Basically this is me…

What doesn't kill you DEFINITELY makes you stronger

16 in 16 – Update 

I am now 7 months into my 16 in 16 challenge, Link to original post 👉🏻 http://wp.me/pZ5bU-4N so I thought now would be a good time to do a slight catch up and let all you lovely people know how I have been getting on.

Unlike most of my New Years Resolutions, I have been actively working on completing theses challenges and I am happy to report that I have so far completed 6 of them, and by the end of this month I should have completed two more.

I am very proud of myself for setting these goals and not giving up. It has been a rough year and it would of been so easy for me to decide to not bother so I am very happy with myself that I haven’t.

Have a look below and see what I have completed and I will be doing a post for each goal I have been completed.

16 in 16
1. Pass my driving test
2. Get fitter- ✅ ongoing

3. Do a race for life
4. Cons, cons and more cons – ✅ Yes/Yes/Yes


5. Go to Downton Abbey
6. Do a photo shoot
7. Weekend in London and see West End show
8. Go to Edinburgh✅

9. Sing at an open mike night

10. Go to the Harry Potter experience and do a tweet up✅

11. Go to the Dr who Experience

12. Have a Spa weekend ✅

13. Buy a Designer Bag✅ – see post here- http://wp.me/pZ5bU-8u


(💞💞💞 so pretty 💞💞💞)

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

I will keep you updated with my progress and let you know how the next 5 months of my challenge go 😊

xVx

 

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A day with the butterflies 💞

Pictures taken from my recent visit to the Butterfly Farm in Stratford Upon Avon.

Was such a gorgeous day and I adore butterflies. I have been wanting to visit the butterfly farm for a while so I am so happy I finally got to go 😍



 



xVx

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June Favourites 


I am going to start this post with HOW IS IT THE END OF JUNE ALREADY!

This month has flown by! And as it is a very nice tradition I have started here are my June Favourites

I MET GILES!!!!!!!!!!! 

I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and this month I attended the Prophecy Convention in Birmingham which was ran by Rogue Events.

This convention had a bumpy start as some of the main guests dropped out just before but I would still say this was one of the best conventions I have ever been too, I got to geek out with my friends, meet some lovely guests and I finally got my Giles Hug 💞💞💞

For thoses who don’t know Anthony Stewart Head, who plays Rupert Giles in the show, hugs are legendary! And I have been very vocal about the fact that 1) I wanted to meet him and 2) I wanted a hug! And it finally happened 💞💞💞💞


You can tell by my face how happy I was and he was a delight to meet.

I have to admit the star of the con though was the lovely Marc Blucas who played Riley on the show. Most people would say ‘I hated Riley, but big fan of Marc’

By the end of the convention, Marc had everyone swooning over him. Such a warm, funny, down to earth chap. This was his first ever convention and I really hope he does more.

I got a photo with Marc. And as I was waiting my turn. I heard him ask a convention goer their name. Which in my experience is unheard of while having photos. So when it was my turn I went straight up to him and said hi, I’m vicki. To which he replied Hi I’m Marc. Made me giggle at the time as obviously we all knew who he was but it showed just how lovely he is.

 

Bill Bailey 


My husband and I over the last couple of years have been going to more comedy gigs and last year we bought tickets to see Bill Bailey.

I will be honest, this gig was more for Phil then me. But I had a brilliant time. The only issue I had was that I was in so much pain. It is safe to say that I can no longer do a full day at work, travel and then go to a gig! Definitely need time to rest inbetween. 

New Job Present 

Started my new job, with the new team so only seemed right to buy myself a well done present. 

AND WHAT A PRESENT!!!!!


Two of my favourite things Funko Pops and Harry Potter 💞💞💞

Instagram 

Basically This Is Me is now on Instagram! Makes sure to follow me to keep up to date with posts and pictures 📷📷📷📷📷📷

Race for Life 

OMG it is this weekend!!!!!!! 

It had gone so quick but I have come so far and I am determined to cross that finish line on the 10th July 💞💞💞

So June has been a bit of a blur and how are we already 7 months into 2016. 
This year has and continues to suck! So be kind to one another. 

                             xVx 

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April/May Favourites 


It’s been a hard month and I haven’t been in the right head space to blog. I’ve given myself some time and the creative juices started to flow again.

I do enjoy completing my monthly favourites. It really does help put things into perspective. Even though my husband and I are going through a lot at the moment. It does us good to stop, breathe and think of the good things in our lives also.

So that being said I have decided to complete my monthly favourites for April and May.

