Sunday, 2 August 2015

Living with Chronic Pain : Self Care

One of the hardest things about chronic pain, is knowing your limits, and trying to live the most full life you possibly can. It's taken me a long time, but I finally feel like I have a relatively good grasp of my own limits, so wanted to share some of my tips!

1) Listen to your body. For a long time, I did not listen to my body. Instead I pushed and pushed. I was angry that I couldn't do everything I wanted to do. And I paid for it. Big time. Now, when my pain starts to get worse, or I feel those familiar twinges, I reassess the situation. Am I out somewhere that is hard work for me? Can I go home? Can I rest? Have I taken my medication? Do I need to eat or drink? Typically for me, if I start to hurt more than my 'normal', I go home, and I rest, or sleep.



2) Sleep is important. Sleep for me, is probably the most important thing I can do to help me live a more normal life. I know that I need 9 hours a night to function right for me. More when I can have it. I don't like distractions when I sleep. No lights, no noise, and I keep my room cool so I can snuggle up properly in bed. Sleep is your friend.




3) Take your medication properly. It sounds like a common sense thing to say, but take your medication how you have been advised to. If that means you don't drink alcohol because it interferes with your medication, then you don't drink alcohol. Set alarms on your phone to remind you when to take them. I quit alcohol the moment my Doctor put me on medication that advised against alcohol. I used to take medication that meant I had to avoid direct sunlight, so I carried a parasol and stayed in the shade. Do what your medication needs you to do to get the best out of it. Make sure you don't miss a dose and keep your repeat prescriptions up to date.


4) If you need help, ask for it. Whether this is in your personal life, from your Doctor because you need better medication, at work, or anywhere else. Please ask. When you have an invisible illness, people can't always see when you are suffering, so ask. I used to hide away and deny when I was struggling. Now I realise that those who care for me want to help me, and will, if I just let them know I'm hurting.



5) Don't give up. It can feel like no one believes you, and that your Doctor thinks you are losing it, but you have to keep fighting because you deserve better. It took me 5 years to get a diagnosis, and more doctors and appointments and hospital trips than I care to remember. You have to fight because you deserve to be able to live your life as best as you can, and to be in as little pain as possible. Keep arguing, keep pushing for referrals, make them take you seriously. Take someone with you to appointments if you find them hard, I often do. Fight and don't give up, because you do deserve better.

What are your tips from dealing with chronic illness or pain? Let me know! Know that you aren't alone and I am always happy to help in anyway I can.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Friday, 31 July 2015

July Favourites

July was a super busy month once again! It seems I start off every monthly favourites saying that these days. I picked up a variety of different bits and pieces, so here are my faves!

The most exciting thing that happened this month will get his own blog post very soon ;)


Festwich 2015. I actually wrote a whole blog about Festwich which you can read here. Awesome music, great friends, a fab time!



My new blog header by the incredible Murderofgoths! I am so thrilled to see Kat taking the plus size world by storm. She's a wonderful and inspiring force to be reckoned with, and her art skills are just fabulous. I couldn't resist commissioning her to make me a new blog header after she surprised me with one of her famous quick-fire illustrations.


I treated me and Stu to some more BMM. Stu was gutted when I got the Sleep Tight ring because it looks like the Metallica Death Magnetic album cover, so it was an easy choice for him, and as I have the triple and lonely bone rings, I had to have the crossbones! We both wear all our BMM every day. It's sturdy and amazing.


For £5, there was no way I wasn't going to give this dress a go, and I love it! It's really cute and soft, and still on sale now. I also bought it in black. Perfect for cute but comfy office wear.


I love sea creatures and this necklace is just lush. The way the light shines off it is gorgeous.

New Look dress £6

For £6, this dress was an absolute bargain! I've found the fit of New Look Inspire stuff to be incredibly iffy lately, and this is the first dress I've bought from them in ages, and it's so lightweight and comfy. Perfect for summer.


I get most of my basic tops from New Look, and as I stood to buy a couple in the queue I spotted this necklace and had to have it. It's really different from anything I own, and the opalite style stones mean it will match anything. It hangs beautifully, and has an extender chain so it can be worn longer too. My Mum keeps trying to steal this one off me!


Available in a variety of patterns, from a size 6-32 and in various lengths, this skirt is awesome and I plan to buy more ASAP! Love it!

BloodyMary Metal Horse Shoe ring

This is an old design from BMM that I was heartbroken to not get while it was on sale. So when BMM brought it back for a limited run in their Last Chance Saloon I simply had to have it. When Clarence and Alabama get married in True Romance they have horse shoe rings, so there was no way I wasn't having one! It's not bulky enough for Stu's liking, or he would have had it for his engagement ring.

