Wednesday, 23 December 2009

merry christmas!

dear all of my wonderful blog readers,

i just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!! and an extremely happy 2010!

ps. if you haven't seen my christmas looks video yet, make sure to check it's a fairly festive vlog about what i'm wearing this christmas and what makeup looks i'll be doing!

i've just made the most delicious cinnamon almond milk

this is a slight aside, but i just HAD to post about it because i want you all to make it right now!!

i made some cinnamon almond milk, which was indeed so divine that i drank it all ludicrously quickly without taking pictures or anything. it was only enough for one cup, but given that i'm just one person, i'd say that was the right amount. it's pretty easy to double/triple/quadruple anyway!

so i started out by soaking some almonds, i actually started soaking just under two days ago, and left them soaking for a day and 'sprouting' for a day. i put it in inverted commas because the quality of the nuts i got is so bad that they are officially unsproutable.

anyway, then i just put the soaked nuts in my blender, probably about a cup full, and then added 3 cups of water. i blended this up really really well, like left the machine on high speed for a couple of minutes, so as to really grind up the nuts in my tiny, not-so-powerful blender. then i added about a half teaspoon of cinnamon and a dessertspoon of honey, blended again for another minute, then put it through the jam straining bag. and it's just slightly warmed from all the blending, and the perfect combination of flavours. yummy!

if you missed my video post about nut milk, do check it out and let me know what you think. i do urge you to try nut milks, it's amazing how creamy and delicious they actually are!

anthropologie loves

by now, most of you probably know i have a small addiction for anthropologie, and it's beautiful quirky designs. so i thought i'd share some of my favorites with you just in case you haven't yet realised the full extent of the anthropologie greatness.
i do hope some of this is in the sale!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

vintage vogue

this christmas i've bought my sister in law the most awesome present, even if i do say so myself. this is actually one of the few people that isn't receiving a homemade gift. given she's been doing an amazing dressmaking course, i thought that a sewing pattern would be a great and very useful gift. but it's no ordinary pattern, it's vintage vogue!

i bought the pattern at the weekend in a craft store, when my mum and i went to chichester again, this time we saw The Snow Queen at the Festival Theatre, which was awesome! there was loads of fake snow, and the costumes were so so so amazing! Amy Jackson, the costume designer for the show created almost 140 individual costumes...all tailor made for each actor.

it made me want to:
  • buy a vintage dress coat pattern and make it up with cream wool fabric, and a bright coloured lining
  • find some incredibly sparkly flat oxfords
  • invest in a pair of incredibly quirky glasses
  • experiment with backcombing my hair
  • buy white tights
  • wear red leather lace up boots
  • paint my face blue
  • buy tulle underskirts.....
if you live in the south of the UK, it's definitely worth booking in to see the youth theatre christmas productions, it's such a fun day out! and you can get totally carried away in the craft shop too...

it's time for the festive food to commence

i can't believe i haven't shared these with you yet...but a couple of days ago i made biscotti for christmas presents. and they turned out beautifully.

i sort of followed this whole wheat biscotti recipe from enjoy healthy eating, but with a few adjustments to what i had lying around. i also made some vanilla biscotti too. i hope everyone enjoys dunking them in their boxing day coffee.

we bought a 25p massive red cabbage the other day, and i promised i'd make delia's traditional red cabbage recipe and then freeze it in batches so we could enjoy it for the next few weeks. so i did. and i'm so glad, because it tastes delicious. there's just one problem with red cabbage, and that's the purple staining...
i'm excited for all the delicious festive food i'll get to eat this season. christmas eve there'll be a smorgasbord with my swedish half of the family, and then traditional english fare on christmas day, including turkey and a chocolate yule log.

the things i'm most excited about though are the vegetables that my auntie will prepare for Christmas dinner, she always does something interesting and un-English to them, which makes them so tasty. i'm also very excited about the smorgastorte on christmas eve, which is one of my favorite foods of all time! (yes, that is a type of savoury cake, full of seafood, OH MY DELICIOUSNESS!)

