Tuesday 25 October 2022

Ten Free Fun Autumn Activities For Children

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It's the half-term school holidays this week here in the UK and today I have 10 activity ideas that are either free or affordable for you to do with children either during the half-term holiday or at the weekends during autumn or fall as it's also known. Not everyone has the budget for pumpkin picking, it has become very popular and I had no idea how much it was until someone I know took their children, it was really expensive, and it made me glad it wasn't a thing when my girls were small. 

When our girls were young, we were on a tight budget, and I soon learned how to amuse them for little money, I have lots of different ideas that we used to do for all seasons, but today I'm sharing the autumn activities my girls loved to do, and I hope the children in your life enjoy them too. 

10 Free Fun Autumn Activities 🍁🍂🍄

1. Go for an autumnal walk. 

When our girls were small, they used to love getting wrapped up and going for a walk, we'd pop their wellies on and off we went. We would do some leaf kicking, play Pooh Sticks at the local stream and sometimes find a park we hadn't visited for a while. We always made sure we went in different directions each time to mix it up a bit, and something the girls loved to do was choose which direction we went in, so one of them would say for example "go straight ahead for 10 minutes" then we'd time ourselves and then after 10 minutes the other would choose another way to go for a certain time frame, and then I'd choose and so on, but we never chose more than 15 minutes otherwise you end up miles away from home haha. 

2. Cooking or Baking.

Cooking or baking is a great way to spend time with children and something our girls always loved doing. Now I am no Mary Berry but you don't need to be, children enjoy spending time with you and basically making a mess. You can pick up the ingredients for basic fairy buns or biscuits fairly affordably or B&M and Home Bargains have some great value mixes too that has all you need apart from an egg or some water usually. 

Also making sandwiches and using cookie cutters to make them into shapes is fun or making animals or other items out of fruits and vegetables is fun too, and making pizzas always went down well with our girls, you can use wraps for the base too so it makes it easier. 

I have a couple of boards on my Pinterest account sharing ideas for snacks and lunch ideas for children of all ages if you'd like to take a look at those for some inspiration too. I always found that when children help to make lunch or dinner, they tend to be more likely to eat it, so getting them involved is a good way of amusing them and getting them to eat their lunch or dinner, win win. 

3. Movie Day. 

Grab blankets, duvets, and pillows and snuggle down to watch DVDs, a film on the TV or one you've previously recorded. If you have done some baking or made snacks, you could have those, or you can also have a carpet picnic and put everything on the floor (or a coffee table) and have a picnic. It makes what is essentially watching a film into something more special and exciting for the children. 

After the film or films depending on how many you watch, chat about the film, it's a good idea to print off some questions about the film, such as favourite character, favourite part, least favourite part, and score the film out of 10 and so on. 

4. An Autumn Scavenger Hunt.

One of the things we used to do with our girls was to go on a scavenger hunt, we did this at different times of the year. Autumn is great for scavenger hunts, there are lots of things around to look for, I have made an example of something I used to make for our girls, I will pop it below and if you would like to use it, feel free to print it off. You don't have to print anything off though, you can write a list on a piece of paper and either leave it plain or decorate it, or ask the children if they'd like to decorate it.  

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5. Collecting Items & Making A Collage.

Whilst on a walk, collect things, maybe the things you find on your scavenger hunt, obviously not the squirrel! Leaves, sycamore seeds, berries, there are so many things you can collect to make a collage in autumn. I don't know about the children in your life, but my girls loved making a mess so glueing was always a favourite. When the collage is dry, display them around the house of gift them to family and friends. 

6. Make Leaf Ghosts.

When finding things for the collage, there will be lots of sycamore leaves around, collect a few of those for the collage but don't use them all. Paint the leaves with PVA glue using a paintbrush (don't worry it will wash off with soapy water) and whilst it's still wet, cut eyes, nose and mouth out of black paper, or colour some paper black and cut them out of that, and stick them onto the leaf where it would have a face. When the glue is dry, peel it off and you will have a ghost type window sticker, it will stick to the window easily due to it being made of glue and peel off again just as easily, these look really cute and are an affordable Halloween decoration to make. 

7. Collecting & Painting Pine Cones.

Collecting pine cones is a nice thing to do during autumn, and then letting them dry out and decorating them is fun. You can decorate them and use them as autumn decorations or even Christmas decorations, I used to pop a few in a bowl on the sideboard, they look great and the girls always loved to see their creations displayed. 

