Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What it's like to deal with dizziness and frequently asked questions I get regarding it

This is what it's like to be me at the moment, this is what's like to have dizziness that can't be
I look normal here but my dizziness
was in full force.
diagnosed and is a mystery.
Spin around 2-3 times and stand still that's what my head feels like consistently, though instead of the room spinning around it's my head and closing my eyes doesn't bring me any relief. I go to sleep dizzy and wake up dizzy. I don't ever get any relief and there are days where the dizziness is so intense I find myself walking into walls and needing to hold onto things for stability (thankfully I have yet to fall over). I get waves of increased dizziness throughout the day and I never know how exactly it will be (it's completely random). The waves can come at me when I'm sitting on the couch watching Netflix, walking, driving, lying down, standing up, anywhere anytime I can all of a sudden feel really dizzy on top of my normal dizziness and can last anywhere from 1 minute to all day. Add onto the dizziness memory issues, fatigue and sometimes nausea and my life can be difficult to say the least.
I have good days and bad days but never days without dizziness.

Because I am over getting asked the same questions regarding my dizziness I thought I would answer them here:

Have you had your vitamin D levels/iron/insert other mineral level here? Yes I have had my blood checked for everything and I mean everything (including kidney and thyroid functions) if it can be shown up in blood then it's been tested. I've also had multiple blood tests to recheck these levels just to rule everything out again.

Are you sure you don't have Meniere's disease? I have tried a medication specifically for Meniere's disease and it did nothing, saying that I have heard that it medications don't work for everyone with Meniere's. With Meniere's you tend to have dizziness and something else related to the ears such as blocked or ringing ears while also feeling dizzy and I just have straight dizziness.

Does it affect your driving? I've gotten pretty good at focusing on the roads but it's still there in the background. I have made the decision to not drive at night, unless I really know where I am going (so driving to the church for bible study is fine) and avoid driving to unknown/unfamiliar places unless its for medical appointments (so for essential reasons). I'm being really cautious when it comes to driving though and I really don't want to put myself or others at risk.

Have you seen a chiropractor or physio? I have seen a specialist physio and I was diagnosed with Vestibular migraines which my doctor and I determined isn't the correct diagnosis. I don't feel comfortable seeing a chiropractor and to be honest and I don't see how they could help as it doesn't seem to be related to any joint/muscle issues.

Maybe you should see another doctor/get a second opinion? I've been with my doctor a long time (over 10 years) and he understands my needs really well. From the start of this journey he has been determined to help me find a solution and he's looking at this from all angles. My doctor has discussed my case with his colleges and reached out to various people asking for their opinions. He's pretty much left no stone unturned and if the solution was straight forward he would've found it. My doctor also does his research in which specialists can help me the most, so instead of referring me to a standard ENT I am referred to an ENT that has an interest in inner ear problems (as that's what he believes it is). I have no doubt that I'm in the right hands and I really appreciate my doctor SO much.

Are you sure it's not psychological or a side affect of your anxiety meds? It's been ruled out as being psychological by my psychologist and my doctor, both of whom have treated me for years. I've been on these meds for over 10 years and had minimal side affects within that time, so it rules that out.

Do you have any idea what it could be? No, which is why a solution has yet to be found. At this point in time it's looking like it could be an inner ear/vestibular issue, otherwise I have no idea.

How long has it been going on for? It started at the end of September with mild dizzy spells and has since increased steadily to the point where it's now consistent. So 9 months since it's started and 6 months of consistent dizziness.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

This week has been kinda busy, with trips to Ikea, doctors appointments and general errand running. My state is finally easing out of restrictions which is great and as of next week cafés can open (within reason) and bible study starts again (gone are the nights of doing bible study on my bed in my pjs…) as you can meet in groups of up to 20.