i'm just hoping that it doesn't snow again so that i can get to all of my relatives homes safely, and not end up snowed in. not that it would matter, as we have 24 mince pies in our freezer and smoked salmon in the fridge, party!

sleeping with an insulin pump

there's only one downside to having an insulin pump and that is sleeping. it can be quite awkward. i suppose it depends on how you sleep normally; i was always a shuffler, so it's no great deal to me. currently my set is on my abdomen, and as such its really easy to sleep, as i only sleep on my side or my back, so it's easy to just roll around and move patrick with me whilst i sleep.

but when my set is in other places, ahem (it's so not ladylike to say it!), it is truly weird to sleep. although i can sleep on both sides technically, it really isn't wise too, becuase that generally results in a set failure due to some tube moving or my lying on the tubing. it can all get in a tangle.

i hope i don't scare you all. let me just say i wouldn't be without patrick, and i'm quite happy to shuffle. be very thankful if you sleep like a log always.

and there's another thing, my nightmares are always consisting of large pools of water and me forced to go in them with patrick still on. occasionally i get super natural dream powers to walk on the water, but not always. it can be kind of scary. thank goodness that these are the only type of bad dreams i have, but it's not a helpful sort of dream.

anyway, sleep is super important for diabetics as it definitely helps to establish a routine within your body, and gives it time to repair. i always have at least 8 hours a night, and feel the effects if i don't quite reach that many hours. because i'm so sensitive to what my body is saying, i can feel the eye strain and the worse circulation might have something to do with not getting enough 'repair time'.

having said that, i also realise that if i sleep for 8 hours but not at my usual time, my blood sugar levels are also slightly off balance throughout the day. even if it shifts by two hours, say instead of 10:30-7:30 (my usual times) i go to sleep at 1am and wake at 9am. as fantastic as it is to lie in, i'm never quite prepared for the reprecussions of eating later, and doing everything later (as well as being more tired!). you can always go to bed earlier, for sure, that never seems to make much difference, and in fact means i wake up more refreshed and energetic. but to wake up later is not usually brilliant...

as always, i hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

favorite foodie youtubers

from now on i hope to post more of my favorite youtube health and food videos and channel recommendations, so to start i thought i'd some up some of the videos currently on my favorites list:

As you can see they are mostly (ok, well actually all are, on reflection) raw food recipes, only because I'm reading and researching loads about it, and there's a HUGE raw youtube tribe. i find most raw youtubers really inspirational, and their attitude is always positive and upbeat - plus the recipes are really new and different to anything i've ever really experienced until now.

ps. i'm sat here thinking about my new year's resolutions...what should my health one be this year? last years was just to cook for other people more often, and to try new dishes, but what that ended up being was my baking more, and feeding people naughty treats on a regular basis, really not good.

making homemade christmas gifts

so here's a little update on the gifts i'm making this holiday season, and just how far they've come...

i've made a whole 3 batches of crabapple jelly, which is pretty delicious, and all but 3 jars are gone (one even over to morocco with my brother!). it was extremely easy to make, even though there are a million steps...and it was totally worth it, as it is really really good!

homemade granola - this is still to be made, but i'm going to use this recipe from the Kitchen Sink Recipes blog, which looks yummy.

instead of the promised pancake mix, i decided to do some homemade biscotti, which i've made today, and which taste absolutely amazing, thanks to King Arthur. i made the first batch plain vanilla biscotti, and the second i added cocoa powder, chocolate chips and chopped pecans too, mmm.

the chocolate truffles will be in full motion on sunday, when i will be making and rolling a good load of chocolate. how terrified am i of attempting to temper the chocolate on my own? aah! i'm sure they'll be totally fine though, as long as i remain vaguely calm.

i've made all the cushions now, bar two tiny ones which hopefully i'll get onto tomorrow.

i've even embroidered names and initials on them to make them more personal (and the fabric is from ikea by the way), these really don't take long to make, apart from the embroidery which is fairly time consuming.
i made an apron for one of my best friends too, who will hopefully ♥ love it (for some reason the photo rotated on upload...):

and get how cute this is, it's reversible and it has her name embroidered into the corner! again, not too difficult a project as it's all straight lines!

