Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Hopes and Wishes

flowers c/o Flowerworld 
Dress - Needle & Thread

This gift box is empty of physical gifts but it's full of my hopes and wishes for me and for you this Christmas.

My biggest Christmas wish is that one day I will be as healthy on the inside as I often look on the outside. To have 100% health would be like winning the lottery. It would be a dream come true. As you probably know, I'm working on my health through treatment but I wouldn't turn down a Christmas miracle! 

I wish for more awareness for invisible illnesses so that people like me don't have to feel how I sometimes find myself feeling. I do struggle a lot in terms of how invisible my poor health is. It can be hard for others to understand just how unwell I am when all they see is the carefully chosen photos of me looking a picture of health. I feel very aware of this. A lot of the time I can't even relate to those photos, like the ones above. They can often show such a different reality to what I'm actually living with which is the beauty of photography. However, I often find myself feeling like I need to justify them, to explain my hobby, the one thing that gave me a sense of identity after chronic illness took away my last one - I guess that's what I'm doing right now! 

I also wish for better health to all those who suffer so bravely, especially to my friends who smile through it all and support each other in the darkest of times. 

I wish that those who are healthy will keep the gift of health for as long as possible. 

I wish that you will be surrounded by the people you love the most this Christmas. It took me a while to learn this but I believe the most important things in life are the people around us and that spending time with those we love is the greatest gift, not status, power, money or objects. The greatest Christmas gift is spending time with those we love. Although I hope you find the gifts you want under your tree too!

Christmas can be hard though when some of our loved ones are no longer with us. If like me your missing someone, I hope that you can remember them in your own way today. 

I hope you have the best day, filled with your own traditions but if you're feeling extra ill, or if your family is intense, or you just feel a little bah humbug remember it's ok to take time out today. 

I wish that you all have a very merry Christmas and that 2017 will be a fantastic year for you all. 

My box may be light, but it's heavy with hope and wishes. 

Emma Xx

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide 2016

I'm one very excited twenty six year old because Christmas is almost here! To get into the Christmas spirit and to distract from my Lyme disease treatment I have created a Christmas gift guide featuring mostly independent shops and designers because I think it's so important to support smaller businesses at Christmas and a great way to find unique gifts. There are still a few high street gifts included. Links to all items can be found at the top of each description. I hope you find something that you like.

Flying Robin necklace by And Mary £30
Sitting Schnauzer necklace by And Mary £30
Baby Pickle The Penguin necklace by And Mary £27
Sleeping Squirrel necklace by And Mary £30

And Mary have featured on my blog before back in summer. They are another independent shop based in Scotland selling beautifully painted and well made porcelain jewellery, accessories and door knobs. The designs are very nature based focusing on all kinds of animals. It's so hard to show you just how beautiful they are through photos. All these necklaces have so much detail not just on the front but on the back too. The Robin for example has every feather painted in on the back of its wings to create a life-like effect. 
The same could be said about the Sleeping Squirrel which is hiding away in a little acorn. Turn over the necklace to wear a beautifully painted acorn - a two in one necklace. The penguin and schnauzer are so adorable and perfect for Christmas!

Fox Note Books by Papio Press £5 for two.
I found Papio Press on Instagram last year, they are an independent shop selling all sorts of things illustration with woodland, animal and floral prints. If you like Rifle Paper Co then you will love Papio press!

Woodland Hare brooch by Layla Amber  £10.00
Layla Amber is an independent designer who works with wood to create beautiful jewellery. I purchased this brooch a few years ago for my Mum who loves it. The detail is so beautiful. My Mum always receives so many compliments on it.

Crazy Cat Lady pin by Morgane Carlier £7.08 

Morgane is an independent illustrator from France. She created all sorts of pretty things, from custom blog designs, avatars and portraits to pins, mugs and totes. Morgane is one of my favourites on Instagram. She's such a lovely person as well as a super talented artist. This pin was a gift from a friend, but one I've had my eye on for some time. It comes in white or black. A purrfect (see what I did there?!) gift for a cat lady.

