November 2016 | KTMY

30 November 2016

The Art of Breathing & Unguided Meditation

Mindfullness and meditation is everywhere and it's something I really try and do daily, normally by using my Calm app or doing some colouring. Something I've always wanted to try and do is unguided meditation however I've never been really sure where to start...until now.

The Art of Breathing by Danny Penman is a beautiful book with some really useful exercises for starting you on your way to unguided meditation and also teaches you how to breathe. Now, I know what you're thinking, I already know how to breathe but seriously, this has some really good tips and reasons as to why you should think about your breathing and how it can help you in stressful situations.

The book also has some absolutely beautiful illustrations and word art!

The exercises in the book are really easy to follow and makes you really believe that you can do unguided meditation. It gives you really good foundations for mindfulness and is a must for anyone interested in mindfulness!

How do you like to relax and be mindful? Let me know in the comments below :) 

This post includes a press sample
Read my full disclaimer here

29 November 2016

Preparing for 2017 with Stick To Stigu

With only one month left of the year, I'm getting ready for the new year by getting my 2017 diary and starting planning! At the beginning of the year, I teamed up with Stick to Stigu to show you their 2016 planner and I loved it so much, I had to get a new one this year. 

This year Stigu have changed their design and I absolutely LOVE their new designs. There's a spiral bound spotty one and this faux leather hardback one which I have. They also have notepads in the same designs which are equally as pretty. 

Something which is different about this years planner is the space at the beginning to put your 2017 mind, body & soul goals which I really love as it fits in with the ethos of the planner!

The ethos of Stick to Stigu - Work Hard, Play Hard, Rest Hard - is such a good one, especially in today's society where we're all so busy and it's weekly tasks which promote these are really inspiring and give you time to reflect.

I'm really pleased that Stick to Stigu have kept their overall design with a week planner on one side and then a space on the other with a mindfulness kind of task and spaces to doodle/write to do lists/notes and what not. You're also able to tear off the corner of each week so from the corners you can tell where you are in the year.

You can buy Stick to Stigu here.

This post includes a press sample 
Read full disclaimer here

28 November 2016

Tips & tricks for dealing with stoma bag leaks in public

Leaking stoma bags suck. They can make a great day rubbish if you let them and can leave you feeling on edge about leaks happening again.  I used to really struggle with my mucus fiscula leaking on a daily basis and I also had some trouble with my stoma bag in the early days too. There are ways to deal with stoma leaks to help prevent them and to make it easier if it does happen so here are my tips for dealing with stoma bag leaks!

Carry emergency stoma bags with you

I have a little bag in my handbag which has enough supplies in to do a quick bag change if I ave a leak when I'm out. I have actually had to use this before and it really helps put your mind at rest when your out that if something happens, you can deal with it! 

Try to stay calm

This can be easier said than done but try and stay calm and don't get too upset. Just focus on finding some toilets somewhere so you can change it quick and easy. If you can't find any public toilets, you can always go in to a cafe or pub and ask if you can use theirs! If you're with friends you can all just sit down and order drinks but if you're not and just wanted to use their facilities, you could always just ask if you can use them. It may be handy to carry a Can't Wait card (which you can get from Crohn's and Colitis UK and SecuriCare) which explains why you need to use the toilet or get yourself a radar key (also available from SecuriCare) so you can use disabled toilets

Try and find a disabled toilet if you can

If I need to change a bag, I always prefer to use a disabled toilet because you have more space to change your bag and put your supplies and there's a sink in them which makes it way easier! I always feel really awkward going into disabled toilets because I worry that someone will say something to me (because I don't look like there's anything wrong with me) but don't be afraid! I've never had anyone say anything to me luckily and you know yourself that you need to be there. 

Go and talk to your stoma nurse if your leaks are becoming regular

If you're having regular leaks, it could mean that the bags you're using just don't work for you and you need to try a different brand of bags. This was the issue with my stoma bag in the beginning and when I changed the brand of bag, I stopped having issues. It may be because your stoma goes flat to your stomach sometimes and you need a convex bag instead. There are different accessories you can get too which can help keep your bag sticking to your skin so it's worth having a chat with your stoma nurses or, if you're a SecuriCare customer you could also try ringing their helpline. 