8. Visit The Library.

Visiting the library is a great thing to do, at this time of year search for spooky stories to tell at Halloween, or autumnal themed stories, you can pick up audio books at the library now too if that's preferable for your little ones. You can spend an hour or so easily in the library and sometimes they will have free activities to do during the school holidays. 

If you have a local area Facebook page, it should have a list of activities that are available for children throughout the holidays, if not, google your local area followed by something like "free autumn half term activities" there should be something available. 

9. Bird Watching.

Go online and find birds you are likely to find in your garden or the park where you live at this time of year. Then make a list of however many you like and try and find them, you don't have to feed the birds, but if you want to feed them at home, there is a fabulous bird feeder with suction cups that stick to an outside window in Home Bargains for £2.99, it's really good and brilliant for bird watching. You can find it HERE. You don't have to feed the birds though, we don't feed them but we get so many different species of birds in our garden, it's nice to see the children excited when they spot one of the birds on the list too.

10. Scrapbooking & Story Writing.

This is something to do at the end of the school holidays, whilst you are out on your walks and scavenger hunts, pick up things to put in your scrapbook, and if you do go to the library, pick up some leaflets you can pop in too. Take photos on your phone and print them out and ask the children to draw a timeline of your activities and the things they enjoyed doing the most and include those too. It doesn't have to be a regular scrapbook, it can be a scrapbook box made from a shoe box or any box you have,  filled with things you collected and any pictures drawn. If you do visit the library, pick up some leaflets to include too. 

If scrapbooking isn't something the children want to do, maybe try a story writing afternoon, write a storybook of the activities you've enjoyed doing, write about their favourite thing to do, what they would like to do again, what they learned that they didn't know, and what score they give each activity. You can also suggest taking it to school to share with their class teacher and classmates if they wish. 


I hope you enjoyed reading my post, please let me know if you do any of the activities I have mentioned. It can be an expensive time of year, especially with Christmas not too far away and then the cost of living crisis on top, there is a lot of pressure on us all, I hope these ideas are helpful and the children enjoy them. 

Zoë x 


Tuesday 20 September 2022

Do You Want A Half Price Grocery Shop? - I Have An Amazing Discount Code For You!


Uber eats half price Asda shop, 50% off asda, uber eats discount code

I am always on the hunt for a bargain or a discount code, especially at the moment with everything going up in price on what feels like a daily basis. 

When I first started blogging I used to write discount code ideas and money saving type posts and I recently decided I was going to bring those types of posts back due to the current cost of living crisis if I can help anyone I will and if sharing codes and deals etc helps just one person it will be worth the research. 

Today I was doing some research for deals etc for a blog post and I came across one that I had to share immediately, £25.00 off a £50.00 at Asda so basically a half price grocery shop! How good is that? 

The offer is on both the Uber Eats website and their app and is available until 30th September 2022

To help you in your search, I have uploaded a photograph so you know you've found the right deal. 

Uber eats half price Asda shop, 50% off asda, uber eats discount code

This is the photograph on the Uber Eats website and app. 

Anyway, I won't keep you, but make sure you run, don't walk to Uber Eats now and grab your £25.00 discount! And please let me know if you used the discount, you can comment here or contact me on social media, I'm @mammafulzo across all my social media. 

Zoë x

Items featured on my blog are PR (gifted) Items unless otherwise stated, links may be affiliate links.


Sunday 18 September 2022

Next Halloween Homeware For 2022

halloween home decor, Next halloween decor, halloween decor, halloween home, decorate for halloween

I know it's only September, but since there's a nip in the air in the mornings these days, it definitely feels like autumn is upon us, and with autumn, comes Halloween, so what better time to share with you some gorgeous Halloween homeware I recently came across on the Next website

I love Next I buy a good amount of my clothes from Next, and Simons to be fair and we love their homeware too, so when I saw they had their Halloween homeware online, I had to make a list of some things I love, to be honest, since writing this, they have added even more things but you don't want a list that could fit on a loo roll do you? 

I have some photographs of the things I am loving and each one is numbered, I will link (aff) each item underneath each photograph so you can go directly to that item should you wish. The cheapest item is £5.00 and the most expensive is £24.00.

