Monday, 27 April 2015

Diabetes Diagnosis!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two weeks before my 21st birthday, during my exams in my second year of University and just before a holiday of a lifetime to New York (not the best timing but I don’t think any time is great with that kind of diagnosis :-\). 

It had all begun a few months earlier when I had been ill with a virus. After that I started to loose weight (despite still living on the usual student diet of pizza and beer!), but I thought ‘Hey, this is ok, who doesn’t want to loose weight right?’  Not once did I suspect that it would be anything to be concerned about. You don’t at 20 years old do you, you're young and carefree.

It was the following month when I went on holiday for a few weeks to visit a friend who’d been travelling around Thailand. I was constantly thirsty (which in turn leads to needing the loo, a lot!) and spent the entire holiday with a drink in my hand (mainly water but a few beers and cocktails might have snuck in too!).

It was my friend who first commented on how much I was drinking, even for the warm, Thai climate. I flew home wondering if it really was something I should be concerned about, so I spoke to the person every girl does when worried, my mum.

I told her about my symptoms and being a nurse her first conclusion was ‘Maybe your diabetic?’ I had no family history of diabetes and I wasn’t over weight, so I couldn’t be diabetic, right? WRONG! A blood test a few days later confirmed a dangerously high blood sugar level, with keytones  - basically keytones make your body burn its own fat, I know that sounds good but believe me its not! It can lead to a coma and even death if left untreated. Thankfully my doctor agreed not to admit me as my mum agreed to stay with me for a few days and help me adjust to daily injections and blood sugar testing.

So that’s when my life changed forever. I now had an incurable illness.

My doctor was amazing but a lot of what you learn is through trial and error. Such as overdosing yourself on your insulin as you’ve forgotten through tiredness that you had already taken it (a lovely evening spent in A&E for that one!) or, how having a drink can cause massive fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which are difficult to control. Ultimately though you do have to just get on with it. Which is exactly what I did. I wasn’t letting this illness cause me to not live my life as I wanted, to achieve what I wanted and to this day I haven’t!

I completed my degree, went on to work shifts in a busy hospital, before specialising in Breast Imaging. I then completed a post graduate certificate and a post graduate diploma, along with having a social life like any twenty something, buying a house, having partner and being a step mum to two wonderful children - all while constantly monitoring my blood sugar levels to keep them healthy and stable.

You don’t always know what life has in store for you, but my advice is just to live it and enjoy it, it might not be perfect but it’s yours!



Monday, 20 April 2015

Roller Skates and Birthday Parties!

Hello peoples of the internet, it was recently my lovely step-son's 7th Birthday, and we were lucky enough that it was our weekend to have the kids at the same time. It’s always great when that happens, as I know not being with the kids everyday is hard for any parent, so it's always wonderful when we get to share the special occasions.

We decided to have a little party with a few friends and their children at a place that’s opened up not far from us in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. It’s called Playworld (www.playworld.uk.com) and incorporates a roller disco with a soft play area. It is a fab place to take the children (and the big kids love it too!) It has a large roller rink with disco lights and a live DJ, playing lots of different music from current pop to motown to 80’s disco, so there is something for everyone. We got my step-son some roller-skates for his birthday so naturally he wanted to test them out straight away :-)



The prices are great too, it's £5.00 to skate and play per child with £2 skate hire if needed. This gets you 2 hours to skate and another hour in playworld. As the kids had their own skates, it was £24 for a family of four for a day out, which I think is a very reasonable price. We have payed for more than this for other activities we’ve done as a family. It was well worth every penny as the kids LOVED it, the atmosphere is great and the staff could not be more helpful. 

There were about 15 of us all together, and you need 10 children to book a party. So I had emailed them prior to arriving to ask if I could book a table. They did say they couldn’t book any tables but that would accommodate us when we arrived. I was a bit sceptical as I’ve been to places before who stated they would ‘accommodate you on arrival’ and been let down, but the were amazing. A large table in the corner is reserved for parties and as they didn’t have one in until later they let us have this area free of charge. It meant we could all sit together and the birthday boy could share his birthday lunch with everyone at the same table.

