internationally

    ♥    You must complete all 3 mandatory entries before you can access any of the extra entry options

    ♥    This giveaway will run for 14 days from Thursday the 5th of November 2020 until Thursday the 19th of November 2020, 12.00am gmt

    ♥    Once the giveaway is over, I will contact the winner directly via email or Twitter, once the winner has been contacted they will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected.  I will then send the winner all the options and choices of rings available so they can choose which one they would like, then purchase a ring for the winner from

Until next time, stay happy, thank you for entering and good luck 

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Your MIND Matters

Hi everyone, I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post but I have been busy working on a really big project, (yes the same project that I've been hinting at occasionally for about the last two and half years!)  Well that's because it is FINALLY happening :-D And I can't wait to tell you all about it in my next post.  So look out for that.  It's been a very long process, a lot of work (understatement) and I am SO excited to finally share it with you all.

But for today, we're going back to something else that's very important to me, mental health awareness.  In my last blog post I spoke about my experience talking to a counsellor and about some of the charities and organisations that offer further support. One of them being the charity MIND.

I first met with a counsellor from MIND many years ago when I was referred to them by my GP and I saw someone for about 8 weekly sessions. For me personally, I didn't feel it help at the time, as the person I saw literally just listened but didn't give any advice, which is what I needed and why at first, I was reluctant to see a counsellor again this time around. But it just goes to prove, you can't go by one bad experience!

So, I just assumed that was all MIND had to offer.  Little did I know that 9 years later, the charity had been completely reorganised and now offered a whole host of new ways to help!

After hearing about MIND from my counsellor and then researching a little more, I was amazed at the amount and various types of support, and events that they can now help with and I really wanted to tell you guys all about it.

They can help with everything from housing issues and jobs, to training scheme, therapy, befriending schemes and even offer support groups like arts and crafts, or groups with like-minded people that can share their issues.  As well as various online events and groups to cater for the current situation!

You also have the opportunity to give something back and help them, because of course they are a charity and can only keep going by donations and public support!  Why not help with campaigning, become a member or spend some of your spare time volunteering and use your own experiences helping others!

Because every little helps and we all need that little extra help sometimes, especially at the moment in these crazy times.

You can find more information and phone numbers for your local MIND charity on their website HERE

I hope this helps xx
Until next time, Stay Happy and Stay Safe

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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Mental Healing - Counselling

Hi everyone, firstly I just wanted to say a particular hello and thank you, to all my new subscribers, as there's been quite a few of you since my last post.  I'm very grateful and thank you for joining my little space on the internet :-)

Ok, on with the post (sorry it's a long one).
Just over two years ago, I went to see my GP to ask if I could see a counsellor.  I'd been going through a pretty rough time and was struggling to cope with everything that was going on in my life - little did I realise what was to come over the following year would be so much worse - but even so, I was in need of help.  So she put my name down on the waiting list.  I was told it could be a while (understatement), and while I was waiting I would be sent to see a mental health practitioner to start off the process.

About a year later, yes a year, I finally had an appointment come through to see the MH practitioner.  She was really nice, very easy to talk to and helped in many ways.  She explained that the few sessions I had with her would be a temporary measure until I was able to see the main counsellor but at least it was someone to confide in to begin with.  After discussing with her how I was struggling to cope with my health condition and the constant pain I'm always in, she put me on another waiting list to go to a Pain Management course, which I wrote all about here after going on the course last November/December.

Then finally in April this year, I had a letter arrive telling me to call to make an appointment with a counsellor.  When I called, the receptionist explained that due to the lockdown, all appointments would be over the phone for the foreseeable, which I was quite happy with, as it meant I could sit in comfort in my own home and not have the effort of going out (which I struggle with, with my health condition).  And so finally a few weeks later in May, after waiting for just over 2 years, I had the first of my appointments, that were to carry on for the following 8 weeks!  I was able to choose the day and time that suited me best too, which was sooo helpful and found that early evening was the best time to be able to talk.
I wanted to make sure that I made the most out of all the sessions, so during the time I'd been waiting to talk to her, I wrote lists and notes for everything that I wanted to discuss.  I planned to talk about one or two issues each session (as there were so many), so that I knew I'd covered everything.  And thankfully that plan turned out well.