What are your July faves?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx




Thursday, 30 July 2015

Get to Know Me

I haven't done a little Q&A blog in a while, so I thought I'd do a 'Get to Know Me' tag I found online and maybe share a bit more of myself.



1. Are you named after anyone? Yes! I'm actually named after 3 people. My Dad, my Mum and my Nanny, who is my Mum's Mum.

2. When was the last time you cried? Um, probably the last time I watched a sad documentary. I think it was while I watched Blackfish, which is heartbreaking, and everyone needs to see it.

3. Do you have kids? Yes and no! No biological children, it's not something I've ever wanted for myself, but I do have 3 soon to be step-children.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Probably not, I'm a little neurotic, and when I get anxious I even manage to annoy myself.


5. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Yes, I love sarcasm!

6. Will you ever bungee-jump? I would love to! I've been parasailing and it was an amazing experience, and I think a bungee jump would be brilliantly liberating.

7. What’s your favorite cereal? I love Krave, but also Special K with chocolate. If I have Krave I have milk, but Special K I have vanilla yoghurt with, nom.

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Probably how they are dressed, it's the first thing we all see isn't it? Often it gives you a general feel for a person. Most people who enjoy similar music to myself dress alternatively, or in vintage fashion for example. We therefore probably have some similar ground. If someone is dressed in something I think is fantastic, I'll tell them and hopefully it'll spark up a conversation.


9. What is your eye colour? Green. I love my eye colour. It's different and it feels like me.

10. Scary movie or happy endings? Scary movies. Love them! Wednesday nights Stu goes out, and I prowl Netflix for horror movies I haven't watched yet. I'm not a fan of gore for the sake of gore, I like psychological horror, I want it to creep me out and make me think.

11. Favorite smells? I love the way my cats smell. Is that weird? I love the smell of puppies, Stu, especially when he has just washed his hair and beard and is all shiny, fresh laundry, fresh baking.

Dat beard

12. Summer or winter? Winter. I prefer the cold. Heat and light exacerbate my chronic pain. Plus, I like being all snuggled up and cosy with blankets.

13. Computer or television? That's impossible to choose from. I tend to use both at the same time and love the both! I need my laptop for editing and the internet, I like the TV for Netflix and movies and TV shows.

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? Pretty far! I travelled a fair bit when I was younger with my family. Probably Mexico or Tunisia.
Ok, so maybe this was taken in Whitstable, but still, I haven't been abroad in a good while!

15. Do you have any special talents? I like to joke that my English degree means I spell relatively well. But realistically, I can still do the splits as well as I did when I was a teenage acrobat!

16. Where were you born? Grimsby, where I live again now.

17. What are your hobbies? Watching movies and tv shows, reading, photography, fashion, writing.

18. Do you have any pets? Several! There are Stitch and Patches, our cats, and Ashen, our rottie-cross. And hopefully by the time this post is on my blog, we'll have a new addition too!

Ashen

Lady Patches of Adorables

Lord Stitch the Third of the House of Chubblington

19. Favorite movie? True Romance. Easiest question ever!

20. Do you have any siblings? Yes, a not-very-little brother Lloyd. He's 2 years younger than me, and quite a bit taller than me.

21. What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, I am a grown up I guess. I used to want to be a novel writer, or a model (when I was very small and delusional), a dancer, or an artist of some sort.

Got any questions for me? Ask away!

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Festwich 2015

This weekend I was away for Festwich, a free rock tribute festival in Prestwich. We went last year and had an incredible time, so as soon as tickets went on sale we snapped them up! Initially we were taking Stu's sons with us, but due to some unexpected last minute changes to their plans, we ended up taking one of our best friends Max instead.

Me, Stu and Max

Saturday had sunshine, and some awesome bands! The highlights on the Saturday for me were Ozzbest, their Ozzy is seriously a better Ozzy than Ozzy at this point, Pantera UK who were sadly playing their last ever show, and Mentallica who headlined the second stage. I've seen all 3 before and am never disappointed! The big thing that did let me down over the weekend was a distinct lack of vegetarian food. Usually at these festivals there is a veggie food truck, but this year there wasn't, leaving our choices as chips, deep fried veggie burgers or mushrooms. I missed Beets and Beans, who serve incredible burritos and veggie hot dogs, but who seem to have been told they weren't needed this year from reading their facebook page. They were sorely missed!

Necklace - Custom from Sugar & Vice
My sunglasses - Next £12.50
Stu's sunglasses - Oakleys (an ebay bargain!)

I also enjoyed Scamthrax. I've never really given Anthrax much of a listen, but I will be doing after hearing their stuff live. I love discovering new music through seeing bands live!

I didn't take an outfit photo on the Saturday because I wore an outfit I've blogged previously. I ordered a few different dresses to wear but all of them were too short so had to be sent back, gutted!