Fairy lights - by Paperchase
The woodland fairy lights brighten up dull, cold winter days and add a cosy feel to your home. My set were a birthday present from my best friend. They've been in constant use since October will be throughout Christmas and into the new year. Unfortunately I can't find them online this week but I have spotted some other amazing lights by Paperchase.
Pinecone lights £12
Cookie cutter lights £12
Ginger bread men £12

A Dash of Magic tea cup by George at Asda. £2.50 

Can you believe the price of this tea cup?! It's bigger than your usual tea cups making it perfect for a good strong cuppa. Fill it with chocolate coins and box it up for a perfect low cost gift.

Winter Wonderland patterned mug by JillyJilly £9.00*
Winter Bunny stud earrings by JillyJilly £8.00*
Winter Wonderland pocket mirror by JillyJilly £3.50*
Winter Wonderland pins by JillyJilly £1 each*

JillyJilly is another independent business run by Jilly and her husband in Scotland. Together they make beautiful prints, mugs, jewellery and stationery as well a very lovely personalised range.
Last year I featured a personalised JillyJilly Marshmallow World mug.
I really love the Winter Wonderland range and think they would make great gifts. Everything from JillyJilly is wrapped so beautifully which is also handy for those less fortunate with the wrapping paper!

Ginger Fox Ballerina Slippers By Next £12.50

These cute foxy slippers are super cosy with their soft furry lining. I've purchased myself a pair as well as for a family member.

Perfect Alignment Solar System necklace by Eclectic Eccentricity £55*
Starbuck Star Bracelet by Eclectic Eccentricity £17*

Starting from £5 and up there is something for everyone in the Eclectic Eccentricity range. From the cosmos to gem stones they have so many things to choose from. I adore this solar system necklace and star bracelet and think they are great additions to a party dress.

Vanilla Chai 
Shower Gel by The Body Shop £5
Vanilla Chai Body Butter £14

The smell of the Body Shop's Vanilla Chai range is amazing! It's a perfect Christmassy scent to get anyone in the festive spirit. Also not featured, the Spiced Apple range is a must for Christmas.

Green People starter kit by Green People £25

This is the gift for anyone who is into natural non-chemical, organic products. I bought this a few months ago as I'm trying to cut down on my chemicals use while I'm having treatment so at the moment they are my go to essentials. The scented ones smell amazing.
Box contains - fruit scrub 30ml (microbead free), Vita Min Fix 24 hour moisturiser 30ml, Intensive repair shampoo 30ml, Neutral scent free shower gel 30ml, Scent free Sun lotion SPF30 30ml.
These minis come in a blue gift box. The face scrub is my current favourite. Made with apricot kernel powder instead of micro beads so it's ocean friendly as well as cruelty free.

And that is it folks! That's my 2016 Christmas gift guide, I hope it has been helpful. I've really enjoyed creating it. All the gifts in this guide I've bought past and present, gifts I've been given recently for my birthday and PR samples which are marked with a *.

Happy shopping!

Emma Xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A Little Autumn Treatment Update

Watch - Jord, Original illustration - Sara Rocha, Chocolates -Hotel Chocolat. Photo Emma Anderson 2015.

This year I've seen so much more of Autumn than I have for a long time. Every day since the start of October I have been traveling to the clinic where I have been having treatment for Lyme disease. At the start all the leaves were green but everyday I've watched them through the passenger window of our car change from green to yellow, orange and red.

So far my treatment is going ok, I'm managing really well and feel a sense of relief to finally be on the right track and to be getting the help I need. It will take a long time to get better and I've only seen one or two tiny improvements so far - although massive to me! So I'm feeling very positive about this and what's to come over the next few years.

