Diary Entry - Thursday 10th January

Everything of late has just been a pain fest!  PAIN PAIN PAIN 

"Have these steriod injections into your back" They said...
"They will help you with your pain" They said...
"Oh no they won't hurt" They said...


32 Injections I had in my back on Monday...not one....not even 10....MATE thirty frickin' two!!!

The process didn't take long, say 20 mins/half hour but it was not painless, it was sore and painful and even now I'm on day 4 and the injection sites are still sore to touch and the residual dull ache is still very much there.  I have been advised that the pain may worsen for the first 7-10 days and then after that the steroid should kick in and it should *fingers crossed* help me break the cycle of pain.
I am trying really hard to focus on the fact that this is a minor setback - short term pain for a longer term gain, but it's tough. Real tough.  

The week has been a mishmash of sorts;

Monday was a write off due to the back injection surgery. Spent the majority of the day horizontal.
Tuesday was my Mama's 65th birthday so we went to spend a few hours with her and we passed through Tasha's on the way home for a cuppa.  Was lovely to catch up briefly with her and Daisy.

Wednesday I had my OH assessment up in London - then I had to rush home for a nurse appointment in the afternoon.  I did manage to take a slow walk over London Bridge though, it was a beautifully sunny day, so I got off the bus a stop earlier and walked the bridge.
 I also went to BOOSTFit in Horley - I LOOOOOVE that class, the atmosphere was electric!

Today was my first day back at work. It was my "trial a day working in the office" day!  I'm doing reduced hours (10am to 4pm) so it is more manageable and avoid the rush hour commutes as well as fit in my daily nurse appointments to change my dressings.

It was good to be back in the office.  Nice to return to some routine.  I stood up most of the day - way more comfortable that sitting down but I am proud of myself for pushing through the discomfort to see what I was capable of. Small wins!  Just got back from supporting Jen at her Sevenoaks class, I even taught some tracks, albeit on the low but it felt good to be moving!

I don't want to jinx anything...but I think I actually might be getting somewhere.  I am starting to see slivers of the old Kat, the woman who I miss greatly.  This version of me is one that I am not all that familiar with, I have never really been one to struggle in social situations, I don't usually get anxious about socialising or nervous about being in the company of others, but since my mood has dropped I constantly feel like I am being judged on my wellness and capability and it makes me feel really uneasy. Kinda like I have to prove something to someone....but the truth is....I have NOWT to prove to anyone. I am enough just the way I am.  I am healing and growing and I am doing it at my own pace.  I am in no rush to jump back into my hectic life, don't get me wrong I MISS IT tonnes but I refuse to allow my body to burn out again. I need to protect that Kat, so that she can be a stronger version of herself, one who understands the importance of rest and allowing herself the time and space to heal and grow.

I need to look after not only my body but also I need to focus on listening to it - when I notice signs of lagging or start to feel too pressured, I need to take a step back, refocus, regroup. Evaluate the situation, prioritise it's importance and adjust accordingly.

That is one of  the most important part of #SELFCARE in my opinion.  Your body knows what it needs and it often craving these things but our own self saboteurs ruin things for us .  I am making a conscious effort to NOT LET THEM DEMONS WIN!  That's my promise to myself.  

Tomorrow is a rest day, then Small Child & I are off to Dublin for the weekend!

Exciting times 

Diary Entry - Sunday 6th January

Saturday 5th Jan

I didn't realise that this little calendar thing groups weekends together into one quote for the two days, instead of a quote for each!  Pretty cool really and it's not a quote, it's more of an activity for the weekend.  So this weekend's activity was...
I really fancied a scone so in true #KAndy style we left it to the very last minute and then it was a mad rush to find somewhere to go at 3:55pm on a Saturday afternoon for afternoon tea. I racked my brains to think of somewhere we could go that we hadn't been to already.  The Boy suggested The Grumpy Mole (Royal Oak Pub) in Oxted which we hadn't been to.

