Pinterest Inspirational quotes.

I am a MASSIVE fan of Pinterest. I use it to find makeup inspiration as well as life inspiration and it was an app I checked regularly when in hospital. I want to share some of my favourite quotes from it with you today… (None of these pics are my own.) You can find more of my inspirational quote pins here.

What are your favourite quotes?? Do you use Pinterest? What are your ‘go to’ pins?

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#dayzeroproject Update.

 

Blogging goals:
1. Blog more than 222 times in 2014 so that I beat my 2013 total. Unfortunately due to not having been able to type for so long this is looking unachievable for this year… 😦
2. Organise a blogger event Still hoping to do this! Just need to wait until my health is better!
3. Organise at least one more blogger challenge. This will probably happen in early autumn.
4. Learn how to change my format around so that I can update my blog layout.
5. Learn how to use my camera properly.
6. Set up a proper organised blogging area. In process.
7. Get to 500 blog followers. Slowly getting there!
8. Run a competition on my blog.
9. Have some of my blogging friends guest post for me.
10. Do some guest posts for other bloggers.
11. I will learn more about SEO.
12. I will learn how to back up my blog.
13. Plan my posts better so I am not a slave to light – or lack of it!
14. Set up a proper Facebook page. Achieved 4/1/14
15. Update and revamp my ‘About Me’ page.
16. Comment on more blogs.
17. Update my blogroll. Done.
18. Do empties posts every 2 months. Unfortunately I have fallen behind on this.
19. Make a list of 40 items to use up in 2014.
20. Do more makeup look posts.
21. Learn some photo editing skills.
22. Do a photo a day challenge.

Personal Organisation:
23. Organise and keep a proper address book.
24. Organise and keep a list of birthdays so I don’t forget them.
25. Make a Christmas card list and actually manage to get all of my cards written and posted on time for the first time in years!

Personal Development:
26. Go on a weekend away on my own.
27. Do an evening class.
28. Read more – read 10+ books in 2014. I read about 7 books while in hospital… Mainly chicklit!
29. Go on a date. Done.
30. Be more open to social invites.
31. Go to the cinema at least 4 times in 2014 – even if it means going alone.
32. Reduce the amount of negativity I allow into my life – particularly through social media. done
33. Find a work/life balance. This is being done through necessity although is it work/life balance if work is taken out of the equation?
34. Join the library.

Social:
35. Have friends stay overnight. Done
36. Go to a comedy show.
37. Go to a cultural event. I attended the Irish food festival in Sheridans Carnaross.
38. Host a BBQ.
39. Have a girls night! Happening on 12th July 2014.
40. Attend something in the O2. I am going to see Imelda May in December 2014. 🙂
41. Go to a music gig. Planned for December – as above!
42. Meet at least one new person that I have interacted with online.
43. Host a dinner party.
44. Go ice skating.

Random:
45. Make a list of 100 dvds that I own but haven’t watched yet and watch as many as I can.
46. Get back into making my own cards.
47. Make a Christmas wreath.
48. Get a new caricature drawn.
49. Get a new piercing. All my piercings are gone. Will get them back if allowed when decision is made on surgery!
50. Attend a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
51. Go to a roller disco.
52. Make candles from supplies I already have.
53. Send flowers to someone.
54. Create a signature cocktail.
55. Go to a fireworks display.
56. Find some new music.
57. Send a letter to my childhood penpal.
58. Print out photos for a photo album.

Places to go: All travel plans currently on hold!
59. Return to Paris.
60. Travel to Australia again.
61. Travel to America again.
62. Go to the Giants Causeway.
63. Visit an aquarium.

Financial:
64. Pay off credit card. Done!
65. Have a month where I only buy essentials.
66. Save more each fortnight.
67. Save coins in a jar and cash them in for a treat when it is full. This is ongoing
68. Do the 52 week saving challenge.

House:
69. Get a new kennel for the dogs.
70. Clean the car inside and out every 3 months.
71. Update my underwear drawer. done.
72. Sort the storage in my kitchen.
73. Donate 101 things to a charity shop. Did a major declutter so probably achieved this but didn’t count!
74. Make French toast. done!
75. Sort out my spare room. done!
76. Get my house deep cleaned.
77. Do a wardrobe declutter. Completed March 1st 2014.

