Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Head Shave to Raise Money for Macmillan!

When I was 11, I met my best friend Fal. We've been pretty inseparable since we met, both being bridesmaids at each others weddings and hell, we both even married men called Stu. We take being best friends super serially. We've been together through thick and thin, good times and bad, and right now, Fal and her family are having one of those harder times. Fal's awesome Mum Sally is fighting breast cancer, and to support her, Fal has decided to shave her head to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan are an incredible organisation who have been a great help to Sally, and are such an important charity.

To borrow Fal's words, 'I can't be with my mum through the sickness she gets from chemo or the constant 'what if' thoughts she has but I can support her through losing her hair'.

I'm so proud of Fal for deciding to support her Mum in this way, and I want to support them both in the way that I can, and that's to share her fundraiser with you guys.

Cancer touches so many of our lives, and I'd love to help Fal absolutely smash her target! Every penny counts in supporting those who are facing cancer and allows more incredible Macmillan nurses to help.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Autumn Favourites

It's been a while since I've written a favourites post, but I figured it was about time I shared some of my recent faves for autumn!

First up it has to be this lush Navabi dress that I blogged about in detail here. It's one of the softest and comfiest things I've ever owned and I love it.

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October saw the release of the first ever generation III Pokemon in a PokemonGO Halloween event and I caught my first ever shiny Pokemon too! I'm so excited for the full release of gen III and I'm still playing as much as ever. I also managed to get invites to two EX-raids and caught two Mewtwos! 

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My best friend Fal got married! She doesn't have her official photos back yet so here's a sneaky selfie of me and my husband Stu. She also married a fantastic man called Stu, we take this whole best friends thing very seriously! I had the absolute honour of being a bridesmaid, I've attempted to be someone's bridesmaid before, which ended in total disaster (read about that mess here) and had such an awesome day. I cried almost constantly from when I woke up with total joy and love. Magic day!

These ASOS boots! ASOS have started selling up to a size UK10EEE in their women's range so you know I had to try them and I am obsessed with these boots. Glitter platform boots of my dreams!

My hair colour. So, believe it or not, I used La Riche Directions in Violet, and somehow ended up with teal hair. Thankfully I adore it, which is a good job, because blues and greens are so hard to strip out of hair!
We saw Metallica! Back in April for my husband's birthday I went really OTT and got him Metallica tickets. He is a massive fan (this was his 16th time seeing them) and they were brilliant live. They did a really touching to the victims of the Manchester Arena attack which was fitting as it was at Manchester Arena.

And finally, in a weird thing I love about autumn, the cold, and how cuddlier it makes my cats! They all love exploring when it's warm, but now it's cold they are all loving being snuggled up with me and I love it. Nothing better than coming home to one cuddly pooch and three loving kitties!

What are your favourite things about autumn?

Much love, 
Kitty xxx

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Michelle Hopewell's Anxiety Tips

For the first of my wonderful guest posts while I'm recovering from my surgery, here we have the amazing Michelle Hopewell and her tips for dealing with anxiety!

Right, let’s go for a show of hands on those of us who spend hours letting our anxiety kidnap us, throw us into the back of a DeLorean and travel back into time to the clock tour that got struck with lightening, i.e. every failed relationship, every time you tripped over, any argument you failed to properly articulate your point in, any time you have over anaylized, any time you've slipped into harmful old habits, thoughts and feelings and every time you’s basically failed at life. 

All of us? 

Just as I thought. 

Though lets be real, as awesome as time travel is, its hardly helping us grow and progress as people. Popping back and forth into the past stops being a helpful way of learning and starts becoming the biggest mental blocks we learn to erect in our own minds.  

The reality is we need to stay in the present. If we spend most of our time being consumed with the past and things we don't actually have the power to control or change, than how are we meant to forge forward in the present and how are we meant to cease our futures? 

We spend so much time putting our energy and power into things that have already been. Moments that we should have long since grieved and let go of, instead of allowing room for the birthing of new things. 

Here are a few tips I use to stay in the present. 

1. Journal - I find that if I haven't closed a chapter on something, it continually rears its ugly head. Sometimes this can be in situations I have been in or relationships I have had, regardless of their definition. Waiting around for a person or a circumstance to provide that closure is not always helpful or possible. So I have found writing how I am feeling down helps me begin to untangle all of the things I need to process in order to provide myself with that closure. 

2. Gratitude - Sometimes its hard to think of things in a vast or global way. It makes whatever you're struggling with feel even more overwhelming. That's natural. So bring it down. Focus it in. What can you be thankful for? In the moment. Even if its the smallest thing. It doesn't have to big and it doesn't have to be mind blowing. Sometimes the only thing I can be thankful for is that my bus turns up when its meant to. 

3. Worry, but just not about yesterday - I'm starting to realise that telling myself or other people not to worry, doesn't mean that I wont worry. I think there's something in my nature that automatically has an affinity for this. So while I work on dismantling it altogether, I have to just accept the fact that I do worry, but I can limit the amount I'm doing. The reality of things are, even though we do our best to plan, anything could happen at any given moment, but I can't spend time worrying about the things that did happen or could. I have to focus on each day and doing my best to overcome any obstacle in that present moment. Take less off your plate and focus on the things that our worrying you right now. Then take those things and myth bust them one by one. 

4. Ask for help - If you're anything like me, you sometimes forget to ask for help. You think you can do it all by yourself, but that's not the truth. I raised to be a fiercely independent black woman, but I forget that a truly fierce and independent black women is successful when she knows when to ask for help and accept help. So don't try and do it all alone if you are struggling. Whatever form of help you need, find the right person or people to ask. We are stronger together than we are alone. 