and yes, i did make all my own christmas cards, which unfortunately left in the post before i actually photographed them. silly i know, but i could tell you that there was a lot of cutting and pasting involved in the process, and lots of wrapping paper and corrugated card, and you'll have more of an idea!

please let me know if you're pledging handmade, or making any of your own gifts this year, i'd love to hear about your ideas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

snow in england!

i don't know what you're thoughts on snow are but i love it! that's probably because we never have enough in England to get annoyed with it and wish it away. and when we do have snow, it's a fantastic excuse not to work!

well it did snow here today for about 5 minutes, which was awesome. it was actually pretty magical, because I was listening to Cliff Richard singing Let It Snow on my Christmas tunes... more of that in a minute...and I looked up from my computer and it was snowing!

there's no way it'll settle today, as the ground is too wet, but there's snow expected in the south of the uk tomorrow!

mum was talking the other day about how much she'd like to go on a sledding holiday, where she can just sled for a couple of hours a day on real proper thick snow, and then have to drink at least 10 hot chocolates in a day also, of course! i thought new england or somewhere like that would be perfect?

anyway, here are my current favorite christmas tunes to cheer you up on a cold wintry night (unless you live in the southern hemisphere, where then I'd hope these tunes will cool you down):
  • maybe this christmas - the o.c. mix 3
  • orchard house - little women album
  • have yourself a merry little christmas - judy garland
  • sleigh ride - ella fitzgerald
  • it's beginning to look a lot like christmas - dean martin
  • soul cake - sting
  • i believe in father christmas - greg lake
  • mistletoe and wine - cliff richard
  • auld land syne - mairi campbell & dave francis
  • merry christmas mr lawrence - ryuichi sakamoto
  • rockin around the christmas tree - brenda lee
  • walking in the air - peter auty

these christmas tunes are especially good served with hot healthy mince pies snuggled up by the fire chatting with your favorite people.

raw nut milk with hazelnuts, hmmm

some of you might know, but you probably don't know that I have a Youtube channel, which is really about loads of different things that I'm interested in. so, i've just started to move into doing a few more recipe videos...(if you've got any ideas, let me know!) anyways, here's a chance for you to see what i'm actually like, kinda.

so, raw nut milk is my next big thing. i kind of botched the few batches i've made, in that i've not had anywhere to store it, so have made tiny quantities. next though, i'm totally up for making large batches and keeping it in the fridge so i don't have to blend every day! yey!

ps. i made more of my healthy mince pies, which are so absolutely delicious I just can't get over it! and of course, the mincemeat is even better after a couple of days stored in the fridge. and i've just been asked to make 24 more for Christmas parties, because they've got such delicious reviews from all that have eaten them...I even managed to convert a non-mince-pie eater when i served them hot with a bit of Elmlea....mmmmmmmmmmm.

Friday, 11 December 2009

the swedish lake house

when we were young, we used to travel to sweden for our summer holidays. partly because my grandmother is swedish, and partly because it's just the most amazing holiday destination ever.

it really is the most magical place. i haven't been to visit in about 6 years now, and i miss it. i miss the milk cartons, i miss the way everything seems to smell like cinnamon and evergreen and i miss the lake. in my child's mind, there's no better place on earth.

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my christmas wish list

isn't it funny how one stupid hater comment can ruin your day. i tried to not let it. but it did.

anyway, here's my latest YT video, that was requested for me to do: My Christmas Wishlist

here's a breakdown of things I would like (ps. i won't get all of this, at all, but these are just ideas!) :

A subscription to Vogue and Country Living, hats (especially vintage ones), Anthropologie vouchers, theatre and cinema tickets, polaroid camera, Folio classic books, socks, driving gloves, craft stuff, cookie cutters, candles, hot water bottles, flavoured tea, cookbooks, fashion and period costume books, blankets, money, a new camera with a focus, the OC season 4, bare minerals stuff, a vintage bike, cooking course, a puppy, and ice cream maker!!

