Friday, 10 July 2015

Blue Sunday 2015

I really am quite late writing this as Blue Sunday was nearly two months ago now but I wanted to share some photos from the day with you. 
For anyone who doesn't know, Blue Sunday is a tea party which was started by Anna and is held every May as part of ME Awareness Week to raise money for The ME Association. The tea party is held on and offline where people can either take part virtually by treating themselves to a cup of tea and a cake and posting a picture online. Or like me, holding their own Blue Sunday Tea Party for family and friends. 

Firstly, I was super happy and overwhelmed by all the donations I received the same day as setting up my JustGiving page (you can check that out here), I raised over £100 before I even held the tea party. 
I started baking on the Thursday right through until Saturday evening. 

Here are some photographs from the day: 

My dad was working on Blue Sunday so he took some cakes and a donation box into work to raise some money there too. Overall we raised £329!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated!


Friday, 6 March 2015

Winter to Spring Nail Polish Transition Ideas

Going from dark wintery nail colours to pastels in the springtime can be a hard transition to make. I have put together a few polish ideas (some of my favourites) that will hopefully help you know what to wear during the transition from winter to spring. 

Essie Bangle Jangle 
A grey/lilac polish is super pretty and ideal for this time of year. You have the spring-ness of the lilac but it is paired down and made slightly more wintery and subtle by the grey tones. Beautiful. 

Barry M Cardamom 
This is what I would describe as an "old fashioned green". The perfect middle ground between dark midnight greens and spring-y, fresh, bright greens. 

Barry M Elderberry 
A beautiful blue-grey polish - do you see a pattern with the grey tones to everything? As you can probably tell, I like to go for pale or brighter colours that are still subtle, grey-tones and muted. 

What polishes will you be wearing for the transition from winter to spring? 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

February Favourites

Nail Polish Favourites 

There are two polishes I have discovered during February that really stand out to me. The first is Butter London Lovely Jubbly.

It is a gorgeous blue, purple and pink glitter *heart eyes emoji x1000* I think this is a great all-year-round glitter as it doesn't look too Christmassy, I might even wear it for my birthday this year. 

The next polish is Four Leaf Clover from China Glaze. Towards the middle of the month, I cracked out some brighter, more spring-like colours. This green is quite unusual as it has a slight blue tone to it without looking turquoise at all. It's shot up to be one of my all time favourites and I can see myself wearing it again really soon. 

Beauty Favourites 

As we are nearing the end of winter and heading into spring, I have been trying to make the most of wearing a berry lip this month. I have heard people rave about Mac Plumful Lipstick for a long time so decided to try it.
I prefer to use one light layer of this and use it almost as a stain rather than build it up to be bold and glossy. 

Macadamia Deep Repair Mask - I LOVE this mask, I have been using it for over a year now but recently rediscovered it. My hair is really thick, coarse, long and dry and this mask really seems to make a difference too my hair. It is so nourishing and moisturising and my hair feels really soft afterwards. I have also noticed that it adds a lot of shine to my hair. The smell of the mask is incredible too, it smells fruity, like peaches and the scent lingers on my hair until I next wash it - amazing! 

TV Favourites

I rewatched Series 1&2 of My Mad Fat Diary this month. I loved it the first time I watched it and I am still absolutely obsessed - I can't wait for Series 3! Its quite different to the sort of shows i usually watch but the fact that it is based around teenagers in the 90's is what drew me in. I especially love all the Oasis references and songs! 

I went shopping a couple of times with my mum. 
I went to a garden centre for lunch with my mum and nan. 
I went to the beach which was the first time in over 6 months I've attempted to travel so far in the car and spend so long out but I had a really amazing time and didn't feel too bad - yay! 
And then 3 days later I managed to go to the dentist!! 
I had a fab time talking to my friend Katie on FaceTime a couple of times.
I watched two films in one day - before Christmas I could only watch the first 20 minutes of a film before feeling too ill to carry on but on Valentine's Day, I watched two whole films in one day! 

I don't really have any goals for March, I'm just going to see where the month takes me! 