Top - New Look £6.99
Skirt - Ebay
Boots - Demonia

I owe Debz of The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess big time for this skirt. She shared the fab shop who make them on facebook and I fell in love. Watermelons! In a skirt! You can choose from a variety of different prints, sizes between 6-32 and from 4 different lengths! I went for 24 inch long which was just right for knee length on me. It's so cute, and I definitely plan to order from them again.



Sunday kicked off with the brilliant BigFoot. I bought a t-shirt and their EP after seeing them previously at Boltfest, and decided to modify it and wear it for their set. As it turned out, it was much colder and rained all day, so I was glad for the extra layer! They've been recording their second EP and I can't wait for it.


These guys put on such a high energy show. They played at 12:30, the first set of the day, and they managed to attract such a crowd and rocked.


We met up with out friend Jess and her lovely fella Graham (who actually made me feel short). Max is just about ready to pop, security at the event were really nice letting her jump the queue so she could sit down quicker. At 37ish weeks pregnant and on crutches with SPD it much was much appreciated, thanks guys!

Smush.

Sunday had an unbelievable line up. Pearl Scam, as always, were incredible, John the singer put on such a show and was clearly having the time of his life! Our friends Claire and Frankie's band played, the super glam rock and fun Spandex Rising. They played our favourite Skid Row song 'Sweet Little Sister' and even had security singing along. Glamtastic! Pinked Floyd were also spectacular. Such serious talent on display, that even if you aren't a Floyd fan, you have to appreciate their talent.

The real stand out surprise of the day, was A Band Apart. A concept I've never seen before, they exclusively play music from Quentin Tarantino films. You've never seen anything quite like a tent full of metal heads twisting and jiving! They had the whole crowd going. Only part of their band performed, with a backing track, I'd love to see their whole band play! Bloody amazing. If you get the chance, you have to go see them.



The headliner on Sunday on the main stage were Supreme Queen, who coincidentally are also headlining a festival I'm going to in early August. Honestly, before they started I was really nervous. And then they started and so proved me wrong. The singer had Freddy nailed on and had that crowd from the moment he hit the stage. I can't wait to see them again!

All in all, a fantastic weekend with great friends, extra thanks to my Pops for letting us stay in his flat so we didn't have to pay for a hotel!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx






Sunday, 26 July 2015

Handbags and Gladrags

Until recently, I've been a one handbag kind of gal. And it was always a bulky thing. Because of my chronic pain, I'm always carrying about medication which means my bag has to be a reasonable size. However these days I take somewhat less pills than I used to, and *fingers crossed* may be having botox so I won't be needing any! So now, I'm preemptively lusting after handbags!


I kind of have a thing for cute and creepy eyeball themed stuff, and this cat themed bag is even cuter! I like that the eye is an extra little front pocket, super handy.


I am a huge fan of Skinny Dip and their adorable designs, and this bag is just the sweetest! Such an adorable statement piece.
 

Ok, so maybe this is true 'dreaming of' because of the price, but it's so cute, and an iconic Lulu Guinness design, in my favourite colour too!


Combining two of my favourite trends, iridescent finishes and fringing, I love it!


I will never be over watermelon print. Ever.


I just discovered Pup Tart Handmade and their designs are ridiculously cute! I'm a sucker for a cactus and their whole shop is just amazing! I want all their pillows and bags.

Where do you think sells unusual and kitsch bags? Send me links!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx





Thursday, 23 July 2015

Panika

I recently discovered the incredible Panika on Etsy, and couldn't resist ordering myself a little something. They describe themselves as making jewellery for fairies and witches, and I can totally see that.


I ordered myself the green and yellow holographic jellyfish necklace. It was on sale at the time and usually retails for around £23 depending on the current exchange rate as they are based in Ukraine.

Seriously, how could I resist ordering this!


The detail is beautiful, the colours amazing. And the holographic tint is such a unique look, I haven't seen it before. The chain is also green which is really cute. It's such a good size, a real statement piece.


I wore it the day after I got it, how could I resist!

I wish I had been able to afford more from Panika. They have so much gorgeous stuff in their shop.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx




Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cynical Fashion Magazine : Latex Edition

I am always so thrilled to have my photography published in magazines, and this month brings Roswell Ivory wearing an incredible outfit by Yummy Gummy Latex in Cynical Fashion Magazine.


This incredible latex made us both think of mermaids, it's like fishnets or scales, the detail is unbelievable, I've never seen latex like it!


Posing in water is so hard, Roswell did an amazing job!

This full set will be available on my Patreon and my Zivity accounts in the near future.




Roswell is so so good at her styling. She does nearly all her own hair and makeup on shoots. She's also one of the sweetest and loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. Which is why she is one of my bridesmaids!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx