28 May 2015

Living With Fibromyalgia

Okay... So this is a pretty personal post, personal because it’s something I live with and cope with on a daily basis and personal because it’s just what I’ve learnt or know and I know so people have many differing experiences, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time.





WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?

“Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have: increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness), muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, problems with mental processes (known as "fibro-fog") – such as problems with memory and concentration & headaches”. 
(Taken from the NHS website)





MY EXPERIENCE WITH FMS...

I actually only got diagnosed towards the end of last year, but it’s something I’ve been suffering with as long as I can remember. I’ve been mis-diagnosed countless times and also been told there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve always had achy legs which had me in tears most of the night frequently and as I got older the pain ended up in most of my body. Although I do get all of the symptoms above, I know I’m incredibly lucky that I am still holding down a job with hardly any time off sick. I’m lucky that I can still get myself out of bed to go out and to do things that a lot of sufferers can’t do. That said I do find it incredibly difficult at times, there are days I struggle to wake up and get up and there’s nights (or should I say evenings!) I’m tucked up in bed with my electric blanket on and a good book by 7pm. I find the symptoms I have most trouble with is the fatigue and my energy levels - if I had a pound for every time I thought “oh I wish I could do blah blah blah, I just really don’t have the energy” - I’d be quite rich by now!

I always knew I had something going on health wise, but never really knew what so I have always worked and generally ‘got on with it’ despite struggling as I couldn’t put a name or label to it. So I still work, I do question every morning whether I’ll get through the day, but once I’m up and about and had a cup of tea, I do usually feel a bit brighter. I try not to let Fibromyalgia stop me doing anything I want to do, but I do have limits. A normal day at work or heading to do a food shop at the supermarket is a sometimes a challenge; even doing something fun like a day out shopping or a meal out in the evening can be tiring and a challenge to get through.



HOW I COPE WITH FMS...

(I don’t?! HA) But on a serious note. I do what I can. I’m currently looking into starting some medication as I’ve tried the ‘eat well & exercise’ plan and honestly it’s not really helping. I do walk a lot so gentle exercise, I have been eating a lot better and I’ve cut out caffeine. But generally pacing myself, early nights, long soaks in the bath and staying as positive as possible tend to get me through the day!


Apologies on the more ‘serious’ post. But if there’s anyone who is reading this who is going through the same or even has any tips on coping with FMS please let me know.

25 February 2014

Behind The Blog

Being the slightly nosy person that I am, I love finding out more about the people are behind the blogs I read and follow. It’s always lovely to be able to put a face and a character to the reviews and posts. So here is a bit about me and if anyone decides to do this post or has a similar one, please please leave me a link in my comments so I can have a peek!


NAME, BIRTHDAY & LOCATION?
My name is Jodie. I’m soon to be changing my surname to that of my Mum’s side of the family. I was born on the 13th of December in 1989, making me 24 as I’m writing this post. And I’m currently living just outside of Manchester in the UK.

WHERE DID YOUR BLOG NAME COME FROM?
‘Sweetheart, things look lovely’ is taken from a Saosin song called Translating The Name. I’ve loved Saosin since I was about thirteen and from what I remember I used to have that as my screen name on MSN back in the day...!

A FEW THINGS ABOUT MY APPEARANCE
I’m super short - just over 5ft. I’m very pale too. I love having long long hair and do wear extensions a lot of the time, except when I’m at work or just relaxing at home. I own too many items of black and grey clothing. 90% of the time I will be wearing footwear from Kurt Geiger.

A FEW THINGS ABOUT MY PERSONALITY
I have an awful sense of humor, I laugh at my own jokes. I do enjoy time to myself and don’t trust easily. I probably come across quite ‘blonde’ at times but I am super organised and serious when needed.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS?
I’m in a relationship and have been since 2006. This year my boyfriend (Jonny) started training as a Deck Officer for the Merchant Navy so it’s a bit of a long distance relationship now! I’m very very thankful for technology right now and in the foreseeable future!