Anyway, enough chit-chat (I don't half waffle!) I shall get on with it. 

halloween home decor, Next halloween decor, halloween decor, halloween home, decorate for halloween

1. Halloween Gonk - £20.00 - Direct Link click here

2. Spooky Halloween Wreath - £14.00 - Direct Link click here

3. Glow In The Dark Halloween Peelable Stickers - £5.00 - Direct Link click here

4. Halloween Pumpkin Toilet Roll Cover - £7.00 - Direct Link click here

5. Set Of 3 Halloween Ghosts - £16.00 - Direct Link click here

6. 16 Piece Mini Halloween Baubles - £6.00 - Direct Link click here

halloween home decor, Next halloween decor, halloween decor, halloween home, decorate for halloween

7. Set Of 3 Halloween Mono Pumpkins - £12.00 - Direct Link click here

8. Halloween Ghosts Towel - £10.00 - Direct Link click here

9. Washable Spooky Halloween Doormat - £8.00 - Direct Link click here

10. Set Of 4 Pumpkin LED Lights - £10.00 - Direct Link click here

11. Ceramic House Tea Light Holder - £12.00 - Direct Link click here

12. Halloween Ghost Hanging Decoration - £6.00 - Direct Link click here

halloween home decor, Next halloween decor, halloween decor, halloween home, decorate for halloween

 13. Midnight Luxe Reed Diffuser - £16.00 - Direct Link click here

14. Halloween Pumpkin Ornament - £24.00 - Direct Link click here

15. Set Of 3 Halloween Marshmallow Toppers - £6.00 - Direct Link click here

16. Halloween Pumpkin Line Lights - £12.00 - Direct Link click here

17. Halloween Mug (Not One Pictured) - £6.00 - Direct Link click link

18. Halloween Ghost Torch - £7.00 - Direct Link click here

And that's a Halloween wrap!

How lovely were all those things? Unfortunately, because I thought I'd be super organised and get this post up before I went on my family holiday, the mug photographed is now completely sold out, but I have added a link for a super cute family type mug instead for you. 

As I said, since writing this and more importantly, since making the infographics for this post, Next has added so many more things to their Halloween homeware. Some of the items I have featured have different colourway options too. 

If you want to check out all the homeware Next has to offer, you can go directly to their Halloween homeware by clicking on this link

I hope you enjoyed reading my post, I shall have some more Halloween shopping ideas available soon, so if you love Halloween too, check back or follow me on social media (@mammafulzo) to be notified of my new content. 

Let me know if you decorate your home for Halloween and if you buy or have bought anything I have featured in today's post. 

Zoë x

Products featured on my blog are PR samples unless otherwise stated.
The links used are affiliate links.


Friday 19 August 2022

Trying New Skincare From Hada Labo - My Thoughts


a blog post reviewing hada labo skin care products
It's true to say that I'm a bit of a lot of a skincare geek and love trying new skincare brands and their products and I often use the internet to research skincare, especially if there's a product I've heard a lot about. I especially love Japanese skincare and had recently been researching the brand Hada Labo Tokyo after seeing it pop up in the blogging world, and being very interested in their anti ageing range. So I was extremely delighted when I received an email asking if I would like to try some of their products. I, of course, said "yes please" and have been trying out some products for the last few weeks, today I am going to let you know my thoughts. 

Who Are Hada Labo Tokyo?

Hada Labo was created in Japan by Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. under the concept of “Perfect and Simple,” which promises highly effective skincare while eliminating all unnecessary ingredients and additives. Since its introduction in Japan in 2004, the Hada Labo brand has grown to more than 60 different products and expanded its success to several Asian countries. Hada Labo Tokyo™ is the first Japanese skincare line to launch at U.S. mass retailers.

All products are paraben-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, and mineral oil-free.

Hada Labo Tokyo™ is an essential, rehydrating skin care line with everything your skin needs, and nothing it doesn’t. Radiant and youthful skin.

The Products I Received

a blog post reviewing hada labo Tokyo skincare products

The products I received were:

Anti Ageing Super Hydrator - £17.45 

Anti Ageing Sheet Mask - £2.99

Moisturising Sheet Mask - £2.99

Hada Labo Anti Ageing Super Hydrator

Hada Labo super hydrator, a moisturising serum containing retinols, japanese skincare, superdrug

serum for ageing skin, hada labo, super hydrator with retinols for anti ageing

"This Anti-Aging Lotion - Super Hydrator is an easily absorbed, rejuvenating facial lotion with 4 types of Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen & Retinol. The unique formulation helps to hydrate dry and dehydrated skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles." 