Luckily they served "Afternoon Tea" until 5pm - just in time!

It was rather tasty. Nowt fancy just some tasty scones with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam and pot of tea to share.  
I spent the rest of the day choreographing more tracks for BOOSTFit and had a lovely early night.

Sunday 6th Jan

Today has been productive, started the day off right with a McD's Breakfast (after my nurse appointment) and then lazed in bed till midday in a sausage & egg McMuffin coma.  I eventually rolled outta bed to start taking pics to list some more stuff on Vinted.  
I have tonnes more to do, but I made a serious dent in the mountain of clothing that is patiently waiting to be given to new homes.

Vick & Ri came over and we had a cheeky catch up over a cuppa and The Small Children decided to recreate an old pic of themselves (Ri's idea BTW)

Jeez they look OLD now!!

#SeflfCareSunday time - I'm gonna head off now - grab a hot bath, wash the barnet and prepare for my hospital appointment tomorrow.  I am rather nervous about it to be honest, I'm having a steroid injection into my sacro-illiac joint in my back to try and help with the pain of my lower disc bulge and hip issue.  
Hope it works - Wish me luck!


Diary Entry - Friday 4th January

Dunno if you noticed but I have added a little positive quote or two into my posts of late. This is cos my friends bought me a little calendar for 2019 which gives me a positive quote for each day of the year.

The last two quotes have really resonated with me;
Jan 3rd was "Make Today Count" and today's (Jan 4th) was "Let Go - Move Forward"
Thurs 3rd Jan was a tough day painwise.  It's that time of the month and when I am on my pain seems to be exacerbated, especially for my back & hips.  Cramps make my life miserable and the current situation with needing to keep my wound clean and dry is virtually impossible during this time.  Despite being really uncomfortable with the level of pain I was experiencing, I was determined to try and "make today count" so I made sure that I did half a days work (as agreed with my Supervisor) which was my goal for the day.  Unfortunately my pain increased throughout the duration of the day. I had planned to go to BOOSTfit in Lingfield in the evening, but due to my pain I couldn't manage it.  

Great start to January Kat! I felt like a proper failure.  

It was only really by fluke that I flipped the page to the next day's quote..."Let Go - Move Forward" and instead of wallowing in the looming pit of negativity, I chose to try and alter my mindset.  Yes I am in pain but despite that I have achieved one of my main goals today.  I spent time with one of my best friends today.  All these things are progress. Focus on that instead. Let go of those negative feelings, they attach no value to your life right now...move forward. 

Today was far more productive, I assume that this is because I had my first session of CBT since before Christmas.  It was good to talk, I had a lot of experiences to talk through with Vanessa and it felt really cathartic to get it all off my chest, compartmentalise it all and to try and rationalise my negative thoughts.

I left CBT with a really positive mindset - ready to attack some tasks on my to-do list when I got home.  

After wasting an hour or two in front of the TV watching Drag Race, I got up and finished choreographing a new track for BOOSTfit. I picked my music for my return to my radio segment and I headed off to BOOSTfit for the Friday "Party class" at Limspfield.

I took most of the class on the low but it felt good to move. The atmosphere with, Jennie, Lisa, Sarah and I teaching was really electric, everyone seemed in good spirits and it was a really fun class.

I showed the choreo to Jen & Sarah and they seemed to really like the track, so I will try and record it soon so maybe Lou will use it for #BOOSTme.  Fingers crossed she likes it!

I headed straight from class up to Caterham for my radio show. I was really nervous about returning mainly due to my fear surrounding the pain of being sat down for 2 hours. I didn't manage to sit comfortably at all, so I stood for the 2 hours, but that was totally doable for the show. 

All in all I am really happy with my progress today.  I feel good and strong.

