Thursday, 17 July 2014

and so she sews...

I don't know about you, but for me I always have this list of things I would like to achieve before the school holidays kick in. I know as soon as the first day of the school holidays start I can wave my little crafty project goodbye. So amongst many other things, this dress was on this so called list. I will add here that since the beginning of the year, when life changed directions, my so called to-do-lists were chucked out the back door and I must confess that even though there are days I feel very tempted to put a pencil to paper to make a list or two (as really I am a gal who likes a good list), I no longer allow myself the pleasure. So when I refer to this before-the-holiday-start-list, it really is very much a mental list, but hopefully it comes without the pressure (or so she says!!)

So coming back to this dress. Now a few years ago I was in our local fent shop when I spotted this rather gorgeous, what I would class as retro looking, fabric and I knew that despite the fact that it was rather pricey, I just had to buy it there and then. Now years later I found the pattern and it seems the rest is history. Honestly from start to finish it didn't take too long, we are not talking hours here, in fact much more like days, but it was still good going for me that is. I seem to be getting a little better at understanding patterns and how to use them and this one threw a few tricky curve balls my way just to make sure I was concentrating, but I got there in the end (oh Google what would I do without thee!).

Now as I was nearing the end, having just done all my interfacings, I was trying to trim away some of the excess bulk around the neck and arm areas in order to get a clean and crisp press finish. Well it was all going swimmingly, until my Fiskars Micro Tip scissors couldn't get through the bulk of the layers of fabric and I reached for sewing scissors, when yes, brace yourselves, I cut through my dress, yes interfacing, dress and all. Now all you Instagram folk shared my panic and pain and offered much support and fortunately after a knock on the door, a cuppa, and a moment to breath, I returned on a mission to put it right and fortunately I managed to do just that, phew! (yes a big phew!).

One thing I am still struggling with is to ensure the dress fits me perfectly. Both the dresses that I have made fit, but not like a glove and that is the whole point of making your own clothes right. So this is something that I need to figure out. I am forever having to take darts in to get it a little snugger and after wearing this dress for the first time today I will be making a few alterations to it over the next couple of days. So if anyone has any good advice on good books or youtube links, please share as I would be very interested to hear your input.

As for the rest of my mental list (no pressure is the mantra!) there are quite a few things I would like to achieve by next Tuesday, but honestly when I look at the calendar, I can only but sigh and breathe as it is looking rather unlikely.

This week Tuesday we celebrated 15 years of being together and it has been the best 15 years of my life. Who would have thought that 15 years ago when we sat in some dingy pub in London just off Fleet street and my man plucked up the courage to ask me to court with him (yes he comes with good manners!), that we would be the best team ever. We work so well together, we gel in oh so many ways and I love my man more than words can say and there is not a day that I don't feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Tuesdays are busy days in our household and by the time we get back from gymnastic, kids are fractious and hungry, this week to add insult to injury little J joined hubby for an orienteering fell race and by the time they both walked through the door tired and muddy it was  LATE.

A table was set in the garden for the two of us, nothing fancy but all the same it was special. The kids enjoyed a late telly session whilst us grown ups longingly looked into each others eyes declaring our undying love to each other (well actually it was more along the lines of 'oh my what the hell happened in parliament today?', need I say more!). One thing is for sure, Romance is NOT dead in our house. It was such a lovely evening and I look forward to sharing another 45 years with my man. He is my best friend, lover and the most amazing Dad to our two kids, what more could I ask for in one lifetime! I am truly blessed.

(and yes of course there had to be a little dessert, Paleo all the same. Basically its one avocado, cacao powder, a little honey, one can coconut milk, and some dates. A bit of an improvisation and it possibly needs a little tweaking but one day when I get around to setting up my new blog it will be on there! All in all not too shabby at all).

That's it for today, I will be back soon with another project that I worked on this week, for now though I am wishing you all a very lovely week.

Warm Wishes

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A sweet little crocheted Hexie showermat

Today I quickly wanted to share a sweet little hexie shower mat that I finished a few weeks ago. I am quite a neutral kinda girl, especially when it comes to the bathrooms, I like whites, greys and muted colours, so I figured it might be time to step out a little and inject a spot of colour into our very grey shower room.

