Let’s talk about the taboo subject of AI

Shhhhh...I laughed so hard I leaked a little.
I am sure that if we are honest this has happened to many of us.

1 in 3 woman suffer from a weak bladder, and it really should be nothing to be ashamed about, but somehow it is.

In preparing to write this blog post I told a few people what I would be writing about.  I realised that this is a problem that affects many of us, especially after pregnancy.  But more importantly I realised that it is good to talk about it, and to know that it doesn’t have to stop you being fabulous and getting on with your life.

Getting old is not about becoming frumpy and giving up on life, getting older should be about embracing change and feeling fabulous at every age.  The truth is that AI (Adult Incontinence) can seriously affect a woman’s confidence, and yet nobody talks about it.

Today, 28 October 2015, Always Discreet are talking about it, and after some time thinking about it I decided to talk about it too.

Woman deserve to feel fabulous no matter what.  We deserve to walk tall and feel sexy whatever our age or circumstances.  Our age and little issues should not define us.

This is a problem that affects woman from as young as 18, but has become associated with being older, and quite often is lumped into the same category as grey hair and wrinkles.  I dye my hair and look after my skin, and I also do what I can to minimize the impact of AI on my life.

I suffered with AI after having my child and really realise how weak my bladder is when I am struggling with bronchitis and chest infections (coughing is really not a great idea if you have AI).  My strategy has been simple, and is very similar to the advice from Dr Sarah Jarvis, practising GP and Always Discreet campaign ambassador.  I plan my life.  I drink plenty of water, but monitor my intake.  I do kegal exercises (which I tell myself are good for all parts of my life).  I also try to exercise regularly, however beware of squats – they are not necessarily my friend.    I also limit my coffee intake, although I do admit to being a tea addict.

Always Discreet for sensitive bladder believes that every woman should be able to live the age they feel inside with nothing holding them back.   The brand has worked with GP Dr Sarah Jarvis and fabulous woman and That’s Not My Age founder, Alyson Walsh to break this taboo.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, practicing GP and Always Discreet campaign ambassador comments: “Not being able to dress, travel, exercise or live the way you want can be an everyday experience for so many women. Not only that, but even though 1 in 3 women in the UK over the age of 18 experience the condition, it is still wrongly associated with old age and this misperception can leave women feeling embarrassed, alone and much older than they really are.  However, there is help at hand, such as Always Discreet, that provides women with bladder leaks with the protection and discretion they really need”

My blog has always been about being fabulous despite the curveballs that life throws at you.  Today, I am standing tall and joining the hundreds of woman who say that they can and will be fabulous despite the leaks.

Thank you for reading my post, which supports the Always Discreet campaign.

Kerry xx

The importance of valuing yourself

Put a price on your head and keep it!When I was a little girl, I battled with self confidence.  I am not being self serving here when I say that I honestly believed that I was fat and not very pretty.  I urge every person reading this blog post to go and dig out a picture of your younger self and look at it with adult eyes.  You might be surprised.  We don’t always value ourselves as we should.

My granny always said, ‘put a price on yourself, and keep it’.  When I was very young I wasn’t quite sure what she meant.  With the benefit of hindsight and remembering the context, I think she was talking about dating and not giving of yourself too freely!

This message, my quotation this Wednesday, is very true of so many other areas of our lives.  I know that I have had to learn to value myself more.

 Know what I am worth in the workplace both in terms of money and respect.

Know what I deserve in a relationship and be prepared to wait for it.

Know what I deserve in terms of respecting my body, and feeding myself with healthy food, and doing some exercise.

As a blogger I also need to value what I do and respect my readers.  I was recently asked to write a post (a quite contraversial one coming up soon).  I thought about it very carefully and decided that I would write the post as it is in line with the context of my blog, and it is something I can honestly endorse.  I did however request payment.  I politely wrote back and outlined the benefits of working with my blog, my reach and my rate.  I was delighted to receive a positive response.  I value myself, and through that people will value me.

‘Granny, in all respects of my life, I have put a price on myself and I will keep it – head held high!’

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts when you have looked at your old photos.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Kerry xx

 

Why I write in my journal every day

5 year diaryDo you remember getting your first diary for Christmas.  I think I was probably around 7 or 8.  I was so excited and planned on pouring my heart out to Dear Diary ….

