Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September Round Up

A collection things that happened in the month of September

It feels like yesterday that I was writing my August round up here, but yet another month has gone by and here we are at the end of September. This month has been pretty hectic and I’m desperate for a few days rest, but I can’t see it happening any time soon! As you know I started college this month and to begin with my Mum had to drive me there and back every day. But I’ve been slowly building up my driving again and I am now able to drive myself there four days a week, which is great. I love having the independence again, and practically it’s helpful because it means I can get myself home quickly if I’m feeling too unwell.

Like I said, this month I started at a new college doing an Access to Higher Education Diploma. I am following the Nursing and Midwifery/Allied Health pathway, doing Biology (Human Physiology), Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology. I’d be lying if I said it was going well – I haven’t felt this ill in a good few months and mentally things are pretty bad. But, saying that, I’m enjoying meeting new people and learning again, so I’ve just got to try and push my body to the limit and keep everything crossed I won’t relapse in the process.

If you’ve read my ‘About Me’ section, or have been following my blog from the very beginning, you’ll probably be aware that my blog is named after my black cat, Jaffa. On the 4th September he turned 10, which is just crazy! I can’t get my head around the fact that we’ve had him for ten years. My parents bought him for me when I first got ill, to keep me company while I spent the majority of my time stuck in bed. He’s seen me through so many events over the last ten years – from hospital admissions to sitting my GCSEs and from passing my driving test to needing to be tube fed. I felt quite reflective on his birthday, as it gave me a chance to look back at the progress I’ve made over the last ten years, but it also made me feel quite sad. When we originally got him I never expected to still be so unwell in ten years time, so that was a bit hard to deal with. But I’m very lucky to have my special little guy and couldn’t wish for a better friend.

Something particularly crazy that happened this month was reaching 1000 followers on Instagram and 500 followers on my blog. I’ve been doing this for a year now and it was such a lovely blog birthday present to reach these milestones. I can’t quite get my head around these numbers, and it baffles me that so many people are interested in what I have to say! But I’m also incredibly grateful that you do like what I do, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all!

This last event happened just a couple of days ago, but I had to share it with you because it’s so exciting! It’s actually two separate things, but they’re of a similar topic so I thought I would combine them. So, on Saturday we found out that my brother and his girlfriend had got engaged! They’re such a lovely couple and I’m really happy for them both – another family wedding to look forward to! After hearing this news, my other brother and his fiancĂ© then came round and asked my sisters and I to be bridesmaids at their wedding. We were each given a helium balloon, which we had to pop and were then covered in confetti and a scroll saying ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ It was such a lovely idea and I’m super excited to be a bridesmaid for them.

Image from Weheartit

Things I’ve learnt this month…

+   Starting college is a massive step for me
+   Red hair makes me feel more like me!
+   I wish people would stick to their word
+   Real life is very exhausting
+   Life is really not fair sometimes
+   I’m fed up of my crappy body ruining my life
+   Why can’t I just be normal?
+   Nothing I ever do is good enough
+   I don’t function well when I’m tired
+   Planning and organising seems to calm me right down
+   I’m fed up of putting everything into friendships and getting nothing back
+   Days like today make me think that the world is trying to get rid of me
+   Sometimes it would just be nice to be able to sleep all day
+   I hate when my body feels like the life has been sucked out of it
+   I really hate being at the weight I am
+   If this continues I’m going to turn into a crazy cat lady who’s left on the shelf

What to look out for in October

I’ve been doing a bit of browsing on Amazon and October seems to be quite a good month for DVD releases. I love nothing more than, when the cold weather starts to draw in, snuggling up with a blanket and hot chocolate to watch a good film, so I’ll definitely be looking out some of these movies. The first film I found, The Other Woman, comes out on 13th October and I’m really excited to watch this as I loved the trailers when I saw them earlier in the year. It’s got Cameron Diaz in it as well, and I’m a bit of a fan if I’m honest, so hopefully it will be a light-hearted chick flick to distract me from college work! Next is Walking on Sunshine, which is due for release on 20th October. With the darker nights and gloomy days, what more could you possibly want than an upbeat, summery film full of good tunes and happy people?! The film I’m particularly looking forward to picking up next month though, is Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which comes out on 27th October, just in time for half term. I absolutely love the original TV series and was really disappointed I couldn’t see it in the cinema, so I can’t wait to pick it up on DVD and watch it over half term.

