Thursday, 21 January 2016

Make Your Own Mask

For Christmas I received a DIY face mask as a secret santa present. I finally had a chance to use it tonight and I found it so fun.

The kit came with a bag of clay and porridge oats (oatmeal) which I had to mix together with rose water. This means I can use it again when I want. I have never used a clay face mask before - mainly because I hate the feel of clay when it dries.


However this was not too bad as you're instructed to remove it after 10 minutes but BOY OH BOY! My skin felt so soft afterwards. I will definitely be using it again and I love that I put it together. I guess the only downside was I looked like Lord Voldermort's twin for a few minutes.


So if you ever want to get someone a quirky gift then I recommend a DIY face mask kit. It's one of the best secret santa presents I have had.

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Why I support the Junior Doctors strikes...

This week junior doctors all over the UK left their prescription pads and joined a picket line. They wanted to assert their views to the government over their poor pay, unfair contracts and 7 day working. I have never been an advocate for strikes. I remember two years ago nurses went on strike but I flat out refused. I just could not leave my patients but I didn't resent the nurses who marched to the houses of parliament either.

I am all for freedom of speech but striking is a last resort.


In saying that I fully supported the thousands of junior doctors who want to save our NHS and fight for fairer working conditions. I have seen first hand doctors start shifts at 7am and still at 10pm they are wading through their many bleeps, patient notes and calls without a break. This is dangerous but they have no choice either. If they do not do it- who does? This week I spoke to consultants who fully support the junior doctors in their team. I heard sentences such as 'their new contracts are taking them to the cleaners'...it's absurd!


I love the NHS. This is a service worth fighting for. It is a network of amazing and efficient nurses, cleaners, porters and doctors...the list is endless. These people work so hard to ensure the public receive the best care, a clean environment to be treated in and they do not ask for a single penny. We do not require tips or request thanks. The NHS is a wonderfully historic institution that makes Great Britain - well great.


And it's so scary to think the current government are privatising so many of its services. So new contracts have to be drawn, new wages "discussed" and more patients getting lost in the system because it's been sold to yet another company. Is it any wonder why doctors are having to work longer hours on average pay? They are trained to diagnose, treat, save lives and encourage better health. They should not be burnt out, ratty because they're tired and resentful...they need better contracts to provide a level of care the NHS would be proud of.




We need more solidarity within the NHS, not separation. These amazing people care for us when we are at our most fearful and most vulnerable. Well now, as a nation, we need to look after them. As if not - who will?


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Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 in review

Another? Yes ANOTHER year has gone which means another year to reflect on. Even though I have not blogged as much as I have wanted to. I have so much to be thankful for from this year and I can't wait to document it.

1) What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Argh! So hard but I would say it would be successfully getting onto my masters course. This time last year it was just an idea I was mulling over. Now I am finally doing something I truly love within the field of nursing. 



2) What was the single most challenging thing that happened this year?

In general I would say my anxiety has flared up on occasions this year which has not been fun. But in the sense of a challenge adjusting from full time work to being student has been a little tough. I am on a different wage, schedule and need to have a study brain. My brain hurts a lot at times from all the new information. In terms of finances I am having to be a lot more frugal. 


3) What was an unexpected joy?

Tom - I really was not expecting him to turn up when he did. But I am so glad he has.



 4) Pick 3 words to describe 2015.

Busy, fulfilling and challenging.

5) What were the most entertaining things you have seen/done this year?

Travelling around New Zealand and SKYDIVING, visiting Barcelona, sightseeing in Venice and Verona, singing along to Ed Sheeran and S Club 7 in concert. Watching Katie get married to her Pete. Doing the house up more. Seeing Honor turn 1! Using a selfie stick. Sleeping in a log cabin and a lake house for the first time with great friends.



6) With whom were your most valuable relationships?

I think a lot of my relationships have strengthened and some have certainly dwindled. I would say at present my relationship with Tom I really value. It's fun getting to know someone who I have very strong feelings for. I would also say my Mum too. Since I have moved out I really have to make a concerted effort to spend time with her- which I love. I have realised I want to see her as much as I can because she's my mum and has invested a lot in me.

7) What was the single biggest waste of your time this year?

One friendship particularly comes to mind with a girl who isn't even worth my time mentioning. Lets just say I thought we were friends but she totally manipulated me and the situations she created. Such a waste of tears on a person. 

8) What are you most proud of doing this year?

Definitely doing the skydive in New Zealand and opening myself up to a new way of travel. I am proud of getting onto my MSc course too!


9) How did you spend Christmas 2015?

This was the first full Christmas in 9 years that I didn't have to work. It felt so good to rest, relax and have some time out. I spent Christmas with my parents. On Christmas Day my family came to my parents where we talked, played games and ate lots of food. In the evening I went and saw Tom where we exchanged out gifts and hung out with his family. It was busy but a lot of fun!  

10) What did you do in 2015 that you hadn't done before?

I skydived, went caving, visited Hobbiton, slept in new places, turned 26, visited Bournemouth and remodelled a bathroom!


11) Looking back on 2015, what one thing have you learnt the most?


I have learnt to trust my gut. I know I have always known that but this year is the first time I have actually listened. I have been on dates with guys this year where I knew deep down nothing was there, and my gut told me this, but I ignored it. I was warned by people about a girl I befriended and deep down I knew I was in too deep with her, but I ignored it. So I have definitely learnt to trust my instincts.