If I remember correctly it was probably before the end of January that I gave up, and the diary languished among the other clutter in my bedroom.

I celebrated a significant birthday last year, and received the most wonderful gift that keeps on giving.  My sister bought me a Q&A Five Year Journal.

This is a diary with a difference.  Every day you are asked a simple question, and there are only a couple of lines for your answer.  The questions are random enough, but they do make you think.

My word of the year for 2014 was discipline so I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t miss a day, and I didn’t.  This chunky little book filled up with my thoughts and musings and then the exciting part started to happen. I entered my second year.  As I read the answers from the previous year I realised that in some aspects of my life, nothing had changed.  My ambitions are the same and many of the core beliefs remain consistant.  Some answers show how far I have come and in fact how much has changed.  Little notations reminded me of special people and special occasions.

Here are some of the interesting questions my diary has asked:

  • What are you chasing at the moment?
  • Write the first sentence of your biography?
  • What’s the last song you listened to?
  • What question makes you anxious?
  • Who do you need to call?
  • What was your last credit card purchase?

All bloggers are diarists.  I can honestly say that taking a few minutes of every day to write and read my little book has often promoted a blog post, or a thought process.  It is all a bit introspective, but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing.

It really is fun and can’t help but wonder what kind of read it will be when all five years have been completed.

I would encourage anyone who is looking for that special gift for a special person to consider this unique gift.

Tonight  sat down and read a few entries along with a good cup of tea, and a delicious Broderick Bros Road Rocking Choc Choc block from my ITWBN goodie bag.  Yum yum!  (By the way all geeky webby people should visit the website it is fab)

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

 

When change happens – make it good change

Marilyn monroe quoteChange is inevitable.  Marilyn Monroe is a woman that divides.  I admire her and am often drawn to her quotes.  I think that to an extent she was misunderstood, but behind the blond curly locks and sexy voice was a very wise woman.

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

I was musing on 2015 and realised that so far it has been a year of two halves.  For the first 6 months I was happily living in Westport, working away at my job, with a great social life and a fabulous circle of friends in Mayo.

The second half has been all about change.  I found a new job in Galway – which was the first domino in a series of changes.  I left my beautiful flat,and now know that I would have been given notice anyway as the owners were moving back!  I bade farewell to familiar streets that I walked every day greeting people along the way.

The transition was not easy, but now I am starting to realise that this quote is true.  New things are starting to fall together.  I am writing this sitting in my lovely new home, contemplating putting on a fire with a pot of soup on the stove waiting for my dinner guest.

I have found new ways to exercise and am walking regularly.

I am closer to my family and am rekindling old friendships and making new ones.

I have new challenges in the workplace that are allowing me to exercise my mind.

So, thank you Marilyn for those wise words of inspiration.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my Wednesday quotation.

Kerry x

 

 

How I got unstuck from a table in a beauty salon

Customer Service

This is a two part blog post.  The first part is how I got myself stuck on a table in a beauty salon, and the second a tribute to excellent customer service.

I was really excited on Saturday morning, I was returning to Westport for a day of visiting old friends and haunts.  The Hair and Beauty Rooms in Westport is a ‘haunt’ and a place where I have made some very good friends.  I wanted to treat myself to a few treatments including a leg wax.  I honestly believe that every fabulous woman should where possible have salon days (and if money is tight, treat yourself in your own home).

I digress…

I woke up on Saturday morning bright and breezy and simply sat on the sofa.  Pop – my back went out.  Excruciating pain.  It hasn’t happened for years, but it happened on a day when I didn’t want it to happen.  I tried lying on the floor and doing a manoeuvre to pop it back in.  The only thing that happened was that the dog was worried about me and tried to lick me better.  I struggled up, took a pain killer and set off to Westport. Thankfully I was not driving.

It eased up a bit and I struggled up the stairs of the salon eager to begin my treats.  It all went very well.  I lay there and was pampered by Lindsay, chatting away and thinking that my back wasn’t really that bad.  We got to the part where she asked me to turn over to wax the back of my legs. Eeek – out it went again.  I was stuck I couldn’t move one way or another.

