Monday, 30 November 2015

DIY Winter/ Christmas Garland.

With only one day left in November, my Christmas spirit is well under way. I mean I have been feeling the Christmas spirit since September, but at least now it is socially acceptable. I am actually writing this while I listen to Christmas music, having a very good sing-along so my Christmas vibes are through the roof! Anyway, on with the post.

The other week I was longing for some wintery / Christmassy decorations. However, we haven't got the decorations down from the loft yet. So, I figured why not try out a little DIY. This was probably the first major successful DIY I have done so I was feeling very proud after this. 

Today I will be telling you how you can create this super cute and festive garland. This was great fun to make and would be a great idea for a family crafting sesh! It's relatively easy and if I could do it then I am certain you can too. One of my favourite things about this is how it can be used through the entirety of winter and is great for the build up to the festivities. So, with that said, on with the craft!

What you will need:

A wodge of A4 paper in whatever colour/pattern you desire.
(You can also use felt if possible as this will make it stronger.)

Some brown string.

A pair of scissors.

A pre-cut snowflake. 
(You can either create this yourself or print off a template.)

Sticky labels the same colour as your paper.

A hole punch.

Step 1- Fold your paper in half and draw on your snowflake.

Step 2- Cut out your snowflake into individual snowflakes. Repeat this until you have the desired numbered of snowflakes.

Step 3- Punch a hole into one end of the snowflakes. Taking your scissors, snip up the sticky label creating approx 1cm flaps. Then taking your hole punch create a hole in each flap.

Step 4- Cut the flaps into squares with the hole central and apply to the pre-cut hole in your snowflake. This will ensure a stronger hole for threading and reduce the chances of your garland breaking. 

Step 5- Thread the string through the snowflakes and voila! You have a garland!

 You can easily leave your garland as it is at this point and hang it up (I recommend the window or fireplace). However, I decided to add a little more sparkle to my snowflakes by adding glitter!

To do this part you will need:

PVA glue.

Glitter (I chose a copper colour).


A glitter paint.

This step is super simple but makes such a difference. In order to do this, you just need to take your glue and go along the lines in the snowflake.

 Then just sprinkle the glitter and you're done!  Just by adding a little glitter, this garland is transformed and you have a super personal and cute festive decoration! 

This DIY is great fun to make is simple enough for any DIY newbie. It's great for the season and just adds that festive element to your home!

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe want to give it a go?! 

Happy Holidays and I will speak to you soon!

Holly Xx


Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmas/Winter candle.

I am a mahoosive fan of candles all year around. However, when the temperature begins to drop and the scarves come out I get very excited because I know that means the Christmas candles can be released! In my opinion, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year and one of my favourite things to do in the build up is to burn a good candle. So you can image my delight when my friend got me an entire box of Christmas candles for my birthday!

The box includes 5 Yankee candles that all smell absolutely heavenly. But, this one just has to be my absolute favourite. I hadn't really come across this one before and in all honesty, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did... but it's amazing. It smells like the definition of winter and Christmas and all things great in life! Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit but I seriously love it so much and definitely recommend it to anybody who loves Christmas and candles. 

That's all for today but I am just so excited about this candle that I couldn't help but write about it... seriously, give it a whiff!

Holly Xx

Monday, 23 November 2015

Autumn/ Winter Fashion || Oversized Tee

I can hardly believe that Autumn is coming to an end already! It seems to have flown by this year, even more than normal. As annoying as that is, I am so so SO excited for Christmas! Yes, I am one of those people who start getting excited for Christmas way back in September. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Anyway, on with today's post. Last week I decided to do a little bit of cheeky online shopping with my birthday money. I often prefer to shop in person as this way you know what you are buying and can get a better understanding of what it will look like on. But being under the weather at the moment, I resorted to a bit of online retail therapy. Thankfully, I love all of my purchases so you can expect some more posts on my purchases soon! One of the items I purchased from New Look was this oversized tee. 