While the last month has been intensive and demanding on my body, I've really enjoyed my Autumn. I never expected to meet so many lovely people or to cry with laughter while hooked up to an IV infusion, but I have. Most days I would rest for the first hour in a private room and then on days I felt stronger I started joining the other patients after my rest if the clinic wasn't too busy. We talked about all sorts of things; it was surreal because I felt so normal, so understood by these people who also suffer with Lyme and chronic illnesses. The luxury of not having to explain my illness or having to deal with the sense that I'm being doubted gave me a boost in confidence. Fortunately we all get it, we all understand and there was a mutual admiration for each others' bravery in dealing with this illness. It's sad that we have found ourselves in this predicament, that the NHS is so ill-equipped at treating us that we all felt we had no other option but to embarking on private treatment.  

I'm now on the next stage of treatment and I don't need to be at the clinic everyday. In fact I don't have to go for a few weeks now. It's bitter sweet to finish this intensive month, I'll miss the other patients so much, I didn't realise how much I miss social interaction. The whole experience has shown me just how isolated I have been. I'm happy though to get some much needed time to rest as well as hopefully getting out a little more to enjoy the last of Autumn.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my Go Fund Me page, you have helped make this treatment possible. I feel so thankful for this kindness and I don't think I could ever fully express my gratitude. We've raised over £5000 so far which paid for most of the IV treatment, oxygen and medications I've needed over the last month. Without this help IV would not be an option, so thank you for helping me get the best start to my treatment. 

I hope so much go get back into blogging soon, I feel so rusty as I type this but I have a few ideas that I want to share on here. 

I hope you're enjoying this vibrant season as much as I have been. I won't be forgetting this one for along time. 

Emma Xx 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

And Hobbs Flower Crown Workshop

 Autumn is just around the corner but as usual I'm hanging on to what's left of summer. It's not been the summer I expected, cancelled holiday plans and hospital appointments almost weekly didn't leave me with much energy to enjoy it as much as I hoped but I did manage a few days out and for that I'm really grateful.

One of these days out was to the opening of And Hobbs; a little boutique shop in the small village of Shere, full of creative finds and items from independent makers.

To celebrate the opening of the shop the lovely owner Libby organised a flower crown workshop with local florists from the Kingfisher farm shop.

Despite not knowing if I would be physically well enough to go on the day, I signed up to the workshop as soon as I heard about it. Learning how to make a flower crown has been something I've wanted to do for years and on the day I was lucky to be well enough to make it to the event in the evening.

After looking around the shop I  headed outside behind the store to a courtyard space with long bench tables and a string of lights hanging overhead. There were buckets of all kinds of beautiful flowers ready and waiting to become crowns. The atmosphere was magical. It was the perfect place to spend the evening.

After the lovely florists told us how to get started we chose flowers and foliage and got to work. I found the workshop very easy to do and very therapeutic. I chose pale pink and white roses, blackberries and accent foliage. My mum who accompanied me chose bright pink Gladioli, phlox and lavender. I think both turned out well .

Sadly fresh flower crowns don't last long, a few days at the most. So after all the work and effort that went into creating my crown I couldn't just let it sit around and not take photos of it! The next day I was feeling a little worse for wear as expected. However I did attempt to take some outfit photos but I felt too ill and needed to stop and think again. There's that old saying - where there's a will there's a way. And after a rest I came up with the idea of creating a flat lay of photos to share on here which was much easier for me to do.
So here are our crowns, team up with my favourite summer wedges and stilettos both by Kurt Geiger.

I really enjoyed my time being creative at And Hobbs. For those in Surrey you might like to look out for future events happening over on the website hereThere's another flower crown workshop taking place on the 16th of September.

Emma Xx

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The journey that led to my Lyme Disease diagnosis

It's taken me a long time to write this;  almost eight months have passed since I found out I have chronic Lyme Disease and it's taken me a while to get my head around it and I'm still working on that. I wasn't shocked initially when I found out, I was happy to finally have pathological results stating the facts of what's going on inside my sick body. I wasn't really prepared for how this would make me feel though, I feel daunted by the task I now find myself facing. 