Beauty/fashion:
78. Be better with my skincare routine.
79. Go for a whole new look with my hair. Back in January the lovely Lisa Molloy of Pink Sugar sparkles blog and online store who is also a hairdresser extraordinaire gave my hair a new look , lightening it substantially and organising the fabulous Niamh in Preen to give me a cut… I wasn’t allowed to see it until it was all done (how trusting am I??). I loved the finished look and have gone even lighter with my colour since – unfortunately the layers Niamh gave me have gone a bit by the wayside! 😦
80. Try buy clothes that are less in my comfort zone. Back in January Kat from Pretty Kitty and I hit the shops and I allowed her to choose clothes for me – the agreement was that I had to try them on and unless I had a major objection to them had to purchase at least some of them! To be fair to Kat she didn’t abuse the trust I put in her and I have come to love most of the items!! 
81. Buy and wear a statement necklace.
82. Wear makeup more often.
83. Do a facemask weekly. I’ve managed to keep this one up, even while in hospital… It was my bit of ‘normal’ and it felt good to pamper myself!
84. Wear high heels more often.
85. Learn at least 3 styles to do with my hair. Right now, due to left side weakness I can’t do anthing with my hair 😦 Looking forward to that changing!!

Health and Fitness goals:
86. Go to bed before 11pm every night for a week. In hospital for 4 months meant that this became routine rather than being an effort.
87. Get up without hitting snooze every day for a week. It actually isn’t possible to sleep in when in hospital so I went a good 3-4 months never having to set an alarm therefore never hit snooze…
88. Lose a minimum of 3 stone. I lost a good bit of weight while in hospital (about 9.5kg/1stone 7 lb) and have now also joined the gym and signed up to slimming world to try continue losing!
89. Complete Couch to 5k programme.
90. Stop sabotaging myself when it comes to being healthier.
91. Eat less processed food. done!
92. Find more healthy recipes for my slow cooker.
93. Drink more water on a consistent basis.
94. Try a hot stone massage.
95. I will have a full month with no takeaways or eating out. Done courtesy of hospital – not quite what I had planned!!
96. I will get into the habit of bringing my lunch to work.
97. Join the gym with work. Joined independent of work!
98. Try to be more confident and stop worrying about how others see me.
99. Try Zumba or similar exercise class.
100. Go cycling.
101. Eat more fruit done!

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EOTN: Lorac Pro Palette.

Little Friday is now at the stage where many of her friends are having ‘milestone’ birthdays. Recently she asked me to do her makeup for one such event. In order to complement her outfit I immediately reached for the Lorac Palette as it has colours suitable for all events and a mix of both shimmers and mattes. I used garnet as the main eyelid colour, taupe in the crease and smudged some black in the outer corner and some champagne for highlight in the inner tearduct and on the browbone! I loved the end result and as the shadows are so pigmented the look lasted throughout the night – and until morning!!

 

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Lush sneak peek summer 2014

I spent a lovely evening in Lush Grafton St last night – slightly dampened by having to be back in hospital by curfew! As anyone who reads the blog regularly will know, I am a massive lush fan! It’s too late now to go into any real details but suffice to say lush have a number of new and re formulated products to unveil between now and the beginning of June! Some are even instore now if you fancy taking a peek! Tell them I sent you. 😉

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If you could have lush invent any product what would it be?

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#LetsTalkBlogChallenge – Week 3: week 3 Birthday box

<p I'm not entirely sure what a birthday box is but I'm guessing it's a parcel you'd love to give someone or love to receive!

I would include:

Some nice bath and body products – probably from Lush!

A nice scented candle – the Marie Reynolds ones are lovely!

I would also usually include a nice cd or dvd… Perfect for some chill out time or a laugh with the girls.

A nice bottle of bubbles. I'm a fan of sparkling rosé personally! 😉

What about you? What would you like to give/receive?

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Where have I been…??

On 21st January a twinge of pain that I had in my left shoulder on and off (I thought it was from bad posture and too much sitting g at the computer) got worse and left me with numbness right around my torso, I then got some weakness in my leg… As I was worried I immediately made an appointment with my GP who diagnosed me with a trapped nerve in my back. After a few days on painkillers everything seemed better and I was back to work! All seemed fine til on 21st February when I was driving home from work and sneezed while holding the steering wheel tightly, by the time I got home I had some pain in my left shoulder again… Over the course of the weekend the pain got worse and by Sunday I had very little use of my arm. I ended up in A&E where I was told I had either fractured my shoulder or had calcification of tendons. On 24th February I attended the fracture clinic where I was told it wasn’t a fracture, but nothing more! The power was still pretty much gone in the arm/hand and I was signed off work for a few days. I had to attend the GP later that week as I was anxious about the lack of improvement in the arm, by the following Tuesday there was still no improvement and I returned to the GP to ask for a referral to physio as the hand still wasn’t improving. She assessed my hand and felt it wasn’t needed however and gave me some exercises to do. It was her view that the issues were just due to having not been used much over the week and a bit since I’d hurt my shoulder. On that evening I felt the left side of my face was not 100% in my control and that my speech was being effected. My sister visited that evening and she pointed out that she could see issues with the left side of my face. On the Wednesday I had an appointment about my PCOS and I spent the day feeling like my tongue was too big for my mouth and that I was tripping over my words. That evening I finally managed to tell my mother my worries through a haze of tears (it wasn’t pretty-we’re talking full on snots and tears here!!) we decided that we would use my VHI cover to go to a private clinic the next day.

