25 Mar 2014

I'm back!

Hello friends,

I am so sorry for my absence from the blogging world. I have no excuses other than I have just been busy living my life. It has been amazing to return to work and start doing other things that don't require me to plan around hospital hospital appointments.

I have a few things to update you all on...

My hair and eyelashes are growing/have grown!!!

(This photo was taken today)


The documentary I did that teensie tiny bit of filming for mentioned here, is on BBC Three at 9pm on Wednesday. It is all about the founder of Coppafeel! Kris Hallenga and it is going to be an eye opener for sure. I would love as many of you as possible to have a watch. She is one amazing lady and she has a story that needs to be heard.


Me and Kris on the day of filming

I have also written my first ever piece for a Women's glossy magazine in the June edition of Cosmpolitan UK (available to buy in May). I am beyond excited to see my very own words in print in my favourite magazine, a dream of mine for a long time.

On October 1st I am going to be taking part in The Show for Breast Cancer Care. This is a fashion show where all the models have had breast cancer. It will completely put me out of my comfort zone but I think this is a good thing. I am really excited about it and can't wait to meet the other ladies and gents taking part.

Since January I have also had a lifestyle overhaul. I have cut out dairy products from my diet (apart from the odd cup of tea and square of dark chocolate, I am only human after all) and have drastically reduced my sugar intake and I feel SO much healthier. I have more energy, my skin is clearer and I am finally losing my chemo/tamoxifen weight. I plan to do a blog post all about what I have learned about nutrition for cancer patients soon. There is a lot of information surrounding the whole "if you have breast cancer should you eat dairy?" topic and whilst I do not believe that every breast cancer patient should remove dairy from their diet, as my tumour was hormone receptive it is just a decision I decided to make. I try to walk 15 miles a week as well, gradually building up my fitness.

I eat things like this...

Dairy free berry smoothie

Porridge with almond milk, blueberries and cinnamon.

Quinoa with red pepper and greens.


I am still obsessed with all things beauty. I am really enjoying having longer hair to style now and really hope to have a side fringe by my birthday in June. I have lots of new favourite products to tell you all about so I guess that is now two blog posts I owe you?

Finally, I have a little favour to ask you all. My 60 year old Dad has rather madly decided to run the London Marathon this year having never run before in his life. He is raising money for Coppafeel! and Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the funds will be split equally between them. If any of you would like to sponsor him please click on the just giving link here. Both of these charities do such great work and any support would be very welcome, even if it is just £1.

So I leave you all for now as I must get ready for the hospital to have some Herceptin but I promise to write again as soon as I can.

I took this photo the week I was diagnosed. I love it.


Love you long time. X

26 Jan 2014

Healthy Granola recipe...


Granola is my all time favourite breakfast. In an ideal world I would eat granola with greek yoghurt and fruit every morning. In reality I am all too aware of the hidden nasties cropping up in my favoured breakfast. The biggest culprit is SUGAR. Since January I have been doing my best to avoid refined sugar and limiting the amount of natural sugar I consume. So guess what? Granola for breakfast has been out of the question. I also avoid dairy, which means no greek yoghurt either. But today my friends, I have been doing some experimenting in the kitchen and I have come up with a granola recipe, which in my eyes rivals all the shop bought varieties. It is packed full of nutritious goodness AND it is super easy to make. Do you want the recipe?



I thought so…





First up let me just explain that you can experiment with ratios of nuts and seeds and include whatever ones you want. I just used the ones I had in my cupboard. I also tried to use organic ingredients but this can be costly so it’s up to you whether you do.



Ingredients:

100g jumbo rolled oats

50g dried dates

30g cashew nuts

30g flaked almonds

15g pumpkin seeds

15g mixed seeds

20g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)

1 tbsp raw organic honey

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil 

Method:


1.     Simmer the dates in a small sauce pan with about 1cm of water until soft (about 3 mins).

2.     Drain and then blend the dates until smooth

3.     Combine all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I bashed up the cashews but you can also leave them whole. Or if you are feeling really crazy have a mixture of both. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so you can melt it first if you want. I found that the heat of the dates melted it just fine.

4.     Add the dates and mix well.

5.     Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160°C for 15 minutes (until golden brown). Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C and cook for a further 30 minutes until dry and crisp.




6.     Set aside to cool and then transfer to an air tight container to store.




7.     Serve with your choice of milk (I like unsweetened almond milk) and you can even add some berries.





So there you have it my ultra healthy, super yummy breakfast treat. Plus your kitchen will smell AMAZING too.



