Help me Celebrate my Birthday

Help Me Celebrate my Birthday !!!!
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Band Aid 30

As usual I am behind the rest of the world, only becoming aware of the Band Aid 30 single 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' last night, and the subsequent backlash today.

I'll admit I used to have an issue with celebs making a big deal of raising for charity, but these days it is expected of them. However, I never really thought of Do They Know It's Christmas? in that way, simply because the original is one of my favourite Christmas songs.

When I listen to it, I'm not looking down upon those in famine, natural disaster, sickness, etc, I'm just being reminded that there are so many people who are struggling. As a listener, I don't worry about which Country (or Continent) the song is directed at, or why those Countries can't solve their own problems (after all, people are dying of starvation in the UK, so we're certainly can't judge).  I don't care how 'patronizing' the lyrics are (personally, I've never thought of them as such), nor who is singing what.

All this controversy is just political correctness gone mad, unfortunately a term I use a lot.  And it is a shame we are more interested in pointing fingers and blame, than appreciating that the money is being raised.

Because, at the end of the day, all that matters is that the money is being raised, and progress is being made. Who cares why, or how, as long as something is being done.  And Band Aid 30 has made me more aware of the ebola virus, so I'm struggling to see how that is a bad thing.

So watch the video.  If you like the song download (buy) the song or put it as your ringtone. Donate if you want to.  And ignore the judgement and just enjoy it for what it is.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


When I moved into my flat one thing I didn’t like was I could barely hear when it rained unless it was absolutely chucking it down.  Today I realised I haven’t been sitting in the right place or allow enough silence to truly let the rain be heard.

In modern society there is no such thing as silence.  We are constantly being bombarded by music, strange noises from our phones, having the TV on ‘in the background’ – and that is just inside the house.  The only time I am really quiet is when I’m reading, and honestly I that isn’t completely silence as my mind is being filled with someone else’s words and thoughts.  And that moment between putting down the book and deciding what to do next, that moment that is only filled with silence, is not something I look forward to.

I find silence disconcerting. I don’t know how to feel or what to do when it’s too quiet, so I fill up my days with as much noise as I can find.  It’s not exactly intentional, but it’s become something necessary to feel calm and safe.

Because silence isn’t safe. Silence forces us to listen to our own thoughts without any outside input; it forces us to truly take stock of how we’re feeling. And, unfortunately, because we are so busy filling our lives with noise, we don’t always notice how run down we are, and we don’t want to know. So we fill our lives with noise.

There isn’t really a point to this post, it’s simply an observation.  I thought about making it a point that I’ll try and have my silence in my life (because I will), but honestly I don’t know whether noise isn’t just as important.

Do you make intentional time for silence? Have you found it to be helpful, or does it not really make a difference?

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Today is remembrance Sunday, and as a Scout leader I joined the local parade and service. I used to participate in this every year when I was a teenager as part of the army cadets, but this is the first year I had a remote understanding what it is we are remembering.

As it is 100 years since the outbreak of WWI, there has been a lot of documentaries and dramas on the BBC this year.  Through these I have learned so much, often more than I could deal with emotionally.  Yet I am still aware that I have no real comprehension of life during the world wars, let alone life in the trenches.

What I do know is war is just as terrible if you are fighting on the other side.  Today the Padre said something that horrified me. He said ‘we should take pride that those young men died (during the world wars) fighting a wicked and evil enemy’.  I can understand family members feeling pride that their son fought for justice and peace.  I can understand that those who created the wars were/are wicked and evil (at least in our point of view). But I also know that those men didn’t die fighting those who had started the war; they died fighting men exactly like themselves. Those men believed they were fighting for peace and justice, just as much as our men did. War makes everyone the same, and to imply it is heroic in any sense, is to avoid the issue of the fact they are fighting for their beliefs as those on the other side are fighting for theirs.  When we remember those that gave their todays so we could live in this tomorrow, we shouldn’t only remember those from our own countries, but those from every country.

We remember so their lives weren’t given in vain, that’s what we like to tell ourselves.  Yet, to me, it seems as if we haven’t learnt anything from the horrendousness and tragedy of the world wars. People are still fighting. They say it is to maintain peace, but all I can see is death and pain and sorrow.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Being Egged and Changing the World

Halloween has always been a time associated with 'egging'. I don't mean egging in the sense of 'egging on', but rather egging someone's house. While I've known about the idea since I can remember, I've never had it happen to me, or even heard of it really happening.

I suppose technically I didn't get egged, but the bus I happened to be in, was. And, in a way, that is so much worse (although, admittedly, I did feel thankful I wasn't the one who would have to clean it up). Services like buses are there for the general public. I am a big believer in public services, whether than be buses, trains, NHS, libraries, government websites, etc. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'm alone in the belief that these services not only help those in need, but are necessary for a stable community.

I'm not going to go into the politics, as that's for people with a much better understanding of it, but I am a person who relies on many public services. Whatever you may think, those services were created for a reason, and it is people like those egging the bus (and the politicians, but again, not going there), that are causing them to wither and die. I have a feeling it was likely teenagers with nothing else to do, not surprising when you realise that almost all young people's services have already been cut.

I have to be honest, I don't know how we can ever remedy the society we are currently living in. But I believe that every person has the ability to change the world around them for better or worse by thinking before we act (and sometimes acting when we normally just think) . It might not necessarily be in a big way, but I for one hope my contribution will be positive, even if it only effects one other person.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


I am now in my fourth year of being severely ill, but the progress I've made over the past year gives me hope that one day I will be joining the rest of the world outside my door once again.

But, and this is the hard part to accept, a lot of that hope of happiness hangs on the assumption my health will improve.  While I'm not unhappy at the minute, I don't think I can ever be truly happy while this ill. I'm not saying I need perfect health - enough to work part-time and be able to see my friends and family often is all I'm asking for.  But I need my health to be happy.

I'm sure this goes against everything we are supposed to believe. We are constantly bombarded with inspirational stories where people attribute their happiness to having lived/ living through illness and pain.  Sometimes I worry I should be happy because of this experience, but the truth is I'm not.  Being ill hasn't improved my life. Yes, I am more aware of how grateful I am for the little things like being able to eat what I want and having the internet, and yes, it has led to meeting new people, some of whom have become good friends. But that doesn't mean I'm happy with my life right now.