Monthly Favourites 

Margaret

If you follow me on Social Media or read my previous post, you will be aware that my mother in law lost her battle with cancer at the end of April. The last month has been so sad and we miss her terribly. She is in my favourites because I wanted to celebrate her life and knowing her. From the first day I met her she welcomed me into her family. She was strong, fierce and protective but also caring and gracious. She loved cooking, ballroom dancing and spending time with her family. She will be so missed and I am so grateful that I joined her crazy family.

Race for Life 


In Margaret’s memory I am completing the race for life in July. Due to my poor health, I was considering dropping out however Margaret was the first person to sponsor me and was so touched that I was raising money and doing the race in her name, I refuse to give up!

For the last 4 weeks I have been slowly building up my strength, walking, swimming and strength training. My body is coping well but I get tired really quickly and at the beginning I was in agony the next day, which luckily is easing off. Training with a chronic illness has been difficult but I refuse to be beaten and in less than 6 weeks I will cross the finish line for Margaret.

If you would like to sponsor me (pretty please) here is the link to my just giving page

IWOWN 
With training for the race for life and generally wanting to improve my fitness. I bought a fitness tracker. After doing some research and having a strict budget, ( no fitbits for me!) I found this beauty on Amazon


The IWOWN smart bracelet, it’s been fab! I’ve been able to monitor the amount of steps I do a day. I was getting annoyed that I struggled to get passed 5000 a day so I changed the step goal to 6000 a day which is equivalent to 3 miles. It’s been pushing me to keep moving and on many occasions after walking a lot and wanting to stop, I’ve been saying “think of the steps”

Cons, Cons and Cons 

I love going to a convention, and in the past 8 weeks I’ve been to two!

End of April I went to Storybrooke Uk in London. Which is a convention for the TV show Once Upon A Time.

Was such a lovely weekend, got to meet my Twitter friend Alice who I have been speaking to for years. Got to see my con friend Sheena and spend the weekend geeking out 🙂

If you are a fan of the show you might recognise some of these people

Hook!!! Also known as the lovely (and very cute) Colin O’donoghue

Lee Arnberg- plays Grumpy on the show, but was also one of the Pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean

Meghan Orhy -plays Ruby in the show and is one of my favourite characters. She also said she loved my shirt ( there was a picture of her character on it)

Lana Parrilla- Regina / Evil Queen.

Rebecca Mader – Zelena/ Wicked Witch


Sean Maguire – Robin Hood

In May, I went to City of Heroes 2 with my husband. This convention is for fans of Arrow, The Flash and Gotham.

I enjoyed our weekend but it was insane!!! So busy and so crowded but the guests were fabulous.

I was able to get a photo with the stars of Arrow


Stephen Amell and David Ramsey

I also got to meet the brilliant, fabulous and VERY rude John Barrowman. He was one of the highlights of the con.

So you can understand how insane this con was – here is a picture of all the guests

For the party in the evening, I went as Agent Carter and wore this gorgeous Lindy Bop dress with a petticoat. Felt gorgeous and got so many compliments 💞

 

Day at the Races 


Last week I went to Leicester Races with my mum and dad and had such a brilliant day watching the horse racing.

We had a 3 course meal with this brilliant view and over the day I won £40!

Not something I do every week but I would definitely go again!

 

Make up Organiser 


I was lucky enough to win this make up organiser after entering a blog giveaway and it’s bloody brilliant!

1. It’s is actually making me wear make up! I don’t usually wear make up everyday however with having it on show everyday it’s making me want to have a play and make more effort with my appearance.

2. I can find my makeup! I seem to spend my life trying to find products that I have lost. Having it all together has made my life a lot easier.

X-Men Apocalypse 

Such a good film, I came out of the showing buzzing. I am a huge X-Men fan and I have loved the McAvoy/Fassbender films. Definitely one to go and see.

 


So those were my favourite things  – what have been yours??

x V x

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Legally Blonde at The Curve Leicester 

You know you are onto a good thing, when you come out of a performance at the interval with your friend and both of you say at the same time ‘I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!!!!’ 

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the masterpiece that is Legally Blonde- The Musical. 

  

 

I was a huge fan of the movie and when I found out it was being turned into a musical I knew I wanted to see it. However, very annoyingly, I have never had the chance.
So when I saw on Twitter that the Curve in Leicester were going to do  a Legally Blonde production, I bought tickets straight away! I didn’t even know who I was going to go with. I just knew that I wanted to go! 

Luckily for me my lovely friend Lainy wanted to come, actually she pretty much screamed down the phone to me when I asked her- lets just say she was excited to go. 

And did I mention we were front row???? 

 

If you have never seen the film Legally Blonde (side note- how have you not seen this film??) 