12) Finally, your plans for 2016 and what are you most looking forward to?

2016 is a full year because of university but even though my schedule is hectic I still have things planned. I have trips booked for Blackpool and Cardiff with Tom. I am really looking forward to a big family holiday my Mum has organised to Spain for June. I am holidaying to Mexico with Lotte in September and Tom and I are going to the Caribbean in November. Hopefully I will pass my course this summer so I can become a Health Visitor in my own right. I am excited to spend more time with Cohen and Honor and also see my friend Natalie get married in May!

Hope you all had wonderful 2015's to remember. I hope I can document more in 2016! See you next year everyone!

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

End of the New Year Hodgepodge

Whew! Here it goes...my last hodgepodge of 2015! Granted I didn't partake a huge amount but the times I have, have been fun to do. So if you want to take part, answer the questions below and link back here.

So here goes...

1) Share a favourite moment or memory from the week of Christmas.

Looking back I have quite a few but the one that really stands out was Christmas Eve. I have not really had a festive mojo this year and I even said to my housemate on Christmas Eve morning that I did not feel christmassy in the slightest. Then I got this message from one of the ward sisters I work with...and I just felt such JOY! I had a very poorly patient on 23/12/15 and my gut told that he needed urgent care fast.


In that moment I was so excited to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. It just made me realise that I didn't need to bake cookies, decorate my house or listen to carols to get festive. Just knowing I could have saved a life this Christmas...made everything so insignificant.

2) If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fit under? what would the title be?

I think it would fall under some sort of Bridget Jones-esque theme. I've dated idiots, lost my way, been emotional, had fun times, met an amazing guy and questioned 'what's the point?' on so many occasions. So maybe title it 'Bridget Jone's Little Sister.'

3) What made you feel patriotic this year?

Ooo good question! I think the UK's response to the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks in Morocco and Paris was touching. At the end of the day we are all human and we want to be there for others.

4) What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?


This.


5) What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

Jess Glynne - 'Don't be so hard on yourself.' This is my favourite song of 2015 but probably because I resonate with the lyrics so much. I have tried so hard this year to be kinder on myself and cut myself some slack.

6) On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your 2015? Why?

I would say a 7! I definitely had more good moments than bad this year but a few events has set the number back.

7) What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?

Completing my course and finally becoming a Health Visitor in September.

8) Insert your own random thought here.

I just want to say to everyone have a wonderful end to 2015 and a joyous start to 2016! Happy new year.


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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Hello Tom.

I have mentioned a fair few times on here that blogging has not been my biggest strength. Especially with starting back up at university full time, it really has taken a back seat. I do miss it.

Back in September I realised that this year was going to be full on. I have every single day planned, lectured or rostered until next September with very little breathing space. I clearly remember telling my Mum when I started my MSc that I really 'could not take on anymore busyness.'

Then in October this guy called Tom came along.

I want to add a prelude to this 'How I Met Tom' story. Since my last relationship, of which many of you joined on my journey to the breakdown of, I have dated a few guys. Some lasted a few weeks and some a few months. But there was something chewing at them.

Anxiety.

It just never felt right and even though I was in no headspace to say I wanted to 'settle down'. I did want something that was genuine and moving somewhere...even if somewhere was knowing where we stood a couple of months down the line. These dating spells were not going anywhere and so when I started the course I was done with dating. I wanted to focus on me for a change and I was genuinely excited for a new start.

At the end of September I went to a good friend of mines hen do and I was surrounded by love, wedding talk and all the oohs and ahhs that surround such a wonderful celebration. I came away from the weekend feeling elated for Katie but I won't lie. For the first time ever...I questioned when it would be my turn and I had an evening of feeling a little blah. It was then the following Friday night I was having one of my regular scrolls through Facebook whilst doing a backlog of university work. I came across a photo that Tom had put up of him painting on a Friday night and I remember thinking 'at least I am not the only one stuck inside doing something boring'. So I commented on it and we had a mini reply to each other.

(It might be important to note here that the reason why Tom and I were Facebook friends is because we worked together in my previous job. In fact we actually went to school together. He was in the year above me so when he started working at the hospital I recognised him immediately. But there was nothing to note between us because we were in our previous relationships.)



So moving swiftly on...I thought nothing of the Facebook message. Then a few days later I was doing school work, yet again, and I wondered about him. I thought I would send a cheeky message to see how the painting was going. And I guess you could say the rest was history. We chatted for a few weeks until he asked me out...but I remember questioning if it was a date or not.

Our first date was on the 13th October 2015 and we played TopGolf. We kept talking about how strange it was that we probably walked passed each other loads in the corridors at school and in work but hardly batted an eyelid. Now we were on a date! We saw each other the following day and then that weekend and I guess we have been pretty much inseparable since.

I am just so happy and even though we may still be in the 'honeymoon phase' as people call it. I cannot deny how special he is to me already. I love that I don't have to work him out, we want to same things in life, I don't feel anxious- in fact he eases my anxiety instead of exacerbates it.



But most of all I just feel lucky. I am so blessed to have someone who makes me smile for no reason, pushes me when the essays get tough, surprises me with the kindest of gestures and for someone who is real and on my wavelength.

I remember in September when I questioned when it would be my turn...and I find it so faultless how at the exact moment I chose to give up and focus on something else. He turned up.

And I have counted my lucky stars ever since.

Plus I fancy the absolute pants off of him...so that helps too!


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