ANY PETS?
Yes! I have a border collie cross called Tia who is our family doggie! And two recent additions to the family are my guineas - Arya and Daenerys! When I do have my own house I want a Welsh Pembrokeshire Corgi!

BEAUTY ITEM ESSENTIALS?
Illamasqua Skin Base foundation, Dior Extase Mascara, MAC lipsticks in Myth & Creme Cup and MAC Lingering eyebrow pencil, a good contouring and highlighter combination, Benefit Porefessional. OPI Nail Polishes, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and a nice stash of LUSH bath bombs.

LIFESTYLE ESSENTIALS?
A nice smelling room and linen spray, Yankee Candles (or any nice smelling candles for that matter, pretty bed linen, an electric blanket for cold nights, fairy lights and my snack box full of treats for lazy film nights.

SIGNATURE PERFUME?
I would say a nice mix between Moschino - I Love Love, Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb, Chanel No.5 & Vera Wang - Princess Night (Not all at the same time, I love them all for different reasons and different occasions!)

WHEN I’M NOT BLOGGING I AM...?
Spending time with my family and/or Jonny. Reading blogs... and then remembering how long it’s been since I actually wrote a blog post! Ooops. In the kitchen baking or cooking, watching a film, eating, reading a book, in the bath or at work.

21 January 2014

Growing Up - Resolutions for the Year.

I have a love/hate relationship with growing up. I love having my own things, my own thoughts, my own dreams & aspirations but I've found all of that does come with a price - you end up losing that carefree & worry free life that you had as a child. You aren't protected from worry, stress and hurt as an adult. I made it one of my 'resolutions' to try and worry less, to accept more & not take everything to heart and to not let myself be upset by the things that were out of my control.

This time two years ago I was looking at the end of my University course, already knowing I had no intention of going into the industry I had studied. I had a part time job, it paid the bills, it paid for some amazing holidays and it paid for me to treat myself to nice things every so often - so it kept me reasonably satisfied for a while. I just always felt, and still do, like there is a big career/purpose sized hole in my life that I would like to fill. But at the same time, I don't want to go rushing into anything and have any regrets.

"NEVER REGRET ANYTHING, BECAUSE AT ONE TIME IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED"

I try to live by that. And also by believing that everything happens for a reason. This year seems to have dragged me right into my future. Things are changing and I'm starting to feel like I've grown up all of a sudden. I'm just hoping that somewhere along the way I find my 'career' and what I want to do for a living for the rest of my life. It's taken me a couple of weeks to ponder what I want to achieve this year - so not strictly 'resolutions', but here we go...


1. Stay positive, everything happens for a reason, bad days are learning curves.
2. Put 100% into everything I attempt to do.
3. Be more creative, make things, bake things and do things.
4. Remind myself that it's okay to not know what I want to do in life just yet.
5. Make the most of every day & every happy moment.

12 January 2014

Current Favourites


I am fully aware that the majority of the above focuses on eating and relaxing, but hey, how else can you combat the January blues?! As soon as we'd rung in the New Year (and had a recovery day!) We drove down South to have a second Christmas with Jonny's family - complete with films, presents and a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Whist we were there we had another visit to Windsor. I love Windsor so much, it's such a pretty place; perfect for a bit of a shop, afternoon tea & to visit Windsor Castle. It was an absolutely lovely few days, as always, I just wish we could have stayed a little longer! Since coming home I seem to be craving roast dinners, comfort food & M&S crisps - not the best diet! I finally start my new job tomorrow morning so I've been making the most of lazy days & cosy evenings with my new electric blanket (one of the best thing's I've bought!). I've also been catching up with the latest two books in the Pretty Little Liars series whilst in bed. I find it extremely relaxing to jump in a nice hot bath before getting in bed, lighting some candles and either watching a good film or getting lost in a good book.