I used Drops Paris yet again largely because I know exactly what I am going to end up with. I know from experience that my stool covers and step cover get a great deal of daily use, which means they are often hanging on the washing line and always come out looking like new. A shower mat is something that you want to wash often so this is the perfect yarn for the job. It has already been washed and as expected it came out looking even better than when it went in.

So basically it is 29 hexies all sewn together or join as you go and you end up with a rather lovely shower or bath mat. 

In fact we are loving it so much that I will soon have to make one for the bath room. They really don't take that long to throw together (if you ignore sewing in those pesky ends!). 

A short and sweet post today. Wishing you all a fantabulous day!

Warm Wishes

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

July Monthly Mandalong

Hello and happy July to all you lovely people out there. Honestly I can't believe that we are half way through 2014, where is the time going? Someone please slow that wagon down!! So lets not waste any and get straight to today's post which is all about a MANDALA. For my most recent Monthly Mandalong, I decided to crochet the gorgeous Starflower Mandala by the very clever Zelna Olivier and I must confess that not only do I love it, but I thoroughly enjoyed making it, which is the reason we do it right?!

It was my first time to make a mandala using Stylecraft DK and I really like the end result of it. It is not as thick as Drops Paris cotton and doesn't really offer that perfect trivet feel, but it is really soft and looks beautiful draped over one of my little tables. 

There was no specific colour strategy it was all about going with the flow, which made it all the more fun to work.

Don't be mistaken, this is no ordinary Mandala, no it really is lovely and big and personally I think it will make a wonderful cushion cover. I know one little creature would definitely like it as his little seat or bed cover, so I suspect there might be another two future projects for the log book. Thank you Zelna for kindly sharing this beautiful pattern with us, it certainly was a real pleasure to make.

 Now I suspect many of you have been beavering away making mandala's for the Yarndale Festival, sadly I couldn't include it in my Monthly Mandalong for June as planned, but I have spoken to Lucy and it seems that she is after some Starflower Mandala's but made in Cotton, which will look fabulous! Lucy is hoping to use a few of the large Starflower Mandalas to suspend from the ceiling for an extra wow effect, so if anyone is up to the challenge that would be great, just drop me a line at the bottom of the post so Lucy has an idea of how many she is likely to receive. For those of you who have already done their bit and don't fancy another, I have an exiting mandala for us to work on next month, so stay tuned. For anyone wanting to know a little more about the Yarndale Festival and Lucy's input, you can read more here

That's it for today, I hope you all have a lovely week and don't forget if you have a mandala to share, please add your link below.

Warm Wishes

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A new computer and a little update

Hello lovely people, oh I can't even remember when last I sat down to write a little post and to be honest I haven't a foggy as where to start. I still have so much news to catch up on, our trip to SA, little Es's party, general news and the monthly mandalong that I couldn't post thanks for our computer.

For months now our computer has been driving me doolally with taking ages to open, crashing all the time and not allowing me to do a blog post in under five hours. To be honest I stopped counting the number of times I wanted to throw the darn thing out of the window and jump on it, but I kept mindful and calm and carried on until we both finally blew a fuse and it just couldn't do NO MORE. So after a trip to the computer doctor, which half took some time we now are proud owners of a new computer that will hopefully make life a little easier, well she hopes! So without further ado, lets get on with the goss.

So yes, I know I am a month behind in my monthly mandalong and really I should be making that my first post, but I figured a month out wouldn't harm anyone and with so much other news to share, I would rather just get on with daily drivel. So in the last month I have enjoyed finishing a gorgeous little crochet project that I will share with you very soon, in the meantime here is a little sneak peak.

I also managed to do a little sewing. Now many of my regular readers will know that I am most certainly NOT a dressmaker, in fact I have only ever made a couple of dresses and two of those were for little E and two for myself. This time though I thoroughly enjoyed the process and I am hopeful that I will actually wear this dress, unlike the other two I made. I must confess that I find it hard to buy dress patterns that I actually like, but this sweet little pattern immediately caught my eye. It was a pretty straight forward sew, a zip in the back, some darts and some interfacing around the arms and neck. I also enjoyed adding a little trim around the neck, just to add that little something extra. I used some gorgeous traditional shweshwe fabric that Mum gave me as an early birthday pressie when we were over in SA for Easter. I absolutely LOVED working with it and I also love the texture against my skin. All in all I am pretty pleased with the outcome and it has put me right back in the sewing zone.

Last week I celebrated my birthday and I had such a lovely day in the company of good friends and loved ones. I enjoyed a lovely lunch with a girlie on my actual birthday, but then several others throughout the rest of the week. Isn't it great when birthdays go on forever?! I was also thoroughly spoilt and received some gorgeous gifts and quite a number of plants and bunches of flowers. Thank you also to the very lovely Joy who sent me a little something special all the way from Australia. We have become such lovely friends and I absolutely adore her and feel very blessed that our paths have crossed. Thank you Joy for sending through your gorgeous gifts and for making my day extra special.

So needless to say the girl had to make a birthday cake and even though I am still on my no sugar, no grains, no soy, no dairy lifestyle, we indulged in a very delicious Paleo chocolate cake that was beyond scrummy and yes there was a little exception for sugar on the day. For anyone interested you can find the recipe here

This weekend just passed we braved it and went camping for the first time in five years. In fact the last time we went camping was when little E was three months old and it was shortly after we returned that I fell ill. I have always loved camping and have wonderful memories of camping with my family when I was a child. I was a little apprehensive about how I would cope with the lack of sleep and if I am honest it most probably wasn't the best idea, but I loved it all the same and had such wonderful time. 

We drove to Anglesey, an area we have been dying to visit for so many years, and found a campsite two minutes walk from the beach, so perfect for me without my wheels. 

It couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was warm, well it didn't rain, we were virtually right on a gorgeous sandy beach (I have a thing about this!) and the campsite was clean with everything you need. 

We all loved it and even though the kids have been camping before (well E maybe won't remember), they just loved every minute. We made sandcastles, collected pebbles, did a little yoga every day, played football and swam in the sea. I think if anyone had to ask me what I would like to do before I die, it would be to have a swim in the sea, I love everything about it, the feeling of the saltwater on my skin, the cold sensations that swirl through my body and most of all I have to put my head under the water to get the complete sensory experience. The water was freezing, but for me that's all the better as it just fuels my veins with energy and life. I often wonder whether I was a fish in my previous life as I have always been a water baby, with a special love for the sea.

It was just sooooooo wonderful to be able to walk with my family and enjoy these little moments that I have been lying in bed dreaming about for so many years. Don't get me wrong they certainly exhausted me, but I did it and that for me is just such a massive achievement after years of struggling. 

Lligway Bay is just such a beautiful place and the beaches are truly stunning, I would highly recommend a visit here. 

I even got the opportunity to try out my birthday shoes and I have to say these shoes are just so very comfortable, thank you hubby!!

Well the weekend ended on a perfect note, a lovely cup of Teapigs chai at this very sweet little cafe on the beach after a wonderful swim. It certainly was a fabulous weekend and we are all looking forward to our next visit to Moelfre, Anglesey. 

Well that's it for today, I will be sharing a little crochet with you soon and in the meantime I will try and catch up with some of your news. Wishing you all a very lovely week filled with happy moments and lots of laughter!

Warm Wishes

Sunday, 25 May 2014

This and that ...

I just quickly wanted to pop in today to say HELLLOOOOO. It has been so wet and grey here in the North of England, but if I am honest, I have rather welcomed it. I am not sure how I will feel by Thursday with half term upon us and kids at home being cooped in, but for now it has been rather fun and mostly quite chillaxing.

Today I even managed a little time in the garden, yes with my rain coat on and I feel rather satisfied that things are slowly starting to take shape out there.
In fact I am actually super proud of my veggies (OK, there are only a few), but they are all planted from seed, which has been fun. The potatoes and kale is doing tremendously well and the spinach and beetroot is slowly coming into their own. Today I planted out the broccoli and rather sad looking cucumbers, so we will see what happens to these.