Can't wait for class tomorrow - should be fun :)


Diary Entry - Wednesday 2nd January

Now I could scold myself for not writing my entries for the last 2 days or I could accept that experiencing life was far more important than writing about it.  I have had a really nice end to 2018 followed by a tiring but rewarding beginning to 2019.
Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up
*I will give you a cookie if you can name the film that line comes from*

Went to Honest Burger in #LondonBridge for an early dinner with Small Child, The Boy and Siânus.

I didn't want to not celebrate the NY in some way so I concocted a slightly over ambitious plan to walk from my work place in London Bridge to Blackfriars along the river to see how close we could get to the fireworks.  We took a slow walk up the river a little further than Blackfriars (We plotted up just outside The National Theatre) we found a bench and with my trusty ring cushion in tow, I took a load off the tootsies to await the countdown. I expected it to be far colder than it actually was, it was quite mild to be honest (9°c)  We had about 1/3 of the wheel in our direct view, although it was obscured by trees we still saw a lot of beautiful fireworks. The trek back to London Bridge was a struggle I'm not gonna lie.  A walk that should have taken me 25 mins, took me over an hour and a half.  Maybe I had been a tad ambitious in doing something so physical but until I try things, I won't know what my healing body can /can't handle.  I am glad I tried - even though I ended up in pain as a result.  I had a lovely evening and it was nice to get out, get a bit of fresh air and do something that improved my mood somewhat.

We all went to my Mum's house for lunch.  My Dad was supposed to be cooking a roast dinner and Mum had told us to bring our traditional sausagemeat stuffing and veg to accompany the meal.  Somewhere wires got crossed.  My Dad had only cooked Curry, completely unaware that Mum No. 2 didn't eat curry.  So when we arrived, The Boy & I were determined to make sure we had a roast dinner too, even if it was a makeshift one.  Off we popped to Tesco, we grabbed some chicken thighs, some frozen throw in the oven potatoes, good ole Aunt Bessie's yorkshires and some frozen mixed veg.  We made one hell of a cheat roast and it was lovely to spend some more time with the family.

Today was meant to be my first day back at work.  I was meant to do a day's work from home however, work's IT team had other ideas.  My Laptop wouldn't log me back into the network, so I had very little choice but to go into the office to let IT work their magic!  This evening I went back to my first BOOSTFit class in Horley.  It was awesome to do a little exercise and to see some familiar faces.

- I offered to do some hours from home in the morning to show willing that I am flexible in my return to work.
- PeaJuice is off work until Friday - so she is hoping to pop up for a visit.  Excited to see her.

Hope you guys had a fabulous NY - what did you get up to?


Diary Entry: Sunday 30th December

Hello Sunday - I officially dub thee #SelfCareSunday. 

