By Natasha Keating

Thursday, 15 October 2015

I have your monthly gift dear....

*WARNING: This post may be TMI for some. And aimed at ladies only for obvious reasons*
Hello there!
As the title suggests, this is indeed a monthly gift but i'm not going to talk about that kinda of gift that the famous 'Tampax' ad refers to. But instead Im talking about gettin a monthly gift for getting your "monthly gift". Basically. If you don't get what I mean then keep reading.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

#Face OCD - Show your support

Hello everyone

Im just sure many of you are aware of The Red Duchess but if not you definitely need to check her out, you can find her on Facebook, blog & youtube. Caroline is doing amazing at creating awareness in Derry of Mental Health problems, as openly being a sufferer herself, she uses her knowlege and experience to bring weekly videos on mondays on the topic of Mental Health.

Caroline has met with our local council, Derry City & Strabane District Council, to help create more awareness in our city and reach out to those that do suffer and let them know that they are not alone. She has come up with the hashtag #FaceOCD and this week is #FaceOCD awareness week. Check out the video below that will explain a bit more.



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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Derry beauty wins ‘Face of Foyleside 2015’

Last Saturday, 26th September, I wasn’t in Derry so I missed Foyleside Shopping Centre’s 20th anniversary celebrations. As part of the celebrations foyleside ran a competition to find the ‘face of foyleside’. Twelve beauties took part in the final, walked three fashion shows, and all finalists were trained prior by Style Academy’s Director, Tracey Hall. A panel of fashion and beauty experts judged the competiton.

 The beautiful Rebecca McMonagle was crowned 'Face of Foyleside 2015' after a hectic day of modelling. Rebecca is nineteen years old, and is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Queen's University Belfast.


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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Home from Home, The Essentials..

You know summer is officially over when the schools, colleges and universities reopen. I can’t say I miss school or university that much but I miss how easy life was when I was at school.
As I have been through school, college and university I thought I would use my experience to help give people an idea of what you need for starting or going back to college and moving into halls/dorms away from home. I remember before I started university it was very daunting as not only was I moving away from home for the first time I was also clueless what I needed to bring with me. I searched web wide for checklists, ideas and bargains for ‘student life’, maybe just like you are now and that’s how you came across this post.
I found it hard to find a one stop shop so found myself buying the odd bit here and there. Some of the shops I found good for the things needed were Argos , Dunelm Mill and tescos.
One thing you have to remember when shopping is that this stuff should last you for the 2/3/4 or 5 year duration of your course and therefore it is best to get good quality goods. Especially bedding, as lets be real, students do get away with sleeping more and sometimes need it more after the late nights be it studying or partying.
I have been made aware of a company called Parachute and I wish I had discovered them when I was going to university. They have lots of high quality bedding and a range of décor too.  It is always useful to research a company and get a taste of what they are like, this can be time consuming. As this an unfamiliar brand to some, like myself at first, and to save you the bother I will give you a quick rundown.
Instead of me doing a poor job of telling the story of how Parachute came about I have screen grabbed the beautiful Ariel’s words for you to read yourself.
 
 
According to parachute, one third of your life is spent in bed. If that’s the case then I couldn’t agree more on the importance of high quality bedding. You only have to go to your local department store or check online to witness the extreme pricing of such bedding. But parachute has changed that, they can provide us with this high quality without the high price tag.
Basics you need for moving aware are the likes of:
- Duvet
- Pillow
- 2 x Duvet cover sets
- Kitchen utensils
- Dinner Set with Mugs
- Cutlery
- Glass Ware
 
Aside from the Basics I found it useful to get some of the following:
 
Candle – A candle is a great way of making the place your own and makes you feel at home, especially if it’s a scent you usually burn at home. But be sure to check if your accommodation allows you burn candles as some can be funny about it. Parachute do a nice collection of candles you can find here.
If you aren’t allowed candles an alternative would be a reed diffuser or those handy little sachets you can pop on your radiator.

Throw –  A throw came in handle in some many ways for me. Theyre are great for adding colour, for warmth on winter nights as an extra layer, to get cosy in the communal areas while watching movies etc. or for those late nights you’re doing work and don’t fully want to get into bed. Parachute’s throws, which can be found here, look so chic.
Speakers – Whether it be when you are chilling in your room on your own/ with friends or be it a party, most likely, speakers are a necessity. An added bonus is when it has a built in alarm clock to make sure you make it to class. I had one like this one from argos which is about £40 and can be found here.
 