I am feeling just a tad excited bout the beautiful Camelia Japonica that I bought yesterday for a little spot in the back of our garden that has been rather neglected for quite some time. Largely because this gardening lark can be quite expensive, so it really does take time to get where you want to. It has also been one of those spots that I had far too many ideas for what I wanted to fill it with, but I am really pleased with my final decision and look forward to seeing this beauty grow.

We also bought another couple of  beautiful Hydrangeas, one blue and one pink and just for fun I bought a St John's Wort. So for now I really haven't the foggiest what I am going to do with it, but I reckon that I will find many a good use for it somewhere along the line, especially seeing that I have recently been discovering that there are quite a few nifty tricks one can do with the odd herb and weed growing in the garden.

So for anyone who struggles with a cough that won't go away and one that's been lingering for a while,or for anyone who just fancies a little lymphatic cleanse (we all need it!), or for anyone who wants to boost their immune system, clear their skin or calm the nerves (reckon I will be needing it again towards the end of the school holiday!), wander into your garden and look for a weed called a 'Cleaver' (pictured above), and for anyone up for a giggle it also goes by the name of 'StickyWilly', so for once we might actually be happy to enjoy a little sticky willy every now and then (who would have thought! pardon me!!!). So basically what you do, pick a very generous handful and make sure to rinse it well and then chop it up, pour some cold water over it and let it stew overnight (with a lid on) and then the next day you can strain it off and drink up to five glasses of the water. To be honest it's actually quite tasty and the good news is that you won't die, I am still here. So for a full lymphatic cleanse you really need to drink it for a week, somewhere between three to five glasses per day and for those of you who can't be bothered with the overnight soaking, you can always stew it up as a tea with hot water if you like, either way it taste quite good.

So after this morning's little session in the garden, I enjoyed a little time playing games with the kids before embarking on a spot of Paleo baking. I have decided to try out the Paleo diet again, even though I have been here before as I am a firm believer that if something didn't work for you once it doesn't mean it won't work for you at another point in time. Our bodies are constantly changing and especially when you are ill. Take for example my attempts to remove ALL sugar from my diet (no honey, syrup, dried fruit, no nothing!) for over a year and if I am honest it felt like it made ZERO difference, now on the other hand I have seen the most AMAZING changes in my body since cutting it out since the 6th of January, so my motto: Keep on trying. Now I feel ready to slowly embark on the odd treat every now and then and today's cake is no exception. In fact it is just a tad indulgent and very chocolaty and has a smidgen of palm sugar and some delicious forest honey to tickle my fancy and reignite that little sugar devil in me!
So basically Paleo baking is tricky as most gluten free flours are rice based and seeing that you can't eat any rice or other grains, I used almond flour and coconut flour and I must say the cake turned out rather scrummy. For the ganache I used coconut cream and cacao and rice malt syrup. Lets just say it made the perfect Sunday afternoonsie.

So despite the fact that I have mountains of crochet awaiting, as I am in the midst of having to pull out my entire Nordic shawl that I crocheted whilst on holiday, as it seems that for some reason I have this massive triangle at the top rather than a straight end (don't ask as I honestly don't have the answer!). I have been putting it off as I think I need to be in the right frame of mind for this job!

I am also nearing the end of weaving in some ends for another little project I am working on, but more on that next time.
So why not start another project just when I should really be focussing on making a start on my starflower mandala?!! Seeing that 'should' no longer features in my vocabulary, I figured why NOT. So this afternoon when the kids went off to a party I quickly started cutting out the pattern for a dress I have been wanting to make for a while. Now don't hold your breath as dressmaking really isn't my forte, but I am determined to make at least one this summer.

