Monday, 3 August 2015

New shoes?

Hey everyone, check out these pretty little additions to my growing wishlist.

I came across these today in Debenhams, priced at €48.50.

I find it so hard to get comfy stylish shoes I can actually walk in, and as far as my checklist goes, these seem to tick all the boxes - 

  • Comfort
  • Easy to fasten strap (Velcro)
  • Flat heel but not too flat
  • Wide fit
  • Round toe
  • Non-slip sole
  • Soft comfortable sole
  • Pretty colours!
The price is pretty reasonable too, although they don't seem to be included in the sale. Typical of me, always drawn to the new-in stock, like a magnet.

Anyway, the pink caught my attention initially, as usual, but the other colours would be great for Autumn. As it happens, they didn't have my size in stock, which is probably a blessing in disguise, might have come home with all three. 

Think I feel a bit of online shopping coming on, if I can just decide on a colour... probably pink. Or maybe navy... ugh, can't cope.

                                          What do you guys think?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Packing essentials

OK, so many blogs and articles at the moment are advising us how to pack for the summer holidays - but what about packing for other situations, like a trip into hospital or rehabilitation? 

Quite different to a holiday essentials list of course, but just as important I think. 

Here are my top 10 items to pack, based on my experiences. Hope you find them useful!
  • Ear plugs – wax or foam, depending on how light a sleeper you are – wax are better for blocking out the usual hospital related disruptions.
  • Eye mask – again, for light sleepers, this can help block out lights from other cubicles, or lights switched on during the night.
  • Lavender oil/spray – a few drops on the pillow or night clothes can help aid relaxation.

  • Moisturiser – heating and dry air in hospitals can really dry out the skin – bring a good moisturiser to apply at least twice a day. I brought new Boots Botanics this time, review to follow.

  • Ipod – relaxing music or meditation apps can help to block out noise, calm your mind, lift the mood, or help induce sleep. I particularly like Relax Lite, available for both Apple and Android . Equally, upbeat music can help with motivation before or during physiotherapy sessions.
  • Reading material – a good book can be helpful at night time especially if you’ve no TV available, and magazines can help pass the time on a quiet afternoon or visitor-free evening.

  • Netflix – if you have a tablet or laptop, try signing up for a free month with Netflix if you haven’t already – plenty of choice there to pass some time, and you can cancel afterwards if you choose to.  Of course, I did this a year ago, and I'm still signed up. Just can't help myself.
  • Hand-held/travel fan – hospitals can be like a sauna regardless of the weather or season.  Avoid the open/close window debates and have your own little fan at hand when needed, especially at night time.  Don’t forget spare batteries. 
  • Chargers – probably one of the most important on the list, chargers. Don’t forget all your electronic devices will run low pretty fast in there, so make sure you have a charger for each or at least one that suits them all.
  • Goodies – hospital food is a bit hit-and-miss at the best of times. If you have the facility, bring some of your own favourites to store in a fridge, or some snacks for your bedside locker - (learn from my mistake and remember fruit and chocolate won’t survive too long in that heat). Plenty of water too is obviously important, especially if you’re doing physiotherapy every day. 

Obviously this is a short list, compared to the size of the bag I ended up with.  I could list more but we'd be here all day.

Are there any other particular items you'd recommend? 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Diary of a blogger in Rehab

Day 1.
Oh God, here we are again.  Why do I do this to myself?
Wearing half my wardrobe, mistake number one, like an oven in here. #sauna #layers

Day 2.
Actually slept last night. Thats odd. Shhh don't jinx it. Physio enjoyed my matching runners and orthotics #newshoes #needbeautysleep

Day 3.
Got a bit of sunshine between therapies. Even in short sleeves. Purple ones to be exact. #summer #t-shirts #nature

Day 4.
Ouch. Physio kicking in now. Not literally. They're still admiring my runners #Dunnes #muscles #nopainnogain

Day 5.
On Fridays we wear pink. Pink ladies on the ward today. Prompted some staff "singing". #prettyinpink

Day 6.
No physio today. Sleep, sleep and chocolate on the to-do list. #break #restday

Day 7.
See above! Probably gaining weight by the second. Oh well. #anotherrestday

Day 8.
Back to purple again. Hit the wall today. Almost literally. Orthotics problems. Time for a chocolate and magazine break. #fashion #chocolate

Day 9.
WiFi down today. Quite bored. If it wasn't for good friends, magazines and nail polish... Early nights becoming a habit. #company #pampering

Image credit: Positive Outlooks blog on Facebook
Day 10.
Phew. Some like-minded company has arrived. Where've you been? Back to more pink today, lifts the mood a bit. Interesting day in OT. Rummaging in buckets of rice. #capsulewardrobe #OT 

Day 11.
Almost there, seeing some progress now. Even warming to the yellow-y orthotics. A bit. Nothing yellow in wardrobe though. #matching #results

Day 12.
New machine today. Like a cross trainer but scarier. Wore long sleeves, bad move. #overdressed

Day 13.
Assessing progress made today, not too bad. Changed runners up a bit. Oh the excitement. #confusedphysios

Day 14.
And we're done. Tough sayin goodbye, not a bad bunch really. Few new numbers. Back to normal sized wardrobe soon, no more sportsgear outside the gym. #gymwear #homewardbound

Day 1(back home).
Routine out the window already. Back in jeans. Lost the run of myself in supermarket. Oh the freedom.
Appreciating independence.  Did few exercises, I swear. #homesweethome #grateful

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Changing places.

