Life Update ~ Where have I Been??

I realise that since August I have vanished off the face of the earth and I apologise for that. I could make 101 excuses but the reality is that I simply lost my mojo… I had plenty of time. In fact probably too much! The fact that typing is so much tougher added to lots of other Real Life battles for all sorts of things meant that my attention was diverted elsewhere and the longer I went without posting the harder it has been to come back to it…

The ‘Me’ that I was this time last year is well and truly gone.. For better or for worse! The reality being that her disappearance is probably for the better in so so many ways; but it is hard to deal with the fact that my life has changed so much especially given why. I continue to attend psychology services within the hospital and find it very beneficial. I think it will be the service I cling onto for the longest if I am given a choice! Its only when I try to live ‘normal’ life that it really dawns on me that 2014 has been so flippin’ abnormal!! I am still ‘stroke girl’ in so many contexts although that is gradually lessening… Or I’m getting used to the whispers and the stares and notice them less!

Updates:
Health:
I don’t need surgery – at least not yet! I will be re-assessed in March 2015 but the longer I go without any further issues the more hopeful it looks.

I had my first (and final) review with the National Rehabilitation Hospital and they don’t feel that I need to continue to be reviewed by them. I’m guessing the ongoing reviews by Beaumont are enough! My next review with the stroke specialist in Beaumont is May 2015 and I’m not back with the neurosurgeon until March 2015 so appointments are less frequent. As I said above I am still attending Psychology and I am was attending for Physiotherapy up until today but have now been discharged from that too. .

Outside of stroke stuff my health is pretty crappy at the moment! I’m picking up every bug going. I feel like 13 weeks of sterile environments has totally stripped my immunity!

Slimming World/Weight:
I have achieved my 1.5 stone loss with Slimming World but since then I have kind of stagnated a bit! I need to get a proper kick up the proverbial and focus again.
Overall, since I was hospitalised I have lost just over 3 stone (#dayzeroproject target achieved), my BMI has dropped by 10 and I am so much healthier than I have been at any stage in my adult life! The irony of that is by no means lost on me!

Life:
I am back to work… That was a real struggle and both getting back and being back have been tough emotionally! I’m on reduced days and what duties I do are very limited. It can be tough in that every day I see my workmates doing ‘my’ work and the reality is that I know I wouldn’t be able to take it all back on even if I was doing full time hours! I’m having to face up to the fact that I may never get back to that and it also forces me to examine whether I would really want to… I foresee changes!

I have also found myself with a very lovely gentleman in my life for the first time in a *very* long time… But not everything in my life is for the blog!

I just spent a very lovely weekend in Paris with my family. Another #dayzeroproject achievement.

In terms of the blog I want to thank those of you who have stuck with me… Readers and PRs alike. It is very much appreciated. I have a few posts planned and will try to post more regularly but I make no promises… I feel if I try to force posts the quality will suffer so I will blog as mojo allows… Hopefully the festive season and impending New Year will encourage me in that!

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#DayZeroProject: Cinema Trips

Part of the #DayZeroProject was to go to the cinema more… And I specified that I would go at least 4 times in 2014 which I have already achieved…

Calvary: I went to this with my parents on one of my breaks from hospital. I’m a massive fan of Brendan Gleeson and really enjoy the dark humour of the McDonaghs both in film and play form!

Begin Again: I went to see this on my own and rally enjoyed it. I think Mark Ruffalo is one of the hottest men on this planet and this quirky feel good story is really sweet and surprisingly not entirely predictable! A bonus was that I really enjoyed the soundtrack. 🙂

Mrs Browns Boys D’Movie: Another film that i went to alone, I enjoy the series and fancied a giggle one of the days… so off I went! It’s exactly what you would expect with lots of giggles. There was one particularly rousing musical number and an impassioned speech at another stage that would honestly make you consider running off to become a Moore Street trader…

The Fault in Our Stars: Another film I went to alone, which was a good thing considering how much I cried… 😥 A great film, based on the book but bring tissues – you have been warned! But if you didn’t know that already, what rock have you been hiding under?

Monty Python Live (Mostly): I’m not sure if this counts as technically it was a live streaming of a cultural event… But it was AMAZING!! So I am counting it – ladies prerogative! Again, I went on my own and i was glad not to have any distractions!