The food is also brilliant. They have a large, varied menu again at reasonable prices and it all appeared fresh and homemade. We all enjoyed a few milkshakes too (plus they are liscenced, so some of the dads enjoyed a celebratory beer with their lunch!)

They also do an adults only evening on the last Friday of the month, which is £15 for buffet and skate and the bar is open! I will definitely be going with our friends hopefully one month soon, I’ll post more pictures from that when I do!!


Overall, I would highly recommend if you are near or in the area as a fun activity for kids of any ages (our age range went from 4 up to 11). It was also great fun for the adults (a brilliant work out, I was knackered and my thighs felt like I’d done an hour on the rowing machine, bonus!!!)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Beauty Box Review: Look Fantastic April 2015



I have tried a few beauty subscriptions in the past. I signed up to Glossy Box when it first came out, and did really enjoy the excitement of getting new products to try every month. Then they started adding postage and the products seemed to become more like a box of ‘Testers’, so I cancelled it.

However, in the past few months I’ve noticed that people having been raving about the ‘Look Fantastic’ beauty box (www.lookfantastic.com). So I thought I’d give it another whirl and see what all the fuss was about. It’s slightly more expensive at £15, but looking back through previous boxes, the products looked good and varied. So I took the plunge and ordered it.

Here’s what the box looked like when I opened it (titivated for the photo so you can see all the products). One first glance if I’m honest I was a little bit disappointed, I was hoping for something with a bit more of a wow factor. The January and February box looked amazing, but I felt a little bit let down with what was inside. However on closer inspection there were some interesting (and rather eclectic for a beauty box!) products.



Here is a run down of the products:

Balance me revitalising hand and body wash


I haven’t tried anything from the Balance me range, so am intrigued as to what this is like. It's sulphate-free, and in the past I haven’t been overly impressed with sulphate free products (I know they are better for you, but they just don’t seem to lather as well as other sulphate containing products and I do love a good lather!) I’ll give it a whirl and let you know what I think.


CB12 first class breathe


A mouthwash? In a beauty box? I can honestly say I was a little surprised at this one, although I guess fresh breath is always great. It doesn’t matter how fabulous you look, no one likes talking to someone with a bad case of halitosis! It looks interesting and the little bottle is very cute. Karl has used CB12 before and says it is good, just on the expensive side.


Korres Milk Soap


I was a little disappointed not to receive the shampoo, as I heard good things about it, but I received the milk soap. I am not a big fan of soap cleansing as I have dry skin and I always find they seem to dry it out even more, but it says it's not drying, so will try it and it would be useful for travelling as it's nice and small to fit in your toiletry bag.


Inika eye pencil - Black


I love a good black eyeliner, what right-minded beauty lover doesn’t! I’ve never used Inika products before, so, excited to try this product. This is probably the product I am most excited to try out of the whole box.


Tigi Bedhead manipulator


I like a good hair product, but not sure how I’ll get on with this one. I opened the pot and it was very sticky in consistency. I don’t like products that overload my hair as I hate washing it, so I try to go as long between washes as possible and the best way I find to do this is to not overload it with product. It may be useful for when styling my hair for evenings out, so will use it for that, but I’ll admit I think Karl may be getting this product.


Forza Multivitamins for dieters



Again, another rather bizarre product for a beauty box, but I will definatley give these as shot. I am quite impressed you get a full 30 days worth of pills and they seem to have come at just the right time for me as I’m starting to really up my fitness regime and healthy eating. I’ll let you know how I get on with these and if I’d recommend repurchasing.



Well that’s it in a nutshell. Like a said a bit of a strange mix of products but I’ll be trying them out (if not for anything else just to get my £15 worth!) I don’t know if I would get the Look Fantastic beauty box again without waiting for the product reveals, although the excitement of not knowing does add something to the unboxing. I might try a different one next month and let you know what I think. I am not completely converted to receiving one again regularly, but it did renew my love of receiving new products to try. Overall I think they are a nice little treat once in a while but I don’t think I would get one every month. I’d rather save for a luxury product I know I want to try and that I will defenitly get some use out of.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Top 3 Products in March




Where on earth has March gone? It seems to have flown by!! I can’t quite believe its April now. Although I am enjoying the lighter Mornings and Evenings, they definitely make a huge difference to everybody’s mood. They also make me more motivated to do more, especially when its comes to exercise and healthy eating! Although I’m pretty sure that summer holidays looming has a bit to do with that too (Beach body ready anyone??:-\).

