Katie

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Now we’re fully in my favourite season, I’m finding myself in the kitchen more and more. I adore cooking, I am by no means an expert – you won’t find me claiming to be a chef – but I’m pretty up to speed on eating, and I know what tastes good.  Banana bread is a huge favourite in my house, even with the teenager who absolutely detests bananas with a passion. She won’t touch anything that is remotely banana based, but give her a wedge…

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Finding The Right BB Cream

During the week, I’m all about the full base. It feels ‘done’ and work ready. I tend to stick to a medium coverage foundation because I don’t want to cover my freckles but I need to make sure my face is able to last the whole day.

Having quite oily skin means there are few foundations that I can really get on with, but that’s a whole other post. 

At the weekend however, the last thing I want to do is whack a whole face of foundation on. Especially early on a Saturday morning when we’re rushing out of the door to football, or squash, or some other 9 year olds sport based activity.

Unless I’m going ‘out out’ (thanks Micky Flanagan forever) I literally don’t want to put proper make up on. 

Which is why I am a HUGE fan of the BB cream.

Created in Asia, BB Creams bridge the gap between skincare and make up. With SPF, moisturiser and blemish banishing properties they’re like your skin, but better.

Perfect for lazy weekend and hot summers when you just don’t want to feel like your face is too covered. 

I like to do a little bit of research before I part with my cash, way back when (in the days before social media, say what?!) I used to go by magazine features, these days, I only ever look online.

It just makes it so much easier and quicker to find out what other people with similar skin and colouring think of a product before I try it, a quick type into Google and these bb cream reviews by Vogue are right there at the top, waiting for me to click and go on to buy. Easy peasy? 

There are literally hundreds of BB Creams to choose from, despite being relatively new to the make up scene, it was only a few years ago that they came out, after originally being created by dermatologists for people after skin laser surgery –  so you can get a little bit lost in trying to find the right one for you. Choice is a wonderful thing, but there is so much thing as too much! 

Anything that makes life a bit easier is a winner for me! 

 

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The Life Daily Happy Things List #1

I have been in a bit of a ‘funk’ the last few weeks. I’ve no idea why really, everything has been ticking along quite nicely, we’re in my favourite season, Christmas is just around the corner. There’s absolutely no reason for me to be feeling so ‘blah’ – but blah I am. 

I’ve been doing a bit of a gratitude list in my notebook for most of this year (an actual notebook, with pen, I’m so retro) and it really works! You think you have nothing much to be grateful for and before you know it, you’re listing a good 10 things that have made you smile that week. 

FYI, reading through those gratitude lists when you’re feeling like a moany arse is also a great mood boost. 

So, in the interest of trying to find decent (in my opinion!) content each week, I thought I’d do a slightly less personal, more shallow version of that over here on Life Daily. Welcome to the Happy Things List numero uno!

I’m aiming for every week, which will help me focus on all the stuff I love during the week. There are so many little things that make me smile each day, but they get forgotten so quickly! 

So, grab a cuppa and join me! 

Half Term. A week (two for the teenager) off school for the kids. I only had to work two days, so we were able to spend some time together which didn’t involve starting the day rushing around, shouting about homework, missing lunch boxes and scuffed shoes. We did Harry Potter Studios, Priory Farm (3), London & lots of late nights & good brunches (2). Roll on Christmas! 

Killing Eve. Oh.My.God – it has got to be one of the best shows this year. There aren’t many programmes where you find yourself laughing (and girl crushing) on the psychotic main character. Also, the clothes, interiors and apartment of dreams in Paris. 

I practically live in trainers. For someone who spent their entire 20’s in heels, they’re my worst nightmare now. These Nike Air Span II (1) from ASOS will probably not leave my feet for the foreseeable. 

Blooms. There’s something about having fresh flowers at home. Especially now we’ve moved, the living room is just so light and airy, having flowers just adds to the colour. Bloom Magic sent me a massive pink bouquet (4) this weekend and I felt very very fancy! They have a new London Collection and offer next day delivery. Hint hint Mr AG…..

Fireworks Night. Literally in my most favourite time of year. Halloween, Fireworks, hello Christmas! We froze our little tushes off in the local park this weekend to watch the fireworks and they did not disappoint. We came home, snuggled on the sofa with pizza, X-Factor and candles. How can that not be perfect! 

Coffee. We had a few hairy mornings where we’d run out of coffee, rush off to work, forget that we’d run out of coffee and start the whole miserable debacle the next day. Lesson learnt, never run out of coffee. It is life.  

So, that’s week one done. Let’s see if I can keep this going! 

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How To Make A Playroom Fit For A Tween

We’re all settled in our new home now, as in, we know where everything is (and it’s not all in the loft anymore) so now we’re getting round to really putting our stamp on the place. 

Nothing ground breaking, just a bit of our personality into the rooms, which everyone always comments on so I think it’s a good thing! 

We’re a good team, Tom and I. Between us we have the design and brawn covered. You can guess which is which. 

The room I want to sort out next is the conservatory. It’s where C has his ‘games room’ as his bedroom is quite small, so it’s used just for sleeping and chilling out. There is nothing electrical in there, which is no mean feat for a nine year old!  

Because the room is all windows (shocker) it’s quite hard to put your stamp on it, as, despite C’s suggestions, we can’t paint the windows to black them out. 

It’s still a bit of a work in progress as we’re not quite there yet, but it’s certainly looking good for a 9 year old gamer. It’s quite hard to make it work aesthetically and sensibly for a 9 year old, his mates and the dogs. 

1. When it comes to the floor, I’m so pleased we have laminate flooring in there – so much easier to keep clean than carpet, especially as the dogs go in and out from the garden a million times a day (as do the boys) and you can always warm it up with rugs. 