I have dry and sometimes dehydrated skin and my skin would be considered "mature" I always look for certain ingredients when choosing skincare, Hyaluronic Acid is always on the list of things I look for and since I've gotten older and noticed fine lines, I like to include retinol/acids into my skincare routine too. 

When I saw the Super Hydrator was included in my package from Hada Labo, I was thrilled, and I did something I don't normally do, and know most bloggers won't do either, which was, using the product before it had been photographed. I never do that but I wanted to try the product and I had cleansed my face and it was looking at me from the box of PR products that were waiting to be photographed, so I had to use it, I mean, it would be rude not to wouldn't it? 

The consistency of the Super Hydrator is runny and water like with a subtle fresh scent and is colourless. I pumped two pumps into the palm of my hand then put my hands together and patted the product into my skin, including my neck and décolletage, it felt a little sticky when I first applied it but that soon disappeared and my skin felt lovely, soft, refreshed and had a lovely glow. I follow with a moisturiser and my skin feels soft and hydrated all day and the glow I have is unreal, I love it. 

Hada Labo Sheet Masks

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Hada Labo Moisturizing Sheet Mask

sheet mask from hada labo, moisturising sheet mask, skin care sheet mask

"This sheet mask deeply moisturises the skin due to the multi molecular HA included.

Fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin"

Since I loved the Super Hydrator so much I couldn't wait to try the masks out too and the first one I tried was the Moisturizing Facial Sheet Mask, the mask was pretty easy to put on and once I'd positioned the eyes, nose and mouth openings in the right place, I pressed the mask into my skin and left it on for 15 minutes. Once I removed the mask, my skin still had product on it so I massaged that into my face and neck and left it to dry. 

My skin felt so soft and plump after using the mask and felt hydrated for days, it hasn't felt that good for a very long time, if ever! It looked lovely too and that isn't a word I'd ever usually use when speaking about my skin. I had much better results using the mask than when I used high end brand sheet masks in the past, which were 10 times the price. 
Hada Labo Anti Ageing Facial Sheet Mask

anti ageing sheet mask, hada labo sheet mask, japanese skin care

"This anti wrinkle sheet mask deeply moisturises the skin due to the multi molecular HA included. The collagen and retinol also help firm and rejuvenate the skin.

Fragrance free, suitable for sensitive skin and contains 4 types of HA. 

Contains collagen and retinol"

Because the Moisturising Sheet Mask left my skin feeling and looking so well, I felt I didn't need to try the Anti Ageing Sheet Mask for a couple of weeks. I applied it in exactly the same way as the moisturising mask and again left it on for 15 minutes, once I'd removed the mask, I massaged the rest of the product that was left on my face into my face and neck. 

Once again I was blown away with the results, my skin was glowing, hydrated, smooth and looked amazing, so much so that when it came to makeup I only used minimum products and I never do that, usually, I am trying my best to add some glow with highlight and blush and hating how my skin looks. 

My Overall Thoughts On Hada Labo 

hada labo skincare, anti ageing, hydrating, japanese skincare

I think it's fair to say, I am absolutely blown away with the results I got from using the Hada Labo products, I have already re-purchased all three products so I have a backup of the Super Hydrator because I am still using the original bottle around 8 weeks after starting it, a little really does go a very long way. I have also purchased 3 each of the masks. 

I have continued to use the Super Hydrator daily and I still love it just as much. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated, soft, plump and looking extra glowy. Usually, I have to use quite a rich moisturiser, even during the summer months but I haven't needed to since using the Super Hydrator, I have been able to use a much lighter one which is a first for me. And the way my skin looked and felt after using the sheet masks is the best it has looked and felt, it was glowing and felt hydrated for the longest time, I am still blown away by the results, I had read very good reviews before trying the products but now I can completely understand why this brand has such rave reviews. 

I would highly recommend all three products, they are all incredible. I have the driest skin on the planet so to get results like I have, is absolutely amazing. 

If you would like to try any of the Hada Labo products, and I definitely recommend you do, you need to run, not walk and find the Super Hydrator HERE or HERE for £17.45, the Moisturising Sheet Mask HERE for £2.99 and the Anti Ageing Sheet Mask HERE for £2.99 and if you would like to check out the full range of Hada Labo products, you can find them on the Superdrug website HERE or on Amazon HERE

Have you tried anything from Hada Labo? Or would you like to try any of the products I have shared my thoughts on today? Chat with me in the comments. 