15 December 2013

December Catch-Up




























Hello December, my favourite time of year  -  Taking a trip to Almost Famous for lots of food now it's reopened  -  Tia didn't find decorating the house for Christmas all that interesting...  -  The little Christmas Tree in my bedroom  -  My new addiction  -  Tia asleep with her reindeer, lazy!  -  The best pub lunch I have had in a long time at The Woodside  -  Spending most evenings cuddled up on the couch with a blanket  -  Spending my days being crafty & making Christmas cards  -  My Grinch mug which holds a lot of hot chocolate  -  Happy Birthday to me!  -  Bedtime reading.


I cannot believe how quickly December has appeared and started to fly by. I'm finding there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done at the moment. I had a lovely lovely birthday this weekend with my family & boyfriend. Unfortunately waking up today I'm feeling a little bit run down so I hope I'm not coming down with a virus so close to Christmas! Now my birthday has been & gone it's time to continue getting excited for Christmas. Next week I'm hoping to finish off my Christmas shopping, eat lots & lots (as usual) and squeeze in some time for a couple of trips to the cinema for Anchorman 2 & The Hobbit.

8 December 2013

THE CHRISTMAS TAG



DO YOU PREFER A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE OR SYNTHETIC?
I love real Christmas trees. But we do always have a synthetic in our house. The reason behind that being that my birthday is in December and I always insist the tree is up early on; that and having a dog who likes to brush past the tree a LOT... Well the lovely Christmas tree would be bald at the bottom come Christmas!

YOU’RE IN A COFFEE SHOP, IT’S DECEMBER, WHAT DO YOU PICK?
I’ve only recently started liking coffee! So it would either be a mocha, latte or more than likely a hot chocolate. It would also depend on which Wintery flavours were being advertised. The more sugary the better! So anything chocolate orange, creme brûlée or cinnamon themed is a winner.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR SCHEME FOR DECORATING THE TREE?
The one we have in our living room is gold themed - Mum likes to match the decor!! The little tree I have in my bedroom has fairy lights, a gold bow at the top and candy canes on it. I definitely do like the more traditional colours like red and gold. I think the only thing I am not a big fan of is tinsel on a tree.

GIVING OR RECEIVING?
Giving, definitely. I love picking presents out for everyone and although it can be quite stressful finding the perfect present sometimes, I always get excited for the present to be opened on Christmas Day. My favourite presents to receive are the little meaningful ones which have had a lot of thought put into them.

TO MINCE PIE OR NOT TO?
In terms of eating them - to not unfortunately. I’m not a big fan. When I was little I somehow convinced myself that they had minced beef inside & I’ve never really fancied them after that! My Mum loves them though so I am quite keen to bake her some homemade ones!

WHAT’S YOUR TRADITIONAL SUNDAY LUNCH?
We always have a Christmas Dinner which we plate up to everyone’s taste. So I have a little bit of turkey, veggie sausages (not a big meat lover), lots and lots of roasts, carrots, stuffing & gravy. My Nana always does a bit of a buffet tea around late afternoon so we can all keep grabbing some nibbles throughout the evening as family comes and goes.

CHRISTMAS DAY FASHION?
I am always torn between wanting to wear a nice dress/outfit or wearing a onesie all day. So my solution to that little dilemma is... Dress up nice to head over to my Nana & Grandad’s, have some pictures taken and eat Christmas Dinner. Then, get changed and laze about in cosy pajamas for the rest of the day!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
Oh too many! All the ‘traditional’ ones that pop up on the compilation albums. I do love Michael Buble’s & She & Him’s Christmas albums too. There is also a Punk Rock Christmas one I have with a few I love on too. I am definitely going to make an iTunes & Spotify playlist this year!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS FILM?
So so difficult to choose just one! I’m not narrowing down - I always work my way through the same ones in December. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Gremlins, The Snowman/Father Christmas, Greatest Store in the World, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Santa Clause... I’ve probably missed some...

OPEN PRESENTS BEFORE OR AFTER LUNCH?
Before mostly. We open all the ones that are at home when we wake up, then when we get to my Nana & Grandad’s they give us ours and we give them their’s to open together. I always see Jonny in the evening so we tend to give each other our presents later on in the evening when we’re together.