It is a story about a cute blonde Soritoty Girl called Elle Woods. She is convinced her boyfriend Warner is about to propose. However instead of getting a diamond, she gets dumped. 

Elle is devastated and Warner leaves to go to Harvard Law. This is when Elle decides that she is going to go to Harvard Law herself and win back her man, by showing him she can be serious too. 

In the Musical, which is running in Leicester until May 14th. Elle is protrayed by the ridiculously talented Lucie Jones who is a delight from start to finish. 

Ian Lesley joins her as Professor Callahan and Tupele Dorgu makes you fall in love with Paulette all over again, and can bend and snap with the best of them.

Jon Robyns plays the adorable  Emmett and we both left with a little crush 💞

With catchy songs that, 2 days later I still can’t get out of my head. I would definitely recommend going to see this brilliant production. 

I have decided not to go into much  detail about the musical itself. Due to the fact, I loved being surprised and not knowing what was going to happen. 

So grab your friends and head down to the Curve and see this wonderful show! You will not regret it.

And just so you know I have already booked to see it again with my sisters in a couple of weeks 💞
http://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/legally-blonde/

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#16in16 Goal no 13

13. Buy a Designer Bag

    💞💞💞💞 My baby 💞💞💞💞  

With all the goals I made for myself in 2016, this is the most materialistic. 

I am a bag lady! Always have been, always will be and I have lusted after designer bags for years! My favourite are Chanel, Marc Jacobs and of course Kate Spade. 

After a year of little money and being really poorly I was determined to have one of my goals be something to treat myself and splurge after months of budgeting and saving.

But this is me and I struggle to spend money. So when I heard that T K Maxx had Kate Spade bags at a discount in stock I had to look and came away with this gorgeous bag. 

It was nice to treat myself and have something I will treasure for a long time! 

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16 in 16

As discussed in my recent blog, last year was awful! I was diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption and it pretty much wrecked my health and my life.

I have spent the last year pretty much house bound, so when I began to get better and stronger at the end of last year I was determined to make this year count.

So in January, instead of creating new year’s revolutions. I created 16 goals

16 things to do in 2016

16

 

1. Pass my driving test

2. Get fitter

3. Do a race for life

4. Cons, cons and more cons

5. Go to Downton Abbey

6. Do a photo shoot

7. Weekend in London and see West End show

8. Go to Edinburgh

9. Sing at an open mike night

10. Go to the Harry Potter experience and do a tweet up

11. Go to the Dr who Experience

12. Have a Spa weekend

13. Buy a Designer Bag

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

 

As it is now March I have already completed some of these.

I will be writing posts about my experiences and how they helped claim my life back.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my journey back to my life.

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Coming to terms with the P word

POO!!!!!

I know a random way to start a blog post, but I will explain.

In the past year I have been diagnosised with a condition called Bile Acid Malabsorption

Bile Acid Malabsorption is defined “as a cause of chronic diarrhea, with the patient having their bowels open several times a day”

This lovely definition doesn’t add the pain, the exhaustion, the fatigue, the malnutrition, the fear and the hopelessness that comes with this illness.

It doesn’t add that it took 5 months for a diagnosis, the 3 months I worked without knowing what was going on, was scared to eat, wasn’t sleeping and was turning up to work 2 hours late as I couldn’t get of the toilet. The 3 months I was bed bound as I was so ill, the 7.5 months I had off work as this illness destroyed me or the recent 5 weeks I have had off work since January due to a severe relapse.

It doesn’t talk about the 20 plus tablets I have to take a day to try and control the illness. Which on most occasions doesn’t work.

meds.jpg

 

It doesn’t talk about how after a severe ‘episode’ my husband would have to meet me at the bathroom and pretty much carry me back to the bedroom as I was in so much pain I could barely walk.

The cancelled plans, the friends who think you are a bore or the effect it has on you psychologically.

This is an illness I will always have. The medication shown above, I will be on most of it for the rest of my life. I am now dairy free, gluten free (ish) and rarely drink alcohol. Sometimes I struggle to walk, struggle to leave the house and struggle to see the goodness in my life.

And the main thing that really annoys me, is after everything I’ve been through I still struggle to say POO!!! I go red, I get embarrassed. I have sat in front of my consultant, who deals with this EVERYDAY and said I still got to the toilet often! WTF!!! what is it about saying Poo or diarrhea that makes me want to curl up into a little ball and die!

I would like to say, I have got better with saying it and it is due to the lovely lady Sam Cleasby. If you don’t follow her blog you should! Sam has been diagnosed with IBD and even though we have different illnesses her strength, her courage and her openness with her illness have really helped me cope. When my health deteriorated so quickly last year, she had written a blog post about using a disabled toilet that went viral. She was the voice I needed to hear and I have followed her blog sobadass.me since. If you read this Sam- I just want to say Thank you so much. You have kept me sane the last year and you are awesome!