I'm sorry if this feels depressing, that's honestly not how I mean it to come across. I simply feel others need to know that being ill doesn't mean being positive all the time, or being happy that this happened to us.  It doesn't mean we are supposed to be inspirational and appear strong all the time.  It doesn't mean we are enjoying the fact we cannot work or even go to the shops when we like.  And I'm certain I'm not the only one who feels this way (and if I am then guess I’m more of a unique little snowflake than I thought).

Monday, 6 October 2014

My Past and Future

Perhaps it's because I'm so ill, I have a habit of romanticizing the past. 

With the way my life is now, there isn't much marking time for me. Seasons are changing and half the time I don't even notice because I'm sitting inside my cosy flat, only aware of the world I am a part of through my laptop screen.  

Today I watched a video that reminded me it is fresher's week at Universities across the country.  Worse, it made me remember a few years ago when I was at uni, one of the happiest times of my life.  I'm aware I was happy because I was fairly healthy and able to go out, I had wonderful friends, and later, a wonderful boyfriend. 

Of course, I wasn't aware at the time (at least not all the time) I would remember it as being the happiest time of my life. I had depression, and I struggled to balance my life.  But that time is what I now associate happiness with.  While initially being reminded of that time hurt because it's something I no longer have, and while I could spend all my time wishing I could back, the past is the past.  It's a time in my life I can never go back to; and honestly I don't want to.  

Instead, I'm focusing on my future. Right now my health isn't great, but every day I try and remember the hope I have for my future.  I know it won't happen overnight, and I know it's not something I can simply wish into happening, but every day I can use that hope to take a small step forward to the future I want, a future filled with happiness.  I can't even imagine what that future will look like, but I know it's going to be amazing.

And I'm so super excited at the prospect of new experiences, new friends, new love.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 the Sofa

For the past year or so I have done everything in/on my bed. It has become my place to sleep, eat, watch Netflix, go online, read, stitch, etc (you get the idea). This week I have finally moved over to the sofa. It’s less than three steps away (or it would be if that side of the bed was tidy!) so isn’t far. But to me the sofa is a whole new world to explore. The main reason I wanted to move away from living in my bed is to try and recondition my mind to know that the bed is for sleeping and resting only (okay, and acts of nakedness); I’m also hoping it will help with some of the back ache I get from slouching on a bed all day.

 So far it seems to be working, though it still feels unnatural to sit on the sofa ; it’s still a decision I have to make every morning.  But I have noticed I am already a lot more motivated, especially in sorting out the flat (progress is slow, but at least it’s being made). The only real issue is the window is now directly behind me so at certain times of day I have to shut out the natural light if I wish to see the screen of my laptop; and I haven’t quite worked out the most comfortable position even with all the cushions I have to help me.

Moving from the bed to the sofa might seem like a tiny insignificant step, but for me it is a step towards the life I want to be leading. They say the only way to create change is to do something different, and so here I am, sitting on the sofa.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Angry and Frustrated

The other day I noticed I haven't been  my usual, happy self recently. To be honest, especially around strangers I've been rude and crotchety.  Of course, this isn't how I want to be, as I've always made it a priority to smile and be pleasant as doing so can have incredible (and wonderful) effects on others, and even if not, you know you've done your best to improve their day.

The problem is, even though I've become aware of it, I still feel a churning anger and frustration inside me. As it's so big, it has become hard not to just react in that way whenever someone irritates me (and to be honest, at the minute, most people irritate me).  I'm hoping it's just hormones and it will go away soon, as this is not the person i want to be.

Until then I'm going to try and tame my temper and smile at everyone no matter what. Do you have any tricks to keep yourself pleasant when you really don't want to be?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A New Interest

If you follow my book blog Captivated by Books, then you'll know that this week I've been participating in a read-a-thon, and yesterday I finished a collection of short stories by H.G. Wells.

I've wanted to read The Time Machine for quite a while now, after all, it's an iconic story that everyone's heard of; so when I saw it sitting on my shelf at my parent's I picked it up. I have to admit it wasn't what I expected (mainly because I'd seen a film of it that wasn't remotely like the story), and nor was it my favourite story in the book.  However, the whole book itself has opened up my world.

The way in which Wells tells his stories, and the imagination of those stories is just incredible.  I've never been that into science-fiction beyond Doctor Who (so excited for the new episode tonight, but as I don't have TV will have to wait til it's on iPlayer); I think I likely discarded it in my teens for some reason or other. But now I'm realising my tastes may have changed to include science-fiction. Of course I'm aware that not all writers and stories are created equal, but I'm finding myself desperate to lap up any sci-fi I can find, particularly in the form of books and TV shows. I've started watching Stargate Atlantis (as it's on Netflix) ,which a few years ago I wasn't remotely interested in; I don't know if I like it yet but am giving it a fighting chance.

The thing is, I don't really know what sci-fi is out there. So this post is mainly to ask for suggestions of authors or books or shows or films from those of you who already love science-fiction.  And the other part of this post is simply to share my new enthusiasm. Don't you love it when you discover something 'new' that just lights up your mind? I know I do, and I'm so glad I decided to finally read some Wells - I will definitely be reading the rest of his works.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Facebook and the Past and Future

Lately I have started spending more time on Facebook,.  While I've been on Facebook for years, I only really used it for games and photo sharing and organising events.  Somehow over the past couple of months, I've begun using it to be a part of discussions - both in groups and on status's. This has led to me updating my status occasionally and sharing my views, and honestly I think that's why I haven't been blogging as much - it's not that I can't think of anything to say, but that I have already said it in a condensed version somewhere else.  But I love blogging, so don't worry, I will likely always find my way back here.

On Facebook at the moment, many people seem to be using something called 'Time Hop' which is an app that shows you what you've posted to your Facebook wall on the same date in previous years, and then reposts it for you.  This might just be my friends, but I doubt it.  However, I refuse to use it, simply because I don't want to live in the past; I am much more excited about the present and the future.  If we all just post what we've posted before, what new content will there be, both now and if you continue using 'Time Hop'?

There is nothing wrong with looking back and remembering and learning from the past.  But if that's all we focus on, we cannot move forward as individuals or as a society.  I don't know about you, but discovery is one of those things that energizes me. I love watching documentaries, not because I want to follow the past, but because I need the new (to me) information. I need to keep learning and exploring, and I cannot do that if I only look back.  I also happen to think that we live in an amazing (if slightly terrifying) fast-paced world where change is happening quicker than ever. I might not be the first to try out new phones or ipods, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to seeing where we're going.

