flaunt your haunt - manchester

For all 22 years of my life I have lived in the same town just 20 minutes outside of Manchester, so I am pretty darn fond of my City. It's hard to pick just one thing about Manchester that I love the most as I have so many memories there! There are the days when I was young and mum would pack a little picnic lunch and we would head out in the car to visit the Science Museum and the days I would hop on a train with  my friends and wander around Aflecks Palace and Primark for hours (who didn't have the year 9 emo phase?!) I visit Manchester fairly often so I know my way around like the back of my hand. 

I think my favourite thing about Manchester is Christmas. I know that sounds a bit vague, so bare with me. In winter we don our scarves and gloves and head into Manchester to shop for Christmas gifts. The lights and trees and people bustling around makes it so exciting and I absolutely LOVE the Christmas Markets. I look forward to them every year, I go at least 5 times and wander round soaking in the atmosphere, jolliness and scents of all the wonderful food. I am all about the Hog Roast, so delicious! I like the fact that the markets lead you through parts of Manchester that I wouldn't normally walk through! You get to see buildings you don't see day to day unless you live in the centre. I love hopping inside the town hall, warming up and visiting the little cafe, to get a hot chocolate and browsing the Aflecks stores inside before braving the cold again. I always find something new to marvel at and a long standing favourite since I was young is the singing Moose! Have you seen him? He is perched above the bar pretty bang in the centre of Albert Square (and who can forget the massive Santa) and he sings and talks to the crowds, I used to (and still do) think this is hilarious! 

Did you know that Manchester has a population of 2.55 million?!

Another reason I love Manchester is the Northan Quarter! Both my mum and I are very crafty and love ourselves a hobby so we are big fan of the more unique and artsy shops that you can find in Manchester. If you aren't from around Manchester and want to see more or simply want a staycation (that's a holiday that's just down the road) Manchester is the perfect place! There are tons of places to visit, shop and explore! If you are looking for somewhere to stay, Travelodge have several hotels available at pretty amazing prices, check them out here. 

Tell me about your haunt and what's your favourite place to be? Use #FLAUNTYAHAUNT on twitter to join the convo! 


22 and living with social anxiety

This is going to the most heartfelt and personal post that I have ever written and something that I have put off writing for quite a few years. I just want to say it may be (very) long and a bit of a ramble as I don't quite know what I'm going to write yet! Whilst I am extremely pleased that mental health is becoming more recognised and accepted in our society, I still find it hard to be open about how my social anxiety has effected my life. The reason for this and especially more recently is that a lot of bloggers, and youtubers have come out to express their take on anxiety, and share their stories which on one hand I think is awesome, but also makes me feel like I can't mention anything without looking like some kind of bandwagon mental health freak. Where as this has been a huge, and debilitating part of my life for many years. I won't be talking about everything that has happened as that would take too long, but here are the bare bones.

AGE 7-15

As a child, I was very shy, quiet and anxious. I would worry about a lot of things, mainly about one teacher in primary school who I really didn't like and I was extremely clingy with my mother. I would refuse to go to other children's birthday parties even though deep down I really wanted to go. As I hit high school I grew in confidence but also hid a lot behind my friends, I didn't make friends for myself, I made friends with people my friends made friends with. I loved high school despite being bullied in my early years and can't say there are any pinpoint reasons for my mental health issues. There is not always a reason for anxiety it can just be the way your brain is wired. I would usually say I was busy when my friends asked if I wanted to go out, make excuses why I couldn't go to that party, or just not answer texts to avoid situations I knew I would panic about. Any events I went to were usually hosted by me, or planned by me such as movie nights at my house or trips to Alton Towers, places where I felt in control and knew everything that could happen. It's mainly the WHAT IF'S that set off my panic attacks.