Counseling Diabetic Children

Thanks to Lauren for another amazing question! She asked:

I'm a Nursing Student and I'm going to a Children's Diabetes camp as a counselor. Having no experience with juvenile diabetes I was wondering if you could give me some tips on what to watch out for emotionally and physically with the kids.

This is such a relevant question to anyone who knows any kids with Type 1 Diabetes, as sometimes it's difficult to know what to be on the look out for.

I've never been to a camp, so I don't really know how they function and how strict they are with checking sugar levels and things like that, but a sure fire way of looking after your kids is to make sure that they know what their levels are all the time, especially when they're doing a lot of exercise, and more importantly to make sure they've always got a couple of snacks with them! Even I forget and need reminding sometimes, so always remind them!! And make sure you've got sugar tablets with you just in case too.

In terms of signs of high and low sugar levels, which will be a big thing to obviously be aware of symptoms of, everyone has their own specific symptoms, so check with your kids on what they feel and look like when their levels go up and down. I'll give you some for instances, and how I look and feel just as a hint and hopefully a little help:

- When I go low, I get really dark circles under my eyes, and my pupils dilate, also I do act totally drunk, I talk faster and my movements are much less coordinated. I also get very hot and dizzy. These are the symptoms that are the most important to watch out for, as they are the most immediately harmful.
- When I have a high sugar level, I get very thirsty and act hung-over, I get very tired and lethargic. Everything goes very slowly and it's difficult to get me to do anything. It's really difficult to keep my eyes open as my body is on shut-down mode. I also become really pale and start to look pretty unwell. There's also the tell tale pear breath smell, that's quite prominent in a lot of diabetics when they have a high level.

These really are the different physical symptoms that you will experience with the kids, but it is different with everybody.

I suppose it also might be worth mentioning that if they get homesick or ill at all that you'll need to monitor them very carefully, and stay with them whilst they're checking their level, and help them decide what to do when they see it.

If a child has had a couple of high sugar levels, it would be worth sitting with them to figure out how you can both bring the level down together. Sometimes when I've had a couple of bad sugar levels in succession I make bad decisions, and don't think properly about what I should do, like injecting rather than bolusing. I can get quite stubborn too, and think I know better, when I know I'm not thinking clearly! I can also get very forgetful when my levels are bad, and forget to bolus which makes things a lot worse...

in terms of emotional things to look for, if I haven't already covered them, then I'm not really sure! there'll be the usual camp problems like homesickness, which could mean disturbed sleeping patterns, illness or just some dodgy sugar levels. and homesickness won't just happen to the quiet ones, it'll affect the loud ones too!

i suppose also, there'll be a varying range of ages and stages of diabetes, and some children will be better able to cope with things themselves than others. Some might have just started on an insulin pump, whereas others might have started a few years ago, and some might not have made the switch yet and still be on injections. Make sure you ask them this, and watch carefully to see what they do know how to do. The great thing about a diabetic camp is that the kids can learn from each other and be supported by their friends, so make sure that they are all getting along well together!

I hope that kind of answers your question! Do ask other questions as a comment if you like, and I will answer as best I can! The other thing to do, is to read back through some of my older posts, which will help you get a better feeling for what living with juvenile diabetes is like, so you can relate more to the children.

Here in the UK, as far as I'm aware there aren't any diabetes camps at all, so I don't have any experience of them. Although I did go to a regular camp when I was younger, it's not quite the same...I would love to do some counseling at one though, it'd be so much fun! I hope you enjoy your experience! (I stand corrected on this matter, and am totally going to email Diabetes UK to ask about helping out at one...!)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

flowers make me happy

one of my new year's resolutions last year was to try to have fresh flowers in the house all the time, and i think we've done pretty well. and it's made me so happy this year, i can't even say! i thoroughly recommend it as a resolution for 2010...

scrumptious salad

i've been reading even more about the raw food diet, and yesterday i ordered myself a book that was recommended by a raw foodist which is called the 'mucusless diet healing system' by arnold ehret which was first published in 1922. hopefully i'll receive it today or tomorrow, and be able to have a good read. it sounds really interesting, and is still provocative and relevant to today which is the key thing.