So this post did sway a little from my topic in the last paragraph, but that is what I love about writing and blogging - I can start in one place and it will lead me to a choice of many paths of ideas.

Do you use Time Hop? Either way, let me know what you think of the constant deluge of the past we seem to keep posting on  places like Facebook.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Melded Days and Hope

Lately my days, weeks, and months are melding together. Multiple times a day I have to double-check what day it is, as it never feels like the day it actually is any more. And now that Scouts have finished for Summer, there is nothing to remind me when it's the weekend. Of course, most of my days are the same - resting, reading, writing, resting, sleeping, watching TV shows or films, resting, creating, etc - so it's not a big deal, but I still find it irritating to not even be able to remember what day of the week it is.

The last time time slid like this for me, was the end of my first year at University, one of the happiest times of my life (I was able to sleep and go out when I felt like it, and had just started dating Chris).  Right now there are many reasons why I'm not as happy now as I was then, but I've found this melding of time means it's a lot easier to accept life and my limitations.  I know it's not a sustainable way of living, but for now I'm letting time glide by me as it's both relaxing and rejuvenating me, and has made space for hope to creep back into my life.

Monday, 7 July 2014

A Miracle Day

Today I went to my local grocery stores (using my electric scooter as always). It doesn't sound a lot, but to me it was more like a miracle.

On Friday evening I went to the Scouts meeting as I usually manage every other week. On Saturday I spent 10 hours at a local event which Scouts was a part of. I don't even remember the last time I got up at 7 am. While there I mostly sat in the tent showing kids how to decorate biscuits. Though, to be honest, not many seemed that interested as there were bouncy castles right next to us.

If I had attempted such a long day a few months ago I would have been bedbound for at least a few days at the very least. And that's what I expected this time - I felt it would be well worth it to be a part of a Scout activity that wasn't just the regular meeting.  I am in a lot more pain and more exhausted than usual, but I am still functioning enough to make myself lunch without an issue and still managed to go out today.  I am planning on spending most of this week resting, but I have to admit I'm in a bit of shock at how little my weekend seems to have affected me (of course, I could be saying this prematurely as response symptoms don't always arrive straight away, though for me it is usually 2 days later which would be today).

I know I have been saying to people that I am slowly improving. It's something I am constantly telling myself as well, I think as I still can't fully believe it.  That's why it's so important to document when something like this happens, to show me as much as you that it's true and I really am improving.  Still a very long way to go before I can live any semblance of 'normal' life but I am stepping forward and that's enough for now.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars

I have just watched Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars. Of course, I am biased in loving the film starring Michelle Trachtenberg (1996 version), but have to admit that anything about Harriet Welsch always gets me in the mood for writing.  When I was younger I even had an A4 notebook marked 'Private' and went out to 'spy' on my neighbours, though I was never as impressive in my tactics as Michelle Tractenberg's Harriet, but she was my inspiration.

Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars includes many of the same characters (though I was deeply unimpressed with 'Golly') with similar attributes, but that's pretty much where the similarities of the films end.  Blog Wars is clearly an attempt to modernize a story that honestly doesn't need it; although in retrospect I will admit that many of the moments of the 1996 stretched the credibility (but I also have to admit that these moments were a large part of the attraction to the film).  I have to say that I went into the film quite cynical, and other than the character of Harriet Welsch I think I'll stand by that.  I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Jennifer Stone's Harriet and found her to be an irritating teenage girl that struggles with the same problems in life as all other teenage girls.  In Blog Wars she is vying to write the class blog (as opposed to the newspaper) and when her first few posts aren't well-received she decides to 'stretch the truth' by writing about a famous actor whom she claims to know personally (when in actuality he is working with her father).  I have to say I was disappointed with the climax as it wasn't nearly as intense as the 1996 film, and honestly, it implies at the end that Harriet didn't learn her lesson.

Okay, so I wasn't planning on writing a mini-review, or even a comparison between the two films (as I said, I simply get inspired to write by Harriet Welsch), but apparently that's what you're getting today.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ricocheting Emotions

Over the past few months I have become increasingly aware of my ricocheting emotions.  While my anti-depressants help me not want to burst into tears every few hours, it seems that all my other emotions only know the intense setting, and the worst thing is that most of the time they are set off by something completely mundane.  It makes it so much harder when I know I'm being unreasonably upset, angry or enthusiastic, especially if I am around others (as the last thing I want to do is take it out on the few people I actually get to see in real life).  The real challenge, though, is that I want to feel.

In the past I have experienced complete numbness, and when I started feeling again I vowed I'd always do my best to never go numb again.  But I'm beginning to wonder if the state I'm currently in - flicking between extremes of emotions that can change without any warning - is just as bad. I have gone from one extreme to the other, and as it's something that affects how I look after myself (if I'm upset all I want to do is eat crap for example), I think it's time I tried to find a middle ground. The only problem is that I have no idea where to start.

If you also suffer from hormonal-type emotion extremes I'd really appreciate any ideas on how you keep it together.  For me, the most important things are warning those I'm with if I suddenly feel upset or angry; and focusing on the fact that each emotion will pass, and while they are important, they are not the whole picture.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Importance of Each Photo

Over the past few days I have spent a lot of time editing hundreds of pictures (taken over the past 7 months) that were sitting on my laptop or locked into my camera.  As I have gone through them, I noticed how I'm finally at a point where I feel comfortable deleting a lot of the photos; I am still learning to be completely ruthless but I'm definitely getting there.

In the past photos were only taken of special occasions, and while I love taking pictures of life, I think the importance of a physical memory that our descendants can look at, is easily forgotten. I am grateful to live in a time where photo-taking is as simple as a press of a button (though, it has to be remembered, can also be deleted at a press of a button as I discovered during my trip to Paris at school) and I wish there were more photos of me when I was younger.

I love taking photos, and I love having a lot of photos documenting my life (though unfortunately, being behind the camera means I'm not actually in many).  However, I feel that with digital cameras it's now so easy to take photos and that's it, most of them will sit on a camera, phone or computer until they are lost. It has become so easy that we forget how important a photo can be.  It is easy to acquire thousands of photos that will never see the light of day - either because they aren't any good, or simply because there are many that capture the same moment, a few seconds apart.  It is this latter category I have difficulty with deleting, but I figure that I'm only going to want one version of that moment to be printed out for my albums.