You see when we went to South Africa, Ma bought me heaps of gorgeous fabric for my birthday which means no more excuses and basically that the girl's got to get on with it. I am actually quite excited by the prospect, just wish I knew a little more than I do, but hey that's all part of the fun, so watch this space!
So that's it for today. I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. Before I go I just want to say a big thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous post, you are all quite special and for those of you who wanted to know how the Prince concert went, lets just say that it was MAGNIFICENT!!!! I am just a little more in love with the man and his music than I was before I went, my golly he has oodles of talent!
Time to sign off.
Warm Wishes

Friday, 16 May 2014

M.E Awareness Week - It's all about ME

Hello lovely people, you have NO idea how much I have missed you guys. Hopefully all being well I am back and promise to catch up with my news and all your news over the next couple of weeks (yes I know I have already said this, but life threw the odd curve ball at me and that's life!).

This week is M.E awareness week, and this wouldn't be Cosmos and Cotton without acknowledging that. Many of my regular readers will know that I have been struggling with this debilitating illness for nearly five years now, wow, five years, I still can't quite believe that I have lost so much time in my life due to an illness, pretty scary. I am going to add right here that this year my post about ME is not going to be all doom and gloom as this girl here is on the road to recovery, yes, you heard me say it and you read right. There is NO stopping me now, I am determined to kick this M.E's butt and boy that is exactly what I am doing, and I hear so many of you say, but HOW?!!

Well, the honest truth, first and foremost through acceptance, you see I haven't really lost so much of my life over the last five years, if anything I most probably gained something that I never would had, had I not fallen ill, and that is compassion and love for myself and my body. You know this illness is tough, there is NO denying it, it throws you through hell and back several times in a day and spits you out when its done with such little regard. It is filled with many sad moments, loneliness, pain, brain fog, or in my case (and many others), just the inability to use your brain full stop, in fact it's more like NO BRAIN. There is constant pain, sleepless nights, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, stomach pain, inability to eat or digest food, let alone absorb any nutrients from it. There are pins and needles, burning all over your body like someone is scalding you with hot water, ear ache, sore throat, muscle pain like you've run a marathon, oh you name it the whole tutti, or as you lot would say the full Monty.

It is tough, yes BLOODY impossibly at the best of times and why, well you know the funny thing is NO ONE KNOWS!!! Neither does anyone really care as there is no magic drug, which means no additional profit margins for governments or pharmaceuticals, sad, but hey oh so true. It is this invisible illness that hides within each and every one of the apparent 250, 000 people who suffer from this condition in the UK alone, yes in the UK alone, let alone the rest of the world, yet there is no support and no insight into this.

This is most probably the single most complex illness that exists, and the reason why is because even though each and everyone of us exhibit the majority if not all the symptoms and more, we all have a completely different experience of them as they manifest and affect each and every one of us differently. Well to be honest this is not surprising seeing that each and every one of us have a completely different DNA profile, so not at all that strange right. The issue is there is NO CURE, NO MAGIC DRUG, NO FIX.

Now there are many so called treatments claiming they can cure ME, Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia and for many people these treatments really work. The question is why do they NOT work for EVERYONE. Well I have an opinion about this, but I will save it for just another minute or so, bare with me. Treatments are geared up to focus on your emotions with specific emphasis on events in your past (I am not ruling out that past events can have a significant impact on our well being), some would argue that it is a build up of toxins in our bodies that affect our lymphatic system and eventually cause havoc with our parasympathetic nervous system (I am pretty much supporting this camp!), others argue that it is all about our thought processes and what we do with these thoughts (CBT), some say that symptoms are emotions-in-motion (you get that e-motion and I am also supporting this camp!), others argue graded exercise is the ticket (hell YEAH, certainly not in my case, it threw me for six!). Then there are a host of alternative medicines, Ayurvedic treatments, homoeopathic treatments, herbs, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Reiki, you name it. I could be here all day typing this up. Now some of these can really help and alleviate the pain, discomfort, reassure, sooth the mind or body, but they don't really focus on the root cause of it (maybe the emotions in motion does). So even though I am sitting firmly with both feet in the 'build-up of toxins overloading the lymphatic system camp', how did they get overloaded in the first place??? Well for me the answer is simple, by ignoring all the signs that my body was giving me when it was shouting, stop doing this activity I really don't like it (headache), stop doing this for too long (back ache), stop eating that (dicky tummy or gas), etc. The same pretty much goes for the treatments that work for some and not for others, the answer in my opinion why it doesn't work for everyone is simply the same reason why some people function optimally eating vegan foods and others being the complete opposite and living life to the fullest on a paleo diet. We are all different and ONLY YOU can really understand what your body needs, no one else can do it for you. They can guide you and support you, but only YOU can unlock the keys to optimum health. All these programmes do (mostly) is give you the tools, you still need to do the work. As for the lymphatic drainage, well that's a physical treatment, so it is helping with unblocking the lymphatic system and believe you me IT REALLY WORKS to alleviate symptoms, I am still doing it four years down the line, so that says a great deal about the Perrin Technique but it is not the only treatment that is going to get your better. You need to find the root causes (and yes there will be more than one, trust me, we are complex creatures!).