so, after having read so much about this diet, i have made a conscious decision to try to incorporate more RAW vegetables into my diet. i already eat one fresh apple and one banana each day, but i want to move it forward. so a few days ago i made this delicious salad, and have had it for lunch the last couple of days. it's so filling and delicious, and whilst it's not an actual raw salad because it has feta cheese and toasted nuts in it, it is the step up the ladder closer to health.

i thought i would feel weird eating a cold salad whilst the weather outside is so miserable, but it had the opposite effect to what i thought. it actually was very refreshing and just what i needed. it was very filling too, which was fantastic! i did have loads of cups of green and herbal teas yesterday to keep me warm though, but i do that on any regular day, as my fingers get so cold typing all the time.

I've been trying to incorporate as many British grown vegetables too, as it seems weird getting them from South America or even further afield. I do admit that there are some vegetables I just love too much to give up, so I do buy produce from Europe. Anyway, that's why I popped beetroot on my salad, it's not a vegetable we usually have in the house, but it's not expensive and it can be grown in this country: Winner!

Did any of you see Delia's Classic Christmas, wasn't it lovely? I have to admit I was disappointed that she didn't do too many vegetables, and that my favorite dish she cooked was the red cabbage, I love that it can be made and then frozen: healthy and convenient is a fab combination! I think my favorite TV chef is Jamie Oliver, because he loves to do interesting things with vegetables....who's yours?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

healthy mince pies recipe

i've been searching and searching for a healthier alternative to an otherwise ludicrously sweet christmas dessert (as most of them tend to be). and i could not find a recipe online, so as always i took one, and adapted it - i don't often follow a recipe exactly!

when you buy mincemeat in jars, it's often laced with sugar and glucose syrup. so below is a recipe for both the mincemeat and the crust. i don't use suet in my mincemeat any more either, which is really more of a personal preference, because i like the freshness and delicate nature of my filling recipe.

so i hope you enjoy this recipe for healthy homemade mince pies. which are equally as yummy, but not as bad for you! you can easily make them gluten free as well as dairy free by substituting your favourite gluten-free flour.

healthy mince pie recipe
makes 12, plus more mincemeat for the fridge

 for the mincemeat:
2 finely chopped (gala) apples or 1-2 cups homemade apple sauce
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup apricots
1 tbsp linseeds
3 tbsp agave nectar
1-2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves, ginger and nutmeg
5-10 tbsp water

1. add all of the ingredients to a pan.
2. cook for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it achieves a pulpy consistency (you may need to add more water), and the flavours have mixed thoroughly. 
3. then leave overnight.

whilst your healthy mincemeat is simmering, make the pastry, to put in the fridge overnight also.

for the pastry:
225g plain flour (i use 50g buckwheat, 50g wholemeal, 75g gluten free, 50g regular) 
175g butter substitute (Pure, or margarine, or coconut oil) 
65g coconut sugar
1 beaten egg

1. mix the flour and the butter substitute and mix until it forms breadcrumbs.
2. then add the sugar and the egg. bring it together into a dough. 
3. wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
4. the following morning, turn your oven on to 180c/350f.
5. roll out your flour as thinly as you dare. and cut out circles for your bases, and smaller circles or stars for your tops. 
6. put the bases in a tart/cupcake tray, and fill as much as you can with your mincemeat, then top with the smaller circles/stars and brush with an egg or milk wash.
7. put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

cook's notes:
- these freeze beautifully and are perfect to make a month or so before Christmas!
- they last a good few days in the fridge (though i've never fully tested this as they usually get eaten too quickly)
- i like to sprinkle Swedish pearl sugar (Dansukker Parlsocker) on top of mine just after i egg wash (but before they go in the oven) - it's a really pretty addition, and gives a nice little extra crunch.