So I'm learning to give the important photos the respect they deserve by deleting the rest. With so many pictures, it is easy for the great ones to be lost among the many; it is with this thought that I will continue editing and deleting my photos, ensuring to have no photos I'm not one hundred percent happy with (okay, ninety-eight percent as a hundred percent is probably a little too much to be asking of someone who knows nothing about photography).

Do you keep all the photos you take? Do you get them printed out?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Stepping Through the Past

It feels like forever since I last posted (though in reality it's only a couple of weeks). For the past week especially I have been trying to figure out what to write about, what to say. And the longer I didn't post, the harder it was to think of something worthy of breaking the (unintentional) silence. It feels as though I should update you on what has been happening in my life, and at the same time make sure to impart something meaningful and insightful - all while not boring you.

Then I realised that it shouldn't matter what I write, as long as I write something. So that's what this post is, something. It's not deep or explanatory, or remotely interesting, but at least it's better than not posting anything.  So this is the post that will hopefully let me take another step forward with this blog, as I refuse to let it die after so many hours (more like days and weeks) I have put into this space.

Needless to say I don't know where I'm going. I know I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. That's just what life is though, not always knowing or even having a plan, but trusting in ourselves to take a step now and then in the direction that will become our past.

This post ended somewhere I wasn't expecting, but these words feel right for where I am at right now. I need to believe it doesn't matter that I don't know what's in store for me. Rather, I am excited to find out where my path will lead.

And with that note, I think it's time to stop worrying so much about what I do and don't write about, and just post this as another step in my past.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Shout Out: Maltesers' Teasers

As you all know, I love chocolate. Over the past year I have switched mostly to dark chocolate with the aim of not eating as much as I was properly. Unfortunately, it seems that Maltesers are determined to jeopardize my weight-loss plans by creating one of the best, most addictive chocolate snacks.  The Teasers bar is so good that I am trying not to buy them any more (but failing) as it's so hard to keep myself in check and not devour the whole bar straight away. However, if you're willing to eat it all, then this is one chocolate bar you have to try.

Friday, 23 May 2014

MTHMM - Summer Memories

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am.  

I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or in the comments).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week.

This past week has been very summery with lots of sunshine and blue skies, and it's got me remembering Summer as a teenager.

I was a shy, book-obsessed, teacher's pet, if you can imagine it, and I hated Summer holidays. Usually I would spend almost every day doing nothing but reading, often forgetting to eat as I was so wrapped up in my books. But to be honest, most of my Summer memories happened at school.

I remember eating lunch outside with my friends, sometimes having grass fights (not too often as one of my friends was allergic to grass), sometimes having water fights.  In the case of the latter it would often mean having to sit though the last lesson with t-shirts and trousers soaking wet. I don't remember ever getting into trouble for it, but it wouldn't surprise me if we did, as afterwards we would all be hyped up, energetic and laughing so much that it must have been disruptive.

When we were in Sixth Form (at the same High School), we would sit on our grassy spot during free periods, studying.  It's much easier to study in fresh air than in a musty room, and it worked for us.

All those times have sort of amalgamated into one. It was the time I was care-free, without much worry, and certainly not full of the difficulties I have now (though I had M.E. during the last few years of High School, meaning I went part-time, it didn't affect my ability to sit on the grass with my friends). It was a time when I would freeze my water bottle overnight so it stayed cool all through the day, when I was learning to de-stress and simply enjoy.  I have never been a Summer person, so perhaps that's why my best Summer memories were those at school, when Summer was just beginning, when I could sit in the shade and there was still a decent breeze; a time when I was reasonably happy.

What are your summer memories?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My Weight Issues

For most of my life I have taken pride in the fact that I had no issues with my body. Growing up, I wasn’t the skinniest or fattest (though I was the shortest), but I was happy with who I was and how I looked – I honestly didn’t care what other people thought.  And for that reason I haven’t written much about how weight-gain due to M.E. has affected me emotionally. I have been ashamed of my feelings, because I haven't been happy with my appearance.  However, after reading this post by Katie Brook, I knew I had to also share my story, to enable others in this position to know they are not alone, so here it is.

Four years ago I started to seriously struggle more with my health, and consequently started doing less. I stopped dancing and I only went out to go to classes at University. The next year (just after I finished University) I became ill and since then have been severely affected by my M.E. I stopped going out unless it was in a wheelchair. I didn’t even cook most evenings anymore, or stand up in the shower.  But my diet didn’t change, and so I started putting on weight.

I didn’t even notice at first, as despite everything I was still able to focus on the positives, and I kept the belief that this was just a temporary blip.  But a year went by and nothing got better. My boyfriend and I broke up, and I became more depressed.  This was when I first started not liking my body anymore; and the worst part was that I felt guilty for caring about something so shallow.

I continued putting on weight and became even unhappier with my appearance.  To be honest, it isn’t the weight that bothers me, so much as struggling to find clothes that fit (being short and round is not helpful for this), let alone anything that looks flattering.  And I constantly struggle with the guilt. I have guilt that how I look bothers me, as I know it shouldn’t.  I have guilt because I know I am lucky to be able to eat whatever I want, when many with similar health issues have to use their little energy on eating the right foods for their body.   I have guilt as I know I should and could eat healthier, but I can’t find the motivation to bother sometimes (though my diet has greatly improved over the past year, I still have a long way to go till I’m happy with it).  And the guilt feeds the depression, which makes me crave unhealthy foods, and so leads to a downward spiral I am constantly trying to pull myself out of.

I know I’ll probably continue struggling with my physical appearance for a long while, but once I started to accept that my feelings were okay, it suddenly became a lot easier to focus on improving my health, rather than my weight.  I now accept that I''m doing the best I can and I am happier than I have been in a long while. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Hot Weather and Determination

At some point over the past few weeks, Summer seems to have arrived. Unfortunately, it has taken with it much of my motivation.  In short - I don't really like heat, I am a Winter person.

