Friday, 31 January 2014

January January January

Hi Guys, 

It's been a while since my last post, so I thought it was about time I updated you all on my goings on. 
I have spent most of January with my amazing friends, having some well deserved time for myself and having a lot of fun. This month has also included saying goodbye to another of my best girl friends, waving her off to Oz. Nashy left a week ago now, to join Cho down under. It is so weird that one by one most of my friends are heading round the world - at least there is another 5months before Zo and Hill go though... 

Bye Bye Nashy 

I also met up with a very old friend from Oz, Lauren. She and her family went to live there when we were about 12 and I have only seen her once, very briefly, since. It was so bizarre catching up with her after ten years but it was so lovely. So much has happened in ten years, its's hard to even remember back that far!

Me and Lauren

Harry and I on his birthday - one of my oldest and bestest friends.

Nashy, Hill, Me and Joey on Nashy's last night out

My New Years resolutions have so far been going quite well. 
I have at least one holiday sorted, I'm going away for two weeks with my family, probably to Spain - which will be amazing. I haven't been away in such a long time, I am craving the sun so badly. This means I definitely need to start the search for Margaret appropriate bikinis... something which I have a feeling may take a long while. Joey and I are also talking about our wild plans to visit loads of exciting places, so we'll see where we end up!

The running isn't going so well... one morning I did strap on my trainers, plug in my music and set off. It started off well, I felt great! After a short time I began to feel this almost burning pressure in my chest all the way up to my ears, and my breathing was getting heavier. I didn't think much of it, and just assumed it was due to my lack of exercise and running abilities. I stopped a couple of times and did some power walking and during a song pause I realised my breathing sounded horrific. It was a whistling, rasping, wheezing sound, the pain got worse and ended up having to walk home. My inhaler quickly fixed the problem, but it did put me off big time. Maybe running isn't my thing...

I am also happy to say that I have successfully given up McDonald's (and all other take aways) for the whole of January, which I am ashamed to say is the longest I have gone without one in probably 5-6 years! I am thinking of maybe trying for the whole of Feb or maybe just having one on the first of every month. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. It has meant that I have lost 3/4lbs - which I am not complaining about. 

I have begun my job back on my old Art Foundation course as a graduate teaching assistant. I am really loving it, and although it isn't exactly the age group I want to teach, it still feels good to be working with people and helping where I can. I think it has also built up my confidence about talking in front of groups of people, which is something I have always hated doing. 

I was recently approached by the Crohn's and Colitis charity to see whether I would be interested in possible further media opportunities - something which I of course said yes to. I would be nervous about having the focus on me, I hate being the centre of attention but it is also so important to me that people get to hear and understand about Crohn's and ostomies. I'm not sure where this is going but it is still quite exciting! 

Uni has been going really well and keeping me busy, although I know I need to get in to gear and really get going with my work. I know once I have found my groove and get the bug there will be no stopping me but until I find where I am going with my final major project it is hard to get motivated. My dissertation on the other hand is all done and dusted and I strangely really loved doing it. I love writting and was so passionate about my title that I now miss it! It felt so nerve wracking to hand it in after months of such hard work but it is also now a weight off my mind!

This month much of my focus has been on Toby, my gorgeous pup. He has now reached his full adult size, which is crazy because he is still so small. We've been going to puppy classes which are hilerious. Last week I was told off, in front of the whole class, for laughing at him - I can't help it, he is just the most comical dog! My friend Jo and I sat there trying not to burst in to fits of laughter, whilst the dog trainer went in to detail as to why it's bad to laugh at your dog, whilst pointing directly at me. It felt like being in school again! Tobes has managed to learn how to sit, lie down and wait for his food, but still barks when he wants attention but doesn't bark when he wants to go out - not helpful! He does, however, make me smile every day, he has made quite a tough and hurtful time so much happier and easier. I love him to absolute pieces. 

This is a very edited selection of photos, as my friends would tell you, I am obsessed with taking photos of Toby...

Margaret has been largely behaving herself, the area around her is slowly becoming more and more sore and red. There has been some open skin which I have managed to heal all by myself with the help of some powder. I have such sensitive skin, I think it is struggling with the constant adhesive - its like the skin is thinning. I also managed to catch a stomach bug - my first with Margaret. I managed to cope with it all quite well and didn't feel nearly as poorly as I would have been if I hadn't had Margie. This past week I have had a nasty flu like cold. It isn't as bad as flu I've had before, but I have still been feeling very poorly indeed. I have had to miss uni and most annoyingly a planned weekend away in Bristol with my friends. I am supposed to be there now and am so gutted to miss it! My lack of immune system and constant tiredness really does get in the way sometimes... 

I will try my very best to update you all much sooner next time, 
Lots of love 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Goals for 2014

Hi everyone,

So today is apparently one of the most, if not the most, depressing days of the year. Granted the weather is miserable, its a Monday and if you are anything like me you are suffering with over spending at Christmas and New Year. However, in the spirit of 'looking to the future' and my love of list writting, here are my aims and goals for 2014...