Lamp - for late night reading/studying or better light for doing that nights makeup look this is a must. Some may be lucky and already have a lamp provided but if not it will come in handy. I loved having a lamp for the mornings after as the main lights never went well with my hangover head. Any lamp would be good and theres lots of great value lamps out there but I liked this one which is similar to the one I had. This lamp comes in a variety of colours so would be great way to add colour to your room and again help towards making it your own. Can be found here.
I hope this post helped even in the slightest. I know many have already started and would have most of their stuff in but it wasn’t until I was there a week or even a month before I realised extra bits and pieces that I needed so maybe you haven’t already got some of the items I recommended and if not get a pen and piece of paper (or notes on your phone) to jot them down so you don’t forget to pick them up.
Chat soon..
Natasha xx
 
 
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Saturday, 8 August 2015

I can explain....

Hello,

It is me! The girl that use to post on this blog but disappeared over a year ago. And as the blog title goes I CAN explain, the title at first was going to be ‘How my world turned upside down’ but I didn’t want to scare anyone away lol.

My last post was on the 9th June 2014, little did I know just FIVE days later I would wake up to the worse news I never dreamt  of ever hearing.

Friday the 13th, 13th June 2014, my mother was rushed into hospital with a pain in her side which was suspected gallstone.



Saturday 14th June 2014, I was woken by my Dad, to the news that my mother in fact had CANCER. (This would explain why my post title was going to be what I mentioned above.)

Without getting into the whole story or the details which someday I might put in black & white as right now I am not ready to but I will hit the main points.

My mother had an aggressive cancer in her bowel and at time of diagnosis it had already spread to her liver. My mother and I both were told we had IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome), which might be TMI for some people but it goes with the story, albeit my mother always suffered more with IBS than myself or most people which kind of makes more sense now. The symptoms for IBS can be confused with the symptoms for bowel cancer which would explain why my mammy was suffering with it without knowing it was something more than a flare up after she ate.
Since my mammy was diagnosed we knew that the cancer was very aggressive and even with treatment there would be a day, sooner than we ever imagined, that we would lose our mother. There were many trips to the hospital for treatment, overnight stays for infections, surgery and home visits from doctors and nurses for 6 months. 
  


After 6 months my mammy lost her battle with cancer, 12th December 2014. My dad was praying for it not to snow and all my mum was saying throughout her illness was that she just wants to see the snow and on the day she passed away it snowed not long after her last breath. 

So now my mother will be gone nearly 8 months. And I am writing this post on the 15th anniversary of my fathers’ mother coincidently.

My mammy loved Christmas and she was wanting us all to get Christmas jumpers to wear on Christmas day so we thought it fitting at her funeral everyone near and dear wore Christmas jumpers so all the family and friends wore them which you can see all the family with them on after the funeral below.


In the end the cancer had spread throughout her body. I am lost without my mother who was only 43 years old the day she died leaving it be now just my dad, my sister Elisha (now 21years old), my brother Nathan (now 17years old) and jack the baby (now 11 years old) living at home. But together we are getting there and hopefully now with blogging again I can be kept occupied doing something I enjoy. (No joke! It took me at least an hour to write this bit.)

I haven’t been properly blogging in nearly two years which would be about right considering for this last year being a nightmare due to our loss. But for the year previous I was suffering with anxiety and depression for a number of reasons, firstly I was going through a bad time in my love life which I won’t get into but mainly it was the stress of juggling final year at university as well as dealing with all the emotions you could be faced with.

I am now graduated with a 2:2 in BSc Hons Quantity Surveying, which yes is a great achievement to have completed and passed a degree but I was so disappointed with my final degree which today I am still disappointed but trying to not dwell on my disappointment and get past it. I was always doing well in my university work getting a first in mostly all my work and if not it was never below a 2:1 but due to everything that was going on in my life I allowed it to get in the way of my uni life and affect the whole year. I am not making excuses but just stating my regrets as it was only me that had to and did do the work to get the degree.

Only by writing this post is it allowing me to see and remember everything and the amount of things and changes I gone through in the past two years does it allow me to be grateful for where I am and appreciate life. I am only 24 years old, gone through more than most people in their 40s but I read a quote that the hardest struggles are given to the strongest soldiers (or something to that effect) and it’s so true. I believe am I a strong person and a stronger person for what I have gone through because I got through all the obstacles and getting through life when I could never imagined being able to.

I don’t know why I have even written this post as I don’t know if anyone will read it or need to know as I know I don’t have to explain myself but it literally feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders to be able to put everything in my head in black and white and to allow me to start blogging again to keep me occupied in my wait for a job and to avoid me feeling guilty by posting blog posts with a year to 2 years gap without some sort of explanation.

I am so glad to be back and can’t wait to get back to blogging more regularly.

Chat to you all soon, with a more upbeat post and beauty related, I promise.

Love,


Natasha xx
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