I am in serious need of some decent pampering.  When money isn't an issue, my ideal type of R&R is a spa trip complete with massage, facial and pedicure.  Right now - I just do not have the funds to accommodate my expensive pastime so I have found a way to bring the spa to me!
First up; a hot bubble bath with a cup of Epsom Salts & Radox - Muscle Soak. I lit the candles (even the flameless ones and relaxed into the suds with a Spotify meditation playlist.
I gave myself a mini-facial. I always start with an exfoliant; Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub.  This little pot of heaven is one of the most expensive skincare products I own, but it is worth it's weight in gold as it has really rejuvenated my tired and dull complexion.  I have quite severe acne scarring and hyper-pigmentation and over the years I have tried hundreds of products in an attempt to clear my skin.  This product was originally recommended by my bestie Sian, who used to work at top beauty chain Space:NK and I am eternally grateful for the recommendation; my wallet however does not agree!  This 100ml container will set you back £65.00 daylight robbery - I know!  My first bottle was kindly gifted to me by Sian and at the time, I had no idea of the hefty price tag. I always knew it would be expensive, but not quite that much.  I was so impressed with the results that I haven't thought twice about paying for a new pot. 
Today I trialled a 7th Heaven Manuka Honey facemask which was meant to be a peeling mask.  I had seen people raving about these masks all over the net, so I was really keen to try it but I'm sad to say it didn't work for me.  The mask smelt heavily of honey, a scent that I am not that keen on and even though I set my timer for 25 mins to allow it to dry, it did not peel off.  I ended up having to scrub it off my face.
After patting my face dry with a clean towel, Yes pat, not wipe I spritzed my face in my second fave product; Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist.  This is yet another product which since Sian recommended it, I have been hooked.  This is another quite pricey product for something that is basically water but again I have found that this really gives my skin an instant hydration boost.  You can buy Jurlique products direct from them or through many online retailers. This little 50ml bottle is perfect for travel (as it's under 100ml) and it will set you back between £14-20 depending on retailer.
I finish off my facial with a botanical day cream from my favourite product brand; Garnier UK.  I use the Natural Rose Water Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin to massage some life back into my face leaving it feeling supple and revitalised.
Just like my skincare, I am very picky about my shampoo/conditioners, I once tried to follow the Curly Girl method, but I am both lazy and like to style my curls with heat products far too often, so I never stuck to it.  I do however always look for products with no sulphates, silicone or parabens.  I rarely stray from my fave brand with shampoo/conditioner.  I use their Ultimate Blends range for both, I have trialled many of the scents but always favour the ones with coconut in.  My fave combo is the Argan & Camelia Oils shampoo & conditioner, but it is so hard to find in stores these days!  I do still "plop" my hair when I am opting for my natural curls.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to straighten my hair so I didn't apply any product before plopping, I just wrapped in an old t-shirt rather than towel drying which really drys out my curls and causes unnecessary frizz. One curl clearly didn't get the plopping memo!!
Body lotion is a MUST in my world. My skin is usually quite dry, so when I found Garnier's Hydralock body lotion, I knew I would never use another body cream again.  Unfortunately, many shops have stopped stocking this product which makes me so sad, so I have to order it only and sometimes finding it can be quite tricky, I will persevere though cos this lotion is THE best body lotion I have ever tried, it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry even when it has fully absorbed, it really does lock in the moisture!
I finish off my self care ritual by sticking on my AromaWorks Electric Diffuser which I bought myself as my birthday treat. I adore the lemongrass essential oil scent, so I add a few drops to the water and bask in the relaxing smell.
What do you use to wind down, relax? Or what are your steps to self care?

I feel all pampered and ready to conquer the week ahead.
Nite nite world


Diary Entry: Saturday 29th December

Apologies, I have been rather waylaid today.  I have thoroughly #Hinched my bathroom, blitz my living room and did a deep clean on my bedroom. I have been a very very busy Kitty.

I am pooped - I'm pretty sure that if I were not fighting an infection I would have cleaned at a much faster speed, but I didn't rush; I took my time, took regular chocolate breaks and managed to conquer some major chunks of my to-do list. Well done you.

I didn't want to enter into a new year living in squalor and holding onto useless shit that I have neither looked at nor needed over the last 12 months.  A deep cleanse is good for the soul.

I threw away all the half used products that were cluttering my bath sides, I got under my bed and sorted through all my handbags, got a tonne of bags and odds & sods to take over to a charity shop tomorrow. I dragged every item of clothing in my wardrobe out to sort and refold to make space for my Spring '19 wardrobe.

I plan to give myself ONE task to tackle each non-working day to keep me busy until I am back to work full time;

  • I need to finish listing my mountain of clothes on Vinted.
  • I need to sort my coats & jackets cupboard - donate or sell what I am not using.
  • I have a pile of clothing that needs to be shot/blogged
  • I have over 180GB of images to sort through and rehouse appropriately.
  • I need to learn the new BOOST tracks and record them.
  • I need to finish choreographing my five new tracks, to send to Lou for her approval.
  • I need to pick 2 hours worth of music for my first show back at Ridge Radio (in our new location)

I am sure there are more jobs - but these are the ones that spring to mind immediately.