Anyway, enough rambling. Today I wanted to talk about 3 stand out products for me in March. I like to try lots of new things out and am always scrolling you-tubes and Blogs in search of things to try and test out. After all no-one likes spending there hard earned money on a dud product do they?

So here are my 3 for March:

Dove summer glow + soft shimmer nourishing lotion.



I inherited my father’s Irish skin (very, very pale) combined with my mothers Yorkshire rose skin tone (white as white can be!), therefore I am a lovely combination of pale white! I used to wear A LOT of fake tan, back in my university days but working full time and long hours meant that over the years I have just learnt to embrace the pale! However my (big!) birthday was in February and I had a fancy dress party that involved me dressing as a Las Vegas showgirl (Don’t ask, it seemed a good idea after a few glasses of wine with the girls!). I obviously needed to be tanned to pull of the look so cracked open a bottle of fake tan. The tan lasted a few days after the party and I could not believe the amount of compliments I got ‘you look so healthy’ and’30 really suits you’. So I decided that with spring coming a bit of colour wouldn’t hurt, but rather than a full on fake tan I decided to try a gradual tan instead.

I chose the Dove summer glow mainly based on the fact it was on offer in Boots. I figured that if I didn’t like it I could give it to one of my friends, as it wasn’t expensive, but like it I did!! The smell is a lovely fresh smell, that’s not too over powering and no usual fake tan ‘biscuit smell’. It also applied really smoothly and easy, plus the shimmer was really nice (who doesn’t like a bit of sparkle!). I went for the medium to dark (as there was no light to medium left in store) but the colour pay off was fine for even my pale skin and me. I love how soft it makes my skin feel, and its not drying at all. I don’t apply it every day after my shower as I haven’t wanted to go too dark, but a couple of times a week has really given me a glow (plus the compliments have started again….:-).


CoLab Dry shampoo, Rio fragrance


I am a dry shampoo fanatic! I love the stuff; it is a lifesaver for any working person. It means that I don’t have to think too much about my hair at the crack of dawn when I get up for work, a couple of sprays and its good to go (which means I get an extra few minutes to snooze in bed, bonus!!).

CoLab dry shampoo is not a new product for me, I’ve tried the small size before when it was first released last year, and really liked it, but never repurchased. I tried the London scent, which was nice but nothing special. I was in Superdrug and saw this and was in the market for a new dry shampoo so decided to try it again, this time the Rio scent. I absolutely LOVE it!  I wish I’d repurchased earlier. It is by far one of the best dry shampoos I’ve ever used. It didn’t dry my hair out or leave that ‘chalky’ residue common with most dry shampoo and the smell is Amazing! I love fresh tropical smells and this was right up my street. It lasted for a while too. I’d highly recommend it, especially at the affordable price tag of under £5. I will certainly be repurchasing this again soon (especially seen as I go through so much of the stuff!).



ThisWorks- deep sleep pillow spray



I bought this for Karl initially. He has a very busy, demanding job that means working long hours and struggling to turn off at the end of the day. I’d read goo reviews about it online, so again when it was on offer at Boots (what can I say, I love a bargain!) I decided to buy some to see if it would help him sleep.

The spray is a mix of blended natural oils: Lavender, vetivert and camomile. A few sprays on your pillow before bed leaves a lovely lavender smell, which helps you to relax. You gently inhale to help you drift off to sleep.  I can honestly say I was a little sceptical, but it really did help my fall asleep, and Karl said the same for him too. We both woke up the first time after using it feeling really refreshed. A rarity in out house, where insomnia can reign with Karl.

I am up early for the gym and work and often end up staying up late (normally watching You Tube videos or trashy TV). So this product is great for me and a bit of a surprise really, but in your in the market for something to help you sleep naturally, its worth a shot, plus this works often do samples on there website if you want to give it a try without committing to a large bottle. At the very least you pillows will smell lovely J.


So that’s it, my 3 stand out products for March. Better get shopping to ensure I have something to talk about at the end of April! (thats my excuse anyway :-))