A definite positiveΒ 

Ovulation test! 

I’ve never used ovulation sticks before but today I got my first positive ovulation test! I took one yesterday and one the day before which were both negative but today’s is definitely two pink lines! Test is darker than control! So this means ovulation is going to occur in the next 12 to 30 hours so hubby is in for a fun night tonight!! 

Fingers crossed this is our month! 

A new beginning

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for me and I can’t decide whether I’m excited, terrified or indifferent.

We’re officially trying for a baby!

For most couples this is the beginning of a whole new journey of up and downs, left and rights, upside down, inside out, lots of negatives and maybe the occasional positive but for us this is our last call to parentsville. (Again) We have one year to achieve and maintain a pregnancy. After that, I’ll be booked in for an endometrial ablation, a procedure that essentially microwaves the lining of my uterus to stop my ‘heavy periods’ 

This section of my blog is something I never expected or planned on writing about never mind sharing with an unknown audience! It’s mostly for my benefit, I want to look back and see/feel/remember exactly how I felt at that particular time. I want to try and write a daily post, even if it’s just a paragraph. I want to express my emotions mindfully. I want to share my experiences with other people who may be feeling similar. I want my husband to read and feel even more proud. I want my kids to have more of an insight into their Momma! I want to create something positive to come out of something that has a chance of failing.

But I’m not thinking about failing today. Today I started the first period on time, as expected with no issues for the first time this year! Don’t get me wrong, the pain has been pretty shite but it means that I actually have a ‘day 1’ which means I can start taking the fertility meds to help us try to conceive!

So, here’s to the beginning. The beginning of the month, the beginning of our first cycle, the beginning of lots of TMI moments and the beginning of lots of positives, even if not the one I’m looking for!

πŸ’š


The ExperimenterΒ 

Can we just take a moment to admire the obnoxiousness of this bath bomb?

I’ve officially been a Lush addict for an entire year now and to celebrate I decided it was high time I give the one main line item I’d not tried a go and I was not disappointed! 

This bath bomb is outrageous! In fragrance and design. I love the shape, it’s a nice change to the spherical norm.

Smelling the bomb itself, it’s a spicy little number that certainly knows how to sting your nostrils if you dare get too close! It’s probably what put me off for so long. 

Everything gets excited once it’s placed in the water, the blue and pink part is fast fizzing and propels it round the tub in a glorious dance while the white and orange parts are foamers and spit out a shit ton of glitter! A unicorn mayaswell have farted in my bathroom! After the first minute or two of chaos, an element of calm sets in once the colours settle on the water. Shades of pink and orange create sunsets while the stark contrast of the green water deepens. Beautiful to watch and I definitely got some of my best photographs yet!

Once in water I can definitely smell all three fragrance oils. Vetivert being the top note with an overtly smokey, earthy smell. Great for depression and anxiety, circulation, muscle aches and joint pains with its anti inflammatory, antiseptic and aphrodisiac properties. Winner!

The rich, thick, slightly sweet smell of vanilla is also fairly dominant, which again lends itself to the earthy element of this bath bomb. Vanilla itself has some amazing health benefits too, which include being an antidepressant, great for PMT and low mood. It’s also an aphrodisiac and antiseptic and has been shown to fight infection and even cancer cells! How about that! 

Finally it’s all balanced together by the lightness of the Tonka. It’s slight sweetness links all three fragrance notes beautifully. Tonka also has antiseptic and aphrodisiac properties, however it should be noted that Tonka and Tonka beans can be fatal if ingested in large quantities. 

I loved this bath bomb, I felt grounded and relaxed and most definitely refreshed. If you like rich, masculine scents then this is the bad boy for you. 

Four And a half out of five πŸ’š

Rice bowl and veggies

Last nights tea was brown rice and veg, I’ve been craving it for days but time hasn’t really allowed me to go shopping! So we popped to Lidl and managed to actually get my hands on some veg! Normally priced too! 89p for a big bag of spinach! 50p for a punnet of mushrooms, 49p for a large head of broccoli and a leftover pepper and a few sugar snap peas. Bonus!

This whole meal costs less than 1.50 per person. It includes balanced nutritional content and is quick(ish) to prepare.

Ingredients:

1 cup of rice (I use brown here but any will do)

2 cups of boiling water

salt/pepper

stock cube

one small red onion

handful of mushrooms

1/2 bell pepper

1 garlic clove

1 tbs oil

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Pop the kettle on to boil and chop up the pepper, onion, garlic and mushrooms.

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Gently fry the veg in oil in a high sided saucepan until soft and slightly golden.

Add the dry rice and stir to coat every grain.

Once the rice is coated in oil and veg, add the boiling water, salt, pepper and the stock cube and stir well. (Please note, if using white rice, stir once then leave it, or you’ll end up with sticky stodgy rice)

Leave to simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice has plumped, use a fork to separate the grains.

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Once the rice is cooked, it’s totally up to you what veg you add. We had some garlic spinach, roasted chilli broccoli, raw mushrooms and peppers and sugar snaps.

This meal would be perfect with many different raw veg, sweetcorn, onion, chickpeas, carrots, tomatoes, anything you can think of! The more colourful the better!

