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Arthritis to Zebra – the A-Z of me

A great idea for bloggers.  Thanks to Danielle LilliWhiteRose for the nomination.  It is a great fun way of taking stock!  I challenge you to do it.

A – Arthritis. It is in my hands, and although I deal with it the best I can, sometimes the pain does get me down.

B – Busy.  I keep myself very busy between my real job, my blog and my craft teaching.

C – Card making.  Teaching card making and craft is something I really enjoy.  It is a great hobby.

D – Diabetes.  Part of my life and my quest for better health and fitness

E – Energy.  I have been told I only have two speeds, go and stop.  Sometimes I have energy and sometimes I don’t

F – Food.  I love cooking and strive to create yummy healthy meals.  Love sharing food too.

G – Girlfriends.  I am so privileged to have some amazing girlfriends in my life.  They are my true wealth

H – Would have to be health.  It is a real struggle for me as I battle with a number of auto-immune conditions.  Keeps me focussed though

I – Inspiration.  It is like food to me.  I get inspired by people, by nature and by random things

J – Jeans – they joy when they fit.  I like to measure my size in different jean sizes!

K – Kindle – I love my little kindle.  Easy to hold and contains hours of escapism.  I have to read – it is like food to me.

L – Laughter. I love to laugh and make people laugh.  Trite but true, laughter is the best medicine

M – Motherhood is so important to me.  Even though my son is grown-up being a mother is the thing I am most proud of.

N – No.  I really need to learn how to say it.  I tend to be a people pleasure and I don’t want to let people down.  As a result I overextend myself – trying to learn moderation.

O – Oranges.  My favourite fruit.  My mom would make oranges in caramel as my birthday treat every year.

P –  Painting.  I love to paint – not sure I am very good at it, but I am happy with a brush in my hand and a day in front of me.

Q – Quiet time.  I am chatty, and bubbly but I really need my along quiet time.  It keeps me sane.

R – Relaxation.  I need to do more of this.  Sometimes I push myself too hard and need to learn how to switch off more.

S – Sex – I have a fascination with the psychology of sex.

T – is for Tea.  I drink far too much of it.  I love it – also love the ceremony of afternoon tea, my favourite is at the G Hotel

U – Untidy.  I am desparately untidy in most instances, and then I have weird quirks of OCD inside my wardrobe where all the tops must hang  together etc.

V – Voluptuous.  Say no more.

W – Writing and walking.  Writing is my passion and walking my goal

X – X-Factor – my guilty pleasure.  Used to have a tiny crush on Simon Cowell (I know!!) until he made rude comments about fat people in the press.

Y – Yellow.  My favourite colour.  It is such a happy colour.  My shop was called Siopa Buí (Irish for Yellow Shop) and my arty name is Kerry Buí

Z – Zebras are my favourite animal.  I think they are the most fashionable animal.  They also have a great sense of community.

Thanks for reading x

I challenge these bloggers to do their own A-Z challenge

Áine McManamon of Social Onya

Kerrie Burke of Bella and Vogue 

Rachel Burke from The Wholesome Nut

Zoe Behan from Day Dreamer Chic

And any other ITWBN member who feel inspired.

Radiant after the shower – the Nía Natural way

500px-Intensive-Shower-MousseMost mornings I start off with a shower.  It wakes me up and gives me a delicious feeling of freshness as I get on with the day. I have tried shower gels and soaps, but I had never tried a mousse.  To be honest when I had a look at this cute little tin in my ITWBN goody bag I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

Well I can promise you now once you have tried Nía Natural shower mousse, you will be converted. Silky smooth and with a really subtle but fresh aroma this mousse leaves me feeling fresh, and clean.  I appreciate that although softly fragranced, it doesn’t conflict with my perfume choice of the day.

I have struggled with dry spots, where skin gets a little flaky and inflamed on and off for years, and so before even trying the Nia Natural Creamy shower mousse I did a little investigating. Just saying, these spots have all cleared up now!

The company was started by Celia O’Grady in the West of Ireland.  Nía means radiance in Irish and that makes a whole lot of sense if you have used the products.  All the ingredients are all natural using the highest quality ingredients.

The product recipes are a combination of carefully selected ingredients, organic when economically possible and always natural. ‘The skin is our largest organ. It absorbs into the body much of what it comes in contact with. When choosing ingredients that we use in our products, we believe it must be good enough to eat and be beneficial for the skin.’  Read more about the quality ingredients here.