How was your February? What was the highlight of your month? 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the lovely Nicole and the amazing Katy.  
The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:
1) Thank the person who so kindly nominated you for the award, and also post a link to their blog
2) Tell 7 facts about yourself 
3) Select 15 bloggers that you've recently discovered, or that you follow regularly
4) Nominate them for the award and let them know via a blog comment (or social media)

7 Facts About Me:
1.) I have lived in the same house my whole life.
2.) I have a cat, 5 rabbits, 9 guinea pigs and some fish.
3.) I have never read any of the Harry Potter or Hunger Games books. 
4.) I own over 120 bottles of nail varnish(!!)
5.) I have never been on a plane. 
6.) When I was younger, I danced for 7/8 years. 
7.) I'm a bit OCD about skincare/body care and can't go to bed without taking my make up off properly and I can't not put body moisturiser in after I've had a shower. 

I nominate: 
Alice from Floral Smile
Hayley from Hayley Eszti
Meg from MegSays
Emma from Emma Drusilla
Sian from Me, Myself and M.E
Anna from M.E, myself and I
Poppy from Poppyfield
Katie from Katie Brook
Lauren from Laurens Looks 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

5 Things I'm Grateful For Now I'm a Spoonie

Getting ill and becoming a spoonie has changed quite a lot of things in my life. In fact it's changed pretty much everything. It changes your perspective on life, your goals, hopes, dreams. Everything. Since becoming a spoonie, I have become grateful for things that I never really thought about before. These things have always been there but only since getting ill have I learnt to appreciate them. 

So I wanted to share with you 5 things I have become grateful for since becoming a spoonie. 

1.) Benches in Public - When I'm not using my wheelchair, I depend on there being a bench near by so that if I come over really poorly and need to rest for a bit, I have somewhere to sit down. I never really thought about this before I got ill but now I am aware when there aren't any. If there aren't any benches and I do feel really dizzy or ill, I have to make do with sitting on the floor (and getting off looks from strangers). 

2.) Having really thick hair - my hair is really thick (and long) and this comes in handy because it means I can go longer without washing it. If I had really fine hair, I would have to wash it more often and washing my hair/showering is tiring for me so I'm grateful my hair still looks fairly decent even if I haven't washed it for a week or more. Anything that saves spoons is a plus. (Along the same lines - I am so grateful for dry shampoo too!) 

3.) Having a back garden - being able to sit outside in my back garden is really great for me and I know that some spoonies don't have one so I feel lucky that I do. I love the fact that I can go into my garden and it feels like I'm going out but I don't have to get dressed or worry what I look like - I quite often go in the garden in a dressing gown-coat-boats-pyjama combo which is always a flattering look but hey, it doesn't matter because no one can see me! A change of scenery is always good and fresh air always makes me feel better. 
Also I am grateful for where I live. Living somewhere fairly quite really helps when it comes to resting. Outside sounds really make a difference when you are trying to rest and I am also grateful that I live fairly near to some shops, my doctors surgery and my family so I don't have to travel too far. Not only does this save spoons but it means I can go out and do things more often than if these things were far away.

4.) Having a car - I'm not well enough to learn how to drive but I'm really glad both my parents have a car. Public transport would be extremely difficult for me and would mean that I wouldn't be able to go out nearly as much as I do. I feel like using public transport would also add a lot more stress and anxiety to my trips out. This also means that I can come home if I feel ill and don't have to wait for the next bus or train. I can go on drives and do what I want to make myself more comfortable, whether that's having it quiet, no music and no radio or wearing what I want aka an odd combination of things/pyjamas or taking a hot water bottle with me. I've always been grateful that we have a car but now even more so. 

