Marks & Spencer Spring Summer '19 Collection Preview - Vlog//Follow Me Around

I was invited to preview the M&S Spring/Summer 2019 collection at their recent press day.

I had never been to one of Marks & Spencer's press events, so it was really cool to be invited to get a sneak peek at the collection.

I made a little vlog for you guys - so feel free to take a little look-see. Come take a walk round with me and get the scoop too...

Denim & Navy Hues//Swimwear & Casuals

Pinky Yellow Vibes//Swim & Holiday Feels

Listening to Rosie talk about her "Rosie for Autography" new range which lands this Spring.// Green Goddess Lingerie

All the make up from the "Rosie for Autograph" collection. I need to try this stuff!
Nude & Earthy Tones
Overall I was thoroughly impressed with the new collection. I am especially excited to test drive some of the Rosie collection and the colour palettes used for this S/S range is right up my street. The swimwear and lingerie options look gorgeous, so many pretty prints and textures.  This collection has me yearning for some summer sun so badly.

I took a wander around the Menswear and Childrenswear sections too, you can see more of that in the vlog so make sure you give it a watch.

My absolute favourite thing of the whole collection which got a HUGE thumbs up from me was this range of sustainable swimwear. Well done M&S for creating options with an environmentally friendly head on, especially for the little-uns. This shows the children of our future how important it is to care about our planet and how we are all responsible for looking after it.

Outfit from Pretty Little Thing - full info on this outfit can be found on my Instagram.
After my own impromptu mini photo shoot courtesy of George and her amazing photography skills, I got the chance to sit down with her, Rivkie and Hayley to catch up over some delicious Vegan nibbles.  

Thank you so much for inviting me M&S - I had a fab time and I cannot wait until the line drops so I can give some of it a test drive!


Diary Entry - Tuesday 22nd January

I have not given up...I promise....

I have been squirrelling away BTS pulling together my very first Vlog!!

I got a brand new camera for Christmas and I am going to try to create some more videos for my YouTube channel. I plan to do lots of travelling and fashion posts so I'm keen to see if I can actually do this as it's always been an interest of mine and actually - my first ever YouTube video kick-started my blog, so I am going back to my roots so to speak!

I'm uploading the video to YouTube right now so hopefully the next post on here will be a link to my channel with my very first botched attempt at a follow me around kinda vlog!



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?