It’s great to have yet another thing ticked off my ‘To Do’ List… Are there any movies you would recommend? Would you go to the cinema on your own? Or do you think it is weird??

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#DayZeroProject ~ Girls Night In.

 

Back in my original Day Zero Project post I said I wanted to have a girls night in so thats exactly what I planned to do to celebrate my birthday last month. I wasn’t up to too much organisation so I decided to take the easy way out and scheduled an Ann Summers party. I found a rep online that covered my local area and booked in for the Saturday before my birthday; eithout even asking which of my friends were available as I knew I’d be able to get at least 6-8 of them together for a bit of craic and to celebrate my freedom and my aging process!

The party ambassador sent me out some catalogues in advance and advised me to create a wishlist of things I would like for myself as every hostess can get free goodies just by hosting the party. I was also able to give the other catalogues to friends who weren’t able to make it on the night…

On the night itself everything was very simple. The party ambassador arrived 15-20 minutes before the party was due to start and got set up while I was putting my face on. We all topped up our drinks and were given our novelty names for the night and the fun kicked off! We played some games and had some vodka jelly shots thatb she had brought for us and we had a look and feel of the lingerie, costumes and pyjamas the ambassador had brought as part of the ‘bringing the store to the door‘. Then it got on to the ‘juicier’ stuff when there were lots of giggles; but if this isn’t your thing your ambassador is more than willing not to demo the toys as part of the party and focus on the clothing instead.

There was no pressure to buy but the stuff was so nice that most of us decided we deserved a treat! I got €30 0ff my order as hostess and had 2 friends booked parties I would also have received an exclusive hostess gift worth €31. All orders were individually packaged when they were delivered to my house the following week and delivering them/having them collected gave me a chance to catch up with each of my friends again.

If you, or your friends would like a girls night in or a ladies only coffee morning with a difference I highly recommend Ann Summers as an option. You can contact Anne on 087-6729373 or  annsummersdub.meath@gmail.com to book a party… What are you waiting for??

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Five Favourites Friday #3

There are loads of things I am currently loving and as I missed two weeks I am going to cover some extra today…

1) Snapchat
I am loving this as a quick way to be able to send messages to friends where you just need somthing a bit more than words… I’d like to thank LilliWhiteRose, Kathleen from Squidgy Moments, Kat from Pretty Kitty and many non blogger friends for all the smiles and giggles it has provided me with!

2) My dogs.
I cannot emphasise enough how much I love these guys and how much it is breaking my heart that I cannot currently have them living with me! Phoebe in particular is very clingy when I visit them and I cannot wait to bring her home.

3) Monty Python Live (Mostly)
Also known as Monty Python: One down Five to Go. I went to see this in the cinema on July 20th and loved every minute of it! I also recorded it off the tv on Tuesday 22nd and have watched it at least 4 times since… I had forgotten how much I love Monty Python and being honest I think I have a slight crush on Michael Palin now! Or maybe I could be the next Mrs Cleese! 😛

4) Devious Maids
Those who know me will know I am not a big tv watcher… In fact outside of Home and Away and Greys Anatomy there is very little I have to watch! Devious maids has now fallen into this category. I am so glad to know that there is at least one more series to come!!

5) Raspberries
These are now officially my favourite food. They are a super-speed food in Slimming World and I am probably eating at least 10 punnets a week… Those fruit sellers on the roadside will have me bankrupt but the Wexford ones are really the tastiest!!

Other loves still include
6) the Gym
7) Cooking. I am trying at least one new recipe a week to try keep my diet varied and not get into a rut!
8) Slimming World
9) Shopping my makeup stash and trying to use less loved items now its all organised!
10) Awesome friends – always a favourite!
11) Inspirational quotes on Facebook and Pinterest.

That’s all for this week! What are you loving?

 

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#ThinThursday #3

Apologies for vanishing… It wasn’t intentional but I kinda lost my mojo. Especially when on my third weigh-in I had a gain that I really was not expecting! It was only 1/2 a pound but as I had been going extra hard at the gym (including finding alternative gyms to go to when I visited my parents instead of taking days off and upping my workouts to an hour each time) and being really good with the food I really didn’t feel it was deserved. My leader explained to me that this kind of thing can happen as the body adjusts to an increase in exercise so I persevered and with great trepidation stepped on the scales last week… To have a massive 7.5lb off!!!! 😀 This meant that I got my first half stone cert… And then at the end of the meeting I was awarded Slimmer of the Month for July – a massive achievement for my first month!!