5.) The Internet/social media - I've really become dependant on the Internet in general, especailly Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and blogs. I have found the majority of information on M.E online and reading other sufferers blogs and getting to know them has been really helpful. Going online is a great way to feel like you are interacting with others when you're not actually well enough to go out and about. The spoonie community is honestly amazing and everyone so supportive of each other. I have made so many amazing friends through Twitter and Instagram, people that I have gotten to know really well and talk to them every day. I don't know what I would of done without my spoonie friends. I also like to watch YouTube videos and read blogs too. This is something I can do from bed and I find it useful to be able to distract myself or cheer myself up. YouTube videos are generally shorter than television programmes too so I find that they are good when I'm not feeling so great. I mainly watch beauty videos but I like vlogs too, especially ones where people are going on holiday/travelling so that I get to see a bit of the world without leaving my bed! Pinterest is one of my favourite places too, I like the fact that it's just pictures so you don't need to be feeling that great and don't need to be up to reading - which is good when brain fog strikes! I like thinking about things like what I would have if I ever got married, pinning pictures of wedding dresses, home interiors, positive quotes, places I'd like to travel to, things I want to bake or try. Or even just pretty things I like the look of. 

Those are just some of the things I'm grateful for since getting ill - I'd be here all day if I mentioned everything but I might do another one of these soon. 

What things are you grateful for since getting ill? 
Friday, 6 February 2015

January Favourites and Achievements

The most long, grey and miserable month of the year is finally over! *cheers and confetti emoji!*
Can you tell I am glad that January is over? Onwards and upwards to the month of love and pancakes aka February.

Beauty Favourites
During January I have fallen back in love with the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub. Last time I ran out of this I ditched it for the Breakfast Scrub because I fancied a change but have since gone back to Sugar Crush and I think I'll be sticking with it for the foreseeable. I love the scent and I prefer sugar scrubs to the grainy ones. I really like how harsh and scrubby the S&G body scrubs are which means a little goes a long way and they last for ages. There's nothing worse than a body 'scrub' that is more like a shower gel with the odd stray grain in.


I also really love the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, the shade Ivory is a near perfect match for my skin. I have normal/dry skin but at the moment it is very dry and this foundation doesn't cling to any dry patches - Yay! I love the light/medium coverage it gives, it is perfect for everyday and it gives a glowy/healthy look. I will definitely be using this foundation going into spring.


The next product  have been loving is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. I can tell I am going to go through the concealer super quickly because I've only had it a couple of months and can see i have used about a third of it already.. Whenever I heard people talk about it, I was adimant I didn't want it as they said how light the coverage was and I thought, concealer needs to be as thick and full coverage as possible why would you want it to be light coverage! Surely that's a waste of time and it won't do its job! ...But actually I was wrong and I love this soooo much! I have the shade 15 which I use for under my eyes (I prefer to use something like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer for blemishes or spots). It gives a really lovely brightening effect and because it is so light in coverage, it blends really easily (I use my ring finger to pat it in, then the Real Techniques contour brush) and it doesn't look cakey or too thick and heavy.

YouTube Favourites

I have been enjoying quite a few new YouTube channels during January. The first is the lovely Meg from Meg Says. Not only is she possibly the most gorgeous person on the planet but she is a fellow ME sufferer and beauty lover.
The beautiful Emma from Emma Drusilla started her channel this month. She is a fellow ME sufferer too and is such a natural at talking to a camera and engaging with her audience and I am really enjoying her videos. I am so proud of both Emma and Meg #spooniesistersunite

I also found Leanne via Instagram at the beginning of January. She has ME and Lupus and has been vlogging and talking about make up on her channel M.E Myslef Leanne. Leanne is so positive and relatable and such a joy to watch. I really look forward to her videos.  
Book Favourite
My book favourite for January (along with One Million Lovely Letters that I wrote about here) is Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. I have loved Sali's website and YouTube channel for quite a while, her 'In the bathroom' videos are my absolute favourites so I knew I would love her book. You might find this strange (I think I do) but my favourite chapter was probably the Anti-Aging one. I love reading about skincare so it was really interesting for me but everything is written really simply so it is informative, witty, relatable and easy to understand. Every beauty lover (or woman!) needs this book. It is amazing and I already want to keep it forever and pass it down to my daughter(s).
During January I have got my anxiety under so much more control and my anxiety medication has started to work really well. 
I don't feel like I've done much at all in January but actually when I write it all down, it does seem like quite a bit. 