I am someone who is very 'hungry' for information and also for life itself (we only get one chance right!), so when something like Fibromyalgia (as in my case) happens, you don't take it lying down, pardon the expression as ironically I was lying down for many years. What I did do though was to read a few minutes when I could, listened to audio books even just a few minutes at a time (its a weird thing how you brain just can't take things, it feels like the pressure build up from information is just so intense that your head is going to explode). I read a lot of crap and a great many wonderful and inspiring books over the years, some of which I will list at the bottom of this very long blog post (sorry!). One thing that kept coming through time and time again was that I had power and control, I just needed to learn the tools of how to use it. Now hang on, I can hear those with this illness screaming what I screamed out for so many years: 'but I have complete adrenal exhaustion', 'I have parasites', 'I have really high levels of ESR (inflammation in the body)', 'I have heart failure', I have low white blood cell count, etc. how can this possibly be something I can fix, it is all physiological right! The bottom line is I can't fix it for you, but you have the power within you to make changes to your life so you really focus on what your body and mind needs. This is such a complicated subject and most probably one that I can talk about for hours, but in a nutshell, this illness is a blessing in some way, it is an opportunity to REALLY STOP, YES STOP and LISTEN!!!! Don't think about the pain, the hardship, the sickness, the inability to sleep, no, think about how you can listen to these messages. These symptoms are NOTHING more than your bodies way of talking to you, it is giving you messages that you need to start listening to, that is why they are shouting out at you because you are NOT listening (present company included!!) and the thicker your skin (as in my case) the longer it is going to take. So when you are spending hours in bed cursing these aches and pains and sickness start loving your body and giving it the care and support that it is needing at this time, just like you would with your child. It needs lots of very special TLC, don't just ignore these requests. It also might very well be telling you that it wants something different than what you are doing right now, so try it and see if it works, if the symptoms dissipate or lesson.

Now if you were anything like me, prior to illness I honestly must have thought I was superwoman, a full time degree whilst working a full time job and two pregnancies, writing a dissertation whilst breastfeeding two or three times a night, gawd what was I thinking??? And when the going got tough I jumped on my mountain bike to blast a few hills just to relieve a little tension, or add some shall we say. One thing is for sure I NEVER listened. I heard all right, the signs were all there, but I chose not to listen, why because how the bloody hell was I suppose to know they meant something. In society we are conditioned to suppress these feelings of discomfort or pain, we are brought up to having to conform and just to go with it even when we don't like it, 'just eat those things on your plate', 'awh you will be OK, just carry on', 'don't be upset', 'don't be ridiculous that's not scary', 'you're OK that doesn't hurt' and on goes the list, you get where I am coming from. Well for me (and don't get me wrong I am not telling you what to do here, I am purely trying to put my perspective out there) it has taken me years to realise that these symptoms, pains around my body, diarrhoea, you name it was a sign that my body wasn't happy with it and now finally I am really homing in to address these issues. I am going to take the opportunity to add here that it is far from easy, it is going to take years of practice, but I will get there!!! 