A little catch up and Veganuary 2017

It’s been a quite busy the last couple of months! December is always mental in our house. Two birthdays, anniversaries as well as all the usual festivities, it’s been exciting to say the least! Christmas Day was lovely, we spent it together as a whole family! My old fashioned Momma in law even went totally beyond herself (and my expectations!) to accommodate my veggie needs! My own spuds and everything! Bless her! I love that woman!

I was spoiled with Lush! Obviously! And I had a rediculously bad time trying to get involved with the Boxing Day sale but hey ho! There’s way more important things in life than balls of bicarb!
Hubby got a new job and started in the new year. He loves it and I’m so proud it’s silly! He’s lucky to be alive! Never mind training to be a supervisor in the UK’s largest Screwfix store! He’s more than happy and I’m ecstatic for him!

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And I finally took the plunge into Veganism. I told myself I’d learn as much as I can before I take the leap, I hated the thought of not understanding enough about nutrition, feeling ill and going back to animal products. I didn’t want to fail.
It had gotten to the point recently where buying non dairy basics, butter/soy milk was normal. All meals were dairy free and all my baking is dairy free, it just seemed pointless to keep making excuses. I know the facts. I’m not ignorant. (guilty of being a little selfish maybe) I can cook, and I can cook well, I’m confident in that. I had no excuse. So January 1st 2017 I became totally plant based. No meat, dairy, eggs, animal products. None of it.

It’s the best thing I ever did!

I love the compassion, the enlightenment, the knowledge, the veggies and especially playing with food! I’ve tried things I’ve always said I don’t like and find I’m shocked when I find out I love them! We’re eating meals we never even realised we liked and with having the ability to open our minds a little, we’ve been able to explore so much without having to harm a single animal. I am so unbelievably proud of us!
I’m massively proud of hubby, I never expected him to give up meat so when he decided to join me in Veganuary I was astounded. I think he’s found it easier than me!

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I’m not going to lie, we’ve favoured convenience foods this month. Not just because it’s easy but mostly because I figured if we try everything now and decide what we like or don’t like we can make steps to make our own whole foods version.
This week, it’s going to be pies. I’ve never used whole flour pastry and after trying the Clive’s pies… That’s the way to go! As for fillings, if it hasn’t got some kind of savoury gravy, I’m not interested!

Am going on a bit of tangent here, that’s what I get for not writing a blog for four months!
Long and short: great Christmas and New Year, went vegan, hubby joined in, kids have given up meat and even my friends are making better choices!

So, this year you can expect lots of recipes, discussions, pictures and of course, lots of Lush!
I’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for 2017 and I can’t wait to share it all!

πŸ’š

Balance

It looks like I’ve offended my Instagram followers. I posted a picture about the Stand up 2 Cancer campaign currently in the UK (Cancer Research UK) and have received a less than supportive reaction. 

Let me make this clear; I do not support animal testing for cosmetics in any way shape or form, however I understand that unfortunately our medicines cannot be administered to humans without some kind of testing on animals (and humans) This is a legal requirement in the UK, under something called the Animals Act 1986 (ASPA) 

So, this means antibiotics, pain relief, children’s paracetamol, blood thinners, anti depressants and antipsychotics. It means cancer treatments. We’re talking hayfever and blood pressure meds. It means life saving drugs that prevent us working back into the dark ages. I think it’s a pretty shitty situation to be in. But something we must put into balance. 


For example, an epileptic child relies on a certain medication to prevent seizures. As a vegan you know this medication contains lactose and has been tested, subjectively, on animals for its purpose, and refuse to accept that drug on behalf of a minor. As a result, the child has a fit at school. Bangs his head on a book case and is subjected to brain damage? Or worse death? As humans our first instinct is to find fault and either fight or flight, so at what point does somebody take responsibility? Where is the balance? 

The parents? The school? The local authorities and medical professionals? The laboratories? The research centres? The statistical reporters? Are we not all responsible? Is depriving someone (whether young or old, or aged and infirmed) of medical treatment on the grounds of animal testing fair? Safe even? 

I agree that its pretty fucked morally but there is a fine line between morality and human nature. I believe it’s called balance.

This subject in it’s entirety has been a main talking point for my husband and I for quite some time now. It’s hugely prevalent in both of our lives and something we feel so strongly about.

Hubby nearly died last year; a routine operation to make life a little easier to bear, turned into a massive life threatening infection. Yes, we accepted the antibiotics to save his life. We bit the hand off of the NHS, (another blog completely) and fortunately my better half is here to tell the tale. He might be missing half a foot but he’s alive an I could never even try to articulate how grateful I am for that.

At the time, morality didn’t even come into question (rightly or wrongly) it didn’t occur to us that the medicine used to save my husbands life probably ended the life of an innocent animal. As I said, in no way do I think that’s acceptable but in balance to that, I do know that without animal testing we wouldn’t be where we are ecologically, socially, medically, technologically or independently.

That being said and with balance still in mind, do we not owe it back to our planet, our world and its inhabitants to do the best we can individually to take responsibility for what we can do to better our own future? Whether it’s through religion, veganism, volunteering, charity work or donations or even education. We are all ultimately responsible for our future.

We are one planet.