I am making up my shopping lists for Christmas (I know it is early), but I am going back to South Africa to visit family and friends.  I think some really great beauty products from Ireland need to be added to my list.

These gorgeous products are available online or in a range of health shops and other outlets around Ireland.

You can’t beat radiance!

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Having attended two Into the West Blogger Network (ITWBN) events, I have been really lucky to receive some great products in my goody bags.  All my reviews are honest and relate to products I have used myself. 

Postnatal Depression – My Story

I had Post Natal Depression pic

It was almost 19 years ago that I realised I had post natal depression.

I was obsessed with loosing weight (a bit of a song track to my life) and was visiting a Doctor who promised magic with a weekly weigh-in, some pills and a shot.  I am not sure that I lost any weight but I did take the first step towards getting out from under the dark cloud of postnatal depression.

I will always be grateful to the doctor who realised that uncontrollable crying due to a static scale was not normal.  She sat me down and talked to me – for far longer that the normal 10 minute session.  I walked out with a prescription for Prozac and a terrible feeling of guilt that I wasn’t a good mother.  That I couldn’t cope being a mother to my beautiful baby boy.

Over the years I have tried to reason out why I got postnatal depression.  Was it because I went back to work full time too early.  Was it because my baby had colic, and was honestly quite an awful sleeper.  I know now that there is no reason why anyone gets post natal depression.  It is simply something that happens.

I am writing this post to share my experience, and to let anyone out there who is suffering from post natal depression know that the key is recognising it and getting help.  Help comes in many forms.  For me it was through medicine, and meditation and the support of friends. Many years later I did quite a bit of counselling, and wished that had been an option 19 years ago.

I am not an expert at postnatal depression, merely a woman who has not forgotten the desolate loneliness and sense of helplessness.

The main thing for me was to admit I had it.  And then accept the help that was offered.

For me, and I think many other people, when I am in a bad place I tend to look inwards.  So many times people have said to me – why didn’t you call?  I just didn’t.  I should have though.

As I said medication did help me, but what helped even more was the support of my friends.  I remember weekends when I had help with David so I could go out for a little me time.  And then the many Sunday’s that I spent with my friend who not only cheered me up, but helped me to realise that what I was ok and normal.  May fabulous days where spent simply being together.

Depression is a funny thing.  It creeps up on you sometimes and by the time you realise you need help it has been a constant companion for a while.  Once I started to come out of the fog, I gave myself a few laughs.  I opened my bedside locker one day and honestly a whole pile of chocolate papers jumped out.  The scary part was that I didn’t even remember eating them. Imagine crunching on calorific chocolate to make yourself feel better and then never even remembering the moment.  It takes me a good while to eat a bar of chocolate these days – normally square by square.  Now I find folded down bars of chocolate I have forgotten in the freezer, the fridge and the cupboard.

Each person’s experience is going to be different.  I coped during the day at work and simply melted into a puddle of helplessness in the evenings and on weekends. I cried when my baby cried.  I slept a lot. And of course I ate – which contributed to a cycle of feeling bad about myself.

It does get better.  I know this now.  But  honestly believe that most people with post natal depression could do with some sort of intervention be it medical or counselling.

Happy to correspond with anyone privately, or respond to comments.

It is funny that there are things that you never forget.  I will never forget the joy of being a mother, or the time I suffered from postnatal depression.  Very proud of a talented young man now.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x.

The link between fine art and make-up, inspiration from IsaDora

Untitled design (6)

I love make-up – it makes us all a little more fabulous.  As I am not a make-up artist, I have a lot to learn so I was very excited to meet Stephan Ulvund Øien International make-up artist with IsaDora who was visiting Galway.

The ITWBN ladies were invited to Matt O’ Flaherty’s chemist in William Street in Galway and it was fabulous from the moment we arrived.

I had a front row seat and just like being in school, it was the best place to be, because I learnt so much. We learnt about lips, eyes, contouring and more, but for me real take-away was how this gorgeous make-up can be used just like paint.

As an artist I have learnt all about colours. Complementary colours, contrasting colours and tonal values. Stephan showed us how these very same principles work with make-up.  A fabulous demonstration with three different lip colours really blew me away.  He shows us warm lips, he showed us cool lips and then he took all sorts of products and with a scrape of each one, he made a custom colour.  The colour of the hair (a brown pencil), colour of the eyes (blue), pink for lips and some foundation.  These were all mixed together on a pallette knife and when the colour went on – the true beauty of the model came out.  Make-up can enhance our beauty and this is exactly what happened.