Here's the list:
Went to my nans for an hour for a cup of tea
Went to the doctors 
Went to the bank and opened my first bank account 
Went to nannys for Christmas take 2 
Washed hair 3 times
Goals for February:
Try and make a homemade green smoothie - find out what I do/don't like and practice a recipe 
Go shopping at least twice (already been once)
Wash hair once a week 
Carry on with walks and stretches  
Eat some pancakes for pancake day! - hopefully I'll fancy one and wont feel too nauseous so be able to eat it - nom!
How was your January?
Monday, 2 February 2015

Winter Nail Polish Picks 2015

Winter is probably my least favourite season for nail polish. In the spring I wear a lot of greens, pinks and pastels. In the summer I am all about the brights and neons. Autumn is great for deep berry shades, jewel tones and December is, of course, glitter. By the time January rolls around I am usually feeling a little bit lost as to what colours to use, my nails are usually left in a bit of a state after all that glitter over Christmas too. What is a girl to do?  If you are like me and need a little bit of nail inspiration at this time of year, I hope this helps and you enjoy seeing some of my favourites.

Sidenote: winter lighting is not my friend.

WARNING: this post features a LOT of grey *monkey covering his eyes emoji*

First up is Avon Midnight Green. I am a bit fan of green nails in general and I really like this darker green shade. I like that it is not so dark that it looks black and you can still tell it is green.

Barry M Vintage Violet is a really pretty grey-purple shade. It is muted and classy and I think it is quite an usual shade to find from a cheaper brand.

Essie Blue Rhapsody is an icey blue toned silver metallic polish. Its really easy to apply because you just need  one coat and it dries super quickly so if you are impatient - this is the one to go for!

Barry M Chai is a really pretty grey shade that goes with any outfit. You all know how much i rate the Gelly formula so this is definitely a winner for me.

Barry M Mushroom is such a classic shade that i think i will always love and have in my collection. Its a really nice brown-nude but its not so pale that it gives your hands a 'dead' look. Most of the colours i have chosen for winter are quite neutral and simple after the craziness of holiday glitter. 

Essie Jazz is a lovely neutral shade (another neutral!). I would really recommend this shade not just for winter, but for any smart occasion such as an interview or important meeting because it just makes your hands look very tidy and polished. 

Essie Chinchilly is another classic that i wouldn't want to be without in my collection. Its a warm grey with a very slight mink/purple tone. Super pretty and one of my go-to polishes when i don't know what to wear. This is a polish i will never get bored of!

Last but not least, Essie Bobbing for Baubles is a dark navy blue with a grey tone to it. Its a bit more interesting than your average dark blue but its still classy and subtle.The perfect way to add a bit of colour but navy to me, is still a neutral. Great for all skin tones.

What is your favourite polish to wear for winter? Are there any you think I should try?
Thursday, 22 January 2015

Book Recomedation: One Million Lovely Letters

Something a little different from me today, I don't usually do book reviews, this isn't really a review anyway, more of a recommendation. The book in question is One Million Lovely Letters by Jodie Ann Bickley. I first found out about Jodie about a year ago on Twitter. Then last autumn, I heard she was on Surprise Surprise so as a fellow ME sufferer, I tuned in to find out more about her and her project, One Million Lovely Letters. [You can check out the site here]
After hearing her story I immediately fell in love with her and put her book, One Million Lovely Letters on my Christmas list. I was lucky enough to receive it and last week I started reading her book. It only took me two days to read it and is fairly short but I really really enjoyed reading it and found it uplifting and inspiring yet interesting, entertaining and easy to read. 
I found it really relatable too, not just because we both have ME but because she really is just an ordinary girl with a very big heart who wants to make people happy and the world a better place. 
I won't give away any spoilers, you'll have to read the book yourself (!!) but I think everyone could learn something from Jodie's story, whether you have the same illness or not. 
If you've not already read this book, I wholeheartedly recommend that you grab yourself a copy and give it a read.

Have you read One Million Lovely Letters? If so, what did you think?
Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I'm Back!