26 November 2013

Christmas Bedtimes




This week I have been getting my bedroom Christmas ready. I know its not even December yet but all the cold weather & Christmas TV adverts have appeared and it’s put me in a very festive mood - so I couldn’t resist doing so. Although I am trying very hard to keep the Christmas films on the shelf until Sunday! I do have the fairy lights up all year round but I do find them more fitting at the time of year. I stumbled across this lovely bedding when looking at ASDA’s party food online (Yes... I do love food too much!) The only thing I think would improve it, is if it was a cosier brushed cotton, but for the price (£12 - Double) I am not complaining in the slightest. Finally, what cosy night in would be complete without candles? I love Yankee for Christmas Candles, though I have seen some lovely looking alternatives in Boots and even in the supermarkets!

I would love to know if anyone else gives their bedroom a Christmas make-over or has any candle recommendations. Let me know in a comment!

18 November 2013

'I Love Winter'


Over the weekend it has truly started to feel like WInter. I don’t think there are many things better than being super cosy with lovely company, films and yummy food on a cold Winter’s day. So after seeing Kellie’s ‘I Love Winter’ post over at Beauty Ever After, I couldn’t resist doing one of my own! I LOVE reading things like this so if anyone does this post or similar, let me know in a comment so I can have a nosy!

      (Picture taken from WeHeartIt)

FAVOURITE WINTER NAIL POLISH
OPI are always always always my go to brand for nail polish. I’m eager to try out Alter Ego which is waiting in my drawer for it’s first use! But I think my Winter favourites are going to be Under The Mistletoe & My Favourite Ornament

FAVOURITE WINTER LIP PRODUCT
Oh, I am so boring come winter with my lip products... I generally stick to lip balms and frequent use of my LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub. 

MOST WORN WINTER CLOTHING PIECE
Do cosy pajamas count? If not then my ever growing supply of jumpers!

MOST WORN WINTER ACCESSORY
A happy mixture of scarves, mittens and my furry fox hat!

FAVOURITE WINTER SCENT OR CANDLE
I love the smell of frosty, ‘crispy’ winter days! Also as much I’m not a fan of eating Christmas Cake, I do love the smell of baking one in the oven! In terms of candles the Winter Yankee Candles win hands down every year, especially Merry Marshmallow & Snowflake Cookie.

FAVOURITE WINTER BEVERAGE
Hot chocolate or mulled wine! Depending on the situation!

ALL TIME FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY MOVIE
Oh too many! Elf, The Grinch, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Muppets Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Snowman / Father Christmas, Gremlins...

FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY SONG
Most of them!! (Yes, I love love love Christmas!) The ones everybody always plays are always on in our house. I do also love Saosin - Mookies Last Christmas and Dave Melillo’s cover of All I Want For Christmas.

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY FOOD / TREAT
Christmas Dinner! Orange, cranberry & white chocolate cookies, Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Just all the winter food really! (I love food too much too!)

FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS DECORATION THIS YEAR
The knitted stag I bought from NEXT last year! I can’t wait to stand him on my desk!

WHAT’S AT THE TOP OF YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST?
I haven’t asked for anything this Christmas yet at all. Definitely at the top of my list are some Christmas LUSH goodies and an electric blanket!

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE HOLIDAY THIS YEAR?
I’m not going to be working over Christmas this year! I’m spending Christmas Day at my Nana & Grandad’s with close family, then Jonny will come round there in the evening too & we’ll spend Christmas Night & Boxing Day together too!

26 September 2013

The Autumn Tag



Autumn & Winter are my favourite seasons, so the minute it hits September my mood is usually at it's best, the jumpers come back out, the candles get lit & I start stocking up on ingredients to make yummy hot drinks. I've seen a few people do this post so I thought I'd join in. I love reading what other people enjoy about Autumn so I can't wait for more people to post this tag so I can have a nosy!





For Autumn, what is your...