However, I am determined to not succumb to doing nothing when I am able to do a little.  My mind never seems to stop buzzing with ideas and plans these days, which is something I want to take advantage of, but I'm also hoping it won't be long before some of these plans turn into reality. I am not the best at sticking with something, as once I get started there always appears something else to think about, but I'm doing my best by taking a few small steps each day which will hopefully build and lead me where I need to go.

That said, I'm also planning plenty of time for resting, even though this weather isn't conducive to it. The danger is partial resting; which isn't really resting, but feels like it is as I'm lying down, but as I'm watching or listening to something at the same time it is actually low-energy activity.

Does the weather affect you in a similar way?

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday Shout Out: M.E. Myself and I

As you will know, this past week was M.E. awareness week. I didn't get to share much of what living with M.E. means for me, though I'm sure over time this blog does that for me.

Today I want to share with you someone who has written and created some incredible awareness for such an invisible disability.  Anna is a fellow M.E. sufferer, as well as blogger. This past week she not only posted some very moving pieces, but created and organised #BlueSunday raising immense awareness and donations for The M.E. Association which funds much needed research.

Anna's blog, M.E., Myself and I, is one of the most heartfelt blogs I read, and I honestly believe that everyone has a lot to learn from her.  If possible, please pop over to her Just Giving page and make a donation in her name. If that's not a possibility right now, then I sincerely hope you will visit her blog and/or follow her on Twitter. Whether or not you live with a chronic disability, Anna is a voice that deserves to be heard and listened to.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Playing Catch-Up

Today is M.E. Awareness Day and begins M.E. Awareness week. I was planning on having some helpful posts put up this week, but last week I was so ill that everything in my life has fallen behind.  In some ways this explains how M.E. affects my life more than any 'inspirational' story I could come up with.

With M.E. any periods of not-complete-awfulness are spent trying to catch up with the world (job, friends, driving, etc).

Even when I'm starting to see improvement (finally), and believing there is hope (finally), it is so easy for it to be ripped away again. I spent most of last week lying down or asleep; not watching anything, not listening to anything, only getting up to go to the toilet and get food (and I know I am lucky every time I am able to stand up) - in general I just existed day after day, waiting for life to be able to try and catch up with the online world (as I have already fallen so deep I no longer know if I can ever catch up with the real world).

Obviously I'm lucky that not every day is this bad any more, but M.E. means that for the rest of my life any semblance of life I've built could (and probably will) come crashing down around me at some point, and once again I'll fall behind.

Friday, 2 May 2014

My Childhood Nightmare: Memories That Have Made Me

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am. 
 I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or in the comments).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog with this link: (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week (until I’ve worked out how to make a linky thing for you to add your links to – I’m really not very tech-savvy!).
When I was a child, about 10 or 11, I had a reoccurring nightmare. It always started with me playing with my best friend at the time, Mary-Ann – who just happened to live with me in the dream – in my back garden. As we are playing, we found some eggs that had been left by dinosaurs (as you do); instead of getting rid of them or telling an adult we decide to keep them safe under the stairs. When they hatched, out popped some cute little monsters (it’s a dream, just go with it), which we happily played with. Then one day the monsters weren’t little and cute anymore, but big and dangerous – as I found out when they ate Mary-Ann and then my family.

When I looked at the actual dream I never understood why it scared me so much, as logically it’s a fairly average dream. But it wasn’t the dream, so much as the feeling I was left with, that terrified me. I would wake up not only scared, but guilty that I had caused the disaster, and this feeling refused to go away for quite a while.

I don’t know how many times I had that nightmare, but it never got less terrifying. I have no idea how to interpret it (if you have any ideas please leave them in the comments), nor why it suddenly stopped.

I don’t really have nightmares that often now, at least not ones I can remember. I know I dream a lot of the time, but I’m rarely able to hold on to them long enough to know what actually happened. But the ‘big’ dreams are the ones which leave me with a feeling. Admittedly, it isn’t usually a pleasant feeling, and not remembering the specifics of why I’m feeling it creates confusion, but the intensity of those feelings always surprise me and remind me each time how powerful the subconscious is.

So, my reiterating my childhood nightmare seems to have turned into some kind of psychological ramble, oops.  I’d love to know if you also experience intense feelings when you wake from a dream; and if you’ve ever had a reoccurring dream. Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Morning Expermentations

I have had the same morning routine – breakfast, coffee, reading, rest, get up properly – for the past few years. While I do still find it relaxing, I’m beginning to feel it’s no longer inspiring or productive. So I’ve decided to try experimenting with it a little.

This morning I’ve had my breakfast and coffee while playing Candy Crush and Sudoku on my phone (something that has snuck into my routine over the past year) to wake me up. But instead of picking up my book, here I am, writing this on my laptop. For the next week (at least) I’m going to try getting some writing done before properly starting my day; in the hopes I will actually start being a bit more productive again.  I miss getting things written, rather than just having notes flying around my notebook and my mind.  I have so many ideas and I need to find a way to make myself let them out.

My main worry is I’ll forget to read to during the day, as for so long it’s been something I start and finish my day with; but I’m sure I can find a way to work it into my day. On the other hand, I’m sure getting something written first thing (even if it’s just my 750 words) will inspire me to do more with each day.  After a week or so I will come back and see if I need to continue experimenting, or whether this new morning routine works for me.

Do you have a morning routine? How often do you stop and notice whether it’s still working for you?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Home Again

I got back home on Saturday night.  Since then I have wanted to blog, but honestly I don't know what to write. While I was away I was filled with inspiration and motivation, which was truly wonderful.  Some of it is still inside me, but to be honest, slipping back into habits (good and bad) seems to have been unavoidable since I got back.

It has taken me a few days to get used to being home, and I'm still not used to having internet again - I have a lot of tabs open right now - as I feel like I need to read everything right this moment. In some cases this has prevented me from falling into a chocolate stupor (even if I don't celebrate Easter, chocolate is still inevitable). In other cases it's been less helpful.

So yes, I'm still getting used to being home, especially as I have so many new plans and ideas from when I was on holiday. I'm certain I can implement at least some of these, but I'll probably have to find a way to stop going on Pinterest first.

Friday, 4 April 2014


As you've probably realised, this year I have been both up and down (sometimes all in the same day), and honestly I have no idea of where I'm headed or even what goals I want to have.