So, the good news I’d been waiting for has arrived.  Another year of student life awaits me in September.  I must be the only student who looks forward to start of term.  

Lots to look forward to though, with new experiences in the fashion industry to enjoy.  Lots of deadlines too, but we survived them the first time round. We'll be grand.

It’s funny, if you told me a year ago, I’d have taken myself out of my comfortable long term desk job to head back to college, no way would I have believed you.  Not to mention doing it twice.

Quite the challenge, as it happens, but do-able all the same.  How many of us sit in work dreaming of a different (or better?) life, but most of us don’t believe we could actually make it happen.

I’m still not sure I can make it happen to be honest, but I’m gonna try it anyway.

What have I got to lose, apart from a few months’ salary?

You could say I’ve already surprised myself by being in the same job for so long in the first place.  

They say a change is as good as a rest.  My nana used to say that anyway, and she was right about pretty much everything.

Hard as it is to carry on the routine 9-5 job in groundhog day fashion, stepping away from it can be even harder.  

Not least by losing the steady income, but the friends and colleagues you’ve seen every day for years. The same routine, same expectations. Good or bad as they may be.

Leaving all that familiarity behind for a while can be scary but exciting at the same time. Moving into a totally different world with new people, new routines and new expectations.

As the world’s worst over-thinker, I ask myself the doubting questions at least twice a day.  Will I be able for this? Am I doing the right thing? Will I live up to their expectations and my own? 

Worth reminding myself of the exam results from last year, guess I can’t be doing too badly.

There’s only one way to answer these questions though, and it isn’t by mulling over them at 2 am on a Sunday night.

Guess I need to re-evaluate my own expectations sometimes.  I’ve never been one for risk-taking, but with a bit of planning behind it, I’m about to take my second in a year.

I’ve no idea what this next academic year will hold, (and I might be better off not knowing for now).  I’m sure there will be some stress, a few challenges and some last minute panicky moments, but we’ll get through them.  It’s worth these moments for something you love to do. And it’s taken me long enough to figure out what I love to do.

I may be back sitting at a desk again this time next year, but even so, I’d have the satisfaction of knowing I can survive out of the little office bubble. 


No more office clothes for me for the next nine months.  Time to switch around the wardrobe again soon, pack away the admin assistant and take the student back out. Maybe even a bit of shopping, before I go back to living off pot noodles and toast.  

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

It's the little things

As I approach my next round of physio and rehabilitation treatment, I’ve been thinking back on the early days and the profound effect it has had on my life.

In most cases, being in hospital is seen as a negative thing, but the rehab experience can be quite the opposite at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the struggles and obstacles people are facing during their treatment, but I’ve always been surprised by the sense of mutual support among the patients during my time there.

Kinda helps to put life in perspective, and encourages you to reflect on personal challenges and goals.

Sometimes in life, we need to focus on the little things that make us feel good, and I think when life gets complicated, we need to enjoy those things that might seem trivial to others, just to give ourselves a break.

Being in hospital is no exception to this, and one of my most vivid memories from a few years back might help me to explain why.

Beside me in the ward was a young girl, a young mother of two children, who was recovering from some very serious injuries. She was coming to the end of her treatment and preparing to adjust to life back at home after a very long time in hospital and rehab.
Because of her injuries, she wasn’t able to visit her family at weekends like other patients, and this made the time in hospital feel even longer.

She had a lot to deal with, both emotionally and physically. And you know what? She was the most active and social of all the patients in the ward.

In the middle of her struggles and challenges, she found ways to have her fun.  Though I’m not sure the staff saw it that way.

She enjoyed her music. Guru Josh at 1 a.m. to be exact. Every night.

She loved her fashion and gave us all her shopping lists for Penneys at the weekends.

And she could be found (eventually) socialising downstairs until lights out.  And sometimes after.

When the sun came out, she was off out to the hospital garden – her Juicy Couture tracksuit bottoms cut up into shorts.
Physio could wait.
In the evenings, the ward could be mistaken for a salon – hair was straightened, or curled, and nails painted.  Even the fake tan came out.  And then off, on the sheets.

I guess what I’m trying to describe here is how she used the little things that she enjoyed to cheer her up, to help her feel more like herself and less like a patient.

And she’s not the only person I’ve seen do this either.  My own personal style icon, my mother, has been given presents on many an occasion, for her efforts that cheered everyone else up too.

They say no matter how you feel, you should dress up, show up and never give up.

Created on

And she certainly followed this motto.  Like the tea adverts advise, we all need the little moments to bring us back to ourselves every now and then, and probably even more so in a hospital situation.

Of course, people have other priorities in such situations, and I’m not saying a bit of make up or new sports gear should take priority over medical treatments.

But as coping techniques go, sure it can’t do any harm.

What do you think? What little things would cheer you up in hospital?