I don't often go for oversized tee's but this one just looked so comfy and I thought it would be perfect for layering up over the colder months. It's a plain tee which makes it very versatile in terms of outfit options too. I seriously love mustard as an autumn colour so I think this will be perfect for the last of Autumn. I also picked up this tee in both green and red (they were on sale!) which will be perfect for the Christmas period!

I am a big fan of this oversized tee and can't wait to share my other purchases too!

Have a lovely day and I will speak to you soon.

Holly X

Friday, 20 November 2015

18th Birthday.

I can not believe that I am 18. I seriously do feel like I am old enough to qualify as an adult! I can now legally get married, buy a house and vote. All things that include responsibility and scare me immensely. Anywho, it is what it is.

My 18th birthday was an amazing day. It wasn't exactly the traditional 18th celebrations but it was perfect for me, especially considering how I am still not well. I went for a breakfast brunch with my family at my favourite breakfast place and it was so delicious. I went for my usual... pancakes! Then we came back to our house for a little while to just hang out before a couple of my friends arrived. 

I had the best afternoon catching up with my friends as we watched one of my favourite films (the longest ride), had afternoon tea and finished off the afternoon with some sparklers. It was such a lovely lovely time and it was perfect for me. To finish off my day, I watched another film with the family before heading off to bed.

I really did have an amazing day and am so thankful for all of my friends and family who could celebrate it with me.

Holly Xx

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Getting A Diagnosis~ Lyme Disease.

I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time but it never really felt right (I will explain why later) until now. This blog has always been something quite personal to me and I am usually pretty happy to share what is going on in my life. I really enjoy having this blog and enjoy sharing these parts of my life. However, it can also be a little daunting sharing such personal things, so bare with me. In this case, I feel the need to share not only for my personal gain but in hope that it will educate others in an area I feel not many are aware of.

So, in my case this all started about 6 months ago, towards the end of May. I remember suddenly getting pretty ill. I was completely wiped out and was struggling to go about my normal day. Being around the time of my exams, I assumed that the stress of A-levels and revision had just exhausted me and that I would feel better within a few days of rest. Throughout my life I have had a tendency to get sick pretty easily and was always catching a cold. So, when this came along I didn't think much of it. I thought that it was a little odd how quickly it had come on, but I just assumed that it was nothing too major. Then, I started to accumulate more symptoms. Along with this intense fatigue, I started to get really strong headaches, pain throughout my body and my vision started playing up. I have never had great vision, hence why I have glasses, but it just got worse very suddenly and my glasses didn't make much of a difference. After this, we decided it would be a good idea to take a trip to the doctors. 

Over the next month, I had taken numerous trips to doctors, had a few different blood tests (which I really did not enjoy by the way... I have a tendency to get more than a little faint), get even worse symptoms and still no answers. By this point I was having chest pains, more frequent pains in my knees and back, difficulty concentrating and with my memory and all my previous symptoms had worsened. Overall, I just really did not feel like myself. Typically, I think that I am a pretty positive and bubbly person, but practically overnight I had switched and just felt like a completely different person. At this point, the doctors were struggling to give me a diagnosis, all tests had come back normal, including Lyme's, and it was beginning to look like I had CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I really didn't feel like this was my diagnosis but I couldn't think of any other answers. Throughout this time, I was constantly asked about my home life and school like, asking if I was depressed. I can obviously understand why they have to ask this but I knew that I wasn't depressed and I knew that it wasn't all in head. But as time went on and we still had no answers, I began to worry that maybe I just needed to get over it. I knew that as hard as I tried, that wouldn't work but I was simply running out of options. 

I had started my first part-time job back at easter and only a couple of months in I had to take a month off due to the illness. Having had a month's rest and no longer having to worry about school, I felt a little better and managed to go back to work. This was only a part-time job where I worked 5 hours, twice a week but I still struggled with this. I had to sleep before going and I was in pain the entire time. It was really difficult and I dreaded it each week. However, I needed to earn the money to pay for a exhibition planned for 2016. It finally came to the end of summer and I knew that school would be starting soon. I knew that I wouldn't be able to manage school and work together and it really worried me. But, I sat down and figured out that I should have earned just enough money alongside the other fundraising ideas I had planned. I was so so thankful that I was then able to quit my job. I hadn't had the job very long but it was what was best for me and I knew I would be a lot happier without the job to worry about. 