For the following two weeks I will be away on holiday with my family.  Apparently there is no internet signal where we are staying. When I first heard that I did panic a little as most of my life is online, but I also know that when it comes down to it, as long as I have books (so glad I have a Kindle now as it takes up a lot less space), cross stitch, and a way to write (paper and laptop), I won't really miss the internet.  In fact, I am taking this opportunity to spend some time with myself and with my family, away from the stresses of the every day. I want to say I hope it helps me work out where to go from here, but honestly I don't know where I hope it leads me, I guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


I am so tired.

I am tired of living in my bed. I am tired of not being able to have a job. I am tired of feeling like shit. I am tired of being depressed. I am tired of being angry. I am tired of struggling. I am tired of doing nothing. Mostly I'm tired of living a life of existing and surviving.

Life wasn't supposed to be this hard. I wasn't supposed to be trapped inside my body unable to live a 'normal' life. I wasn't supposed to have to spend all my energy on fighting myself just to keep on living.

So yes, I'm bloody tired.

I also know that wishing this wasn't my life isn't helping anyone. Most of the time I am able to accept that; this is the life I have to live.  But every now and then it's okay not to be happy with the situation I'm in.  Every now and then it's okay to hate the life I've been stuck with.

Tomorrow will be a new day, a new start. Today I'm hate this existence for it isn't living. Tomorrow I will remember I'm able to live, at least a little bit, and that will be enough - tomorrow.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Treacled Mind

While I wouldn't necessarily classify today as a 'bad' day, it definitely isn't a 'good' day. My first thought was it felt like my body was in a vat of treacle as I have to struggle through every movement. However, this isn't exactly right, as while my body is heavy, it can move like usual. Instead of my body moving through treacle, it's my mind that has to use the effort it would need if I was stuck in treacle (just to clarify, this is all based on assumption as I've never actually been stuck in a vat of treacle!); every movement requires almost all my concentration and mental energy regardless of how it physically feels.

I don't have these days too often, and yet when I have them I find I am more inspired than usual. The prolonged stillness and struggle to even form thoughts somehow leaves space for the really interesting stuff to rise in my mind. Of course, I then have to decide whether it's worth the pain and struggle of writing it down (I am trying to get into using my dictaphone but I'm really bad at remembering to check it afterwards) as otherwise it will quickly sink, being swallowed by the treacle encasing my mind.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Momentous 'Coffee'

Yesterday I went for a 'coffee' (actually I had a chai latte but it was way too sweet so I got an iced drink) with a friend.

It doesn't sound like a lot, but to me it was a huge deal. To go for a coffee meant getting the bus by myself and then relying on my legs to get me to Costa, back to the bus stop afterwards and then home when I got off the bus, not to mention sitting and chatting for ages. I also managed a walk around Poundland as well (where I picked up some very cute cupcake cases) which is in incredible.  I know it probably wasn't my smartest idea as I am planning to go out tonight, and already I am feeling the pain from doing too much; but at least I now know I can do it.

I know I have been improving since moving into my new flat, though sometimes it feels as though I am taking steps backwards instead of forwards. I have known it, and am hopeful, but yesterday was the first time I imagined that I could really get my life back the way it was before.  I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm starting to really believe it, as opposed to simply acknowledging it.

Of course I will likely always have to be aware of my M.E. - it isn't a disability that disappears completely - but I'm starting to imagine a life with a job and a social life (that isn't retained to Twitter) and I can't wait to be 'normal' again.

So going for a coffee may not be a big deal to everyone, but for me it is another hurdle I've finally managed to cross.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Best Valentine's Day: Memories That Have Made Me

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am.
 I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or in the comments).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog with this link: (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week (until I’ve worked out how to make a linky thing for you to add your links to – I’m really not very tech-savvy!).

Sorry for posting this so late (it is 10 pm here after all), but Valentine's Day sort of crept up on me this year - I was aware of it, I just didn't make the connection in my mind until I was just inundated with Valentine videos on my YouTube stream.  I'm sure you don't care about that, so I'm just going to tell you about my favourite Valentine memory.

I was in Sixth Form (wow, that was at least 8 years ago) and dating a boy called James.  In our group of friends, there was only one other couple, so we made the choice to go on a double date.  It could have been a disaster, but it turned into one of my best memories of all time.

We chose Great Yarmouth as our destination (I still have no idea why we thought that was remotely romantic) which meant getting on a train.  I remember being quite excited by this fact alone, as it was the first time I went on a train without my parents; it certainly added to the 'grown-upness' of the whole day and I know that it felt like I was finally an adult (who had responsibilities as well as freedom).

The first thing I actually remember is when we met up at the train station. When asked, I specifically told James that I didn't want anything expensive or any soft toys. He turned up with the Valentine bear from Build-a-Bear (definitely expensive, and definitely a stuffed toy); I was really pissed at him, after all, I now had to carry around this great big cardboard box all day.  Yet I decided to let it go (I think that was a first for me) as I wanted to enjoy the day.

To be honest I don't remember much else. I know it was a Sunday so almost everywhere was closed, there were very few people around, and the weather was grey and wet.  We went into an arcade where they had ten-pin bowling - the really old kind with strings on the pins and every bounce of the ball made you think the floor was going to give way (it was on the second floor).  Before that day I didn't even realise there was bowling without screens and automated systems.  We had pot noodles from a machine for lunch, as we couldn't find chips anywhere.  Then of course had to have ice cream as we walked along the beach in the rain.  These are the few specifics I can pinpoint in my mind.

What I really remember about the day was how happy I was.  I was spending the day with my boyfriend and two of my best friends (admittedly, I didn't know the guy that much back then, but not the point).  We never ran out of conversation and there was a lot of laughter and the kind of gaiety that has you running in circles on the sand with your arms widespread.  I know there are many times since then that I've felt just as happy (or even happier), but that Valentine's Day was the first time in my 'adult' life when I fully embraced that joy and knew that if I had that feeling every now and then, life wouldn't be too bad.  Since then I've been lucky enough to have that feeling often and always do my best to embrace it.

I have a feeling that in ten or twenty years time, I will still remember that Valentine's Day. Even if I forget what actually happened, I am sure I will always remember where my ability to embrace life's joys started.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Shout Out: M.E./C.F.S. Diary Pro (App)

One thing that is often recommended for those of us living with chronic disabilities such as M.E. is to keep an 'energy diary'. Basically this means staying aware of how much we are resting, and how much low/medium/high activity we are doing. Of course, this varies from person to person, as everyone's energy level is different - for example, taking a shower is a high-level activity for me now, but I know that for many people showering isn't something they would classify as difficult.