leek and chicken pie ♥

as we were sat on the train coming back from london, i had but one thought. leek and chicken pie. for no particular reason. i hadn't seen it that day, i hadn't even smelt it (that i can remember), nor had i read about it. i just couldn't stop thinking about it.

so. the day after, i went and got the things to make it, and rustled one up in the kitchen.

i used jamie oliver's savoury shortcrust pastry recipe (changing the flours, of course!) from Jamie at Home, which is definitely the best ever pastry! even though i don't ever follow it exactly, and i never use lard, but butter. and i always sub the flour for a mix of gluten free, plain and wholemeal. and i pretty much don't add cheese to it, because we never seem to have any. but it is a good basis!!

then i kind of created my own filling for the pie, based on a Waitrose recipe for Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie. here's how i made the filling:

- i cooked 2 chicken breasts, and 3-4 rashers bacon. once cooked, i chopped them up and sprinkled them onto the base of my dish.
- then in a large pan, i cooked 2 stalks of celery (cubed), 1 diced onion, 1 clove garlic (chopped), 2 chopped leeks. simmer for about 10 minutes, whilst continuing to stir. then add 1 tin of (my favorite storecupboard item) condensed cream of chicken soup - i use Bachelors. fill the tin with water and add to the pan, then give it a good stir. add salt, pepper and a shake of dried or fresh parsley.
- add a small amount of bouillon powder, and some extra water, depending on how creamy/runny you would like your pie dish to be. i added about 2 tsps of bouillon to a tiny half pint of boiling water, which worked out pretty well.
- pour this on top of the meat, and stir thoroughly. top with the pastry crust, mark with a fork to allow steam to escape, and decorate with any extra pastry. brush with beaten egg.
- put in the oven until golden, about 40 minutes.

serve and enjoy!

what to wear with an insulin pump

Thanks Amanda for your fantastic question!:

I find that there is a restriction on the type of clothes that my girl can wear after having the pump. She can't tuck in the shirt into the jean like most of us did. It is also difficult to find her a dress ( one pcs type ) as there is no place to keep her pumpy unless she wear another shorts with pocket. Did you face similar problem ? Can you share where and how you put Phil?

Now, this is a question I know I have some expertise in answering! In some of my early years on the pump I got really frustrated with how to wear it, and I was really conscious of other people seeing it or the tubing.

Fortunately I got over helps when you rehearse what you'll say to people when they do see it, and to realise it's nothing to be embarrassed about, in fact you ought to be super proud to have one, and also to figure that actually no-one will notice it being there and think it's a phone or a pager if they do.

If someone does notice it, sometimes they ask directly, but other times when they're staring or I catch them glancing curiously, I just straight outright tell them what it is and ask if they have any questions. Pump therapy (and juvenile diabetes for that matter) is something most people don't have a clue about, and so I like to educate people!!

Moving on to clothing. I used to cover up so much, but now I don't care. I'd sometimes rather protect P from too much damage or the weather, especially when I'm going to be quite active. In fact, here is a picture of me, with my pump on, but can you actually see him?

So here are my tips and tricks:

- A Pump Clip - so that you can clip your pump onto your trousers or skirts or underwear. These are useful and sturdy (but make sure you always have a spare, because they do snap if you accidentally sit down too fast in the cinema or on a plane where the seats are small with armrests to bash against)

- Tubigrip/leg support - these are particularly useful if you are wearing a hip skimming dress, as you can comfortably wear your pump on your inner thigh, without worrying he'll jump out.

- Empire line dresses - or dresses that are fitted around the waist, or just under the bust, will flare out as your pump is rested on your hip and therefore skim straight over the top. I buy lots of tshirt dresses and unfitted dresses, which i pull in the a belt under my bust, which creates a shape, but does not make Patrick too noticeable. I wear leggings with dresses all year round, as they are a sturdy support for P. In my experience, there's only one type of dress you cannot wear, and that is a very short, very tight one, as there's nowhere to put the pump.

- Long tops and cardigans - can protect my pump from the weather and any damage, i layer these up to create a stylish look and then patrick gets lost under all the fabric

- Hipsters - I don't wear trousers that are waist high, because there wouldn't be space enough for the tubes, and when I have tried them before they are too tight and block the insulin. Hipsters generally have more freedom of movement, plus they just look better on me!