Unfortunately this week I was up 1lb again but I know that its water retention so I can accept that, I know with a good week that it (and more) should be gone by the time I weigh in next week!! i really feel that Slimming World is working for me! 🙂

The half lb gain I had made me really focus on NSVs (Non Scale Victories):

  • I am making healthier choices for myself. My body no longer tolerates processed or fatty food easily. My complexion has improved dramatically.
  • My blood pressure is consistently in the normal range.
  • I am rediscovering my love for cooking.
  • I can now do a full hour of cardio in the gym without melting into a puddle.
  • I have managed to do 1km on the treadmill in 11 minutes, and 6km on the bike in 14 minutes 45 seconds.
  • I have dropped a full two dress sizes since I last went shopping (pre-stroke). Even the newer smaller sizes are starting to get loose on me!
  • I am toning up all over as I am exercising as I go and friends and family have commented on the change in my body shape, this also means I am trying clothes I wouldn’t necessarily have tried before as things that suited in the past don’t necessarily suit now!
  • And while it is a scale victory of sorts since I was weighed on admission to the hospital on March 6th I have lost 2 stone 3lb/just over 14kg… Thats more than your average two year old weighs!! 🙂
  • My self confidence is improving.

 

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#Thin Thursday #2

Apologies for being a day late, but yesterday was my birthday so I’m hoping it can be forgiven!

Brief update this week:

  • 2lb loss at weigh in.
  • Got to the gym 4 times this week.
  • Ate out twice but tried to make healthier choices each time and also had a fantastic party with snacks, chocolate cake, wine and mojitos! 🙂

Feeling positive and motivated!

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Five Favourites Friday #2

1.) This week I have been cooking a lot. Slimming world is easier if you are making all your own meals so are in control of exactly what goes into them. Chiccken Chow Mein has been my favourite! I got the recipe off the app but this is it online. I’ve adjusted it using regular and brown noodles and adding extra ginger and chilli to taste!

 

Pizza was also attempted but not quite as successful!

2.) Slimming World is also a favourite. It was my birthday this week which meant one party and two dinners out – yet I still managed to lose 2lb! That brings my overall weightloss to 10kg since March! 🙂 The gym is also a favourite as I’m convinced it was what kept a gain away!

3. Awesome friends. As I mentioned, it was my birthday this week. I had a girls night in/Ann Summers party last Saturday to celebrate. My friends showed up with EVERYTHING needed for the party so that I wouldn’t need to worry about anything. I’m talking dinner for before the party, snacks, drinks, balloons! I was thoroughly spoilt and had a great night!

4.) New makeup. Between treating myself and being gifted some lovely items there are some real treats in store for you with reviews!

5.) Organised makeup. I have finally got all of my makeup organised. Now that I can see what exactly I have I am spurred on to make more of my stash so I am hoping to do lots of makeup looks for you all in the next few weeks!

 

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Tag: Fifty Questions

Where were you 3 hours ago?- In my kitchen…
Who are you in love with?- No-one particular at the moment.
Have you ever eaten a crayon?- Not that I am aware of.
Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?- There’s a nail varnish not too far away, does that count?A makeup bag full of brushes.
When is the last time you went to the mall?- I was in the shopping centre today doing grocery shopping.
Are you wearing socks right now?- Nope
Does your family have a car worth over $2,000?-I think my car is probably worth about that much… It has high mileage 😦
When was the last time you drove out of town?- I was in Dublin on Friday and I went to the gym today… that’s in a different town to where I am living.
Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?- Just about!
Are you hot?- No, there a nice breeze coming in the window
What was the last thing you had to drink?- Water.
What are you wearing right now?- Pyjamas
Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?- Car wash.
Last food that you ate?- Chicken Chow Mein that I made myself at home as i was craving chinese.