Zoë x

Products featured on my blog are PR samples unless otherwise stated.
The links used are affiliate links.


Wednesday 20 July 2022

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

The weather in the UK the past few days has been what I can only describe as insane, it has been horrendously hot and finding ways to keep cool has been a top priority for most of us I would imagine. It has been unbearably hot for us humans so our furry friends must have felt awful, I know our fur baby, Bear hasn't known what to do with himself bless him, it's been awful to see. 

Every summer our youngest daughter,  Alicia makes Bear homemade dog ice cream, it's perfectly safe for all dogs (unless your dog has certain allergies) and is so quick and simple to make, so I thought I'd share with you how Alicia makes the homemade dog ice cream so you can make it for your dogs too if you like.  

Today I'm going to share with you how to make a fruit flavoured dog ice cream, but you can use any ingredients your dog likes. Bear loves fruit so he adores the fruit flavoured dog ice cream,  but one of his other favourite flavours is peanut butter and banana. 

What You'll Need

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

1. Low fat natural yoghurt - 280g 

2. Any fruit your dog likes, Alicia used two of Bear's favourites, strawberries (10) and blueberries (15).

3. A blender, hand blender or vegetable masher.

4. Ice lolly moulds or ice cube trays.

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe


1. Wash and chop the 10 strawberries and 15 blueberries into small chunks, removing any stalks.

2. Measure out 280g of the low fat natural yoghurt.

3. Put the fruit and yoghurt into a blender, if you don't have a blender, pop the ingredients into a bowl. 

4. Blend all the ingredients together until the consistency is smooth. If you don't have a blender, you can use a hand blender or masher, the mixture might not be as smooth using a masher but it doesn't matter, your dog will still love it. 

5. Once blended, pour the mixture into the lolly moulds and/or ice cube trays, or whatever you have to hand to put it in, any container you can put in the freezer will be fine. 

The lolly moulds we use are from B&M we have some pineapple shaped ones too, they both have cute faces on when the ice cream is frozen which is cute. 

6. Pop into the freezer for a couple of hours or until frozen, once frozen, the mixture will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. 

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

More Ideas

You could also spread the mixture onto a Licki mat or fill a Kong type of toy with it and freeze it, Bear loves his licki mat and Kong, especially when frozen, they keep him entertained, are good for mental stimulation and are a great stress reliever, especially if your dog is finding the hot weather stressful. 

Licki mats are reasonably priced and you can find lots of different ones on Amazon like This One which is priced at £6.87 or if you prefer a Kong, you can find those on Amazon too, I found This One which is a medium size for £10.09.

Alicia is going to try some other ice cream flavours with Bear maybe apple and banana, or strawberry and peanut butter, he loves peanut butter so I'm sure he'll like it.  If you do use peanut butter, please make sure it doesn't contain Xylitol, this is an artificial sweetener and is highly toxic to dogs and can be fatal if consumed. 

We give Bear a peanut butter from Morrisons, you can find it on the website HERE, but if you're searching for a doggy friendly peanut butter, always check the ingredients, the one we buy is 100% peanuts and nothing else. 

How To - Homemade Dog Ice Cream - An Easy Recipe

I hope your dog likes the ice cream as much as Bear does.

How cute are those moulds? I love the smiley faces they leave on the ice cream, they always make me smile and judging by that big smile on Bear's face, I think he likes them too! 

Do you have fur babies? How have they been coping in the heat? 

Will you make this simple homemade dog ice cream? If so, which flavour will you make? Let me know in the comments and if you do make some of the ice cream, please tag me in any photographs you share or you can email me some if you'd rather. 

Zoë x

Products featured on my blog are PR samples unless otherwise stated.
Links used are affiliate links.


Friday 4 March 2022

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) 2022 - Our GP Experience - TRIGGER WARNING


Welcome back...

I have a very personal post for you today and one that is very hard for me to post, this week 28th February to 6th March 2022 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2022 or EDAW 2022. I do always try to post during EDAW to try and raise some awareness of Anorexia and Eating Disorders as they are very close to my heart and also I know first-hand that awareness is so desperately needed. 

Most of you will already know, but for those of you who are new to my blog and may not know, my eldest daughter Cole (Nichole) suffers from Anorexia, and she has done for almost 18 years, in August this year it will be 18 years, not an anniversary I care to be reminded of or one I can never forget. 

