Thursday, 28 December 2017

Christmas Catch Up

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know how much I love Christmas. Every year I feel even more excited about it. For me Christmas is the best distraction from the dark days and freezing cold nights - which happen to be my least favourite things about winter. Christmas is a silver lining to those dark days; if we didn’t put up lights, bring trees inside and celebrate I don’t know how I would cope with winter. Christmas might be over, but it’s only just over and I’m not quite ready to let go. I’ve just had left over turkey and veg soup, plus my lights are and will still twinkle away on my tree well into the new year. 

I keep seeing silly memes on Instagram saying “it’s that awkward time between Christmas and new year when you don’t know what time or day it is or even who you are.” I can relate to this but, unfortunately and slightly ironically, since being sick this has applied to me all year round except December and this week between the celebrations.

I’ve been saying all month how I need an Advent-type calendar all year so I know what the date and day it is - something I do struggle with! It’s hard not to feel stuck in Groundhog Day at times when so many days feel the same. Without knowing this, my best friend gave me some of my gifts in an Advent calendar as a fun way to open them on Christmas Day without realising I would want to keep it for January! 

There’s only a few days left of this year. 2017 has gone really quickly. I’ve not posted half as much as I would have liked this year because I’ve been concentrating on my Lyme disease treatment and, honestly, I’ve not had the mental capacity to write as well as I would want. Sometimes I couldn’t write at all. It’s safe to say it’s been an up and down roller coaster of a year. I’ve seen improvements to my health but also felt extremely ill at times especially due to side effects, herx reactions (toxic overload from bacterial die off) and since September my liver has been failing, making me feel very poorly.  Luckily it’s now working well, giving me relief from those extra symptoms and I’ve started treatment again. 

I know I have another year of fighting these illnesses ahead. So I’ve given myself permission to take off all the pressure I used to put on myself to post regularly and decided that I will post only when I can. I love blogging but my health must come first.

The photos in this post are ones I’ve taken over the last two months when I’ve had the energy to be creative for a few minutes. I know they’re a little randomly put together but I hope it captures my love for the festive season. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that 2018 will be a happy, healthy one for you all.

Emma Xx 

Tartan Blanket from The Tartan Blanket Co 
Fairy lights from Talking Tables
Tea c/o Bluebird Tea Co 
Both dresses are oldies; 
Rose gold sequins from French Connection
Nude with embroidery from Topshop

Friday, 30 June 2017

Strawberry & Raspberry Tea Ice Lollies

Strawberries and raspberries are my favourite summer fruits. They go so well together, especially in smoothies or, in this case, ice lollies! 

For this recipe I have experimented again with tea from my Bluebird Tea Co rep box, this time using a summery tea called Raspberry Russian. The result is a really vibrant delicious and still healthy ice lolly without any added sugar. However, for those who aren't on any special diet like me you can swap the pure stevia for honey or even sugar to taste. And you can use normal white chocolate rather than one made with stevia. 

To make 4 lollies you will need.

100g strawberries - I used frozen 
100g raspberries 
2 tsp Raspberry Russian tea by Bluebird Tea Co (out Sunday 2nd July)
1/4 litre of boiled water 
Pinch of pure Stevia or alternatively honey or sugar to taste.
50g white chocolate - I used Balance white chocolate made with stevia. You can get this at Holland & Barrett and other health food shops. 


Begin by brewing the tea for 4 minutes. Add your sweetener of choice to the brewing tea. I added a pinch of stevia. 
While that brews put the fruit in a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency. 
Strain the tea into a jug, add the fruit. Mix well and pour into ice lolly moulds. Freeze for 24 hours or until set. 
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and drizzle over your set lollies and enjoy! 

These lollies really do taste like summer. They are amazing for a hot summer's day or even for a gloomy grey afternoon pick me up. 

I hope you enjoy them. I would love to hear if you make this recipe and what you think of it!

Don't forget you can get 20% off Bluebird Tea Co with my code ESTEABIRD35.

Emma Xx 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Be-leaf in Yourself

Believing in myself is something that hasn't always come naturally. I'm a born worrier, I always have been and I am also a perfectionist which isn't the best combination! Add in chronic illnesses and more often than not you have a recipe for a big batch of lack of confidence. 

I've been living with illness since my late teens. I'm now almost twenty seven. So unlike my friends and healthy peers I'm not progressing at life in the usual way someone my age should and sometimes that causes me to not have much faith in myself. 

I'm learning though, learning to believe in myself and my own strengths of which I now realise I have many. Especially in my ability to deal with what life has given me in a positive way. To find beauty in even the darkest of days. In my determination to get the help I need and to do whatever it takes to get better. I know deep down that if I can do this I can do anything but every now and then I worry that I can't cope, my belief in myself slides so it's lovely to have a gentle reminder that I am doing the best I can. 

This mug from the new JillyJilly range is a great little reminder. I'm often reaching for tea to make me feel better. So now I can do so and remind myself that I'm doing ok, and that I can believe in myself. I also happen to adore the foliage and beautiful greens. It's safe to say this is my new favourite mug!

 JillyJilly have recently turned three. For this anniversary they have released some really lovely positive and motivational new designs - this one included. I can't recommend them enough, and I'm not just saying that because I was privileged to be sent this package to post about. I have also purchased gifts from JillyJilly in the past, I love how unique the designs are and how by buying from them I can support a small UK business. 

If you fancy anything from JillyJilly online shop you can use the code EMMA15 to get 15% off until the end of June. 

Sticky Chai Tea c/o Bluebird Tea Co

Emma Xx