1. Favourite thing about it?
I have so so many favourite things about Autumn. It’s the start of my favourite few months of the year. I love the dark nights, waking up to frosty, cold mornings, I also love going for walks on ‘crispy days’ when it’s a little bit sunny but cold enough to wrap up warm and all the fallen leaves are crunchy! I like having the reason to stay in at the evening with yummy food, hot chocolate, blankets and hot water bottles. My entire wardrobe is most suited to cold weather so I’m excited to dig out all my jumpers, boats, coats, hats, scarves and mittens!

2.  Favourite drink?
Hot chocolate. In any form. Even better if it has some sort of extra flavour like cinnamon or hazelnut. I also recently tried a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks with was yummy considering I’m not a coffee person in the slightest - so I may be drinking those quite a lot!

3.  Favourite scent/candle?
I love Yankee Candle Blissful Autumn & Red Velvet. I have both of them in my bedroom & I may have to start burning them when I’m having a cosy film evening. Yankee have just released some new scents for Autumn and Winter so I’m quite excited to hunt those down & see what they’re like! My favourite perfume for this time of year is Viktor & Rolf - Flowerbomb. It was around this time of year I first splurged on a bottle so for some reason it reminds me of Autumn & every September I get the urge to start wearing it all the time.

4.  Best lipstick?
I’m not the biggest lipstick wearer. Awful because I do own quite a few lovely ones which I keep forgetting to use! MAC Myth is probably my favourite. I’m never a fan of a bold or darker lip colour on myself so I stick to pale pinks and pale nude colours. When I’m not wearing lipstick I’m definitely always wearing a good lip balm.

5.  Go to Moisturiser?
Again - I’m so awful at using a moisturiser. I tend to forget or get too sleepy of an evening. I have got a big pot of Soap & Glory Knight in Shining Amour Night cream which is a life saver for me being lazy. I usually have an early bath & take my make up off at the same time when the dark nights roll in so I usually put a generous amount on earlier in the evening rather than before bed!

6.  Go to colours for the eyes?
I’m not one for ‘colour’ on my eyes. I like a good neutral colour for my eyeshadow. I use NARS Edie on lighter make up days and Chanel palettes in Enigma & Mystic Eyes when I want more of a darker eye. I love dark thick eyelashes as well at this time of year so I may have to dig out the falsies to go with my all time favourite Diorshow Extase.

7.  Favourite music or band/singer to listen to?
HIM (this is an all year favouite - but more so in Autumn!) They’ve been my favourite band for over 10 years now so I usually have all their songs set to play in a random order most days I’m at home. I also love listening to Saosin & Circa Survive when driving about in the car with Jonny. He’s been recently playing a lot of Sleeping With Sirens so I’ve been hunting down their albums and listening to those a lot too!

8.  Favourite outfit to wear (i.e. boots & a scarf combo)?
Big long scarves! Dark coloured jeggings, oversized jumpers, a nice pair of boots and a oversized beanie.

9.  Autumn treat?  (i.e. a new scarf or bag you have your eye on)
I think my next treat will definitely be some new Yankee Candles! I may be going on a little Garden Centre outing with Mum tomorrow when she finishes work so I hoping they have the new collection in stock so I can pick out a few & stock up!

28 June 2013

NEW BEGINNINGS

After a weird few weeks with a few big decisions to make, I decided that maybe a fresh start all round was a fabulous idea. I decided to go back to square one with my blog, I love blogging but had been feeling completely demotivated towards writing posts. I’ve also been giving my bedroom a complete sort out & mini make-over (which always makes me feel better, I never feel motivated & creative in a messy room!) Onwards & upwards.

So hello again!

And since the whole google reader thing seems to be finishing, come follow me over on bloglovin’.

4 June 2013

30 Day Exercise Challenges.

After seeing exercise challenges dotted all over the internet and needing a bit of a kick up the bum to get toned up before my holidays (and in general), I decided to give them a go! I will be honest, I hate hate hate exercising but it's gotten to the point where I unfortunately can't eat whatever I like without it having some sort of effect on my body. Luckily these challenges only take up a tiny tiny part of the day & they actually seem to be working!