I can’t seem to find much information about what’s on TV during October, so I’m guessing there’s nothing of note to look forward to. Saying that though, there are quite a few series that have already started that will no doubt keep us entertained throughout October. We’ve got the Bake Off final to tune into (I was kind of hoping Martha would win, so now I’m trying to pick someone else!) which is set to be great. Then, of course, there’s Downton Abbey that I’m sure I will be glued to over the coming weeks – I’m already loving it! And if you’re after something a little less serious, there’s always X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing if you want your fix of sequins and sparkle!

I haven’t really spent much time looking at cinema releases recently, because I just don’t have the time or energy to go. It’s a real shame because I do love seeing a film on the big screen, but it’s so expensive to go along that it often puts me off. Still, I had a quick look online and one film that does look interesting and is coming out in October is Gone Girl. Apparently it’s based on a book of the same name, and I thought the story sounded really gripping.

Now we come to the most important thing to look out for in October – my birthday! On 4th October I will be turning 26 (eek!) and I’m in two minds about whether I’m excited about it or not! I really don’t like the fact that I’m getting older so quickly, but saying that I do love a good birthday and I’ve got a few nice things planned, which I’m sure I will share with you nearer the time.

Image from Weheartit

Do you have any favourites or things you’ve learnt in September? What are you looking forward to in October?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 28th September 2014

In my life this week…


When I had my operations at the beginning of this year, I had to stop driving. Unfortunately, since having my operations my health has been pretty bad and I have never managed to get back to driving myself around, which I’ve really been missing. On Monday, my Mum had a hospital appointment and couldn’t take me to college, so I decided it was time to try out driving again. I’ve done a few smaller journeys already to build my strength up a bit and thankfully managed to drive myself to and from college. I’m getting right back into it now. It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but it also gives me some more independence, which I desperately need at the moment. I’m hoping that the more I drive, the easier it will get and the stronger my arms and legs will get.

Low FODMAP diet

On Friday I went to my local hospital to see a Dietician. I was a bit concerned about the appointment because whenever I’ve seen a Dietician before it’s been to talk about how I can put weight on, in relation to my eating disorder. However, this time I don’t need to put on any weight, and I had an appointment to discuss something called the low FODMAP diet. My gastroenterologist has recommended that I try this diet because it’s been shown to be beneficial for people who experience severe IBS-style symptoms. As well as having IBS symptoms they also think I have delayed gastric emptying and I’m waiting to see a specialist in London for further investigations, but I thought I would try this diet while I’m waiting. There’s a lot to take in because you have to cut out a hell of a lot of foods – I’ve been given two booklets full of instructions about what I can and can’t eat! I’ve got to spend some time planning my new meal plan and then I can get started with it. If you’re interested to know more about the diet and how I get on with it, I’m thinking of writing a post of two about it, so let me know if that’s something you would like to see.

Image found on Pinterest

Coffee with an old friend

Yesterday I met up with an old friend for a coffee and some lunch. We’ve known each other since we were at pre-school and her parents live just down the road from mine. Over the years we’ve both been through a hell of a lot together and have always stayed close, but sadly not when it comes to location. I’ve stayed living with my parents, whereas my friend moved to London to start an amazing job. We’ve kept in touch via text and have visited each other on occasions, but I do miss having my friend live so close by. So, when I got a text at the beginning of the week from my friend letting me know she’s coming back for the weekend, I quickly made a date to meet up for a coffee. It was so lovely to catch up again – I love how we just slot right back into conversation like we had never been apart. I’ve got a few close friends who live far away from me and some days I just wish we could all live in one little estate again, but then I think being apart from each other makes me appreciate them so much more.