Now in a way this was a funny situation, but in another it was awkward. Here I was bent double with half my legs waxed.

I cannot applaud the customer service I received loudly enough.  Lindsay was determined that I would leave the salon all beautifully waxed.  She finished the job with me bent double – I first for us all.  The awkwardness then increased as I realised I couldn’t reach my trousers which had slipped to the floor, never mind get dressed.  Lindsay kindly helped me to dress and sent me off to my favourite Westport pharmacy where again I was welcomed and given both great advice and the right medication to relieve the pain and enjoy the time with my friends.

This is a shout out to all those who give amazing customer service as part of their job. They are heroes.

Thank you for reading.  If you would like to leave a comment, please do and tell me about your customer service hero.

Kerry xx

The Wonder of Walking

'Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.Just walk beside me and be my friend.'From Winnie the Pooh

I love walking.  No matter how tired I am, if I push myself (or am pushed by a friend) and I get my trainers on and get out and walk, I always feel much better.

I used to be the most sincerely unfit person.  When I think back a good few years, even walking a short distance, say to the corner shop, would have me thinking of taking the car.  I had all sorts of excuses as to why my sedentary lifestyle was ok.  Little did I know that walking could make a huge difference not only to my physical health but my mental health.

Today’s quote is from the oh so fabulous Winnie the Pooh (AA Milne), is a reminder that while we are walking for exercise, walking with a friend adds another dimension.

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead

Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

I am so honoured to have friends who walk beside me,on actual walks and generally in life.

Today’s quote is going out to all my friends who have encouraged me on my fitness journey and taken the time to walk by my side. (You know who you are!)

Thank you.

Kerry x

 

My new Handbag Essential – A pocket sized headache reliever

handbag essentials

My new handbag essential – A pocket sized headache reliever.

I don’t go anywhere without my new Migrastick.  It is tiny, but mighty and packed with natural Mint and Lavender – a perfect combination.

I started my fascination with essential oils some years ago and although I have a little collection by now there are a few bottles that I reach for time and time again.  One is lavender and another is peppermint.

I know I take far too many painkillers, and I also know that isn’t good for you.  So when I saw this I just had to try it.  An all natural solution with no baddies (like parabens, preservatives and colourings), Migrastick has definitely helped me through a stressful day or two.  And as a bonus comes in a tiny lipstick sized container that can fit in my teeny tiny handbag.  (I have a little addiiction to tiny handbags that I can wear over my body and keep my hands free)

There is something about essential oils that really works for me.  The cooling touch of the Migrastick applied to the temples immediately gave a burst of refreshing and uplifting peppermint overlayed with lavender.

I took a peek in my Armotherapy bible – to understand how these oils work together, and it all makes sense.  Peppermint oil helps treat nausea, headache and is helps with pain relief.  I have always found peppermint oil uplifting.  Lavender on the other hand relieves nervous tension is relaxing and works on eliminates pain too! A win win in my book.

I am always on the look out for products that make life a little easier, and this little one which is available at most pharmacies has found it’s place in my handbag.

My handbag essentials as pictured here are:

  1. My prescription specs (even in the winter for glare)
  2. My mobile – I honestly can’t be without my social media and emails
  3. My debit card and a little cash. I don’t carry much, really just for emergencies
  4. At least 2 lipsticks. I am trying to remind myself to top up during the day
  5. My Migrastick

Thanks for reading.  If you dare, tell me the 5 most important things in your handbag please?

Kerry xx

 

 

How to eat an elephant … dealing with big challenges

How to eat an elephant- (2)My very wise big sister shared this concept with me.  It was during a time when I had a lot on my plate – big mountains indeed.

She told me a story about her daughter.  As a little girl she was faced with a lot to do – homework, projects and more. My sister asked her young daughter and how she would eat an elephant.  The answer is simply – bite by bite.  I know that so many times in my life I have been faced with an enormous elephant sized challenge and sometimes I simply can’t figure out where to start.  Then I remember the elephant and break it down into bite-sized chunks.

I have recently started a new job and believe me, after a couple of days I realised I was facing an elephant.  So much to learn with so many different aspects to the job.  I am not quite finished eating this particular elephant, but I have broken the challenges down into smaller chunks and in many cases smaller tasks again.