There is natural sugar in this recipe so try not to munch on it too often and watch portion size!



Love you long time. X

5 Jan 2014

What now?


Hello Bloglets, Happy New Year to you all!

Firstly I hope you all had lots of Festive fun, I know I did. SO a New Year has begun and all people seem to be saying to me is forget last year and just get on with this year.

I want to discuss this a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for life to get back to ‘normal’ this year but even though last year was a tough one I do not want to forget it. It made me stronger. It made me more ambitious to achieve my dreams. But most importantly it made me ME and as much as I wish it hadn’t happened it did and nothing I or anyone else can do will ever change that. HOWEVER although I cannot wait to get back to work, to start planning my travels and to have more adventures I am often reminded of the pain I went through last year. I have regular nightmares, I get jabbed by needles twice a month still and I see scars in the mirror everyday. It is impossible for me to simply move on with my life as though nothing happened and I think it is actually a bit unfair of people to expect me to do so.

The swing side to this is that I do not plan on letting the fact that I had cancer define my life. I have moved on and I will keep doing so but time is the best healer and really I am still undergoing active treatment so actually the nightmare is not over just yet. I am sorry if this post is a little grouchy but I always try to write honestly and this is what I am feeling at the moment. I also know that lots of other people have felt and are feeling the same way and so I thought I would just break the taboo and talk about it a little.

SO what does 2014 hold for me?
The truth is I don’t really know but what I do know is that I can’t wait to see what happens. To have a bit of spontaneity in my life rather than regular appointments etc is going to be a dream. I plan on laughing as much as possible, seeing as much of the world as possible and having as much fun as possible (the blog will be updated accordingly). I hope you can all do the same and I wish you all the best for 2014.

Love you long time. X

9 Dec 2013

Statement Coat Styling Challenge (with Marks and Spencer)...


I am pretty boring when it comes to coats, with the exception of my pink coat almost every other coat I have ever owned has been black or navy blue. I have always been wary of spending money on a coloured coat because I thought there would be limited outfits I could wear it with. I was wrong. When M and S asked if I would take part in their Statement Coat Styling Challenge I jumped at the chance. I chose a red coat, something I think I would normally be too afraid to buy but when it arrived I was immediately in love. Not only is it super warm but the red is really striking too. I suddenly wanted to wear it with everything but eventually I settled on four different looks proving that a statement coat doesn’t just have to be for Christmas it can be a real investment. 

Look one...





Get the look (or similar): Coat. Jeans. Wellies. Jumper. Hat. Scarf.

Look two...


 
Get the look (or similar): Coat. Jeans. Top. Boots. Headband. Bag.

Look three...








Get the look (or similar):  Coat. Shirt. Skirt. Shoes. Bag

Look four...




Get the look: Coat. Shirt dress. Shoes.

So I say go on be bold, take a risk and indulge in a statement coat this Winter...

You can see more of the M and S coat collection here.

Love you long time. X


4 Dec 2013

Spa days, important dates and that festive feeling...


Hello everybody.

I thought I would write a quick post to tell you all about a spa day that I attended a couple of weeks ago. Rock on Divas, run by the lovely Gloria, is a day aimed at women who have finished cancer (or any other illness) treatment and are looking for a way to re-establish their health life balance that some women feel they have lost during treatment.

On arrival at The Spa Dolphin Square everyone was greeted with a hug and then given a name tag. We were then all invited to share as much or as little of our story as we liked with the rest of the group. Once all the introductions were out of the way, the day began with a juicing tutorial from Gloria who explained the benefits of juicing and gave a demonstration. Afterwards we all went for a healthy but delicious lunch where everybody shared stories and laughs.

The wonderful Jennifer Young then gave a skincare and make up workshop educating us all on what was actually in our favourite beauty products. She makes a bespoke skin care range that is made with 100% organic and natural ingredients. There is even a line designed especially for people under going cancer treatment. You can find out more about Jennifer and her skin care range here.

After another glass of juice we all got changed into comfy clothing and went to a yoga class which was aimed at beginners and was incredibly relaxing. The day finished with a beauty treatment. You could choose a massage or a facial. I went for the facial and it was AMAZING, the 25 minutes of bliss left my skin positively glowing and I made the trip home (with my lovely goody bag) on a busy train with NO make up on.