Each year EDAW covers a certain subject and this year the eating disorders charity Beat are campaigning for UK medical schools to implement comprehensive training on eating disorders. They want their supporters to share their experience of seeing a GP about eating disorders and they also have an open letter for people to sign in support of them. I will link that later if it's something you're interested in signing. 

A few weeks ago, I asked on my Instagram stories how much training my followers thought a GP had on eating disorders during their entire medical degree which is approximately 5 years. I screenshot some of the answers I got so I could include them in my post today. 

EDAW 2022

EDAW 2022

EDAW 2022

EDAW 2022

Would you be surprised to learn that in 5 years, a GP has less than 2 hours of training on eating disorders and 1 in 5 medical schools in the UK don't cover the subject at all? 

EDAW 2022

EDAW 2022

It is absolutely appalling and not the fault of the GP, I am not berating them at all. What hope can any sufferer or parent, carer, friend etc have in finding out how best to help their loved one when visiting their GP which is usually the first port of call, when they have next to nothing training on the subject? It must be frustrating for all concerned. 

Since this year for EDAW Beat want us to share our experience with GP appointments for Anorexia, I am going to share our story/stories and how we got on. 

Our First GP Appointment

The first time I took Cole to the GP Cole had already been suffering from Anorexia for a long time, she wouldn't ever go to the GP, I tried and tried but she refused. When I finally got her there he told me Cole was Anorexic (no sh*t Sherlock) and referred her to CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service) I thought this was the answer to all my prayers, I thought that CAMHS would be a wonderful department who knew all about eating disorders and would cure my daughter, I thought I finally had light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

How wrong I was, CAMHS was a complete waste of time, they didn't have specialist eating disorder experience, and Cole saw around 3 different people, all of who were only concerned with what she ate, or rather didn't eat. One lady actually told us to get Cole a pet, we had a dog but she said to get something small that she could sit and pet after meals to take her mind off food and eating so we got 2 house rabbits. To cut a very long story short, our rabbits lived 11 years and Cole is 31 in July and still Anorexic, great advice wasn't it? But as parents, myself and Simon (Coles dad) would have done anything if we thought it would make her better.

Fast forward a couple more years, Cole had been through CAMHS without success and also been an outpatient at a young person's psychiatric hospital in Manchester, this was also a waste of time, this was a unit where they had both inpatient and outpatients and all were children aged from around 8 to 17 who suffered from serious mental health issues, it wasn't the right place for Cole at all, all they did was show her rooms and say "if you don't eat you'll end up in one of these away from your mum and dad and your sister" helpful, not!! They also accused her of all sorts of stereotypical anorexic behaviour which for triggering purposes I won't go into, and they strip-searched her numerous times without my knowledge. Cole hadn't done any of the things she was accused of, Cole has Aspergers Syndrome and can't lie, I repeatedly told them this but they didn't listen. After a huge formal complaint, Cole didn't go back there. 

I took Cole back to the GP, she was around 16 at this point, it was a waste of time, the GP ( a different one from the 1st one) told us that Cole was now classed as an adult in the eyes of the NHS and that there wasn't (and still isn't) any NHS help for eating disorders in our area, and not just our area, the whole of the North West of England. And that was that she just dismissed us like rubbish, I cried and said what was I supposed to do and she shrugged her shoulders! 

When we got home I began googling how to get help and private health care, we couldn't take out private health care for Cole because she already had the diagnosis of Anorexia a pre-existing condition. So I googled some more and then found that if I got an appointment with a private EDU (eating disorders unit) I could apply for funding from the PCT, I spoke to someone at the private EDU and said we were looking into remortgaging our house to pay for Coles care, we had an appointment a week later. They advised me against doing that and told me to push for the funding, they said if we remortgaged and paid for the care, the NHS would see it as us "going in the back door" and we wouldn't get NHS help if any were to become available. 

So once again, I took Cole to the GP, she was new and had only been at the practice a number of weeks, my mum came with us for moral support, I explained that we needed a referral to the private EDU so we could apply for funding for treatment. And I nearly fell off my chair when she said "that's fine, who do I refer her to?" I explained and that was that the ball was rolling, finally after over 3 years.  

So now we had the referral,  we applied for funding, we were rejected over and over until the last time we applied. I rang the department for what felt like the millionth time and I spoke to a lady and basically pleaded with her to help us, she had a very young daughter and I asked how would she feel if in years to come she was me and her daughter's life was in someone else's hands? Not long later, we found out we had the funding. 