On the morning of 6th March we headed off to the Galway clinic and I cannot commend them enough! I arrived at 10am and was sent for an MRI by 11:30. When we got the results shortly after 2pm you could have knocked me with a feather! The scan showed that there was “something” on the right side of my brain and I was told I needed to be admitted immediately! At that moment “something” seemed like the most terrifying word in the English language! I was told that I would need to be transferred to Beaumont as it was the best place to be for anything neurological!

On the Friday morning I was told that I needed a ct scan before being transferred to Beaumont. I was sent for one that morning and walked down to have it done only to be told that I needed a blood test done first so I walked back to the room to wait for them. My mother and sister came in to see me and terrifyingly when I went to walk to the bathroom my left leg went weak. By the time I had to go back for the ct I had to go in a wheelchair. I was transferred to Beaumont straight after lunch by ambulance. When I got to my room in Beaumont I went to walk to the bathroom and collapsed. It took my mother and two nurses to lift me back to the wheelchair! Cue a week of being lifted essentially from bed to chair… That was the week my brain stole both my dignity & independence!

That night a member of the neurology team came to see myself and my parents at approximately 10:30pm and confirmed for us that I had a brain tumour and told us that the plan was to do a biopsy on the following Tuesday/Wednesday and see what further treatment was needed.He also stated that the good news was that we were dealing with a ‘primary’ as there were no other tumours visible on the scan (the unspoken word here was Cancer). We were understandably devastated and spent the night trying to deal with the news. The next morning two members of the neurosurgical team came in to talk to us and stated that they did not believe it was a tumour and wanted to do further investigation to be sure. They – or at least the spokeswoman of the duo – felt that whatever happened in any case was complex and she wanted to look to see if it was something auto immune… (After years of watching House I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t Lupus but blood tests to check for Lupus – and everything else- were taken over the next few days. On the following Tuesday (after numerous tests had been carried out) I was visited by my neurologist Mr. Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar (a truly inspirational man) who informed me that it wasn’t a brain tumour but that I had in fact had a complex stroke (the backache/shoulder pain were in fact unconnected but the MRI scan showed I had a ‘sports injury’ of a bulging C4/C5 spinal disk which was causing the pain) and so would be transferred to the care of the stroke team and a consultant that specialised in that area. I was also moved from the room I had lived in for 5 days (with my mother) to a 6 bed acute stroke unit (on my own!) which was quite sobering… Partly because as I worked out at one stage we had a cumulative age of over 400… And I managed to bring the average down by a good bit!! It especially hit home how serious everything was when one of the men passed away on 18th March. We were bonded into a bizarre little team at that stage and all watched out for each other. I have to say as the ‘wee girl’ in the ward I was spoilt rotten and kind of adopted by “the boys” and their visitors! I also cannot commend the staff in Beaumont enough! On 14th March I started Physio and took my first steps in a week… I was told that I needed to walk as much as I could over the long weekend cue my first visits to the coffee shop not in a wheelchair! Once I got back on my feet progress seemed steady enough. I worked on being able to walk further and being able to walk unaided – although I still have a limp, even now – especially when tired.

After another week I was moved from the acute stroke unit to another part of the ward where I wasn’t being monitored quite so intensely… I kept that bed for two nights before I got a phonecall while on my first day release to say that I was being moved to a general medical ward as I no longer needed to be in one of the 10 designated stroke beds!

I remained in that ward for a mere 3 days before I was transferred to a hospital in Galway and was only 41 hours in Galway when I was transferred to a local hospital to my parents address. At this stage I was deemed to be medically stable and only required rehabilitation – daily Occupational therapy and physiotherapy – as I still had little to no power in my left arm/hand. For the last two weeks my life has revolved around OT and physio and regular home leave but I am one of the lucky ones and am seeing a good improvement with plenty of hard work! I was discharged from hospital to await surgery on 25th April – 50 days after going to the Galway Clinic- but the road to recovery is far from over as I still have surgery and intensive rehab in the National Rehabilitatiohn Hospital in front of me. It will also be many months before I can return to work, or to live in my own house or even drive!

At 32 this is not how I had planned to spend 2014 – my new life begins now as *my* normal is forever altered and life will never be the same again after this!

Worst bits:

Angioplasty – without a doubt the most terrifying and traumatising of all the many tests I went through

Loss of dignity/ Having to rely on others for almost *everything*!!!