Well I finally have an appointment with the ENT and its for 6 weeks away (June 23rd), which according to my doctor is a short amount of time. Though honestly I have no idea how much longer I can last with this dizziness, it started at the end of September and it's slowly gotten worse.
It's probably really affected my life since January and I've had to reduce so much of what I do (and if it wasn't for Covid restrictions it would've really impacted my life). My memory is going and if something isn't written down there's a good chance I will forget it (I have so many to do lists written on post it notes and note pads scattered around the place). My stamina which was already low to begin with, isn't there and sometimes I find myself dozing off when I am sitting down (which isn't like me, considering I only nap when I am really sick).
I've had a few really rough days this past week (which I'm thinking is my new normal as they haven't reduced to back to a lesser level compared to other weeks) and I'm feeling really discouraged at the moment as until I have the ENT appointment nothing is going to change regarding the dizziness - at least when I was trying various medication/on the migraine diet there was some hope that things would change. I spent a couple of nights writing down everything from when the dizziness first started to the tests and treatments I have tried, which I then printed out and put it in a folder along with a copy of the migraine diet, the 10 page referral, the required paperwork filled out and directions to the ENT. So that way when the appointment comes I am ready to go and I also have records of everything and it means I have something to refer to when asked about the dizziness and when it all started.
I'm now seeing my doctor every other week compared to weekly, these appointments are more for check ins and just to see how I'm going and if anything has changed than for actual treatment. I'm pretty sure most other doctors would just tell me to wait for the ENT appointment and then come back but it's nice to know my doctor cares about me.

Onto Friday Favourites...

Planet Shoes Kew Black Boots - these were a bit of an impulse buy last week I had a $100 voucher and decided to look at Planet Shoes on Myer and next thing I know I had placed a click and collect order. I love Planet Shoes as ever since breaking my ankle two years I need supportive shoes, plus they last (I am not kind on my footwear!). These have a bit of heel on them but I don't notice any difference between them and my other pair of boots that are lower. I can see these looking cute with a skirt and stockings or with jeans so they will get a lot of wear.

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter - I was given an advanced copy of this book to read thanks to
Netgalley all opinions are my own.
The blurb reads:
Following the sudden death of his parents, Levi Bennett left his life in Denver to return to his hometown of Bluebell, North Carolina. There he has two critical jobs: take care of his younger sisters and turn the Bluebell Inn—their parents’ retirement dream—into a success. And things are not going well on either front. Grace is dragging her feet on her college applications, Molly is rushing headlong into another serious relationship, and the inn . . . Well, it’s not doing half as well as Levi has led his sisters to believe.

After a public breakup with her fiancé, rising star Mia Emerson has finally scored the role of her career. But when a scandal arises, falsely casting her as “the other woman” to one of Hollywood’s leading married men, Mia flees to Bluebell—the location of her would-be honeymoon—to lick her wounds.

Mia and Levi have seemingly few things in common. But when they discover that an old heirloom necklace is hidden somewhere in the inn, the search draws them together . . . and they soon find themselves falling in love.

Could they have more in common than they’d ever imagined? And can Levi handle yet one more responsibility in his already overextended life?

This book follows on from the first book in the series beautifully and I liked how Molly's story was a part of this book. I loved reading about Mia and how her life was far from perfect despite being successful in many peoples eyes. Levi was a great character and so selfless as he gave up his dreams and ideal life to help his family and you could see him wrestling with those feelings throughout the book. This is a great book if you need something to read to provide an escape that is light and not super intense.
Carolina Breeze is out 19th of May.

Wash Your Hands by James Veitch - I really like James Veitch and this song is hilarious. I actually caught my sister singing this round the house a couple of weeks ago as it's so catchy.

Stabilo 68 Colouring Pens - I really shouldn't be allowed to online shop anymore as last Friday night I found myself buying these. I figured I should buy myself a good set of pens to colour in with and I love the Stabilo fineliners (which I already own) so these are what I ended up ordering. I like how the tip is a good size for a variety of uses and can be used on really detailed work (I tend to colour in things that are postcard sized or smaller). I really love using them and find they brighten up my day.

Young People Talk About Depression (ReachOut article) - I was fortunate enough to get given the chance to be involved with this article. I actually experience depression/depressive episodes along with my anxiety and with these health issues I have noticed them appearing a lot more. It was great to share how I manage it when times are tough and also hear about other ways young people handle their depression.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

Life seems to be flying by but also moving so slowly. I'm spending a lot of time baking at the moment and I probably bake once a week at the moment. I made cinnamon scrolls on Wednesday for some friends who have just had their second boy - I figure parents really want/need sugar to keep them going through the sleepless nights haha.

I saw my doctor on Thursday and I am off all medication (except for my anti anxiety meds of course!) and I am easing off The Migraine Diet. I have been on the diet for around 10 weeks and it's done nothing and it's clearly not going to do anything, so its time to ease off it and try to hang onto the good habits I have created while being on it (so no chocolate).
A few people suggested I see an ENT (ears, nose and throat) Specialist and my doctor funnily enough suggested that I see one as soon as I walked into his office. Apparently he had been talking with some colleagues and they brought it up. So due to Covid my doctor had to fax over the referral (along with my MRI results) and that will be triaged and I will hopefully get a phone call sometime next week setting up an appointment. I honestly have no idea if a cause of this dizziness will be found but I'm prepared to try anything.