I know that this information gives me a better chance at recovering and with the right treatment I can beat this. Sadly there isn't much help currently available on the NHS, and there won't be for a good few years. The current guidelines are being reviewed and the new ones won't be out until 2018, which is too late for me. If left untreated Lyme is a progressive illness so I haven't got time to sit around waiting any longer than I already have for the NHS to sort themselves out. Sadly this means self funding my treatment. I've been learning as I go, finding out as much as I can, as much as my foggy brain will contain, so that I can be my own advocate.

For those of you asking, and for anyone else who's interested in finding out about Lyme disease I thought I would write a personal post about how I got to where I am today. My story starts in September 2009 with severe sinusitis and flu-like symptoms. It was a few days into my course at the University of Arts London, London College of Fashion. It was my dream to study there, so I pushed through the illness and committed to the three hours of travelling every day to East London from Surrey despite feeling so awful. I visited my doctor twice, the first time he sent me away, the second visit a few weeks later I was prescribed antibiotics. I thought this would make me better and my symptoms did improve while taking them but as soon as I stopped the antibiotics I started to feel ill and exhausted again. In the few weeks of better health I had a Flu jab to protect me from catching flu on my commute, but soon after new symptoms started creeped in, headaches like I'd never experienced, my whole body ached and then severe leg pain started. It was so awful that a few times I found myself fighting back tears on the Underground. This is when I started to think something was seriously wrong. 

By December I was starting to fall behind at college and over the Christmas holidays I started sleeping in a coma-like state up to 22 hours a day. I started experiencing excruciating nerve pain in my arms, constant migrane headaches and cognitive problems. I attempted to go back to my course but I could only manage a few hours a day, some days only an hour before I knew I needed to get myself back to Surrey, back to bed, back to darkness. Everything seemed too loud and too bright. Even the sound of the heating quietly ticking away at home was too loud. 

In February I was called in to see the head of my course to discuss my situation. I needed to take my course work with me, but I didn't have the strength to carry my portfolio or my books, so my mum had to go with me to carry my work. We all agreed I needed to take time off, I was told that I would be more than welcome back in September. 

I saw the doctor again, she tried to say I was depressed, I wasn't, I was sick. Thankfully my mum spoke up for me and demanded they helped me, this is when the blood tests started. One of these blood tests was a Lyme test, an ELISA test which is used as a Lyme screening test. That was the first time I heard of Lyme. It sounded serious, a horrible disease, so I was happy to hear it was negative. Only last year did I start to understand the reasons why an ELISA test can be negative and unreliable. Firstly it's not the most sensitive test, secondly it was a while after my symptoms had started and I might not have been making enough antibodies for a positive test because Lyme suppresses the immune system. Furthermore, this year I requested my medical records from my GP surgery and cannot find any evidence of this ELISA test actually being carried out!

After many more tests I was finally diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in June 2010. I attended a lifestyle management course, had B12 injections, and pain killers that did more harm than good, but sadly that's all the NHS could offer me. The rest was up to me and fate.

I improved a little in 2013, enough to have hope of returning to studying by using herbal protocols aimed at strengthening my immune system, so in May 2013 I looked at Bournemouth and Falmouth universities with the hope of applying later on that year. I was determined to finish my course that I was forced to leave in 2010 by this illness. I had my heart set on the beautiful seaside town of Falmouth. I was still very ill at the time but I was functioning a lot better than in previous years so being fully better didn't seem too far off in the future if I continued improving at the same rate. Then in July after a shopping trip with my best friend I felt awful and my symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. It was then I noticed a rash on my left leg, it looked very odd, like a bullseye but it didn't hurt so I didn't seek any medical help, I thought it was just a spider bite, my mum and I laughed at how odd it looked. As it faded I forgot all about it until last year.

