Unboxing my February ’18 Blurt Foundation Buddy Box (subscription box)…

My box arrived yesterday and was wrapped in plastic, which was a little bit of a downer as I couldn’t neatly open it to repurpose it. There was a tear in the corner of the bag. Looking suspiciously like someone had tried to peak inside. However, as the boxes are plain brown apart from some gold lettering and pictures on the lid, it wasn’t possible to see what was in the box. Whoever peeked probably thought, “Dirty cow’s been buying sex toys!” 😜😜😜 However in all seriousness I would like to see some recyclable/biodegradable outer packaging. That would be nice.

Why do I have a Blurt Buddy Box? Quite simple really. It’s my friend Jenna’s fault. Yup. Blame squarely at her door, on her shoulders, however you want to say it. Hahaha, just kidding. Love you dude!

So who are Blurt?

Well, quite simply put, Blurt are like a big cuddle you can get on the internet when you feel like your black dog is snapping at your heels. Whether you are newly diagnosed with depression or have known for a long time, we all occasionally need help. Blurt are here to give that help.

What are Buddy Boxes?

Buddy Boxes are a subscription box service that exist to bring some self care and happiness through your letter box once a month. They also help The Blurt Foundation raise much needed funds to continue its hugely important work. They cost £21.50 a month and postage is free within the UK. They do ship internationally but I’m not sure about costs. They do a Buddy Box which has five items and a Buddy Box Lite which has three. Obviously the Lite box is much cheaper.

I stress at this point in my post that I was not provided to me for free. I received a box from a very kind friend who has bought me a subscription for my birthday.

What’s on the box?

As I mentioned before, the box is a sturdy looking plain brown postage box (fnarr fnarr) and the top of the box is embossed with two gold llamas and the words Buddy Box.

(See what I mean? Sorry my camera just wouldn’t take this picture any better.)

What’s in the box?

I gave said box a jolly good sniff before I took the lid off. There was a definite smell to it but I couldn’t quite make my mind up what that smell was.

February’s box theme was “You’re the llamas pyjamas”.

As the box lid came off, the smell became much more noticeable and distinct. Not an unpleasant smell but not the nicest smell ever. (My favourites being cinnamon, ginger, and patchouli). The box was covered inside with white paper with black llamas drawn on it and was quite cute. Both the gift box and the llama paper could be repurposed so huge brownie points awarded there for sure.

As I peeled back the llama paper, there were two postcards sitting on the top of the contents. The first one was an orange one detailing the contents of the box (which I deliberately avoided looking at so I didn’t spoil my surprise). The other one was blue, with llamas on, along with the words “You’re the llama’s pyjamas”. It’s blank on the back, so that one can be kept in a collection or sent to someone to cheer them up.

Then I located the source of the smell. The stronger it got, the more unpleasant it got. It turned out to be a “fortifying green bath lotion” from MOA. The scents were peppermint, fennel and fir needle. The only smell out of those three that I like is fir needle. I loathe the smell of fennel especially as it smells like aniseed. However I’m not sad about it. You can’t like everything in every box every time right?

Next comes a llama keying craft kit that you can make yourself. It’s super cute!!! However as I have physical conditions that restrict my hand movement, my partner in Buddy Box crime, Jenna, has very kindly volunteered to make the llama keyring for me. She can have my bath lotion as a thank you for that. Strange girl… she likes aniseed.

Next comes a small sachet from “Conscious Water” which is a water enhancer. It has a hint of lychee rose flavour. It’s a tiny sachet, only 5mls but it does flavour your water. The taste isn’t unpleasant, but I don’t think that I would buy it again.

Then my absolute favourite part of the box. A pack of three llama’s pyjamas stickers! They are a decent size too so can decorate drawers, walls, folders, whatever you choose. I am a sucker for stickers I am!

Then we come to the fabulous book. It is called Believe in Yourself and is full of affirmations and things to boost your self esteem. I love it. Sat and read it though with a cuppa. Going to keep it next to my bed so that I can read it when I’m panicking. It’s invaluable.

Just some random page examples.

Finally we have the little “Blurt zine” that has uplifting things in it. It’s only four pages at A6 size so don’t expect it to be huge.

This is the first subscription box that I have ever had and on the whole, I loved it! I loved the whole experience of opening it up and finding the treasures within! OK, I didn’t like the bath lotion. Big whoop. I’m exchanging that in order to get help to have my cute little llama made for me (thank you Jenna!). We can’t expect to like everything, every time as I said. I loved this and cannot wait for March’s Blurt Buddy Box to arrive so I can tell you all about it. Take care and love yourselves people!x


Something positive just happened…

No, really. It did. Stop laughing! I am famous for being totally unable to take criticism and morphing and dissolving into a huge, bubbling ball of snot if anyone does offer up any criticism to what I do or say be it constructive or otherwise.

I guess it’s all down to the fact that for the first 33 years of my life, I was belittled and criticised every single day. It’s a difficult thing to overcome.