We're in the process of getting rid of the carpet in the bedrooms and switching it for lino, so today it's been my room. I have this large set of cubes that are filled with books and various other things and I spent Tuesday clearing it out in preparation and I couldn't believe how much stuff I actually had!Then on Thursday we got all the furniture out minus my bed and a set of drawers moved out and cleared out a lot of random stuff that I had accumulated over the years. I would say I'm 60% moved back in, I just need to re shelve my books and rearrange a few things, but that's tomorrow job.

Onto Friday Favourites...

Dreamsense Chiropractic mattress (in firm) - with this dizziness I wondered if my mattress was to blame and while it wasn't I'm so glad I got a new one. I knew I wanted a mattress that was firm as I sleep on my stomach but I also wanted one that had a bit of give as I sometimes like to sleep on my side and this one has been amazing. I haven't slept better since getting it and if you're after a new mattress I highly recommend looking at this one.

Colouring Cards (creative expressions to calm and inspire and Psalms) - I've been doing a lot of colouring in lately while I've been watching various TV shows and I find that big pages can be a bit hard to do. A friend of mine had a pack of these cards which looked so fun so I decided to order two different packs. I'm really enjoying doing them and they make me smile when I see them stuck up in various places.

Coles Salted Caramel ice cream - I know it's getting almost to cold to eat ice cream but I discovered this ice cream on Monday and it is SO good. It reminds me of my favourite flavour at one of my favourite ice cream place - salted caramel with a burnt caramel swirl, but a bit sweeter. If I didn't know it was Coles brand I would have thought it was Sara Lee or Connoisseur as it's super creamy and tastes amazing. For $5 it's a great price as well and perfect if you need a sweet treat or a pick me up.

Something to Believe In by Jenny B Jones - I love Jenny B Jones and I couldn't wait to read her latest book. I love The Katie Parker Production series and the characters feel like friends. This book didn't disappoint, it was filled with tears, smiles and laughter and I really didn't want it to end. I love reading about Katie's college journey, how she struggled and it didn't sugar coat anything. It also had some crazy Maxine antics which if you've read any other books in the series you know are essential!

The blurb reads:
When tragedy follows Katie to college, she’ll face the test of a lifetime.
Katie Parker never dreamed she’d make it to college. But here she is, a freshman, ready to take on cafeteria food, play auditions, and pretending she’s read that ancient novel for English Lit. Already filled with angst over saying goodbye to her family, Katie is so not okay to learn an unexpected housing change lands her in the honors dorm. Especially when one of Katie’s nerdy new roommates decides to major in making Katie’s life completely miserable.
To escape the dorm room drama, Katie needs her boyfriend Tate more than ever. But when he gives all his attention to his fraternity, their relationship begins to quickly unravel. She wonders if they’re going to survive this first year of college. Or if she even wants them to.
As tragedy rocks her family, Katie finds herself drowning in grief and losing her grip on academic life. When ex-boyfriend Charlie Benson unexpectedly calls, Katie will cling to an old trusted friendship…that might become something more. As her life implodes, will Katie walk away from college and step back into the arms of the one who got away?

Transplant (TV series) - I actually had no idea what to expect when I first watched this TV show, but it was a Canadian medical drama and it seemed interesting. The first episode was a bit dark in places and was super fast paced but by the second and third episodes it had developed into a great series. It centres around Dr Bashir Hamed who fled from Syria and is a doctor and thanks to fate finds himself in a situation that leads to him being able to practice emergency medicine in a hospital in Toronto. All the while dealing with the cultural differences, PTSD and caring for his younger sister. It's well worth a watch and I am hoping it will be renewed for a second season soon.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

Like most people I have no idea what day it is and this week has been a blur, of course that may be just my memory and dealing with dizziness and fatigue (update here). Once again I am trying yet another medication to see if it will make any difference with my dizziness and so far it's not and I am feeling very drowsy and just not with it. I see my doctor next Thursday and I will probably be put on yet another medication.
Easter felt rather weird last weekend but we made the best of it with an extended family Zoom session on the Saturday and we had roast lamb and veggies for dinner on Easter Sunday. My sister and I also dropped some Easter eggs off at a couple of friends houses (at the door), sending them a text after we had done it that they had been "egged".
My church has started live streaming the services which allows some sort of routine on the weekends but it just isn't the same. I just feel like so much of my time is spent staring at a computer screen and while I am thankful for technology during this time there is nothing like seeing people face to face.