5. Forgive - Yourself first and foremost. We've all got the ability to hold and grudge and surprisingly you would think that we would be able to hold it against people longer than ourselves, but that's not strictly true. Sometimes our inability to forgive someone else is wholly tied up in our inability to forgive ourselves. Whatever you think you did or are doing that doesn't measure up to an impossible standard you've created in your mind, discard it. Forgive yourself for all those years of finding new ways to dislike yourself, hurt yourself or others. Your body is so rooting for you and so in love with you that it past the need for apology, it simply wants to get on to the business of living. 

We can’t let ourselves be consumed by this nostalgic idea of how things used to be and we cannot let ourselves be defined by the pain of what has been. 

Set yourself free and focus on living for the joy of what time you have.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome : Colourpop Haul

Thursday, 9 November 2017

I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

For years I've had problems with my right hand, I put it down to it being the hand that held my camera weight, and to breaking it a few times in my younger days. Two years ago it began to be more of an issue, I'd do a photoshoot and barely be able to use my hand for days. I began strapping it up for shoots figuring it was just a strain that was overworked and cut down on my photoshoots. Gradually it began to hurt me all the time, and after some exploring, my doctor suspected I had carpal tunnel syndrome. I had expected to be told it was repetitive strain injury, so it was a shock. I was sent to for nerve conduction studies and was told I had moderate to severe carpal tunnel in my right hand. I was more shocked to be told I also had moderate carpal tunnel in my left hand!

The first step, was to wear a splint to support my hands. The NHS do not provide splints, so I researched some online and ended up buying them from Amazon. I had 'skin coloured' ones, in that ugly beige colour, but ultimately preferred black ones because they blended in with my clothes more. I wore them to sleep as recommended, and found that I basically got no relief. The damage was too far gone.

As our wedding approached last year, I began to panic. I had been so specific about what kind of flowers and bouquet I wanted, and here I was, hands in constant pain, how could I possibly hold my bouquet all day? I spoke to my doctor who decided it was time to try steroid injections in my right hand. The first couple worked great, I got a lot of relief from the pain and my hands worked better. I was able to hold my bouquet for the ceremony and photos before I needed to put it down. By the third injection, it was clear it wasn't going to be an option long term.

By the fourth injection, my doctor struggled to even get the injection into my nerve to give me the steroid treatment. In carpal tunnel your nerves become calcified and compressed, the pain spread and would shoot up my elbow. It's impact upon my daily life became more and more obvious. I cut down on how much I blog, because typing hurts. I switched from ordering pints of water in the pub (yes, I am that person) to having halves or using a straw, because I couldn't life a pint anymore. My hand forgets it is holding things, combined with my clumsiness this has led to lots of dropped and smashed things! I can only drive short distances because it hurts. By the evenings even giving my dog scritches hurts, so poor Ashen even misses out. I have to ask my husband Stu to open jars and bottles, or to carry heavy things for me. Washing my hair hurts, writing hurts, anything that uses my hands hurts.

Want to know a fun fact about carpal tunnel? Painkillers have absolutely no effect on it whatsoever. So there is nothing you can do to alleviate the pain. This is why today I am having the first of my two carpal tunnel surgeries. It's going to put me out of commission for a few weeks, so I have some fantastic guest posts lined up from bloggers I love. Once my right hand is healed, I'll be having my left hand done too. I'm excited to potentially have more use of my hands again, but I'm also realistic and know that my hands won't be how they used to be.

Wish me luck!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Another Colourpop Haul

At this point it's fairly obvious that I'm a huge fan of Colourpop products. I recently gave one of my super shock shadows to my Nanna because she has been struggling to find an eye shadow that doesn't migrate throughout the day. I have hooded lids and find the super shock shadows to be the best I've tried, and was confident she'd feel the same. She claimed the eye shadow for her own and I've never seen it again since! She showed it to her friends, and next thing I knew I was being asked to place a giant Colourpop order for my Nanna and her three besties. Of course I couldn't resist ordering myself a few pieces too, and this is what I picked up.

This is 'Sugar' and 'Banana Daiquiri'. I fell in love with Banana Daiquiri as soon as they uploaded it to the website and it's exactly what I'd hoped. It's a gorgeous mix of green and blue with yellow undertones. Sugar is a much paler blue with silvery undertones.

This is 'Prickly Pear' and 'Party of Five'. Prickly Pair is a lovely purple toned shade, ideal for autumn. Party of Five was part of a limited edition range Colourpop released to celebrate hitting 5 million followers on Instagram. It's a delicious red tone with flecks on green glitter. It's lush!

This is 'Mamacita' and 'Take Five', both ultra matte lips. Mamacita is part of the ILUVSARAHII collection, and Take Five was another limited edition celebration lipstick. Mamacita is exactly the colour I reach for in autumn, so it had to be mine. It is the deepest of reds, and it will look incredible on every skin tone. Take Five is a rose toned mauve that is better for more day to day wear.

Unusually for me, I opted for three non matte liquid lipsticks finally. All ultra glossy lips in fact! Left to right they are 'Wolfie' which is an ultra metallic, 'Nine to Five', another limited edition product, and 'Wishes' from their limited edition birthday collection. Colourpop's metallic lip products are always stunning, and Wolfie is no exception. It's a rosy red colour that I think I'll wear a lot in the coming holiday season. Nine to Five is a pretty bronze tone with mauve hints. Wishes is an absolute delight. I hope they bring it back because it's so different! It's a magic mix of colours, pinks, purples and blues, the photo really doesn't do it justice at all. It's sheerer than their other glossy lip products, but it almost reminds me of the Lime Crime diamond crusher lip toppers. I don't buy Lime Crime for a whole bunch of reasons, but I loved the idea of their lip toppers. I plan to use Wishes in the same way!

I've no doubt I'll probably order more Colourpop in the coming months. I can't resist!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Bralettes : Girly Grunge