Cole did go through private care for her Anorexia but sadly it didn't help at all, the treatment is always about upping calories, putting weight on, weekly weigh-ins, blood tests, mixing with other girls and boys with eating disorders and learned behaviour. After over a year of treatment, Cole was told she was being sectioned under the mental health act and she was given a month to live, she was 17 years old, Simon and I were absolutely terrified, I can't put into words how horrific it was. Because of Coles Aspergers the Dr at the private EDU decided being an inpatient would do her more harm than good, and sectioning her wasn't right, he thought she would pick up too much learned behaviour from the other patients, so he decided she should do "inpatient at home" she had to stay in the house 24/7 and could only go out for 20 minutes to the supermarket to choose foods once a week if driven there and back. She was unable to go to school, she was in the lower sixth form at school and studying for her A-levels, and had only been there a month. I bought books and used her textbooks and taught her myself, I hadn't ever done any homeschooling and had no experience at all. 

Cole hated being at home all the time and she missed out on so much, I was glad she wasn't an inpatient but it was extremely hard too. Cole did do well and eventually, when she was around 19 she was at a healthy weight, if still very underweight for her height. Sadly I soon recognised the behaviour in Cole to suggest she was struggling again, and unfortunately, it wasn't long before she was back at square one. 

Once Cole turned 18, I could no longer take her to the GP,  or ask for referrals, as an adult, it is up to her to ask, it wasn't and still isn't up to me. Since then she hasn't had any treatment for her Anorexia, she doesn't want to get better, it kills me every day, people often say "can't she see what it does to you?" of course she can, but the eating disorder is much stronger than she is, I have spoken about the Anorexic voice previously and it is just too strong. 

One other thing about GP appointments which does happen to lots of people and not just people with eating disorders, every single thing Cole has a GP appointment for, they blame her Anorexia, every single thing, it is infuriating and doesn't help Cole have any faith at all in the GP's. We did have one GP for a few months who was incredible, her mum had suffered from Anorexia for all of the doctor's life and she knew so much about it but she left after a short few months, it was such a shame as she was brilliant and understood. 

So as you can see, our GP experiences haven't been great but with less than 2 hours of training, I'm not really surprised. I think more training is definitely needed, training on the anorexic voice for one would be useful, knowing that a person's weight doesn't define an eating disorder, you don't have to be emaciated to be Anorexic. BMI needs scrapping, the need to know that there isn't always a reason for an eating disorder, some people are predisposed to mental health issues, especially if their family members have mental health issues, I was told Cole was always going to be Anorexic, she was predisposed to it, there isn't always a reason, sometimes it is control, but not always.  I wish I could write what I think would help for GP's in training but I'm pretty sure nobody would listen to me. 

If you would like to sign the open letter from Beat to campaign for more training for GPs, you can sign that HERE

This post is already super long and is about the GP training and our experiences of GP appointments with Anorexia so I don't want to divulge too much about other things, but I feel like I have so much more to say so I think it's best if I write another post about how I realised Cole was Anorexic, signs to look for, myths, the voice and Henry, how to get help for an eating disorder and other things, that may help someone. 

I will post that post in the next couple of days. 

Below are several websites and helpline numbers for those who may need them. 

I hope this post has helped Beat with the theme for this year's EDAW and I hope it's helped you understand some of our story of how we are living with our child having an eating disorder.

See you next time, thank you for reading
Zoë x

If you or anyone you know may need to contact someone about eating disorders, you can use any of these:

   Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC)

Advice and support for anyone affected by eating problems.

Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT)

Information about family therapy, including a directory of therapists.


0808 801 0677 (adult helpline)
0808 801 0711 (youthline)
0808 801 0811 (studentline)
Offers information and advice on eating disorders, and runs a supportive online community. 
Also provides a directory of support services at HelpFinder.

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

Information about cognitive behavioural therapy and related treatments, 
including details of accredited therapists.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

Professional body for talking therapy and counselling. 
Provides information and a list of accredited therapists.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Produces guidelines on best practice in healthcare.

Overeaters Anonymous Great Britain

Local support groups for people with eating problems.


07860 039967 (text)
Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them. 
Open daily from 9am–midnight.


116 123 (freephone)

Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. 
Samaritans also have a Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).

Student Minds

Mental health charity that supports students.



Information and support for people affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.


0808 802 5544 (Parents Helpline)
85258 (Crisis Messenger for young people – text the letters YM)
Committed to improving the mental health of babies, children and young people, including support
for parents and carers.

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