The next week, school had started and I was feeling well enough to attend. I didn't feel like my normal self, but it was good enough. I was still having difficulty in class in terms of my concentration and memory abilities but I just figured that I needed to work harder. I think this was around this time that a lovely lady from our church got in touch and asked us if I had been tested for Lymes disease. She had a friend who was diagnosed with Lyme after many many years. Many years too late for him. My symptoms sounded very familiar to him and he was worried about me. We then got into contact with him where he began to share his knowledge about the disease with us. I hadn't really ever heard of the disease up until then and found it all very interesting. It was around this time that we discovered that the tests in the UK are very unreliable and that the doctors do not know very much about this Lyme disease. I didn't remember having a bulls-eye rash, the main symptom that doctors appear to use for this diagnosis, nor did I remember ever seeing a tick on myself. As familiar as the symptoms sounded to me, I just didn't think I could have this disease. 

By the start of October I was missing school. My symptoms had worsened again and I literally felt as if my body was shutting down. It then continued to get worse to the point where some days I couldn't even get out of bed. I believe it was around this time that we decided to look into private Lyme testing in Germany. We had discovered that this rash was only found in about 50% of sufferers and that ticks can be as small as a poppy seed meaning that I could easily have been bitten without realising. The more research I did, the more people I found who also didn't realise they had been bitten and had very similar symptoms. Speaking to this friend who is a sufferer, he also was feeling worried for me as he recognised the signs and symptoms all too well. We also had learnt that the longer you leave treatment, the worse the disease gets and can leave you with lifelong issues. With this in mind and still no answers, we decided to go with the private tests. I was very fortunate that my parents were willing to go to this effort and pay the additional money or the private tests as I know that no everybody would be this lucky. 

We had the blood taken and sent off to Germany and my symptoms continued. I was too unwell to complete any school work and was always worrying about my health, my education and even my future. It felt like this illness was going to stick with me forever and I worried that I wouldn't be able to live the life I wanted. I am a pretty positive person and I tried to keep these thoughts at bay, but as you can imagine, they arose every now and then. About a week after sending the blood, we got the results. My mum was actually out when she received the e-mail but she couldn't open the document on her phone so she called me to do it from home. I was seriously hoping that the results would be positive (as strange as that may sound) because I was just dying for an answer. I was really really nervous before opening the e-mail and I was shaking like a leaf.

I finally opened the document to see the words 'negative' over and over. My heart sank as I assumed this meant no more answers. However, I then scrolled through the rest of the document where there were lots more results with numbers and other things I didn't really understand. One thing that stood out to me was 'indication for an actual cellular activity against borrelia burgdorferi'. To me, this sounded like it was saying I did have the disease. At this point I was just very confused and didn't know what to think. So, my mum send these results to a lady from the private testing base in England and to our friend, the sufferer, asking if they could interpret this for us. To which they responded telling us that it looked like I did, in fact, have Lyme disease! I was so so so beyond happy upon receiving the news. I had finally been given an answer after 6 months of struggling and a month of being in bed. I know that some people go years and years and years without getting diagnosed and I really feel for those people. I am very thankful that we were able to go down this route and finally receive at least some form of answer.

Throughout this time I have often wanted to write about it on my blog. However, considering I had no idea what was wrong with me, I didn't know what to write. I also had many theories about what it could be but didn't want to offend anybody who was an actual sufferer. Finally, when I did have something confirmed to say, I felt too unwell to write about it, hence why it has taken me so long to write this post. 

I am very aware of how huge this post is right now so I think that will be all for this post. However, I still have a ton more to share about the symptoms in detail, trying to get treatment, my NHS journey (the different hospitals and tests) and where I am at now. I plan on sharing all of this information, but if you have any specific questions about this then feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly. 

I am still not well, however, I am getting there and feeling better than I have in weeks and weeks. 

Thanks for reading,

Holly Xx

Blogger templates by pipdig