Image found on Weheartit

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Quote of the Day

As you may remember from a previous post, I have started working with a great little company called Itty Bitty Book Company. They produce the cutest little books, filled with inspirational quotes for any situation. In my work with them, I’ve decided that every other week I will share a quote with you that I feel applies to my life at that particular time. I love quotes and often turn to them when I need some motivation and inspiration, so I hope that by doing this I can help to inspire some of you too.

“Hard times always reveal true friends”

I felt that this quote really sums up the last few weeks. Since starting college I’ve been really struggling. Physically my health is pretty bad at the moment and I feel incredibly run down and exhausted. And my depression has been at an all time low, making motivating myself incredibly difficult. During this difficult time I have found some of my friends to be truly amazing. They’ve sent me little texts to cheer me up, cute pictures, messages on Facebook or just asked me how I was. Unfortunately, there have also been people I thought were friends who haven’t been there for me, despite me being there for them when they’ve been going through a difficult time. It really hurts and makes me feel worthless, but I’m just trying to focus on those beautiful friends who have been there for me, because they are obviously my true friends.

What quotes inspire you when things are difficult?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Quest for the perfect cuppa - Drink Me* and Dragonfly* Edition

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I started a series at the beginning of the year looking for the best cup of hot chocolate you could make at home. I then went on to look for the perfect cup of tea and have so far reviewed teas from Tick Tock, Tetley, Red Bush Whittards and Clipper. I then decided to have a break from my quest over the summer, mainly because I didn’t really drink tea when the weather was warm. But, now that the days are getting slightly colder, I’ve started enjoying to odd cuppa again, so thought I’d get back to my quest!

Today’s first brand that I tried was ‘Drink Me’. These samples were sent from the lovely people at ‘Drink Me’ for me to review, and I’ve had great fun trying them and making notes in my ‘Tea Tasting Table.’

I wasn’t sure what to expect from these teas, as they’re not in tea bags, they’re more of a powder. I found them a bit heavier than tea, more like a hot chocolate consistency, which was a bit much for me sometimes when I just wanted something light. But, if you were looking for a heavier drink to fill you up then these would be perfect. I tried the Chocolate Chai, which was just like a yummy warming cup of hot chocolate. Also the Peppermint Chai reminded me of a lighter version of a mint hot chocolate – perfect for a cold autumn evening.

I then tried a range that the lovely people at Dragonfly tea sent me to review, and thought the easiest way to tell you about these would be to review each tea individually.

Emerald Mountain – Green Tea

This was a lovely green tea – not bitter at all, with a clean and fresh quality.

Cape Malay Chai – Spiced rooibos

This is definitely a tea for the winter, with its kick of spicy cinnamon.

Golden Himalaya – Darjeeling Tea

I really enjoyed this tea, much to my surprise, as I didn’t expect to like it. It had a hint of sweetness, was refreshing and very delicate.

Mountain Honeybush – Organic Tea

With the name of this I was expecting it to have a hint of honey, which it didn’t seem to, but even so, it was still very nice. It had a clean and fresh taste to it and was great for quenching my thirst.

Swirling Mist – White Tea

I’ve always been interested to try a white tea, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. It had an interesting taste and the only way I can really describe it is ‘fresh.’

Moonlight Jasmine – Green Tea

Another type of green tea, so I was intrigued to see if this would be different. It had floral hints, and a delicate jasmine undertone.

Pure chamomile

Unfortunately I was sent an old version of this tea, so it didn’t have a fancy name, but that didn’t affect it lovely calming taste.

Indian Spice Chai – Black Tea

This is another wintery tea, perfect for a snowy evening curled up in front of the fire. It has hints of cinnamon, was warming and had a rich, full taste.