Anyway, I was advised to do an energy diary when I was first diagnosed; and I did, for a couple of weeks. Honestly though, I found it annoying having to remember to write things down and highlight the colour etc.  Recently I became aware that as my health has changed so much, I should start keeping an energy diary again. I resisted starting one, as it's not a 'fun' thing to do, and if done on paper, it does cut into my available energy.  So I Googled to see if there were any apps I could use to keep track of what I'm doing, and was amazed to discover one that is actually designed for people in the same situation as myself.

M.E./C.F.S. Diary Pro is an app where writing down what kind of activity I'm doing is as easy as pressing a colour-code button and then tapping the half hour block it correlates to. Not only can you then easily see how much of each thing you've been doing (for example, I can see I need to rest more often), you can add in how bad your symptoms are and access graphs showing the data over time. Of course, I wish the app was a little more adjustable to the individual case, but it is still definitely worth the £4.99 (though it's on offer this month as the new, updated version has only just been released).  I am certain I will be using this app for quite a while, and it's much easier than having to map out what I'm doing via pen and paper, as it requires very little effort for me to just press a few buttons instead.

Do you keep an energy diary? Have you found it useful? I would also love to know if there are any other apps other spoonies have found useful.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Living History

For those of you who aren't Doctor Who fans - this post isn't really about Doctor Who, though the video above prompted this post and is a good example of my points.

As I was watching all the different Doctor Who opening credits, in order, I couldn't help but notice that as I viewed them in my head I was thinking 'yes, that's definitely 70's, and that is obviously 80's, and OMG that is sooooo 90's'. Of course they are all similar and you can see how the theme evolves into what it currently is, and that in itself is probably a whole other post - seeing how over time one thing can morph into something completely different yet when you break it down it is easy to follow the progress, and wondering if Doctor Who will still be around in 20 years time.

But my point, seeing as there is one I am actually trying to get to, is that there are certain things we automatically associate with certain time periods, and these are especially noticeable in television as different effects were discovered and became popular. From those associations, we create ideas of what those decades were like - eg. swinging sixties where everyone was a hippy with long hair; eighties with flared trousers and neon clothes. Obviously I can't know what those years were like, only what is projected from films and photos and stories.

And this got me wondering (yes, I'm almost at what I wanted to write about), is what people in 40 years time or so, will look back and think of us right now. What things will they remember, what will be distinctive about our society and culture? This is something I often think about, and of course cannot have any clue, but I think it's something that's fascinating - that we are living history right now. I can't wait to find out what the future holds, but I also would love to know what future generations will look back and see.

I guess this post wasn't particularly cohesive and a bit rambley, so sorry about that. However, I'm super excited about the fact that once again I seem to have started having ideas I want to write about that aren't simply updates about my health, so fingers crossed there will be more random content spewing from my brain here soon.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Hibernating and Gentle Stirring

If you follow me on Twitter, then you'll know that the past few weeks haven't been my best. My M.E. has reared it's head, causing me to struggle to do the few things I had previously been able to do without much issue (such as going online, making breakfast and lunch, etc).

Just before Christmas I was beginning to see a slight improvement in my health, and was beginning to have hope that one day I would return to a 'normal' life. This has made these past few weeks all the harder, as to be honest it has been disheartening to go back to not even being able to read as much as I would like, whenever I'd like.  In a way it felt like taking a step forward, only to take a step back. Thankfully I have had the support of many wonderful 'spoonie' friends, who have made it possible for me to fight the downward spiral my depression, frustration and anger was taking me.

Michael Nobbs made January a month of hibernation. I hadn't intended my January to follow suit, but my body clearly had other ideas. Now that my emotional and mental state have come back to positive, I'm planning to join Michael's month of gentle stirring in February (can't believe that tomorrow is February, it seems far too soon), by committing to working on a project for 20 minutes every day.  20 minutes may not sound a lot to some people, but to me each 20 minutes of work will likely need to be followed by 90-120 minutes of full resting, and of course, 20 minutes is better than none.  If you'd like to join in, you can find out more here, and I would love it if you let me know in the comments.  The project I will be working on is one I started last year, and feel it's time to continue and hopefully finish. I hope you will understand that I won't be sharing the specifics here just yet, as from experience I have discovered that I have a much better chance of finishing if I don't talk about it much.

On the plus side of the past few weeks, I have had plenty of time to think without planning or hoping or dreaming, which has left me feeling open and ready to be filled with new ideas. I've also been watching Charmed on Netflix (I'm just starting series 3 so no spoilers please), and wondering why on earth I waited until now to give the show a chance (actually, I know it was because I read a few of the books when I was a teenager and hated them).  I've also been watching White Collar when I've been feeling up to it (shows like this use more energy than you'd think, as it requires me to actively pay attention the whole time to actually enjoy it), and have a very long list of films and shows I want to watch in the future.

Overall, I don't think this was a wasted month, as it's given me the time to recover from the holiday season (admittedly, I'd like to have recovered earlier, but that's life with M.E.) both physically and mentally, and I'm back to hoping and dreaming about the year to follow.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Shout Out: Duolingo

Pretty much since I left Sixth Form, I have been keeping my French and Italian books (GCSE and AS-Level) with the complete intention of reteaching myself French and starting again with Italian (I didn't do a whole lot of Italian, and all I remember is how to say 'my name is...' which I don't think will get me very far).  Every place I have lived since I moved away from my parents, I have taken these books with me.

I am really passionate about foreign languages. I love how they sound, and I hate that I can only speak one language fluently (and for that reason often wish I'd been born somewhere else where English is taught as a second language practically since birth). But I'm not good at foreign languages.  No matter how hard I tried, how much I studied, I still lagged at the back of the class, and managed to get a 'U' in AS French. For those of you who know me, you'll know that I was a bit of a swot in school and graded fairly high in most of my classes. The burn of course is that French was the only subject I actually tried at, yet it was my worst subject.