 Next week I have quite a few appointments - doctor, psychologist and employment agency (which will be done on the phone). I'm going to bake these cookies to take to my psychologist and doctor as I think everyone needs baked goods at the moment and also I like sprinkles.

This fortnights Friday Favourites are focusing on small businesses that I love and have bought from, I think in this time of the unknown it's great to support small businesses and help those who may not have a steady income.

Amy Louise Jewellery Flora Necklaces - Amy Louise makes the cutest Australian native flower necklaces each flower linked to a month and I was thrilled to discover that my favourite flower Geraldton Wax/Wax Flower is the flower for my birth month (September). I couldn't resist ordering one and I am waiting by my letterbox everyday hoping it will arrive (because Aus Post is currently experiencing delays).

Brons Ceramics ceramic flowers - I have a few of the medium size ones in my room and we gave my mum a small bouquet for Mothers Day a couple of years ago and they are beautiful. These were what inspired my polymer clay ones and I just adore them. They are rather fragile though but they really make an impact and brighten up any room.

Tilly and Type - I LOVE Tilly and Type so much, I ordered some beautiful prints from her last year and they look so good in my room framed. I'm actually hoping to put in an order next week to grab a few more prints for gifts and for myself. She's also just released a free printable zine which I can't wait to do.

The B Collection - I'm loving scrunchies at the moment and I ended up ordering some bee print ones from The B Collection. They are great quality and you can tell that they have been made with care. There's also cute coin purses, runners and pillow cases, which would make great gifts for friends or yourself. I am definitely going to put another order in the future and keep an eye out to see what new scrunchie prints get added.

Clay and Clasp - if you're looking for fun and unique earrings then Clay and Clasp has you covered. From blue wrens. to seagulls and chips to sloths there is something for everyone. I like how uncomplicated the designs are and they seem to capture the essence of Australia. There's also the cutest custom birth announcements and pet portraits that would be beautiful on anyone's wall.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Update on my dizziness

I've tended to put my health updates in Friday Favourites but I wanted to do a major update post. So long story short I am still experiencing consistent dizziness and there's no clear reason why, the many tests I have had (including a recent blood test) show nothing.
I'm still on the migraine diet and while it's not noticeably helping, I feel like it's something I can do and until I don't feel dizzy I'm going to stay on it. I never in a million years thought I would give up chocolate and actually survive. While I did have some chocolate on Easter it wasn't a huge amount and I actually felt a bit sick after it (but not any dizzier), it's funny but I think I like the smell of chocolate more than eating it. I will say that my diet as a whole has improved and I'm noticing a lot of positive differences, from my skin clearing up to losing weight and I don't eat out of boredom. I also felt at the start of the year I was in a recipe rut and was baking the same things over and over again, but being on this diet has meant I have found new recipes and my cooking has branched out (I'm making curries and non chocolate desserts!). 
I'm on my 4th week of trying various medications seeing if they help. First was antibiotics as my sinuses were inflamed on the MRI, then anti nausea medication (that actually made me drowsy and my dizziness worse), then an antihistamine to see if I could have Menieres disease (which made no difference) and now another medication that I am required to take twice a day which comes with a list of side affects to see if its my nerves in my brain. My doctor's approach is to try any medication that can help with dizziness and see if it helps and then if it does (which it hasn't yet) then look at what it treats (though he is positive it's to do with my brain in some capacity). It's pretty much the only thing we can do as none of the tests have showed anything and some things aren't always shown on MRIs unless they're actually happening when its taken.
If anyone has any ideas on what it could be please let me know (as I keep telling people I have had extremely thorough blood tests multiple times checking for everything and nothing is out of the ordinary so it's something that won't show up in my blood).

At the start of the year I wanted this all to be sorted, so it could be put behind me and I could focus on finding a job. I got more and more frustrated when the tests continued to come back normal and a lot of tears were shed. I remember saying to my mum that it would be easier to accept this dizziness if I knew what was causing it even if it was a brain tumour or something along those lines. I have accepted this as my new normal, I have no idea if my dizziness will ever fully go away or if it's something that like my anxiety that will need to be managed and monitored. 
I'm thankful that this medication trialling is happening during a pandemic as it means I can stay inside and take things easy. I also don't have any pressure or expectations to find a job as no one is hiring at the moment, I don't think I could go through all this while also looking for work or starting a new job. I'm hopeful that we will find a medication that will work soon but until then it's just taking it one day at a time and reminding myself that this will eventually get sorted even if it takes months.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

Can I just say that this virus has really put a damper on things? With Easter next weekend it feels weird not to have church happening and our annual extended family Easter breakfast on the Saturday. Like most of the population I'm only leaving the house if I need to and the rest of the time I am trying to keep busy at home or lets be honest watching Netflix.