There are some of my tips for dealing with the dreaded stoma leaks! Leave your own tips in the comments below because I'd love to hear how you all deal with them. 


27 November 2016

The Weekly Edit #5

Happy Sunday / last full week of November

Christmas is literally right round the corner and I am so excited for all the festivities to begin! This week has been full of theatre trips which has been very fun and also quite a busy hectic one. I want to start this post by thanking everyone who has taken the time to read my Why I'm Keeping My Stoma Bag post! I've had such amazing feedback from it which was so good, especially because I was so nervous about posting it!

So, on with what went down this week...

  • I finished the first draft of my first chapter of my dissertation this week! I was so excited to hit send on it to my dissertation tutor as I think that this is the one I was going to struggle with writing most. 
  • I had an ultra sound as my doctors thought that my back pain might be something to do with my ovaries but luckily it all looked fine so we're back to the drawing board with what is causing my joint pain! 
  • I went to see comedian Mark Thomas this week and ended up being picked as part of the show which was really fun! If you have a chance to see it, go and see him because it made you think, laugh and reflect. 
  • Much Ado About Nothing is playing at Manchester Opera House and I had the opportunity to go see it and it was one of the best pieces of Shakespeare I've seen! 
  • I also went to see Theatre By The Lake's Christmas production of The Emperor & The Nightingale which was really good! There will be a review up on the blog next week as a part of Blogmas! 

So that was my week! Let me know in the comments what your weekly highlights are :) 


26 November 2016

Much Ado About Nothing at Manchester Opera House

At some point in nearly all of our lives, we have studied a Shakespeare play and Much Ado About Nothing was one I studied for GCSE English and I was very excited to come and see the play at Manchester Opera House last night.

The story starts as soldiers come back from war and Benedick and Claudio are reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero and it is the tale of how the two win their brides with comedic twists, turns and the occasional mistaken identity. Much Ado is definitely one of my favourite Shakespeare comedies and this production was by far my favourite production I've seen.

The  role of Beatrice played with the fight of a feminist by Lisa Dillon brings to the fore Shakespeare’s skill and love of creating strong women. Creating this production in the time female emancipation is perfect for getting across the feminist thread throughout this play -
Dillon’s characterisation of this part, takes it into the 21st century - with a marriage of equals the ultimate aim of both male and female. Paired with Benedick, played by Edward Bennett, the two characters play off each other well and most definitely left the audience laughing. There was something ever do modern about their rapport and relationship and I think that the audience really connected with the two characters.

One of the elements of the production I really enjoyed was the use of music throughout the play which added an extra dimension and emphasised moments of hilarity and the more sombre moments and left the audience humming a long as they left the theatre.

I don't think I have ever been to see Shakespeare where the audience has been so engaged with the performance and it was a really refreshing take on a classic piece of theatre. The use of music and the ease at which the actors used the language at the time made it really accessible.

You can catch Much Ado About Nothing at Manchester Opera House until 3rd December 2016

Parts of this review were first published in my review for North West End


24 November 2016

Why I'm Keeping my Stoma Bag

Some people are shocked when I tell them that I am not going to reverse my stoma and become bagless. I've been told by quite a few people that because I'm a young woman I should try reversing my stoma  however I'm choosing to make my stoma permanent and literally have a bag for life! I've had a few questions as to why I'm keeping him so I thought why not do a blog post on it!

*Discalimer : these are just my own thoughts based off information I've been given by my doctors! I'm just voicing my own opinions and hope to give some support to others going through the same decisions!

Lets start at the beginning with this. I currently have a temporary stoma with the option to either make it permanent and keep my bag or have a j pouch created which involves having an internal bag created. I have to choose one of these options but I've had the time to consider both and whichever I choose will be classed as elective surgery.

I've had a love hate relationship with my stoma but we're mostly on the love side nowadays! It didn't take me too long to get used to it and I have to say, I've gotten so used to having a bag - I have a routine with it and my actual stoma I have no issue with. My mucus fiscula on the other hand, which I'm getting rid off, causes me a few more issues which is why I can't wait to have my stoma reversal! I've been very lucky with my stoma; I was happy with the positioning and apart from two little blockages (due to me trying and failing to eat mushrooms!), I have had no problems with it *touch wood*! I definitely think that because my ostomy surgery was so successful I am definitely more willing to keep the bag.