It's NOT easy, simply because we just aren't brought up to be mindful, we are not conditioned to look into ourselves, that would be seen as being selfish and self centred right, well in my opinion it is far from that. As a Mum of two, I know just how hard it is to look after two small and dependable children when you are not feeling well enough to even lift your arm, so yes I know just how important it is for me to be well so I can give my children and family the best possible care and attention. It is a bit like the life jackets on an aircraft and having to ensure that you have yours on before helping others. Now that I have a different perspective in life, I often giggle when I see people spending hours cleaning every little spot on their cars, polishing the wheel caps, their pride and joy, yet do we do this to our bodies, hell no! We would never spend hours each week or every other week just giving our bodies a little TLC and maintenance, we don't have time for things like that, but why???? These are our gorgeous and amazing bodies (vehicles) and without the correct fuel and love they don't function properly. You wouldn't put diesel in a petrol car would you, yet, we so often put so much crap in our bodies and wonder just why it is we feel so shitty. Hey, I am not preaching here as I am the first person to hold up my hands and say guilty as charged, no more though, I know now just how important nutrition, meditation, time to yourself is and I am never letting go of these golden keys, well never say never (a lesson I learnt becoming a Mum, it sure as hell has bitten me in the bum several times).

So yes, this is not a conventional post about ME today, but I just wanted to give people a little bit of hope. DON'T give up, never stop believing and never say never. No one can really tell you what your body needs, only you can decipher that and isn't it strange and equally amazing that we all are so very different and that a vegan diet can bring optimum health for one person whilst a paleo diet works for another, lets not judge! Experiment and try them all, the world is your oyster, and have a little fun with it, life is to short to be serious all the time.

Sorry for this super long post and for those of you who actually managed to get to here, WELL DONE and THANK YOU!!  Don't get me wrong I am by no means cured, I still have a long way to go, but it is all baby steps and the confidence that these steps will get me there one day. I realise this is a super long post, but I wanted you to know that despite the fact that I still have heart problems, adrenal exhaustion (yes borderline Addison's disease), high levels of ESR (inflammation in the body), very low white blood cell count I am on route to hopefully turn some of these around. I have gone from not being able to walk at all to now being able to walk small distances, I am no longer lying down in the day (yay!!) and I am grabbing back a little of life where I feel I can. I will also stress here that the last couple of years (not so much the early ones) I was happy with life, I accepted my life and I was content with being mostly confined to my house, being at ease with your situation no matter what it is has got to be a good thing as it brings calm to our minds which in turn affect our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Constant negative emotions and thoughts breed illness and there is no doubt in my mind that a positive mind will bring a positive body over time. I am NOT saying that thinking yourself well is going to get you there, NO not at all. What I am saying is being positive, tune in, take time, listen, figure out what your body needs, how it operates and how to get it to function optimally, only you hold the key to solving this mystery.

So here are some of my all time fave books (in the order of preference)

Quantum Healing. Exploring the frontiers of the Mind/Body Medicine - Deepak Chopra
When things fall apart - Pema Chodron
Fat Chance, The hidden truth about sugar, obesity and disease - Dr Robert Lustig
Self Compassion. Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind - Kristin Neff
The power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
CFS - Call for Soulwork - Gretchen Brooks Nassar
Unconditional Parenting - Alfie Kohn
Mindfulness in plain English - Nhante Henepola Gunaratana

You will note that I have added a parenting book, but it is a book I read alongside the Science of Parenting (which is another fascinating book) by Margot Sunderland, which really emphasises why as a society we are developing in the way that we are, not being able to express our emotions or at least when we express it that it is accepted and understood. It also explains why we develop this feeling of never feeling good enough and always striving to please. We can learn a great deal from ourselves and our problems by looking at the way that society raises children. Alfie Kohn's book really brings many issues to the forefront that mothers and father will be able to relate to so if you have ME and have children, you might find this read insightful.

So that's it for today's post and thank you for sticking with me. I would love to hear your comments and thoughts, so please don't be shy to share your views. I was actually hoping that by now my new blog, which would be more geared up for these kinda posts, would be up and running by now, but you know its not and hey I don't do pressure anymore, it will happen when it will happen, se la vie! For those of you new to my little space, a very big welcome, I suspect this post might blow your socks off, I promise a little crochet related chatting next time.

Wishing you all a very pleasant weekend, I am actually going to my first concert in years tonight as I just couldn't miss the opportunity to see the legendary Prince, and 'tonight I am going to party like its 1999' (haha). 

Warm Wishes