- I even have a couple of jumpsuits that I wore most of the summer, which I loved. They are impractical in a few ways, but it does protect P, and when I bolus I just go to the bathroom or my bedroom

- there are some times that i forget that i'm wearing a dress, and i'll need to bolus for food, but i just absent myself to the washroom, and bolus there. people don't mind, at all, you'll just need to be polite if you've forgotten whilst you're already eating!

- in summer, if you've got your pump in your abdomen, make sure you've got lots of all-in-one swimsuits with you, or tankinis, as you might not want to wear a bikini, and i'd recommend not being in the water all the time, as the solution that sticks your plaster down may wear off with too much swimming

- try not to wear tight trousers or jeans whilst your infusion set is on your upper buttocks, as this might reduce the effectiveness of the site, and can be quite painful.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

switching over to the pump

i was recently asked: is switching to the pump really difficult?

and my answer to that is, yes. but it is very worth it!

learning about insulin pump therapy is complicated, but if you put the time and effort in, it won't take you long. mind you, i was a teen, rather than a child so i was able to understand everything a little better and quicker.

there may be things you already know how to do, like counting carbs, but there will be things that are new. part of the learning is also working out real life problems that the doctors and nurses don't tell you about...which is why it's good to know somebody that is on an insulin pump already (like me, for example!) that's been through every problem.

the real difference about being on an insulin pump, which is why it is such a successful way of managing juvenile diabetes, is how much more aware of everything you need to be. you'll need to be more specific, check sugar levels more, be aware of the times you eat, what you eat, how much you exercise and when. there's basal rates to keep an eye on, and infusion set problems. but most of these you learn along the way. the key is to ask your nurse all the questions, and maybe take a pen and paper to write down things they tell you that aren't in the brochures.

all of this controlling is an effort to regulate your sugar levels, and can be trememdously successful and worthwhile in the end. and after all it does become routine after a time i promise! and as with everything, the more energy you put into it, the more you'll get out of it, and the healthier you will be.

i hope that answers things...

any questions anyone has, please don't hesitate to ask!

Show and Tell

Here's a bit of an update on what I've been doing lately... and make sure you ask me anything you want to know the answer to, or a video you'd like to see me do!

christmas decorations ♥

garden-store christmas decorations... aren't they pretty? we always go for red and gold decorations. and mum has this thing for little ornaments too, we have loads.a very cute miniature christmas village in Haskins...this is our tree this year... we seemed to have run out of tinsel and lights this year, so my imagination was definitely necessary.

scars from insulin pump infusion sets

thanks to Amanda for asking about infusion set scarring. i know this is a pretty frustrating issue for a lot of people who are on an insulin pump.

i do have a lot of little scars on my infusion set areas, and there are a few things that i do to avoid them getting really bad. the first thing is to make sure that i do regularly change my infusion set, as this will prevent any really bad scarring. my time change is every 2.5 days, that seems to work out pretty well for me, but it's different for everyone, depending on how your body copes with the absorption of the insulin in a particular area.

the other thing i do, is to rotate my sites, which will enable a particular area to heal itself a little better than it would otherwise.

as for the colour of the scars, my little white pinhole scars are practically the same colour as my skin, so i don't worry so much about them, but for anyone with skin darker than mine (which i would imagine is most people!) I can understand how this would be frustrating.

i would recommend using a body oil, as these are the most effective 'skin structure re-builders', and use something that's made for the intricate facial tissue, as it's more likely to have better and more effective nutrients in it. i would also recommend more expensive brands, as more refined oils are much less greasy, and more helpful. Two brands I would recommend are: Bio-Oil and Rosa Mosqueta Oil, which are both really magical re-structuring oils with great reviews.

make sure to apply it morning and night to the area, and give it a really good massage, as the heat from your hands will aid the oil to work properly, and the pummeling action will help to re-align the cells. massage for at least 2-3 minutes, working in different directions and motions.

if you still have questions to ask, please let me know what they are, i'd be happy to answer them for you!

eating and food shopping in London

me and my mum went to london last thursday! and on that trip, we pretty much enjoyed all of london (well not all, but we did manage to get a load of different things in to a short space of time)...our first stop was Wholefoods, which I was very very very excited about, after having gone to the one in New York City.