One of the main reasons I don't really want a j pouch is that initially after surgery you can be going to the toilet up to 20 times a day. I've been there, done that and definitely do not want to go through that again! I've read some stories that people are still going to the toilet 10 times a day and it just gives me flashbacks to not wanting to leave the house during the days of colitis flares.

Another main reason I don't want to have a j pouch is that the pouch might fail and I'll end up with a stoma again and this time my stoma might not be as good as the one I have now. There's also more and more surgery involved and I really don't want that! Because my stoma works really well, I don't want to risk getting a new one which isn't as good. There's also the issue of scare tissue and the more surgery you have, the more scare tissue which can effect you!

Would I like to have a bag free stomach again? Of course I would but the risks of j pouches and my own concerns mean I would way rather have a bag on my tummy. At the end of the day, my stoma not only saved my life but also gave me my life back and having a bag on your stomach isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things (Most of the time!)

Let me know in the comments below you're thoughts on j pouches and stoma bags! I'd love to hear your own stories about choosing one or the other!

Ostomy posts are sponsored by SecuriCare and CliniMed

20 November 2016

The Weekly Edit | #4

Happy Sunday! 

I know, I know, I missed last weeks weekly edit and I'm so sorry! Last week was one of those weeks where work and life just got in the way. Since starting uni, I've really not been on top of my blogging game but I think I've got into my routine now and I'm ready to fully get back into blogging again! I've got lots of ideas and I've decided that I'm going to be doing Blogmas this year which means that from the 1st to the 25th December, there will be a new post every single day! I'm so excited to do Christmas themed posts as well as what I'm getting up to over the festive period! 

But before the festivities begin, let's rewind to the past week!

  • Gilmore Girls is now a major part of my every day to day. Last week I actually watched a full season which I'm pretty pleased with however there's no way I'm going to be able to get all 7 seasons done before the new specials come out THIS WEEK! 
  • I had an amazing brunch at Gorilla last Sunday and whilst I am absolutely gutted they'd ran out of avocado smash (cry) I did have a lovely eggs benedict so I can't complain too much! 
  • I went to the Law Fair at Manchester Central and found a few firms who I really want to work for so I've started applying for training contracts and been sending my CV off and I feel so productive career wise! 
  • Film and TV nights have become somewhat a tradition in our uni flat (binge watching first dates being a firm favourite!) and we end up in stitches every night and it's so nice knowing I'm surrounded by funny, positive people who really have my back! 
  • I couldn't finish this weekly edit without mentioning the one thing I haven't shut up about all week - FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM CAME OUT!!!! I went to see it on Friday and it is so good! It has that same essence of the Harry Potter films but it was so exciting to hear new stories and be introduced to the american wizarding world. I'm actually going to do a full (hopefully non spoiler) review of the film next week so keep your eyes out! 

So that was my week! Let me know in the comments what your weekly highlights are :) 


11 November 2016

Why finding the perfect work spot is so important

Having the perfect place to go and do work is so important whatever your job is whether it be a freelancer, blogger, student or if you work from home some days. Whilst I absolutely love my room at uni now I really struggle to do work there, especially essays and coursework. I end up talking to my flatmates too much and sitting in the kitchen doing nothing productive.  I always like to be in a nice environment when I do my blogging too - I always find myself more productive if where I am has a creative vibe.

I can't work in the university library; I always feel like there's too much pressure to actually do work so you end up not doing any and being paranoid that I'm being too noisy (even if I'm on my own! I worry I type too noisily!).

For me, I love being in coffee shops; whether it be Starbucks, Costa, Nero or cute little independent places. So long as they have wifi and don't mid me sitting there for hours (drinking copious amounts of decaf coffee) then I'll be there. My current favourite place to work is HOME in Manchester which is a theatre, cinema, cafe, restaurant place and I just love the atmosphere (plus it's so instagrammable which is always a bonus).