The two areas of my body that I'm really self conscious about, especially when faced with wearing a bikini, are my thighs and my stomach so I chose to do the Squat Challenge & the Crunch Challenge. Due to my lack of frequent exercising, I found the challenges difficult (but not impossible) when I started them, it got to the point where I would actually just give up for a couple of weeks and then start again from scratch, which was a shame because I had started to enjoy doing them, especially since seeing some results - and I never ever thought I'd be ever saying that!

So the way I've been dealing with the challenges is putting no pressure on myself to complete them in the 30 days. Exercise is a good thing in moderation and sometimes I think you can push yourself too much & it can cause more damage than good. I've been using the challenges as a sort of guide - for example I'm at 100 squats right now which I find a bit of a push so I'll do 100 each day until they become easier and then move up to the next number. It obviously means that it isn't exactly a '30 Day Challenge' but in time I'm hoping that both the squats and crunches can become a bit of a daily exercise routine for myself over time rather than something I do for a month straight here and there.


 
I'd love to find some more quick and effective daily exercises or find out if anyone else has had any good results from these challenges too!


13 May 2013

Montagne Jeunesse Blackhead Mask


I have been desperately lusting after Origins Clear Improvement Mask after a bit of a frantic google search for something to clear my horrible skin last week! I don’t object to spending a lot of money on something if it works but I was hesitant to spend £20 on a face mask so far away from pay day! Face masks are one of my favourite beauty treats! (Falling short behind Lush bath bombs!) If I ever end up doing a food shop I always detour down the beauty isle to pop a couple of the cheap and cheerful masks from Montagne Jeunesse into my basket too & this weekend was no exception. Only silly me grabbed one of the mask’s from the men’s range after zoning in on the words ‘blackhead’ and ‘liquorice’. This aside (And the fact that Jonathan wouldn’t try it out!) I decided to give it a go as it seemed to be aiming to do the same as the Origins mask I’d been debating splurging on.

WHAT THE DESCRIPTION SAYS:

Liquorice Root Extract
Helps open the pores. Helping to rebalance oily skin and enhance skin brightness and overall radiance.

Willow-bark extract
A natural source of salicylic acid-like material with antimicrobial properties (without the draw-backs of salicylic acid irritancy) – a natural remedy for problem skin conditions. Also increases cell renewable capabilities.

Before using the mask I steamed my face to open my pores as much as possible, then I covered my face in the mask, waited the maximum of 15 minutes and washed it off with cool-warm water. Simple. I find I always get a couple of uses out of the amount of product so I keep the sachet in a stay fresh tub for another use! After washing the mask off my skin felt amazing; soft, super clean and the pores felt tightened. It also looked noticeably cleaner & clearer. It hasn’t got rid of all of the blackheads but for the first use I am impressed! I still think I will splurge on the Origins mask, because the reviews are too good to ignore! But I also will be stocking up on sachets of this mask too! For the price (£1.29) it’s brilliant for a more frequent treat and even more so it’s light and travel friendly to throw a couple in a suitcase to take on holiday!

If anyone has any favourite face masks or recommendations I’d love to know!

4 May 2013

Happenings...

Hello already May! The sun is shining (lucky me for having a well-time couple of days off work!) & despite being a cold weather type of girl, I’m in a really positive mood & getting super excited about all the lovely adventures Summer holds! I’ve had a little bit of a blogging hiatus due to quite a few visits to the hospital, working a lot & just feeling deflated blogging wise! But I admit, I have missed my little place to ramble.

In other news, I FINALLY found a day to disappear into my bedroom & completely sort things out & have a super spring clean - there’s nothing better than a super tidy room & bedtime with nice clean sheets! It’s not often I’m home in an evening due to work so tonight I’m having a lazy film night with Mum & Tia the Dog, complete with pizza and a big tub of Ben & Jerry’s! I may even have to place a sneaky Origins soon too - my skin has been terrible recently!

So Bonjour again! Here’s to Summer, to adventures & to enjoying life!