1. Work towards completing everything on Margaret and Gabi's To Do List.
- When I first got Margaret, I wrote myself a To Do list of things I wanted to do once I was healthy, many of these I have already managed to do like have a spa day with my Mum and finally get a dog! However, others such as running a marathon have yet to get going. This particular one is something I want to achieve, or at least work towards achieving.

2. Run.
- I need to get my act together and get my bum moving. My knee is something which does worry me but I think if I am careful there is no reason why I cant get my jog on. After years of my weight fluctuating due to ill health and steroids I am determined to get back to being and looking healthy and slim.

3. Give up McDonalds (for least).
- A long running joke for many of my friends is my love of McDonalds, there was a time in my life where I ate 5 in a week... horrific I know. Although I would never dream of doing that now, I probably have 3-4 a month and that is still not healthy. My goal for at least January is to give up McDonalds and all other take aways. I am on day 6 and going strong!

4. Holiday.
- The majority of last year was spent sat in front of the tv or in bed, during the Summer I was obviously recovering from surgery and so was unable to get away and since then my life has been rather hectic. This year is my final at Uni and in 5 months time I will be done and dusted with my degree - my plan is to go away for a couple of weeks after I have graduated. Many of my friends are travelling the world, saying good bye to England for a year or more. This does not appeal to me. I want to visit amazing places and see the world but the thought of living out of a rucksack for months on end and not seeing my family is not something I want to do. Having Margaret is also a consideration, therefore my plan is to head off on mini trips with possibly inter-railing in July/August. I want to visit the Greek islands and Italy, and I will probably do it on my own! Scary!
I would LOVE to go skiing again but my very limited budget may stop this happening any time soon...

5. Get a job as a teaching assistant.
- It isn't looking likely that I will get in to do my PGCE this year, I have limited experience compared to other people and my degree is not a curriculum subject. My plan is therefor to take a year out and work as a TA. This is something I think I will love doing, and will also give me a bit of time out from learning and education.

6. Possibly / maybe / hopefully have Margaret reversed.
- Now this is a big deal. I have been told that this is up to me, and although the control freak in me is doing cartwheels, it is also quite scary. I know I want to give it a shot and try to have it reversed but I'm not sure if this year is the year to do it. I have a lot going on and just getting used to being healthy and as much as having Margaret isn't ideal, she does keep me well. Big decisions ahead!

7. Brush my teeth in the shower.

8. Finally, the most important of all, meet David Beckham.

I will of course keep you all updated on how I get on with this list. I hope your January 6th isn't as depressing as the media are making it out to be, and your 2014 is off to a flying start,

Lots of love

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year... meet Toby

Happy New Year lovely people.
I am currently sat in bed, watching TV on New Years Day, snuggled up with my gorgeous puppy, Toby...

I have now had him nearly three weeks and its safe to say I am completely in love. He has made me the happiest person and has made me smile every day I've had him. Not least because, as some of you will know and as some of you will have guessed, Matt and I are no longer together. We broke up six weeks ago and as it is his private life too, I won't be going in to details as to why.
But I now have a new guy in my life, a four legged sausage shaped little guy. As you can imagine I have become obsessed with my little pup and am constantly taking photos and videos of him. Here are a few of my favourites for you all...

He has settled in really well, and Flynn (the older of the black labs) has taken to him surprisingly well for such a grumpy old man of a dog, letting him snuggle up to him in his bed. Harry (the younger black lab) is not so keen and seems positively terrified! I think he may be missing Jake and is feeling a bit confused about the tiny new addition. Toby has now had two sets of his jabs, which means in 5 days he can officially go out on walks and meet other dogs and January 6th I start puppy dog classes which is something I am very excited about! Toby now sleeps through the night and is getting there slowly with the potty training, apart from that he is just a gorgeous bundle of love who is stuck to me like glue.

Thanks to my amazing family, friends and Toby - I had a very good Christmas. My wonderful friend, Jess (Cho) returned for a couple of weeks over Christmas from her trip round Oz. It has been lovely to have her back, even if it has just been for little while. My brother, Sean, has also been back for the holidays which always makes me happy. I have been filling my weeks with friends and seeing family, which is also how I spent New Years Eve. I had dinner with my parents before spending the evening and countdown surrounded by my oldest and dearest friends, most of which I have known for 10 or more years. Having such an incredible support system through some horrific times has made everything a lot easier. 2013 has been a shocker, with the last few weeks adding to how crap it has been but my friends have been right there throughout everything and I can't thank them enough. I am determined to make 2014 healthier and happier and I have many plans. If I can get through this year I think I can pretty much get through anything and I know I can also do it on my own. If this time last year someone told me I would now be single, have a Margaret and no longer be working towards a fashion career I would never have believed them. It is scary how many things can change in just 365 days. I am excited for the year ahead and the big changes that are coming, with Toby right by side.

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year and that 2014 is amazing for you all. Thank you all so much for your amazing support over the last 7 months, I am still blown away by it all.

Lots of love