Finding a place where you feel comfortable doing work and are productive is so important because it means you can enjoy what you're doing and make it feel less like a chore, especially if you're in a pretty place and have a good cup of coffee! It also means you can do your work more effectively and finish quicker and get on with what you actually want to do whether that be going shopping or watching another episode of the Gilmore Girls (I'm so hooked on this show!)

Sometimes the action of actually leaving the house, getting some fresh air and being in a clutter free, new environment can do you so much good, clear your head and help you be prepared for the next piece of work.

What do you look for in your work environment? Let me know in the comments below :)  


7 November 2016

Five Days on the Isle of Mull

Last week I went with my family to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, a little island of the coast in Scotland. I haven't been here in about 10 years and I was so excited to go back and explore the island a bit. It's the first time we've been out of season and even though we had a few wet days, we also had some beautiful sunny days and whilst there was quite a lot of things closed, there was still plenty of things for us to see and do!

On our way to Oben to get the ferry, we stopped off at this really cute little artisan cafe in a converted church. We had a little tea break here and me and Arthur posed for some autumnal themed photos because that's what we do! I had the most gorgeous soup whilst we were here too - I'd love to go back and try their cake selection because it looked amazing!

We stayed in the town of Tobermory and yes, it may seem familiar to you, it's where they filmed Balamory! I used to love coming here when I was little and going to all the different houses and whilst I didn't do that this time, it was still nice to see all the coloured houses!

One day we went to Iona, a tiny island off right next to Mull and it turned out to be an absolute gorgeous day and the sea was so blue! It was a little rainy when we got to the ferry but it cleared up quickly and we got to see a fantastic rainbow, so it was a win win situation really! 

Arthur's slowly getting used to going on boats but he wasn't so sure about going on deck! He's been so good this week - it's her to believe a year ago he couldn't go in the car for 10 minutes without being car sick and now he doesn't have a problem! 

The views on Iona were absolutely breathtaking and it genuinely looked like a summers day, not the 1st November! Whilst there was hardly anything open on the island, it was definitely worth a visit and I'd love to go back there when things were open and spend some more time there. The views were so stunning!

Is it even a trip to Scotland if you don't see a highland cow and take a picture?

We took a trip to Calgary Beach and it was Arthur's first trip to the beach and he absolutely loved it. Whilst it was a very windy and cold day, it was such a good trip. We took some frisbees with us and he ran and ran!

As you can see, he's absolutely loving life in that photo - he ended up being covered in sand from rolling about. However, he wasn't so keen on the sea and we had to stop him drinking it! 

We stopped off at the Calgary Arts Farm for a cup of tea and slice of cake and there was some lovely pieces of art in there too!

One of my favourite places to go in Tobermory was the chocolate shop where I experienced the Death by drinking chocolate hot chocolate which was one of the most amazing drinks I've ever had! 

The last day of our holiday, we had a little walk around Tobermory and I had a little shop in  the Isle of Mull Soap Co and picked up a few amazing smelling candles. There was also the distillery however we didn't get round to going in but we've been before so it wasn't too bad! 

That was my little trip to Mull! Let me know in the comments below where you want to travel to next :) 


6 November 2016

The Weekly Edit | #3

Ciamar a tha thu? 

I'm back from Scotland so I thought it would be only right to start the post with some Gaelic. If you haven't been following me on instagram, you might not know that this week I've been in Scotland, more specifically Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and yes, that is where they filmed the best kids tv show, Balamory.

I'm actually going to be doing a full post on my trip to Tobermory which will be going up next week so I thought for my weekly edit instead of doing a run down of what I've done and where I've been I would just do a sort of catch up post and a bit of a ramble - so bear with me people!

If you read last weeks weekly edit, you'll know how stressed I was about all the work I had. Well I'm happy to tell you all I got it all done AND I HANDED MY DISSERTATION PROPOSAL IN!! Even though it's only a small step in the whole dissertation process, I am very happy with it!

As November is here, it also means CHRISTMAS! Okay, so I know it isn't technically the festive season till December but I like to get into the spirit of things early. I've had Michael Buble's Christmas album on and I'm planning my big Christmas shopping day which is my most favourite day! I've also started thinking about what my new years resolutions are going to be, but they're not going to be on the blog till next month!

So there's a little update! Stay tuned for my Mull photo diary next week and The Weekly Edit will be back to normal next week!
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