Sooo.. It's been a while. As you all know, this illness is unpredictable and it sure has been kicking my butt the past few weeks. The end of 2014 wasn't great for me. For the past 8 years I have suffered from bad anxiety and at the end of 2013 I made the decision to come off of my anxiety medication. All was going well anxiety-wise until October last year and it just got worse and worse from there onwards. This is definitely the worst my anxiety has ever been and I'm not sure why it came back, I think maybe me not being at college had a part to play in it but I guess we'll never know. I was having panic attacks at least once a day, having nightmares, not eating properly and not sleeping well at all. I mostly get anxious during the night and I think because it's winter and it is darker for longer, my anxiety is around for longer too. I'm not sure what it is, the dark just makes me feel more closed in and claustrophobic. 
In December I went back on my anxiety medication and I think it's finally starting to work, I'm definitely feeling a lot more relaxed and sleeping better. My eating isn't back to normal but I think that could just be my M.E. 

Sidenote: I'd just like to point out that before I started taking medication again, I tried a lot of other things, meditation, herbal tea, herbal tablets and remedies, aromatherapy, relaxing baths etc. 

Being chronically ill has suddenly really got to me. Maybe I took it too well to start with and am now having a delayed reaction? I'm not sure but Christmas Day was one of the worst days ever for me, in hindsight I shouldn't of done so much beforehand (I had a friend round on Monday, doctors on Tuesday, Christmas Eve busy-ness on Wednesday so naturally on Thursday I was pooped). I had been feeling pretty bad for the past couple of weeks. 

On Christmas morning I went downstairs to open my presents and have breakfast, all was fine, I mean, I felt ill and was exhausted but I thought I'd be okay. After presents I needed to go back upstairs to rest and this was when it got bad [just writing/thinking about it isn't nice]. My heart started to beat really fast, which for me is a sign of total exhaustion. I lay in bed for about half an hour before I felt like I was going to be sick so made my way to the bathroom. Two hours later and I was still sitting on the bathroom floor feeling sick, weak, exhausted, dizzy and many more things, I'd be here all day if I listed everything! I soon realised that I wasn't going to feel any better any time soon so had to make the decision to stay home whilst the rest of my family (apart from my mum who stayed with me). At the time, I honestly didn't care that it was Christmas Day, I just wanted to feel better so went to bed to rest. 
I can honestly say Christmas Day was one of the worst I've ever felt. I was so nauseous, it was painful and I am now so gutted that I missed out on christmas - anyone who knows me, knows how utterly obsessed I am with christmas! I was extremely light sensitive too (hence the glasses) 

For the past year me and my mum have been planning my dad a surprise birthday party for his 50th birthday which was on New Years Eve. The party was at home and I managed it quite well but struggled a lot with being around a lot of people and it being really loud. I was downstairs for a little while, perhaps not as long as I would of liked but considering how I was on Christmas Day, I'm pleased with what I managed. 

I've never really faced anything before that determination and hard work didn't fix so it's quite hard to still be ill and struggling after 4 years. Especailly when family members make comments about 'how long this has been going on for' - as if I'm not aware of it myself!

I've been feeling down because last year I managed so much at Christmas and even in January, I managed quite a lot too. It's upsetting to of gone backwards and hard not to compare previous years - even though I try not to!

So, that's what's been going on. I feel like I went quite deep there! (Lol) I am now getting back on track (slowly) and feeling a lot better than I was. As far as New Years Resolutions go, I haven't really made any apart from to keep up with the little bit of walking I've been doing with my mum every evening. Don't get too excited, it's not much, just down our road a little way but so far I've been doing it for 3 months and have only missed a few really bad days. 

I've also been trying to introduce some stretching back into my routine as my legs have been feeling extra sore. Back in the summer/autumn, I was doing some more exercises suggested to me by the lady I saw for physio so ideally I'd like to build back up to doing that again (although I'm in no rush). I'd also like to give yoga/Pilates a go and meditate more during 2015. I've been using this video as a guide for stretching. 

Hopefully I'll be blogging a bit more regularly now, and I'll be sure to keep you updated if anything exciting happens. 
Let me know if there are any posts you'd like to see me do, I'd always love some more ideas. 

Lots of love, Chloe x