I had yet another blood test last Tuesday just to check all my levels, which are all perfectly fine and it's good to see my iron levels being steady. At this point in time my doctor and I are going back through everything with a fine toothed comb to see if there's anything that may have been missed, as nothing is working and we're not seeing any improvement. The current plan of action is to try different medication to see if any will help me and then if they work looking at why they are working. So my doctor has prescribed me on a medication that should help reduce the dizziness but of course one of the side affects of the medication is dizziness. So far it's not helping and my dizziness has increased along with feeling a bit like a zombie and my mouth feeling dry, I also have to remember to take it 3 times a day and considering my memory isn't the greatest at the moment that's challenging to say the least. I go back to my doctor on Tuesday - I swear I've had like 5 weeks straight of medical appointments of some kind on a Tuesday and I joke that my social life is just going to my doctors and the pharmacy.

I have survived without chocolate for 4 weeks and I am feeling all the more better for it, my skin is looking clearer, I've lost weight and my eating habits are improving. I am planning on eating some chocolate at Easter because lets be honest resisting that temptation won't end well for me, but I'm going to restrain myself and hopefully not go overboard. I don't think I will ever give up sugar completely but I am eating a lot less and while at the start the diet was hard, I don't really miss anything now and it's teaching me better food habits.
I was wanting pizza on Saturday and I was able to come up with a substitution: I just took a Turkish bread roll, spread tomato paste and a sprinkling on Italian herbs on it, topped it with whatever pizza toppings I could find (that were migraine diet approved) which happened to be mushrooms, capsicum and some chicken and then dolloped on some cream cheese before placing it under the grill for 5 minutes. It tasted pretty close to pizza, yes there wasn't stretchy cheese but the flavours were there.

Ravensburger puzzles - I did a 700 piece jigsaw puzzle last year and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would try my hand at 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. I ended up grabbing 3 as I figure we will be at home 99% of the time in the coming weeks and there is something productive but relaxing about doing a puzzle. I also grabbed this puzzle sorter, which should come in handy and it can stack so it will hopefully mean a certain ginger cat won't start eating the pieces.

Salted Caramel Cookies - these are the easiest cookies ever and are so good :) I've made them 3 times so far and they freeze really well so perfect to have a stash of when you need a cookie. I will say a cookie scoop is a must when making these as the dough does harden up quickly and a scoop helps keep them uniformed and round.

Caramel scented soy candle from Dusk (currently out of stock online so linking to the soy candle section) - I am clearly liking caramel at the moment and this candle smells amazing! It's very sweet but calming and reminds me of a warm hug. I resisted buying it for two weeks but then Dusk had an amazing sale and I ended up buying it. I love Dusks soy candles (I'm pretty sure I have at least 10 of them around if not more) and they burn clean while also giving off long lasting scent

Duck pin badge - I love the comedian James Veitch and his video about the ducks is one of the most funny things I have seen and it has led to some inside jokes between me and a few friends. So when I saw that I could buy this extremely cute pin that a duck on it along with 'we need to talk about the ducks' on it I decided to buy it. I have a jacket that has quite a few pins on it - piglet, a couple of cat ones, a ReachOut one and now this one. I hope it brings a smile to people's faces when they see it and reference the video.

Flight Risk by Cara C Putman - I received this book thanks to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The blurb reads:
Savannah Daniels has worked hard to build her law practice, to surround herself with good friends, and to be the loyal aunt her troubled niece can always count on. But since her ex-husband’s betrayal, she has trouble trusting anyone.
Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a false newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Now a fierce champion of truth, Jett is writing the story of his journalism career—an international sex-trafficking exposé that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.
When Jett’s story breaks, tragedy ensues. Then a commercial airline crashes, and one of Savannah’s clients is implicated in the crash. Men connected to the scandal, including her ex, begin to die amid mysterious circumstances, and Savannah’s niece becomes an unwitting target.
Against their better instincts, Jett and Savannah join ranks to sort the facts from fiction. But can Savannah trust the reporter who threw her life into chaos? And can Jett face the possibility that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life?
I really like Cara Putman's books and this one was good. I liked getting to know Savannah and her history having been introduced to her in Cara's other books as a mentor. The book had lots of layers to it and I wasn't sure where it would end. Jeff was a solid character who was after the truth and determined to get it. I loved how caring and protecting Savannah was of her niece and how she would do anything to help her. I felt like in a sense there was multiple stories within the book but all were connected and easy to follow.
If you're after a good book to read to pass the time I highly recommend Flight Risk which is out on the 7th of April.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Five Friday Favourites