With the Dragonfly teabags, I particularly liked the little phrase on each string. Overall, I would have to say I preferred the lighter consistency of the Dragonfly teas, compared to the Drink Me brand, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy them if I were looking for something to fill me up more.

*Teabags were gifted to me by Drink Me and Dragonfly

Are you a Drink Me or Dragonfly fan, or is there another brand you prefer? What is your favourite type of tea of the ones I’ve reviewed today?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My Handwriting History

I was looking through my old diaries recently and found it really interesting to see how my handwriting has evolved over the years. They say that your handwriting can say a lot about your personality, so I thought I’d share how mine has progressed and, by looking at a totally unsubstantiated piece of research, see what it says about me!

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any of my early writing examples. I’ve got a feeling that my school books are probably in a box hidden away in the loft somewhere and I don’t tend to frequent in there much as it’s full of scary spiders and shadows! So, we start in 1998. I was 10 years old and had just been given my first diary to start writing in.

According to this article the fact that my handwriting is fairly small means I was shy or withdrawn, which is actually pretty accurate. As a child I was often the wallflower, watching from the sidelines and not speaking up. I think that, over the years, my confidence has improved, although even now I would say I am quite a shy and private person, which is one of the reasons I started writing a blog, to try and improve my confidence.

Then comes 1999 and I’m still writing in my five-year diary. I’ve actually managed to keep a diary for a whole year, which I think is pretty good for a ten year old! I’m obviously going through a phase here of using coloured gel pens, as looking through the rest of this year my handwriting resembles a rainbow.

My letters seem to have changed here from being rather pointy, to being a lot more rounded. Apparently this means that I was creative and artistic, again, quite a good prediction. I have always been a very creative person. I’m not saying I’ve ever been a particularly good artist, but I have always loved to use my imagination to create beautiful things.

We now skip a few years to 2002, when I would have been 14 so well into my teenage years. I have now moved on to using a blue biro, and am talking about my special little guinea pig, Humbug.

According to the article, the fact that I have quite wide spaces between my words suggest I enjoyed my freedom and didn’t like to feel overwhelmed or crowded. I think this is quite true actually. I have always felt comfortable in my own company, and often found it very difficult in a large group of people. Especially coming into my teenage years, I often struggled with social situations and would take myself off to my room for some time alone to feel calmer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved spending time with my friends, but I was the kind of teenager who needed her own space and didn’t want to spend every minute of the day with other people.

Skip forwards a couple of years to 2004 and I am now 16. The year before I became very ill and was diagnosed with M.E, so things are a bit of a struggle at the moment.

Looking at this extract I can see that when I dotted my ‘I’s’ the dot was quite high. If you believe what the article says, then it would be fair to say that I had a great imagination, and I’m inclined to agree. With being so unwell, I often used my imagination to escape into a world where I wasn’t in pain or feeling sick all the time. I wrote stories, did arts and crafts or just imagined scenarios in my head to escape from reality, so I would say my imagination was pretty good around this time.

Move forwards a few more years to 2006 and I have reached the milestone age of 18. I’ve been ill for a couple of years and am now well enough to go to college.

As you can see in this extract, I have left quite a large margin on the right hand side of the page, which, according to the article meant I feared the unknown and constantly worried about the future. This couldn’t be truer. I had spent a few years very unwell and had managed to get back some sort of life for myself. But I was always terrified about getting worse again, and was also just starting to think about going to University, which filled me with lots of concerns.

We now move on to 2010 and I am 22 and working as a Learning Support Assistant at my local Secondary School. My health has been pretty good for a few years now, apart from a blip when I had to leave University.

My writing here seems to have got bigger and rounder, which is said to mean I am an outgoing, people-oriented person. However, it also says that I may put up a front and pretend to have a lot of confidence. I think this fits quite well with this time of my life. I was working in a school and to be honest felt pretty lost, but had to come across as professional and knowing what I was doing. I often acted more confident than I felt in front of my pupils and work colleagues, but was definitely a people-person and loved spending time working with other people.