My symptoms have gradually got worse over the last three years. My energy less and less. Any activity that might have made me temporarily worse in the past seems to take a more permanent effect. I picture it and describe it, for those who can't understand too well, as walking down a stairs into darkness, the next step down becomes my normal before another relapse forces me down again. Each step down means I can do less and less. This has been a massive mental challenge, whereas before I was getting better and ever hopeful, this slow deterioration has left me at times feeling very low mentally.

I've always been proactive in my recovery, from finding out very early on about pacing to trying out acupuncture, medication and herbal medicine. So post shopping and post bite I went back to my herbalist and tried to make progress again that way but with no luck. My herbalist and I both felt puzzled as to why I suddenly stopped responding. A few months later I stopped the herbal tinctures altogether. 

I found myself asking my GP for help and she arranged CBT with the Chronic Fatigue Service clinic but there was a very long waiting list.I channelled my focus on getting diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), a condition I've had since early 2010, with extreme sudden onset. I had no idea what it was, why I couldn't stand up for more than ten minutes or why I fell to the floor daily in a heap with my heart racing, vision and hearing gone, feeling extremely dizzy and nauseous.

 It took a year for me to find out about POTS and it was 2011 before I could put a name to these episodes. My occupational therapist who ran the lifestyle management course for CFS/ME suggested I see a cardiologist. She could see all the classic symptoms of POTS in me but sadly my doctor refused, and it took four years of asking before I switched doctor and was finally taken seriously. By this point I was constantly feeling nauseous and spending increasingly more time lying down to help ease it. In August 2015 I was finally diagnosed by a cardiologist and given medication which has helped. I truly believe I would be permanently bed bound now if it wasn't for that medication.

After finally getting diagnosed with POTS I started to wonder about my other symptoms.  My brother sparked the question for me after hearing a radio programme about Lyme Disease and it wouldn't go away - could I have Lyme Disease? 

In February 2015 my brother told me about a girl on the radio who talked about being misdiagnosed with ME who actually had Lyme Disease. Her symptoms where the same as mine, the way she became ill sounded a lot like what happened to me. This is when I first started to question my diagnosis of ME. The questions lingered and a few months later I found myself reading Spoonie Sophia's blog about getting diagnosed with Lyme and how to go about it. Sophia's story helped me to make my mind up, having been ill for six years I felt I needed to rule out Lyme disease and put my mind at ease.

The more I learnt, the more I felt I needed to be tested. I scored extremely high on the Horowtiz questionnaire - a questionnaire that's been designed by one of the world's leading Lyme doctors.( I really recommend filling this out if you suspect Lyme might be involved in your illness.) It was only then that the odd comical bite came back into my mind, could it be the classic Lyme EM rash? I needed answers. I couldn't live my life in hope of getting better while constantly getting worse and by this point I started to experience facial numbness which is now an almost permanent feature. 

I couldn't sit around waiting or contemplating this any longer so I approached my GP asking if she would support a positive result. She requested I had a Western Blot test for Lyme disease on the NHS and said she would do what she could to help. My Western Blot came back negative, as I expected. Again, with Western Blots they often come back negative due to insufficient antibodies being made by a suppressed immune system. You can also have positive bands on a negative Western Blot that indicate the presence of Lyme but this is often missed by the NHS.

So in January this year I took the first step as my own advocate by contacting AONM who are Arminlabs UK contact. The process of ordering my test was simple. I filled out some questionnaires and they told me which tests were most likely needed based on how my symptoms scored. They sent me a blood test kit and after agreeing the tests, paying and arranging my postage with FedEx, I made an appointment to have my blood taken at my local surgery. This I had done for free as my GP said it was okay, however the management of the surgery weren't too happy, nevertheless I left with a box of my blood which FedEx picked up from my home.

A few weeks later I found out that I was positive for Lyme disease, that my immune system was severely suppressed and, on top of that, my body was fighting co-infections - other tick born bacteria and chronic viral infections. No wonder I'm feeling so sick.I don't think I will ever know how long I've had Lyme disease. I have a few theories, the first being that I have had Lyme since 2009 or maybe longer, but the herbs in 2013 helped my immune system gain some strength to start fighting it causing the rash to emerge. According to Amercian specialists, Jemsek, it is indeed possible for a rash to appear later on. Secondly, that I was bitten again, or, thirdly, that I was bitten for the first time in 2013 and also have ME and did have for the years I've been ill before that - but the last doesn't explain my why the symptoms would be the same up until this year.