2. There’s no overhead lighting at all, so lamps and neon signs are a great way to bring light to the room when it starts to get dark. I love neon signs, I could spend a fortune on them! 

3. Storage boxes from IKEA in a variety of colours means it’s easy for him to throw things in there at the end of the day for super fast tidy up. Or not, but, the thought is there. 

4. A comfy armchair (we haven’t fallen for the gaming chair request!) big enough to snuggle into with a blanket and a cheese toastie. I’ve been told. 

5. Plants. No blinds in there (yet) mean it’s basically a cooler greenhouse, so the plants love life in there. 

6. Shelves. Good old Billy Bookcase. It means all C’s books can be displayed nicely and we can add a few framed pictures of special times, a few quotes and some knick-knacks to really make it his room. 

It’s actually quite nice that his bedroom and playroom are separate, it means he’s downstairs with us a lot more and not locked away in his room (hello teenage daughter) but also his room can be kept tidier (in theory) because nothing but sleeping and reading goes on in there. There is always a method to my madness. 

Most of the time. 

Prints / Chair / Neon Sign / Rug / Storage 

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A Little Story About My Ovaries // PCOS

Catchy ‘lil title for you there huh? Hands up if you want to know all about PCOS and the little fellas who take up residency in my fallopian tubes? You do?! Amazing, keep reading….! 

Never one to shy away from talking about the body, or more specifically, the reproduction system, (I did want to be a midwife after all) when I was asked by Nature’s Best to share my PCOS story in order to increase awareness and create conversation about it, I was straight in there. 

It was quite ‘late in the day’ when I first found out I had PCOS. I’d been on the pill for YEARS because of god awful periods – and I’m talking about spending 2 days a week being physically sick with the pain, not being able to get out of bed, the works – from the age of about 10. Nothing had helped ease them and so, the only option left for a very young teenager, was going on the contraceptive pill. 

So, until I was married, I had no interest in coming off that bad boy, my periods were under (some kind) of control, my skin was clear & I could even skip a few months periods at a time if the mood took me. What’s not to love huh? 

Marriage and baby number one came along, all hunkydory, thanks for asking, and back on that pill I did go. 

Two years later however, that’s when, like Will Smith says, “my life got flipped turned upside down”. 

We decided to make baby number 2. Have them (fairly) close in age, cram time in for a third later one, blah blah. Oh how mother nature laughed. 

To cut a REALLY long story short, it took us 6 years, 2 miscarriages and 2.5 failed IVF’s (I cancelled the last one halfway through, I couldn’t take the stress and upset of it for another second) to have our son. 

It was during those 6 years that (aside from everyone else around me falling pregnant just by looking at their partners) I found out my ovaries were not playing ball. Basically, they were covered in cysts and not working their hardest. Being on the pill for so many years had masked the syndrome and the symptoms and it was only pure luck that I fell pregnant so easily first time around. 

What followed, was almost like a body tsunami. It’s almost as if now the title PCOS was out there, my body decided to show every single symptom it could. My skin became awful, the term “cystic acne” followed me like a bad smell. My periods went a bit crazy, I couldn’t get pregnant (obviously) and I put on weight. 

Luckily for me, my hair was fine and I didn’t suffer from any body hair issues. How to kick a girl when she’s down and all that. 

After the birth from hell (I did fall pregnant naturally again, which was a major shocker) I tried to go back on the pill (I figured we may as well go back to masking those issues as life was much better then) but my body had other ideas.

I became absolutely unable to handle synthetic hormones. 

The pill didn’t work, not only did it not control my periods or my skin, but it made me depressed, angry, irritable or completely numb to life (we tried so many variations) the coil couldn’t stop my periods, the medication AND the coil couldn’t stop them.

At one point, they suggested I took the pill, a tablet to stop periods completely AND the coil at the same time, because they had no idea what was going on. 

I obviously threw a major tantrum at this point and stopped everything. My skin was worse than ever, so they wanted to put me on long term antibiotics for that, I was a walking pill bottle, I literally rattled. 

Of course, in doing that, I suffered, but it was kind of better than the medicated version of suffering I’d been dealing with. 

Last year however, I decided enough was enough. I was 36, I didn’t want anymore kids, and I’d had roughly 25 years of periods from hell. The doctors were STILL banging on about the pill or the coil being my best options, despite me telling them in no uncertain terms otherwise. So, the only other option (bar a hysterectomy which would only remove the periods, not the hormones!) was an ablation, which I booked in for. 

Finally, after almost three quarters of my life, my periods were manageable. Once they settled down, my skin settled. My hormones settled. My weight settled. Everything just calmed down.

This year I found out I have IBS, which is hormone related for me, so I’ve made a few dietary changes which have probably also helped with the skin and bloating. But I’m finally hormone free (apart from my own ones of course) and able to manage the PCOS, IBS and any other S’s that come my way. 

My PCOS story is a bit different to others, but it still affected me.

Had I not been on the pill from such a young age, I think I would have been aware of it much earlier on, and who knows what struggle I would have had trying for baby no.1 – so I’ve been quite lucky.

My symptoms, while annoying and debilitating at some points, were nowhere near as bad as they could have been, and I’ll always be grateful to my hair for being so bloody thick and fast growing, having awful skin is bad enough, but losing my hair in places would have been the icing on the cake. 

There are so many options for PCOS out there, it’s just a case of working out what’s best for you. Keeping your weight down is the most helpful, but also the hardest because PCOS means it’s harder to lose weight. Thanks for that. Being on the pill eases symptoms, but ain’t so handy if you want to have a baby.

It’s all about balance, you have to be on that seesaw for a while to work out where you should be sitting. 

Disclosure: Post written by me in association with Nature’s Best for a campaign to help raise awareness of PCOS.

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