Almost at the present day, we now move on to 2013 – last year. Not a very good year for me unfortunately, filled with a lot of mental health problems and difficult times.

You can see that my ‘t’s’ are crossed right in the middle, which indicates me feeling confident and comfortable in my own skin. This particular prediction couldn’t be further from the truth. I felt like a stranger in my own skin and hated the way I looked and felt. My eating disorder was ruining my life and everything I did revolved around losing weight. I felt anything but confident – my self-esteem was at an all time low and I often hid away and didn’t go to events because I felt so insecure.

And now to the present day – 2014. This is from my diary this year, just a couple of months ago.

In my writing now, my O’s are closed, which is said to mean I am a private person. I’m not sure I’d agree with that to be honest. Yes, there is a lot of stuff I do keep to myself, but through blogging I have opened up a hell of a lot. I also fill the whole page with my writing and this is meant to mean that I can’t sit still or relax and my mind is constantly running. This one is definitely more accurate! At the moment my mind is running 24/7 and I can’t remember what it feels like to relax!

So, there we are – a brief history of the evolution of my handwriting. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me through my writing a bit better and perhaps you could have a go at analysing your own handwriting with this article. I was also thinking of possibly doing a post looking at some of my old diary entries, to see what I was thinking at different points in my life, so let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in seeing!

Do you believe your handwriting says something about your personality? What do you think yours says about you?

Monday, 22 September 2014

Blog Birthday Giveaway!

I am in a slight state of shock at the moment. Have I really been blogging for a year already?! Seriously, where has the time gone? I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far and feel so lucky to now have over 500 people following what I write. I can’t even comprehend that number of people in my head! So anyway, I decided I couldn’t possibly have my blog birthday without treating myself to a pretty cupcake, so last weekend I headed down to my local Waitrose and chose myself the prettiest cupcake I could find on the bakery counter. As you can see from the photos, Freddie decided to help me blow the candle out!        

What with my blog birthday this week and my birthday on the 4th October, I decided that I wanted to share the love with all my lovely readers because, without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know you all love a good giveaway, so I had a think about what I could give you all to thank you for your loyal support. As you might have guessed, my favourite colour is pink, so I decided to go for a pink giveaway! So, here’s what you could win in my Pink Birthday Giveaway!

If you’d like to win all this pink loveliness, all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below and keep your fingers crossed! I’m afraid this is a UK only giveaway, as I can’t afford to post overseas, but I do really appreciate my overseas readers too and I will have a think about how I can include you in a future giveaway. The competition will last for two weeks and I will then announce the winner on my blog, as well as contacting the lucky person by e-mail. The more things you do on the Rafflecopter, the more chances you get to be a winner!

How long have you been reading my blog? What would you like to see me do over the next year?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 21st September 2014

In my life this week…


One of the little things I really enjoy about being at college is being able to organise myself. I’m a bit of a organisation fiend when it comes to studying, and this week I’ve been getting all my folders and paperwork sorted out. I’ve bought a couple of new folders, so I have one for each subject and have spent an afternoon punching holes in papers and popping in dividers. It just seems to make me feel so much calmer once it’s done and my head feels a bit less messy when I know everything is in it’s place. I’m up-to-date on homework and have actually had time to see a friend this weekend. I’m sure this calm feeling won’t last, so I’m making the most of it while I can!

Image from Weheartit

DVD day

Like I said above, this weekend I actually had some time to catch up with a friend. It was much needed for both of us, as we’ve both started new things this September and are extremely tired. We didn’t really feel up to going out anywhere or doing anything too energetic, so instead, we decided to spend the afternoon watching DVDs and doing some knitting. It was really lovely to have something to focus on for a few hours and to be able to spend some time with a friend, as I’ve been feeling pretty lonely recently.