Discovering that I am incapable of crying elegantly – it was always dirty big tears and struggling to catch my breath while scrunching my red face up! 😦

Not being able to go home to my own house

Not being able to blog,

Not seeing my dogs for a full four weeks and not knowing when I would possibly see them again during that time.

Having a douche of a doctor put in writing that I would be fit for work in 4 weeks time when the reality is that I will be doing well to be fit for work in four months time!!

What feels like an almost constant fight about small things like getting certs for work or to get back basic skills.

Positives:

Amazing support from family and realising who true friends are.

Meeting some amazing people (especially Mr Sattar)

Discovering my own inner strength.

Lots of very inappropriate laughter with my family.

I feel like this stroke has taken everything from me! I miss my freedom: my car, my house, my own space, being able to make my own choices about things! Luckily I am improving almost daily but there are still struggles and I have yet to have a cranial vascular bypass to try reduce the chances of this happening again.

The most important thing I wamt to say here is that if any of you or anyone connected to you have even ONE stroke symptom please get it checked out ASAP – time is brain as my specialist has stressed to me!

If you suffer leg weakness like I had back in January it is 72% likely you have had a stroke or TIA. Facial drooping and slurred speech is also a very common symptom that is almost certainly indicative of a stroke.

With a stroke the part of the brain effected is essentially dead and you have no option but to train another part of the brain to do its work – and believe me… its damn hard work!! One of the things that has kept me focussed is by reminding myself that I am not sick – every day that I have been physically able to I have gotten up and dressed and not allowed myself to wallow or get into a trap of self pity. I have an acquired brain jury – I am not sick!!What I need now is determination and to have the strength to keep working hard on my recovery – wallowing won’t do that!

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Empties ~ February 2014

One of my goals for #DayZeroProject was to do an Empties post every two months. This is my first Empties post of 2014.

Hair:

*MiracOILicious shampoo – I adored this shampoo and have bought it myself since finishing it, I have also recommended it to *everyone* and even put it in a package of goodies for a friend!

*MiracOILicious 2 minute intensive treatment Again I adored this and have repurchased it! I was so impressed with this range I also bought the conditioner too.

Lush Retread triple strength conditioner. This was fine but didn’t blow me away. I found you needed to use a good bit and wasn’t a fan of the scent

*John Frieda full Repair full body Shampoo: Another product that I got as a PR sample and fell in love with and have repurchased repeatedly since!

*John Frieda full Repair deep conditioner. I loved this intensive conditioner and have repurchased it and other products from the range. All of which I rate highly!

Jason normalizing Rosewater and chamomile shampoo: I received this in a SoukSouk box. It smelled lovely but was very difficult to get a lather up meaning I got through it fairly quickly

Alberto balsam coconut and lychee conditioner detangling for all hair types: I used this for the day after I had a lot of mousse and backcombing in my hair to try detangle it all with minimal damage to my hair. It did that job quite well and smelled lovely.

Face:

soap &amp; glory fab pore, Elemis, No7, 17

Soap & Glory The fab pore hot cloth cleanser (€14, boots.ie). I love this product and will be repurchasing when I have more of a dent made in my Skincare stash. At the moment I have other hot cloth cleansers to get through before I can justify buying more.

Soap & Glory The fab pore Facial Peel 15 Minute Facial Peel (€.50, boots.ie)Post Here

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush head (€10.50 for pack of 2, boots.ie) (Post here): The head on my cleansing brush finally needed to be replaced

Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel mask (Post here)I got this sample sized product in The first British Beauty Bloggers box. Thid product is what I use to rejuvenate my skin when it is feeling lifeless. This is amazing for taking off the top layer of ‘dead’ skin and leaving my face feeling completely new. This is so amazing that my face even feels a bit colder after using it as if the protective layer has been removed which explains why my skin feels so much newer after use! This was a treat that I purchased the full size version of  here  after winning a voucher for Feel Unique on Aundrea’s blog – Dancing With Disaster.

17 Liquid eyeliner: I didn’t actually empty this but it started to smell funky so I decided it was time to bin it! I loved this for an easy to apply, highly pigmented liquid eyeliner.

Body:

Lush, Nivea, Sure

Lush Glogg shower gel 250ml. This is one from their Christmas range in 2012 and 2011. A lovely spicy scent and great for body or hair.

Lush Grass shower gel 100ml. If you like the smell of freshly cut grass you NEED this shower gel in your life.

Sure linen dry ultra dry roll on anti perspirant: I love this deodourant. I find it one of the best I’ve used and one I keep going back to.

Nivea Dry confidence 24hr deo compact: I can’t find this anywhere lately but it was brilliant for bringing in your handbag or overnight bag and a perfect size for air travel as a bonus!

*PR sample provided for review consideration – all views my own!

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