I was also lucky as I found a wonderful support group on Facebook. Anyone reading this who has been recently diagnosed with BAM – sign up now! www://facebook.com/groups/176952655839795

My experience has shown that doctors do not have enough knowledge of this illness and it is not well known. Finding this group has been wonderful as I can ask them all the random question I have running in my head, If I am scared, or low or confused, there is always someone online I can speak too.

So there you go, That is me.

I hope that this post will help anyone else who is ill, not just with my condition but any condition. Chronic Illness is horrendous and having an invisible illness makes you feel so alone. In the last year I have been discriminated against so many times as people do not understand what I am going though so if I can end this post with one thought it would be this- Be Kind Always.

be kind

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Hello… It’s me

My apologies to Adele but I had too!

 

Hello all, I’m back.

train

It has almost been a year since the last time I blogged. As some of you know I was (and still am) really ill and found it difficult to talk about. I have had a really rough year and it still something I am having to deal with now. However I feel stronger and I am ready to start talking again.

At the time, one of the other reasons I stopped blogging was twitter and the internet in general did not feel like a safe place to be a plus size blogger. It seemed like everyday bloggers were being attacked for being themselves and at that time I was not in a good place to join them.

People are dicks! this is what I have learnt, however that does not mean that they have the right to stop us living our life. And even though I decided to close my blog I continued working on myself, reading other PS bloggers and learning to love myself.

In the past year my confidence has greatly improved, I have started swimming again and don’t try to hide my body, I am loving fashion and am making more of an effort when choosing my outfits. My current obsession is Lindy Bop dresses! they are so pretty!!!!

dress

I am also a lot more comfortable having my picture taken and not hiding my body by taking close ups or angled shots. This is me world! deal with it.

The reason I am back now is that honestly I have missed writing. It was my escape and the way I coped in the world, and no one can take away my voice. I also feel like I have a lot to say and refuse to hide anymore.

But if I am going to restart my blog and talk about my life I need to be honest. I have kept quiet about my illness as I find it embarrassing however no more! As my blog title says Basically This Is Me and it is time I start respecting that.

I will talk about my illness in a future post, but for now I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me last year and I hope you will rejoin this journey with me.

 

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Little by Little

I haven’t blogged for a while as I haven’t been very well, I have been having issues with my stomach since January and unfortunately for the last couple of weeks it has been a real struggle. Which meant blogging went out the window. Which is a shame because I really do enjoy it and the response I have had about my last posts have been very heart warming and very appreciated, Since admitting the issues I have had with my health, my depression and self image I finally feel comfortable to be me and say what I want too. I have also been making more of an conscious effort with my appearance and what I am wearing which has already had an amazing effect on how I am feeling about myself.

Unfortunately, with how my health has been the last couple of months things have become to slide, my depression was bringing me down and I seem to have been in an awful cycle of work-home-bed-work-home-bed. I wasn’t looking after myself or my home.

I am not proud of what I am about to show you, but to truly understand what it is like to be living with illness and depression, I have to be honest.  The picture below is of my bedroom. I couldn’t move there were bags, clothes, Christmas presents and rubbish everywhere. You can even see at the corner of the picture my Wedding Veil.

IMG_8799

I had no energy to do anything but sleep, eat and repeat and I had enough. A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday when I didn’t feel too bad, I started tidying, sorting and organising. It took over 10 hours but our room went from above to this-

   IMG_8848

I sorted out the floor, organised the chest of drawers and even went through my clothes and wardrobe.

I had got into the awful cycle of having clothes hanging up that I could no longer wear, they were too short, too small, too old or falling apart and I spent every morning just trying to find anything that would fit me.

I am in the lovely position to say that every piece of clothing in my wardrobe fits me, it is such a small stupid thing but makes the world of difference to me and how I feel about myself.

In the end there were 10 bags to be thrown away, 4 recycling bags, 4 bags full of clothes to be sent to charity. One bag of clothes for my little sister and 2 bags of clothes to be thrown away.

IMG_8817

Lots and lots of bags

I’VE GOT MY ROOM BACK!!!!!! 

And it is still tidy, I have become obsessed with organising my clothes and putting things away which makes a nice change. I had to go into hospital on Monday for a procedure to help my stomach and when I came back my hubby was helping me empty my bag. In my medicated state I was being very bossy and telling him exactly where I wanted him to put my clothes and personal items I had taken with me. Good job he loves me 🙂

Little by Little I am pushing forward and making an effort to get better. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it looked beautiful in the end.

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