Image from Weheartit

Things are tough

I try not to be too down in my blog posts, because although I feel it a lot of the time, I don’t want to project it on to other people and leave them feeling bad after reading my posts. But these last few weeks, things have been incredibly tough and I wanted to be honest about how I’m feeling at the moment. My mood has been incredibly low and I’m really struggling with my eating disorder. I’ve tried speaking to my nurse and asking for an appointment with my psychiatrist, but apparently she’s too busy at the moment. The reality is that I’m too fat to qualify for help with an eating disorder and not important enough to get any help with my depression. It makes me feel pretty worthless to be honest, and to make matters worse I seem to be losing people I thought were friends at every opportunity. I have always tried my best to be there for other people when they’ve needed someone, and find it incredibly hurtful when people can’t do the same for me. I honestly don’t know how things are going to improve at the moment, so I will apologise in advance if my posting is a little more sporadic, while I try to get through this difficult time.

Image from Weheartit

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Brand Focus - Benefit

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I come across a brand that just can’t seem to do anything wrong. No matter what product they release, I just love everything they do. Not many brands can do this, but I’ve got my trusted few that I stick to no matter what. I thought I’d share one of my favourite brands with you today – Benefit.

I remember receiving my first Benefit product for my 18th Birthday – a mascara that I absolutely fell in love with. Since then I’ve gradually added to my collection, repurchasing particular favourites and trying out new releases. The only downside of Benefit products is obviously the price, but in a way that makes them even better because they feel like a real treat.

First up is my little collection of primers and concealers. I purchased Dr Feelgood ages ago and, to be honest, haven’t used it very much, so I must give it a go and see if it still does what it’s meant to do! My absolute favourite product that I have continually repurchased is Erase Paste; definitely my favourite concealer. It comes in a few different colours – I go for the lightest, as I’m pretty pale! It’s not too thick but gives great coverage and just sinks into my skin beautifully. Here we also have the Porefessional, which is great for hiding pores and I especially use this on my nose, where my pores are particularly visible. Lastly in this category is Fake Up, which I actually only recently received as part of a gift set and am yet to try, but it looks good so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Next come the foundation-style products. I’ve had You Rebel for a while and am really pleased with it as a tinted moisturiser. Despite only being a moisturiser, it gives your face a lovely warm glow and is especially brilliant for the summer when you don’t want anything too heavy. However, more recently I’ve been converted the Big Easy CC Cream and now use it every day. It’s a liquid-to-powder cream and gives amazing coverage while still looking light and dewy. Alongside these two products I also love to use a highlighter to brighten my cheekbones, nose and forehead. High Beam has a gorgeous pinky tone and gives a lovely shimmer where you would normally reflect light.

This photo doesn’t actually show all the eye products I use now, but it gives you an idea. The Bad Gal eyeliner goes on like a dream and gives me a lovely eyeliner shape. If I’m honest I don’t usually go for Benefit eye shadows because I think there are cheaper ones out there that are just as good, but this was a gift so I wasn’t going to say no! It gives a lovely colour and is easy to apply. I’ve also started using They’re Real mascara, which I have absolutely fallen in love with. It makes my eyelashes look long and pretty without any clumps – what more can you ask for?!

Lastly, something I’ve only recently come across is Benefit’s skincare range and I really wish I’d found it sooner! I got these lovely samples when I picked up some other products and loved trying them out. I particularly liked the It’s Potent Eye Cream, which really brightened the area around my eyes while providing plenty of moisture. I have also recently tried the Benefit facial serum and, if I could afford to, would continue to repurchase it time after time. It smelt gorgeously fresh and was lovely and cooling to apply to my face after cleansing and toning.

So, there you have it. A brief round up of some of my favourite Benefit products, which hasn’t included any of the blushers and bronzers I’ve picked up more recently!