Anyway, a couple of months ago one of my brothers (or two of them, I'm not sure), mentioned DuoLingo - a free site which helps you learn foreign languages. I dutifully bookmarked it then forgot all about it.  Last week I watched this New Year video, and Sanne mentioned the DuoLingo app. As I'm beginning to get used to my smartphone, I figured I'd give it a go. I've been using it for a week and already I have learnt words I'm fairly certain I never knew.

DuoLingo teaches you in short themed sections. You translate to and from your chosen language and are also able to practice your pronunciation. As i said, it is both a website and an app (they sync together), and for anyone thinking that this is the year to learn a new language, or refresh your memory, I have to point you in DuoLingo's direction.

Oh, and you can follow me here.

[Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form, sponsored to write about this site. I just want to share it with you.]

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A Musing, A Ramble and Thoughts on M.E.

For those of you living without a chronic disability, the chances are you won't really get excited in the same way I'm about to.

Today I started reading the next book on my ever growing TBR (to be read) pile. It's a women's literature book and I've only read the first few chapters, but I just had to share a few sentences. The first sentence is from the end of the first chapter:

Five years ago Eileen had been diagnosed as suffering from M.E. and ... there was a limit to what she could do.
Eileen is the main character's mother, so while she's not (so far) a big part of the story, she is in the main group of characters in my mind. So when I read the above sentence, I actually had to stop and reread it. Surely I had got it wrong. Surely the author didn't mean the same M.E. that is the debilitating and life-changing (and not usually in the good way) chronic disability that I live with.

And later on:
Eileen wasn't getting enough rest, and if that went on for too long, Harriet (the main character) knew her mother would be stuck in bed for days. ... Just as soon as she started to feel well and her energy levels increased she invariably overdid it and was back to where she'd started, feeling ill again.
And my favourite:
...before M.E. sneaked its way into her life and sapped her energy...
So why did these references surprise me so much? Because, other than books that are specifically written about M.E., I have never come across it in fiction before, and definitely not so casually added to the story. And as you know, I've read a lot of books.

While this book isn't 'new' (2004), I can't help but feel a surge of hope at seeing M.E. included in a book this way. It marks, at least to me, the idea that people in general are becoming more aware of it. When you live online, talking mostly to people with chronic disabilities, it's easy to forget that the rest of the world doesn't have much of a clue of what is happening to us.

In some small way it also felt like a validation. I know it shouldn't have, I know what I live with and what it has done to my life and to others' lives, but seeing it in print made it suddenly seem more real. While this may not be a bad thing, especially if M.E. starts to be seen as 'real' by many who currently disagree, it has made the little bit of hope that this is just a bad dream die a little more. Just to be clear, I'm still hopeful and positive about improving. And I'm not so blind as to think that I can just wipe these years out of my mind. But it is pretty overwhelming and ignoring my reality is sometimes the only way I can cope.

Okay, so this post ended up going in a completely different direction from what I planned, but hey, that sometimes happens. And if you're curious, the book is 'Love and Devotion' by Erica James. Is it bad that I'm thinking I'll have to read more of her books just because of this?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Long Days and Changes

I stayed with my parents over Christmas and New Year, and since I've got back, the days suddenly seem extremely long.

When I was with my family I spent most of my time chatting or watching things, or going out (thanks Kaz for pushing me all those times in my wheelchair), and of course rested when I was near collapse. Now it is back to just me, alone in my flat.

I realise that probably sounds a lot more drear than it is. It's just that I can't work out why I now seem to have a lot more hours than I did before visiting my family.  I am resting just as much, more actually; but the rest of the time I am (mostly) more focused on achieving what I can between rests.  Even over the weekend where I pretty much slept the whole time to recover from my 'holiday', the days seemed so long.

On the one hand this is kind of nice as I have a lot more time to play with (I know I don't really, but that's how it feels), and therefore I've been doing a little more. Of course the consequences to doing more, is that I'm in a lot more pain than I'm happy with.  I guess it'll take me a little while to rebalance myself.

However, I am trying to be more aware of my time. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result (or something along those lines). While I'm not claiming in any way to be sane, I do want to instigate small changes into my life. Now my health is starting to improve I want to make sure that continues, but I also want to make myself ready for when I find I am able to join the rest of the world (getting a job, learning to drive, etc). I don't think it will happen this year (and that's not me being pessimistic for those of you into positive thinking), but I do feel this year is going to be a major stepping stone to my future (okay, technically every moment is a stepping stone to the future, but you know what I mean).

I plan to do a few posts on the changes I'm making, but other than that I honestly don't know what else will find its way onto this blog, so I guess we'll find out together.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sunday Shout Out: MUA Heaven and Earth Eyeshadow Palette

Since getting interested in make up in the past couple of years, I have really wanted a Naked palette by Urban Decay, but due to the price it just wasn't going to happen.  So imagine how excited I was to discover that the new brand MUA, has a 'dupe' palette, and at the ridiculously low price of £4.

Over the Christmas period I was able to do some shopping, and when in Superdrug I finally picked up the palette I had been lusting over, and so far it is as amazing as I'd hoped. I love all the colours, which are fairly neutral but there are enough of them to lend itself to many different looks.  I have a feeling that this palette may become a favourite in 2014.

MUA stands for Make Up Academy and is sold in Superdrug in the UK (I don't know if it's available elsewhere). There are a few different palettes, but this is the only one I've actually seen in a shop, as the brand is still fairly new so not everywhere stocks a large selection in the brand.

And if you're curious, I have not been asked to do this post, I haven't been compensated for it in any way, I just love the palette and wanted to share it with you all.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

1 Word for 2014

For the past couple of years I have chosen 3 words which I aim to focus on other the coming year.  At the beginning of 2013 I chose the words Positivity, Prioritize, and Love (you can read the full post here). Honestly, I'm not sure I was as focused on them as I wish I had been, but there is nothing stopping me from keeping them in my mind this year as well.

I have spent some time trying to think of 3 words for 2014. I have found only one that resonates with me. At first this bothered me, but then I realised that if there are no other words then it doesn't matter, and I certainly shouldn't force words to focus on.

So this year I'm just having one word to focus on: Perseverance.

Over the past couple of months I have slowly been making progress on many of my plans. Many of the plans are ones I've had for years, but I've never managed to get past the beginning stage.  It seems I have finally found a way of continuing, making tiny steps, and I'm determined to continue in this way. This year I'm going to persevere with a few projects (of course I'll share progress with you when I'm ready), and hopefully start building up my future.