I took my results to my NHS doctor, she didn't know what to make of them and sent copies to a local microbiologist and it took six months to hear back from him. He wasn't helpful - he suggested having a Western Blot repeated on the NHS. I knew that the NHS was a long shot so this wasn't surprising, I've heard of many people having their private results dismissed. The problem is that it could take twenty Western Blots before I get a positive, and even then the treatment on offer from the NHS is so limited I would need to seek out help else wear.

Pretty much the only option for chronic Lyme treatment within the UK is at a private clinic, the Breakspear Medical Clinic in Hemel Hempstead. I am now under Dr Monro, a well known doctor in environmental medicine. 

Dr Monro wouldn't accept my current results on their own so she ordered more Lyme tests from two different labs which both came back with positive results. Interestingly my Western Blot from Igenex in America was negative but with positive bands, and that, along with three other positives and clinical presentation was enough for my diagnosis.

I now have a treatment plan including IV, injections and oral antibiotics as well as supplements and liver support. Breakspear also want to address my chronic viral infections, POTS and other autonomic dysfunctions. The doctors treat the body as a whole rather than just the Lyme infection. This approach makes more sense to me and I believe treating everything that is wrong with my body will give me a better chance at beating the Lyme and becoming healthy again.

I'm yet to decide how much of it my body can cope with and what I can afford, it's not cheap paying for private health care but without this chance my future is pretty grim. There isn't really an option, I have to get treatment. I'm well aware of how my illness could progress and the damage it could lead to. I hope to respond well to whichever treatment option I go for and the prospect of feeling and doing better in the next few years is one that will keep me going. I'll keep you updated on my journey to health.

I also want to cover more Lyme related questions that I have been asked about a lot on social media. If there's anything you would like to know just comment or email me and I will add it to the list for future posts.

Emma Xx

Useful links

 questionnaire I recommend by Dr Horowitz

 Why Can't I Get Better? Book by Dr Horowitz 


Breakspear Medical

 Spoonies Sophia - The ups and downs o testing for Lyme Disease

For more Lyme information on Lyme Disease I recommend checking out: International Lyme and associated diseases society (ILADS)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Summer Jewellery favourites

Summer is almost over so I'm making the most of wearing my seasonal jewellery. I'm a big fan of quirky necklaces and have been since my early teens. I've collected some colourful pieces, some I've kept to this day although some, like a multicoloured chain mail number, didn't quite make it into my grown up jewellery box!

I really like pieces that mix unusual with classic. Three of my current favourite brands are Bill Skinner, And Mary and Alex Monroe. All three have lots of animals and nature in their designs which I really like.

 For today's post I want to share some amazing pieces from the And Mary range. All made from porcelain and hand painted in Scotland. I'm really excited by these new additions. I've been wearing the strawberry necklace a lot as well as the little bee - which I blogged in my last post (here) sorry for not including a photo!

The detail on all of the jewellery by And Mary is amazing, from the little leaves on the pineapple to the wings on the blue tit. I felt inspired by the jewellery to create a tropical summer painting too. I haven't managed to paint very often, or nearly as much as I would want, but when I have I've been creating colourful little watercolours to add colour into my surroundings.

And Mary have so many beautiful pieces on their website, I really adore the little acorn necklace (here), which will go on my Autumn wish list. Until then I'm hoping for more sunshine as I'm just not ready to say goodbye to summer.

Which necklace is you're favourite?