The first split was to figure out what was urgent and had to be done.  Then look at those tasks that would make a real difference and then finally some of the tasks and marketing ideas that are great, but can wait.

Unpacking my house, dealing with my health and many other challenges are always easier bite sized.

Thank you Janet for teaching me this valuable lesson, which I use in so many parts of my life.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this Wednesday’s quotation.

Kerry x

Writing my first book and how Words changed my life

W

 

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to write a book.  I was never quite sure what the book would be about, fiction or non-fiction, but I knew that I had a book in me.

I think perhaps we all have a book in us, and I am proud to say that I have finally started writing my first book and it is all about how words changed my life

Regular readers of this little blog will have read a few posts on balance and change.  These are two of the words that have changed my life.

Let me back-track a bit and tell you about my word of the year idea and how this has evolved into the start of my book.

A few years ago I was in a very dark place.  I simply felt that I had no choices anymore, no opportunities and that I was stuck in a situation that I couldn’t change.  I hit rock bottom and from this I had a germ of an idea.  I did a good bit of navel gazing trying to figure out why my life had got so out of sync and realised that my life was out of balance.  This can best be described by a post  I wrote about Balloons in a Box.

I decided that instead of a new year’s resolution I would simply choose a word.  This would be my Word of the Year.  I didn’t know how it was going to work, so I simply started by thinking about it.  Literally meditating on the word.  Slowly but surely over the year my life started to come into balance and I ended the year in a far better place. Take a sneak peak at how it panned out here.

The next year, after some more soul searching I chose the word Change.  Now I can promise you that this was a dramatic word to choose.  In a few short months the changes had started happening and they continued to happen.  Big changes in my life that although traumatic resulted in a better me.

Choosing words to focus on became a way of life for me and I have spent a year with Discipline as my word, and now this year my words (I felt I needed two) are Create and Respect.

I am really honoured that quite a few people have decided to use this approach to ‘resolutions’ using words like brave, focus, grow and strength.

So the book is started and sneak peaks will continue to appear on the blog.  I really do value the feedback and comments, please keep them coming.

I have been through quite a few changes in the last few weeks myself, and have missed out on a few blog posts.  All up and running now with my brand new broadband connection so here is a promise to keep the posts more regular.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

 

The awkward subject of woman’s facial hair – Tinkle Razor review

A smooth cheek thanks Twinkle Twinkle (2)

Woman’s facial hair is something that we don;t talk about.  We sneek off for a lip wax or discreetly buy hair removal cream.

I am quite fair and facial hair only became a problem a few years ago.  Not sure if it was because of age, medication or the fact that I was taking Biotin as the hair on my head was falling out from Methotrexate.

I had this really fine, blond, but thickening – dare I say it – moustache!   I started waxing.  Ouch!  then I tried threading – double ouch.  The problem was I waxed it grew back.  I am sure nobody was aware of it as much as I was, but it made me really self conscious.

I started to have a close relationship with my tweezers as every time a witchy hair appeared on my chin I freaked out and plucked..

When I got brave enough to talk about this awkward subject I realised that many woman struggle with facial hair.

The final straw came when I realised that I had a fine peach fuzz along my cheek bones.  I started doing some research.  The celebrities have started shaving.  It appears that even Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor did it!.  Read all about the trend in the NY Times.

Shaving your face as a woman seems to have loads of advantages including exfoliation, younger looking skin and smoother application of make-up.

Well I could now imagine myself standing in front of the mirror like my Dad with a face full of foam pulling funny faces to stretch out my skin and get a close shave.  Shudder there must be a solution.

And then, one night on twitter i ‘met’ Tinkle Razor.  Would I dare try it?  The delightful Tinkle Razor challenged me and posted me a set of three little razors.  I was so excited the night they arrived I only stopped for a minute to take a photo of my peach fuzz cheek.

I have given it a month, so I know that the regrowth for me is very slow, and when it grows back it is soft and downy still.

I am converted.  I have smooth skin and am far less self conscious.  Pucker up and come close I am confident enough for a kiss.

It is really affordable and costs around a fiver for 3.  Take a peek here

Go on try it – I dare you.

Kerry

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