But today, totally out of the blue, something happened. I’ll tell you now. I’m a serial bookworm and after discovering that I actually quite like writing reviews of the books I read and posting them on here and also on Goodreads. A couple of weeks ago, I posted up a review and thought no more about it. But this morning, I received an email telling me that somebody had commented on my review. That has never happened before and I was keen to see what had been said.

I got to the comment and it was some grubby little troll who quite clearly had not had enough coffee yet this morning. Now under normal circumstances, the human snot ball would put in an appearance. Not this morning. I cocked an eyebrow, shrugged my shoulders and responded with, “My review, my opinion. But thank you for reading.” That’s it. Then I just moved on.

I feel weirdly elated and empowered. Staying calm and not losing it with some total stranger on the Internet has proved to me that I’m better than that. I’m not saying that I’m all better and healed, but I’m saying there’s hope. Her dirty footprints will not sully my mind today.


THINK before you donate…

I have always been an ardent supporter of charity. Even if I don’t have a lot of money, I will always stop to drop some coins into a charity collecting tin. I donate to the National Autistic Society on a monthly basis on behalf of my boys.
But I don’t give to other charities. I have stopped giving to oxfam, save the children and amnesty international. Why? You may or not know this, so if you do, apologies if I am repeating information that you are already in possession of.
The pay for senior level executives of charities has continued to rise, despite a campaign to curb that rise. Going back to February, 32 out of the top 150 charities’ executives were paid over £200000 which is up from 30 in 2013.
The number of charity leaders paid over £300000 has also increased from nine to twelve in the exact same two year period.
The highest paid of all was the executive at an independent hospital, the London Clinic. The person is unnamed and earns between £850000 and £860000 a year! That really sticks in my craw!
Nuffield Health, a hospital and fitness centre provider came in with the second highest salary, paying between £770000 and £780000!
The third highest payer was St Andrew’s healthcare, another medical charity who’s former chief executive, Philip Sugarman was paid £750000-£760000 in his final year with the charity.
Nuffield Health claimed their figure included redundancy payments and their chief exec, David Mobbs, was paid £640000-£650000 a year for his role.
However, I am more concerned in writing this post with regard to well known charities. With a little digging around, it was easy enough to find out Oxfam’s CEO’s wages. Lady Stocking was paid £119560 for the year 2012-2013.
Let’s now look at Save the Children. Justin Forsyth, the Chief Executive was paid £167000 last year.
Nine (yes, nine) of the executives at Cancer Research UK earn more than the prime minister! That included the chief executive Harpal Kumar who pockets £240000 a year!
The CEO of the NSPCC, Peter Wanless earns £162000 a year, which is £40000 more than the guy before him got!
Here are some more for you. Amnesty’s Salil Shetty gets £210000 and Age UK’s Tom Wright gets £190000. Marie Stopes refused to reveal Simon Cook’s wage, but his predecessor got £263000! Christian Aid’s Loretta Minghella gets £162072. The RSPCA’s Gavin Grant gets £160000.
I can go on and on about the astronomical sums that these people are getting. It makes my blood boil. If all the money that these people made was put into the charity, just imagine what could be achieved!
Call me whacky, but I thought the whole point of charity work was to give your time freely for the benefit of others? Not to bleed a charity dry of its profits to line all of your greedy pockets!

What does blogging do for you…

No, really… what does it do for you? I started blogging a couple of years ago, and at first I was very sporadic with my posts. Yet every now and again, I would feel the urge to log in and post something only to loose the urge again.

Then I started to get the urge to post more frequently. I found that I was really enjoying the creative process involved in crafting some words into a blog piece that hopefully at least one piece that one person will enjoy.

I adore writing. Whether it is typing on my blog, writing in my diary or crafting a snail mail letter to a penpal, the simple act of taking the words and shaping them into meaningful sentences that inform or give comfort, or creating food for thought gives me so much pleasure.

It helps me to clears my head and relax. Whether or not lots of people read my words, I feel so much better for having written them all down.

Words are incredible, they truly are. They have so much power and also beauty.

Please do feel free to comment and I’d love it if you shared this piece so I can hear from lots of people. Thank you! 🙂

Please help Revive a Rural African Child…

I need everyone to have a look at and to share this utterly amazing charity. They are a tiny little organisation in rural Uganda who are dedicated to helping children get an education. Unlike major charities who siphon off donations to pay salaries, 100% of what you give goes to help these kids. Please, please, please take a second to think about doing something that would make these kids feel over the moon! Please reblog this everywhere and anywhere. Please, please, please?

Revive a Rural African Child
Thank you so much!!!

3 days 3 quotes challenge…

OK I suck. My last day of the 3 days 3 quotes challenge is a couple of days late. With my son being unwell, blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. But here I am. 
So, my last day… Who will I challenge? The rules are simple: three positive quotes each day for three days and challenge three people each day to take the challenge.

So here are my final challengees:
Here are my quotes.