Are you a Benefit fan? What’s your favourite product, or can you recommend another brand I should try out?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

52 Lists - Week One

For all you seasoned bloggers out there, you will probably have heard of the 52 Lists project, put together by Morrea Seal and will realise that I’m incredibly late to this particular party! If you haven’t heard of it, the basic premise is that a list subject has been created for every week of the year, so each week you print off your list template, complete it and pop it in a folder. At the end of a year you will then have 52 different lists, which should tell you a lot about yourself. Yes, you are probably meant to start this project at the beginning of the year, but hey, when was I ever one to conform?!

So, on with the first list. This list was looking for words that touch your soul. Before doing this I really thought I would struggle to find words that touched my soul, but as soon as I started writing the words just came pouring out! I thought of words I associated with myself, words that describe how I would like to be and words that describe things that mean something to me.

As you can see, I wasn’t short of words to add to this particular list, and it made me realise that there is a lot about me that I probably don’t share with other people. I think I come across as quite a confident person, in general, and happy to share anything and everything, but in reality I’m actually very shy and private. I used words like vulnerable and breathe because a lot of the time I do feel very delicate, but also like a ball of coiled wire, ready to spring at any moment. Sometimes I just need to take time to breathe and remember what life is really about.

This list also helped me to see how much I appreciate the little things around me – hugs, create, nature, colour and peace.  Things a lot of people take for granted. But through being ill I have learnt to make the most of what I can, and if that is something as simple as a hug, or being able to get outside, then that should be enough for me. There are also words that mean a lot to me, that demonstrate the place I would like to be right now. Release, freedom, fly and balance show me that I’m in quite a difficult place at the moment and I would give anything to just be free from the darkness that surrounds me. I’m really amazed at how much this little list has shown me and am looking forward to completing my next one.

What words would be on your list for this week?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

JillyJilly Review

While I was whiling away the hours on Instagram one day, I came across a feed that made my heart flutter a bit! It was full of pastel colours, whimsical designs and cups of tea, and I knew I needed to follow. After following for a while, I realised I had come across a small business that used these gorgeous designs on a whole range of products. By following the links in their bio I managed to find their Facebook page and website, and spent a good amount of time browsing through all the pretty products they sold. After falling in love with just about everything I saw, I decided to contact the lovely JillyJilly to ask her if she’d ever considered working with a blogger. To my absolute joy she came back with a ‘yes’ and very kindly offered to send me a box of goodies to review!

I was beyond excited when the postman came every day, as I waited for my parcel to be delivered, and when it arrived I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It was beautifully packaged in my favourite coloured tissue paper and tied with pretty string – so pretty in fact that it took me a while to open it because I didn’t want to spoil it!

Inside my beautiful parcel was a gorgeous mug choc-full of surprises!

Rather than writing copious amounts about each product, I thought I’d just share some photos with you, because to be honest, the products speak for themselves and you will see how pretty and cute they all are!

Pocket Mirror

Pin Badge

Gold Glitter Necklace

Gold Glitter Washii Tape

One of my favourites - Bumble Bee Earrings

Enjoy the little things mug

Purple heart chocolates - a lovely finishing touch

So, after excitedly opening my goodie box and loving absolutely everything about it, I decided to contact JillyJilly again, but this time to buy a custom piece of artwork. I didn’t realise at first that she did custom designs, but when I found out I knew I needed to snap one up to go in my newly decorated bedroom. I gave Jilly my ideas and soon she was sending me a draft to check before she did the real thing.

Again, it came beautifully wrapped and full of delicate Purple Heart confetti.

And once again, I wasn’t disappointed with my product. The rainbow is beautifully pastel and glittery and the quote is skilfully written. I can’t wait to put it up in my bedroom somewhere for all to see.

If you like what you’ve seen in this post, you can find the JillyJilly website here. Jilly has also been kind enough to give all my readers a 15% discount on all products if you use the code JAFFACAT15.

Have you bought anything from JillyJilly before, or have I persuaded you to check them out?!

*I was kindly sent some of these products to review