Actually we went to the Wholefoods in Soho, as there's a few in London (but nowhere else in the UK, yet...) and I was just in love with the store. It's beautiful and everything is so delicious looking and healthy. There's a whole bunch of different stuff, but it's all natural and organic, so basically everything is good for you. What a change to be in a store where I can eat everything, and I don't have to detour past any aisles, and to know that anything I bought would be inherently good for me!

I checked out the raw food items, like Maca powder, Lucuma, carob, cacao butter...
and I tried a Conscious Raw food bar, the Berry Christmas one with Inca berries, bilberries, blackcurrants and cinnamon. OH MY WORD! DELICIOUS!! ♥

Who knew that it would be so creamy? It truly is fantastic chocolate, and the kind to that because it's so rich and amazing, you want to save some of it for later, so you can prolong the experience. here's a photo of my mum holding a Conscious bar (yes they are tiny and expensive, but seriously amazing)

Monday, 7 December 2009

when i was young

i know i promised you, my lovely readers, to some old pictures of me (on account of my scanning them in for a christmas surprise!) and so here they are...

Friday, 4 December 2009

i went to london, oh yes

so here's our journey in pictures...

we started on the train, of course, to London, which takes well over an hour, but we chatted all the way so it flew past. mum tried on my hat, and decided it was definitely time for a new one (but more of that later!)

then off to find Wholefoods - i went to the one in NYC and when i found out that there was one in London, i had to go! And its amazing, rows and rows of delicious things to eat, including Booja Booja ♥

and i got to try my first lot of raw chocolate, and wowee did it taste good. it was expensive though, but definitely worth it for the experience. it was really creamy and the perfect bitter/sweet combination.

the most exciting part of the shopping was Anthropologie, which I have been loving looking at online, and the new-ish store in London was phenomenal. they write your name on the cubicles and everything. i bought a dress and a jacket, in the sale! one of which is my christmas dress (photos to come soon)

the store is beautiful. with a living wall, and a skirt made out of blue and white china (above) the homewares are just amazing, and the clothes are so unique! mum bought her hat in the store, it's a navy blue version of my hat, only chunkier and much nicer.

we went to beyond retro too. a very cool vintage store, but given that i am rubbish at shopping in vintage stores i didn't last long. the quantity of clothes is overwhelming, i only wish i had more time and a hardcore vintage shopper by my side, guiding me through...

we went into Harrods too ♥ we saw the international designer lounge and i inspected up close an oscar de la renta outfit, which was simply stunning. it made me want to try to make a chanel style jacket (anyone know any good jacket sewing tutorials?). we went to the food hall and bought a cookie and an almond mince pie. i saw a row of these payphones right next to the restrooms, and i thought they were brilliant!

off to winter wonderland in hyde park, where there's tons of gorgeous rides and the scent of hotdogs in the well as an ice rink of course

then we went to see Wicked, which was amazing, i highly recommend it to everyone and anyone that wants to have fun and be inspired!

we got home really late, and the train was super busy all the way back.

all in all a wonderful day! we're going again twice in january, which will be the most i've ever been to London in such a short space of time. mum's buying me the tickets instead of my christmas stocking this year, how great is that?!

anyway, over and out, have a great day!

Monday, 30 November 2009

a ridiculously gorgeous photo shoot by robynne

one of my favorite bloggers of all time, Fashion on Edge, recently posted an Autumn / Fall photoshoot she took, and i just had to show you guys. it's absolutely amazing, and I wish this was how I looked all the time...

she's done some other amazing shoots too, time goes by was extremely fabulous, english heart made me want to wear hats every day and the chameleon post was just amazing too. robynne nows how to style a look together, and how to work vintage...i am in awe.