Each week, I would go up to my room just before 6pm, get my notes out, my notebook and a packet of much-needed tissues and of course a bottle of water, and sit there ready with my mobile.  We talked through each problem and about how to either resolve them or cope with them better and by the end of each hour-long session, we'd spend 5 minutes at the end just calming down and she would check with me that I was ok and tell me to try and relax for the rest of the evening.

I also found it incredibly helpful to jot down notes as she was giving me advice and tips.  Because my memory is terrible and I knew over time I'd forget something important.  So to have those little notes there to always be able to refer to, is priceless.  I was also able to write down all the websites she gave me to look at and contact details for various helplines etc, for future reference, (some of which I'll leave below).

But after all that, I expect what you actually want to know is, did it help!?  And the simple answer is, yes 1000%.  I have been struggling with so many past issues and traumas that have been happening to me throughout my life as well as recently and still every day, and to be able to finally talk fully, completely openly and confidentially about everything with someone, was just what I needed.

As my counsellor told me, it doesn't always work for everyone, but there are so many different ways to help with depression, anxiety, PTSD etc.  Going to my GP, even though it was a long while ago, was the best decision I made.  It was the start of my healing process, the start of helping me feel like 'me' again!

After each session, I felt like a weight had been lifted.  Like I'd finally dealt with the issue and could put it safely in a drawer in my mind and move on.  Sure there will always be triggers for my issues, but I have coping methods now, I don't feel as mixed up anymore.
Before I started talking to my counsellor, I saw myself as a damaged, traumatised, depressed mess.  Confused, stressed, anxious and I just couldn't cope with life, I didn't want to and at times, even felt like I couldn't go on, life's struggles were just too much and too hard.

I still struggle, I'm not 'cured' but now I can finally see myself as a capable woman, who's stronger than I was before.  Who can deal with life better, calmer and I feel so much more focused and clearer in my mind.  I can see a way forward now instead of just feeling dragged down by my past and current problems.  Those that tried to help me, I used to ignore and push away because nothing made sense, I felt such a mess, I couldn't process anything.  But now I've been able to openly talk to the important people in my life and explain what was going on in my head, explain and apologies for letting them down or not being there when they needed me and to properly thank them for trying to help.  My mum for one, has always been there for me, no matter what.  A tower of love of strength, trying her best to help me.  At last now I feel I can be there better for her too.  And hopefully, it can only get better from here on out.

I've been told that if I do feel I need to talk to a counsellor again in the future, just to go back to my GP, but hopefully I won't need too, and there are loads of organisations that can help and be there for support along the way.
One of them is MIND, an amazing charity.  But I'm going to talk all about them in my next blog post, to coincide with a little giveaway I'm doing.

Another website my counsellor advised me to look at was - This website is AMAZING, absolutely full of problem solving tips, self help advice and mental exercises to help during panic attacks etc.  A very long list of various mental health issues and ways to help deal with them, as well as loads of general professional advice and so much more.  It would take a week or more to get through all the information that's on there but it's most definitely well worth looking at.  One of my favourite self help exercises is called 'Flipping the Thought Coin'.  Especially great for when you're feeling anxious about something particular.  Flip your thoughts, and try and think of the opposite feelings.  Instead of something terrible could happen, flip it to, what if it all goes well for instance.
There are loads of great tips like this, that I will be doing posts on in the coming months, so I really hope they help.

To finish off (at last), here's a list of contact details for various help centres and agencies.  If anyone would like to contact me for further help, please DM me on Twitter @DaniJ72 or message me on Instagram @crystalsparklydreams and I will get back to you.
C.A.L.L.Helpline - a free 24 hour helpline for Wales - 0800 123737.  Or text HELP to 81066 (I've spoken to someone a few times and they've been really helpful).
Parabl (North Wales only) 18 and over - 0300 7772257 -
Staying Safe - Help for anyone who is considering suicide - and an app called Stay Alive available on Google Play.
Samaritans - 08457 909090 -
So until next time, Stay Safe and Stay Happy

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