Is it just me or has the world gone crazy? People are stocking up like the zombie apocalypse will happen any minute, events are getting cancelled/postponed and everyone is living on edge at the moment. I went to shops on Monday and whole rows of products had vanished and there was so many people. I also had to wait 15 minutes on Saturday to get a script for antibiotics filled and the pharmacists were feeling the pressure.
While I can understand some of the craziness due to the Coronavirus, it's also ridiculous. People shouldn't need to stock up on toilet paper leaving little for anyone else, buying 10 tins of baked beans isn't going to protect you from the virus, and violence in grocery stores shouldn't be common. Wash your hands, avoid places when you're sick, be kind to people and know that this will pass.

I'm still dizzy and the antibiotics haven't helped at all (though my sinuses do feel clearer so that's great), there was a couple of days I was feeling less dizzy but it's back to normal. It's gotten to the point where I am learning how to tune it out to a degree at times but it's there in the background and still affects my walking etc.
I'm struggling to see the light at the end of tunnel and I probably let the tears fall every few days just because I am so frustrated by it. I'm starting to limit my driving (mainly to places that I'm not familiar with) as I'm noticing the dizziness when I drive now. I see my doctor on Tuesday and I am praying he will have a solution or another idea as to what it can be.
One good thing about being dizzy is that I already limit my social interactions with people and when I do go out it's not for longer than 2 hours if I can help it (any more and I feel really wiped).
I'm still on the Migraine Diet and it's been over two weeks with no chocolate and I don't really miss it unless I smell or see it then it's another matter so I just avoid all things chocolate including the lolly aisle and Easter egg sections. If I need a sweet treat then I eat a few gummy lollies (like Haribo Starmix or Trolli Easter lollies you can buy in Aldi) or a couple of cookies and that helps get me through the day.

My weekend is weird, in that my church (like all churches) have cancelled their church services and ministries until further notice and it just doesn't feel right. I think me and the rest of the young adults are going to try meet at a park and do a casual church service on Sunday with some singing and reading from the bible just to make things feel a bit more normal.
On Saturday I think I am going to go to the shops with Megan, as mum and dad are doing a conference which has been switched to online now. I'm thinking we should probably get out of the house for some of it so as not to make too much noise and disturb them.

Onto Friday Favourites...

I Still Believe - I saw this last Thursday and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It's based on a true story and it's a beautiful film. It reminded me of the film A Walk to Remember but was faith based and really showed how great God is, even when at times we don't feel like he is answering us.

The Body Shop Eye Colour Stick - I bought one of these last year and haven't had a chance to write about how much I love it. I have one in Barbuda Rose Shells shade which is pale shimmery nude pink and the perfect everyday colour, also it stays on all day and doesn't settle into creases. I actually used this when I was down at Leavers last year, it just made me feel more put together and it survived the zone each night really well.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist - if you need a new show to watch which is uplifting and fun, this show is it. Zoey has an MRI to see if she has the same condition as her father and during it an earthquake happens which causes her to see how people really feel around her but in song (as she was listening to music while it happened). It's a really clever idea for a show and how it's carried out is really good, it also isn't afraid to tackle tough subjects. I also didn't realise how much I need Skyler Astin singing the Jonas Brothers until now.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - I made these on Wednesday and they are so good, light and fluffy cookies topped with a cream cheese icing and sprinkles. They don't require too many ingredients and come together easily. I froze them between sheets of baking paper, so I can enjoy cookies whenever because at this point in time cookies should be eaten wherever possible. chu

Karen Murrell Natural Lipstick in Pink Starlet - my youngest sister is trying to get us all to switch to more natural beauty products and she bought a Karen Murrell lipstick when Priceline had their 50% off make up sale and I decided to also buy one. It's a really good lipstick and it has great staying power while also being all natural. I love the Pink Starlet shade its a nice berry pink and isn't super bold while also making a statement.