One job a day is a SMART goal. It is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based.  Oh won't Vanessa (my therapist) be proud of me!

Small Child has a lift home from her party so for now - I'm off to eat a Sloppy Giuseppe, take a HOT bath and relax in my lovely clean flat.  All is right in the world.


On Wednesday's We Wear #PinkClove

This Candy Cane invite from Pink Clove UK had me gagging from the second I unwrapped it.

Of course I would attend their Pre Christmas Meal - I mean c'mon was there ever gonna be a reality where I declined this invite!?

The not-so subtle #MeanGirls tag lines reeled me in hook, line & sinker.  #YouCANSitWithUs and #OnWednesdaysWeWearPinkClove were just genius!

The invite even said "A Candy Cane for you and none for Gretchen Weiners...Bye" 

The dress code was #FETCH - so I just had to find myself the most #MeanGirlsesque outfit to make sure I was living my "Plastics" fantasy!

I found the cutest little check skirt from Pink Clove which is currently reduced in the sale down to just £10.99. You can grab it here. I teamed it with a blush coloured sweater and fluffy pink heels. 

We all arrived at the plush lunch venue in time for cocktails.  Rosso was decked in crisp white, silver and gold Christmas decorations in preparation for the festive season. It looked so pretty, I wished I could take pics all over this venue - but when it's crammed and people are there to eat and be merry it's not really appropriate to hold a mini photo-shoot (please - who am I kidding, like that stopped us!)

I asked the bartender to make me a sweet daiquri. Many people assume you want a frozen strawberry one, don't get me wrong I love that drink, but I fancied a straight. It didn't disappoint, it was made to perfection.

After a short delay we were seated at our table complete with crackers and a delectable menu.  Aww we even had place names and gift bags - the PinkClove Team have really pulled out all the stops.

All the other ladies had ordered this stunning little number. When I saw it had candy floss in it - I had to try it. You guys know I adore candy floss.  The "Hed Kandi" is originally made with Vodka, now as you guys may not know, I am allergic to Vodka. No I don't mean like, drink too many and it makes me sick, I mean full anaphylaxis - hives, throat closure, stomach pumped, full allergic reaction, so I asked the bartender to sub the vodka out and replace with some other spirit that would compliment the flavours.  He rolled with white rum - works for me. The drink was delish and I cannot recommend it enough.

Dinner was divine. Each course was cooked to perfection and well presented.  Portion sizes were perfect for me. The sign of a good feed is a well sated Kat.

I started with the Zuppa Di Porri - a creamed leek, parsnip & potato soup with crispy onions. Such a delicious fusion of flavours. Would have loved a bread roll to accompany it, but hey!

For mains I chose the Porchetta Arrosto - Slow roasted pork belly with chestnut mash and spiced
apple & mustard chutney. One word - WOW! It was cooked just right, even the crackling was tasty and I am not usually a crackling fan.  All the flavours gave just the right amount of Christmas zing.  It was truly a tasty dish.

Afters was a trio of bitesize desserts. Trionfo Di Dolce Alla Rosso - Spiced clementine & mincemeat trifle slice, Panettone dark chocolate truffle and Earl grey infused sticky toffee pudding. I didn't want that little plate of goodness to end, it was utterly to die for - especially that trifle slice!

After feeding it was time to mingle with the other babes, leaving plenty of time for selfies, Mean Girls trivia and quick fire Christmas questions.

Cracker time deffo called for Christmas Crowns - PINK of course! 

I had only met Ami beforehand so meeting the other ladies was a real treat. I had followed Laurie, Kayleigh and Joey on Instagram for a while so I was a tad starstruck and meeting Harry and Sophie really made my day. These ladies are such bad ass babes and I had a blast with them and the Pink Ladies. 
I want to extend a huge thank you from all of us to the #PinkLadies of PinkCloveUK for thinking of every little detail to make this day out so special.

I had the best time.

Merry Christmas Y'all