The best part of the day was meeting other ladies who had been through a similar thing to me. Everybody was supportive and kind and I had a lovely time. To find out more about Gloria, her spa days and retreats click here.

Me and the other lovely ladies who attended the spa day


Apart from treating myself to spa days I have also baked a Christmas cake with my lovely friend Jane (Mary Berry eat your heart out).


The cake before it entered the oven

Oh and there is the small matter of my one year Cancerversary which was on the 23rd November. I cannot believe it has been one whole year since I was diagnosed and what a year it has been. I am so glad it is mostly over now and for those of you reading this who are currently undergoing treatment I hope that I can reassure you that times can get better. I am a happier person now than I was before treatment, I have a whole head of hair (even if it is unbelievably unruly) and I am hoping that soon the last year will just be a nasty memory that I can lock away in some far corner of my mind.

I am unbelievably excited for the festive season so excited in fact, you might as well start calling me Mrs Clause. I cannot wait to snuggle up watching Christmas movies and start wrapping presents. I pretty much hum carols in my sleep and the prospect of a New Year and a new start is also extremely appealing. I plan on making 2014 my year no question. 

That's all from me for now.

Love you long time. X

18 Nov 2013

Radiotherapy weeks four and five...


Hello everybody, I am so sorry for taking so long to blog. I wasn’t very well but now I am back and ready to update you all.

I have now finished radiotherapy. WOOHOO! The main side effect I have found is tiredness but it really isn’t that bad and is definitely manageable. My skin is red and apparently will keep ‘cooking’ for the next two weeks but aqueous cream helps to soothe it. I have been wearing loose clothing and avoided extremes of temperature (luke warm showers are not much fun) in an attempt to minimise irritation to the area. So far so good. 

I won't have to see this sign for a while...

 

I celebrated finishing radiotherapy with a cosy night in. I whacked on a layer of my favourite face mask (Eve Lom rescue mask), lit my favourite scented candle and painted my nails. Rock ‘n Roll I know!


I did make up for it on Saturday night though as I went out to celebrate a friends 21st birthday. I went for a wet hair look. What do you think?


I have spent some of my spare time making Christmas cards to sell at a Christmas Fair to raise money for Coppafeel! and Breakthrough breast cancer.  




What next? 
Now that I have pretty much finished treatment I am faced with this massive question. I still have to finish my course of Herceptin and I will be taking Tamoxifen tablets for the next five years but really I am pretty much done treatment wise. This of course means that really the 'naughty disease' part of my blog is pretty much done and dusted. I have really enjoyed blogging and as long as people want to keep reading about what I have been up to I will keep writing. I am sure that I will still have a few breast cancer related things to talk about in months to come. I have also thinking about starting a new lifestyle blog would any of you read it if I did?

Let me know what you think,

Love you long time. X

  

3 Nov 2013

Radiotherapy week three...


Hello lovely people,

I have had a busy busy week. I now have only 2 weeks left to go of radiotherapy YAY. My skin is getting red and slightly sore and my stupid left arm is hurting again. I think having radio has aggravated it as it involves having my arms above my head everyday. But I have been given some pain killers so hopefully they will work soon.

On Tuesday after radio and Herceptin I hopped on a train and made my way to London to go to the John Frieda 25th anniversary event at Claridges. It was a wonderful evening and I had a great time. I brought my friend Nia along and we sipped on champagne and ate yummy canapés all evening. The theme for the evening was glamorous. I wore a leopard print dress from ASOS, blue Kurt Geiger heels and borrowed my Mum’s Chanel bag. Here are some pictures from the night. 


Dress ASOS, shoes Kurt Geiger and belt Topshop

Accessories

My make up for the evening


The lovely Nia



As well as attending the event I also did some filming for German television. They filmed before the event and then filmed us sightseeing the next morning.





After a very busy 24 hours I then hopped back on a train and headed back to the hospital for radiotherapy. Tired is an understatement. My lovely cousin Olivia came to stay from Wednesday to Friday and very kindly took me to the hospital. It was really nice to have a proper catch up with her and we did a lot of laughing.

On Friday night I went to a Halloween bash dressed as a vampire (minus the fangs because they were really annoying) and I had a great time. 





As I am sure you can imagine I am now feeling exhausted from all the excitement of the last week. I can’t wait to finish radio and I am counting down the days until it is over. 

In other news I have been nominated for PVB woman of the year award. If you would like to vote for me you can do here.

http://pvbdaily.com/pvbawards/


Love you long time. X