Emma Xx

Necklaces - C/o And Mary - All opinions my own.
Pineapple - here
Strawberry - here
Blue Tit - here
Humming Bird - here

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Oasis - Secret Garden Collection

Dress - Oasis c/o House of Fraser
Bee Necklace - c/o And Mary
Belt - Primark - old
Embroidered espadrilles - vintage

This is my garden, my secret resting place, where you'll find me on a fine day, tucked away in a corner listening to the bees buzzing and birds chirping away. I've always been an outdoors person. I can't stand staying inside buildings for too long, which is why - when my health allows me, and the weather, of course -  I'll be outside, with a book or my eyes closed in meditation.

Despite not being able to get out into the real world, I've been making more of an effort to wear outfits that make me feel happy, embroidered blouses and floral prints are my staples. This dress by Oasis is a perfect piece to make me feel happy, with a nod to the 60's and those amazing bell sleeves I couldn't resist it. The dress is part of the Chelsea Physic Garden collection by Oasis. A twenty-five piece capsule collection of stunning botanical prints inspired by London's oldest garden, the Chelsea Physic Garden. A red bricked wall encases this very special garden. A place that has been influential both in medicine and art for hundreds of years. I've never visited the Chelsea Physic Garden, but I feel inspired by this collection to add it to my list of must see places for when my health improves.

Bees are my favourite little insect, they give us honey and they pollinate our plants and crops; essentially we would not survive without our glorious buzzing friend. This beautiful little porcelain bee necklace has been handmade by And Mary with so much detail it really feels alive.

My garden may be wild in comparison to a well kept botanical garden but it's one of my favourite places to be. So if the weather is good, you know where I'll be.

Emma Xx

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Vintage Blossom

This year my blog has taken more of a back seat, this is mostly down to my health getting worse and because more recently I've been exploring new possibilities towards the path of good health. I guess for now you could call me a sporadic blogger and I'm ok with that. Despite seeing this debated over Twitter a lot, I will be bold enough to say there is no right or wrong way to blog, no set amount of posts to make you a real blogger. A few years ago I felt very differently about this. Back then if this outfit didn't hit the Internet pretty much the week it was photographed it would cause me great anxiety and stress over missing my weekly target. A silly thought, especially when you live on such little energy. I admit I did wonder if I should share it now, weeks later, a whole season later. Yes! - Is the answer to that. 

Taking photos like this is becoming more difficult for me, it's a massive task for my body but it's something I love doing. My blog allows me to express who I am, lets me be just me for a while and not only that girl with complex chronic illness. No, sporadic will suit me just fine for now, although I hope there won't be many posts to come that are published a whole season late! 
So even though Spring has long gone and a very grey British summer has set upon us, here is my vintage Spring outfit. I bought this dress through the app Depop a few years ago now. It's one of my favourite dresses for warm spring days. It's one of those dresses you just want to twirl in - and that makes me happy!

I hope you're having a good day.

Emma Xx 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Emma's Coconut & Lime Bundt Cake Recipe Featured on Wayfair

Emma's Coconut and Lime Bundt Cake Recipe For Wayfair 

Spring is finally here, the sun is shining and the promise of summer is just around the corner. For most of us, it's the perfect opportunity for some relaxed alfresco dining—maybe a barbecue with family or a summer garden party with close friends. Whatever the occasion this season, this zesty coconut Bundt cake is the perfect, easy-to-make show stopper. 

A few weeks ago the lovely people at Wayfair contacted me to ask if I would be up to the challenge of creating an original recipe for them. Of course I said yes, because I'l take any excuse for cake! It's also an honour to be featured on their inspiration page. For this challenge, I wanted to create a cake that would stand out, be full of flavour and be easy to make too, which I believe I have achieved in this lime and coconut Bundt cake, drizzled with white chocolate and topped off with strawberries. I'm so pleased with my recipe, and the winning combination of coconut and lime, I would go so far as to say its the best cake I have ever made. 

Because I created the recipe for Wayfair, I can't share it directly here but if you click on the link (here) it will take you directly to my recipe on the Wayfair inspiration page.

I would love to know what think of my recipe, let me know if you make it!

Emma Xx