Where were you last week at this time?- In my bed.
Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?- Yes. Underwear.
When is the last time you ran?- Ean a bit on the treadmill on Thursday.
What’s the last sporting event you watched?- None.
What is your favorite animal?- Dogs Pandas.
Your dream vacation?- Australia again
Last person’s house you were in?- My aunts house on Thursday.
Worst injury you’ve ever had? Acquired brain injury from stroke.
Do you miss anyone right now?- Yes 😦
Last play you saw?- Alice in Funderland – I think!!
What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?- I more repel than lure :/
What are your plans for tonight?- Finish this post, pack my gym bag, then bed!
Who is the last person you sent a Facebook message or comment?- My godsons twin to wish them a happy Birthday.
Next trip you are going to take?- No holidays planned but I’m off to Dublin tomorrow for an appointment.
Ever go to camp?- No, but i did go to Irish college once. I hated it!!
Were you an honor roll student in school?- We dont have honor roll in ireland. I was a prefect though.
What do you want to know about the future?- If I’ll be happy and healthy.
Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?- Not at the moment.
Are you due sometime this year for a doctor’s visit?- Yes, Loads of them!! Neurosurgeon, stroke specialist, gynacologist and endocrinologist!
Where is your best friend?- In bed I’d say.
How is your best friend?- I hope they’re all doing good!
Do you have a tan?- Not really.
What are you listening to right now?- Noise of the computer.
Do you collect anything?- Makeup & cds & Dvds
Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?- Years ago during operation Free Flow
Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?- Yes.
What does your last text message say?- Sweet dreams x
Last time you took a shower?- lunchtime.
Do you need to do laundry?- yes.
What is your heritage?- Irish
Are you someone’s best friend?- Yes, I think so.
Are you rich?- Definitely not!
What were you doing at 12AM last night?- Hosting a party.

 

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Easy Slimming World Recipes.

I’m having a Girls Night In/home from hospital/back to my life/birthday party tomorrow night and I really want to be able to have some treats so I decided the best way to do as little damage as possible was to be organised with healthy food for the rest of the day and for Sunday.

1.) Super Speed Soup: this is a soup made of some of the best foods for you and is full of fibre so helps keep you full without overindulging! It’s super easy to make in the slow cooker. I just put two vegetable stock cubes and about a 3/4 litre of water with a head of broccoli, 2 small courgettes, a large onion, 4-5 carrots, passata, and a tin of mixed beans. I left it in the slow cooker on high for abut 6 hours and when all the vegetables were softened I allowed it to cool a little before blending it to remove lumps. I was left with a very thick soup so when I am reheating it tomorrow I will add some stock and possibly some spices for extra flavour…

2.) I struggle to find breakfast foods that keep my interest. Many years ago when I was doing some other diet I came across the idea of pastry free mini quiches as a breakfast food. They are quick to make, easy to freeze and can be adjusted to your taste.

crust free quiches

These are my version of a recipe I saw on Every Word Handwritten Blog (here).

Ingredients:

3 eggs
2 scallion/salad onions,
4 mini sweet peppers,
Tesco Healthy Living Black Pepper Cottage Cheese 150G
4 slices Tesco Healthy Living ham – to line 8 tins approx 80g
Oegg Pasteurised egg whites.
Frylight

(Photo 1.))I lined 8 of the 12 cases with ham instead of adding bacon to the mix as I originally planned. I also sprayed each case with 2 sprays of frylight to stop things sticking!
I then proceeded to chop the peppers and onion into small pieces so they would cook quickly. I divided this mix between the 12 cases before adding a spoonful of the cottage cheese to each one (Photo2.)). I then topped each case up with a mix of egg and egg whites before putting them into a preheated oven for 20 minutes. You can see the finished result in the last photo. Once these have cooled I will freeze them. They should take less than a minute to reheat in the mornings or for lunches, making them a very quick go to option! The cottage cheese can be used as a healthy extra a – making these syn free if you just have one or two (I hope! ~still trying to work out healthy extras!!)

I really think organisation is key to sticking to any plan such as Slimming world on special occasions – what do you think?

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Five Favourites Friday

I thought seeing as I love Favourites posts and videos that I might do my own series of favourites… random things I am loving each week.

1.) The gym

Taken from gym website

2. Going to the cinema on my own. This week I have been to see both Fault in Our Stars and Mrs Browns Boys d’Movie.

3.) Catching up with friends. I’ve been doing a lot of this since getting out of hospital and its great!!

4.) Slimming World. I am actually really enjoying getting back on track and my 2lb loss has really spurred me on!

5.) Blogging. As you may have noticed i have managed to get back blogging daily. Its hard getting back in the habit of thinking of posts but I would like to thank you all for sticking with me!

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