Another great lesson was all about eyes.  The first look used the gorgeous new summer colour pallette.  A really stunning look that I thought could not get better.  Stephan said this was a look for going out with the girls!  He then proceeded to change it up using neutrals for a more natural, but sultry look – this one for men. Wow, if I could look as sexy as that!

Question time was great with a quick class on tight lines (waterproof liner on the inside of your upper eyelid), and a beautiful way of doing brows.

The IsaDora make-up is really yummy.  I have only started using it this year, and i find it really luxurious and a joy to use.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Why trainers are hotter than high heels

trainers for fitness

I grew up thinking that girly girls don’t wear trainers.    I have had about 3 pairs of trainers in my life and I can promise you I didn’t wear the treads of any of them (until three years ago)

Anyone who has contemplated exercising will know that you might need trainers and you keep telling yourself that you can’t start exercising until you have all the right gear.  Delay, procrastinate, put off, any other words suitable?

I picked a mighty silly day to buy trainers  and it turned out really funny.  I had a hospital appointment about my hand, and didn’t realise they were going to numb it and inject steroids into it …

So picture this ….

Somehow I got myself into my car and got myself strapped in and drove around the corner to the sports store.  Didn’t realise that it is quite hard to fit a shoe on your foot with one numb hand (imagine post dentist numbness but in your hand instead of your jaw).  Added to the fact that I fairly unfit and coudln’t exactly touch my toes.

I wanted pretty trainers, the pink sparkly type ones worn by a 5 year old.  I have size 8 feet!  Not a great start.

The young man who helped me needs a medal – he had to literally put my feet into trainer after trainer all the while trying very hard to steer me towards a practical pair.  I think I tried them all on.

It was a bit like Cinderella in reverse.  One prince one ‘princess’ and hundreds of pairs of shoes.

I left the store with a great pair of shoes, notsparkly, but they have pink stripes.

My trainers first day out – complete with nice pink socks.  Apparantly my son did tell me that you have to wear a new pair of trainers in.  But I wasn’t listening or maybe it wasn’t said at all.

Now before this I had already started walking and built up some stamina – simply working in my normal shoes and boots.  So off I went on a nice circuit – the kind of walk that once you have done half there is no turning back.  Just after half way the blisters started. And continued and grew and spread.  I am quite determined, so I carried on and swung by the pharmacy to buy blister plasters on the way back.

So they don’t make blister plasters big enough for the blisters I had created. By now the exercise bug and hit and I needed another form of exercise that didn’t involve walking in trainers.

I decided the answer was a trampoline.  Don’t panic, just a mini one.

Years ago I heard that if you exercise on a mini trampoline the value of what you do is multiplied by some unbelievable factor.  I wanted one so bad, and a friend kindly gifted me one,  second hand.  I found it so useful. For about 5 years it served as a clothes hanger, laundry basket, Christmas wrapping station, and general depository for stuff.  It also tripped me up a few times on the way to the loo in the dark.

My first exercise was to unearth the trampoline and then to start jumping.  Now the exercise you do on it isn’t exactly jumping in the air, more like bouncing and dancing and generally having a laugh while watching TV or listening to music.

One small piece of advice for fabulous ladies taking up this exercise – get a good bra!!

This all happened 3 years ago.  My trainers are still in use and so is my trampoline.  I am not perfect and I don’t get exercise in every day.  I do try though and I definitely know I am fitter than I have been for many many years.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for all the comments and support.

Kerry xx

A recipe for friendship

friendship

I am rich!  In friendship.  Over my life I have made some really special friends and what really makes me rich is that I have kept these friends.

Through the teenage years, the turbulent twenties, marriages, separations, children, careers and a move halfway across the world my friendships have survived.  I am really blessed because I am still making friends.

A big shout out and a thank you to communication platforms like Skype and Facebook which make it easy to bridge the gap.

All this got me thinking about what ingredients make a good friendship

Ingredients: (in no particular order)

Positivity

We can’t always be positive, but it does help.  In a friendship this is really important especially when you are listening and being supportive.  We all go through hard times, and when your friend is having a tough time, this is your chance to balance out with some positive vibes, thoughts and actions

Being a giver

This is really big.  Give of yourself, give of your time, and give from your heart.  On my birthday I received a crazy parcel from South Africa.  Lots and lots of little goodies, each with a memory or thought.  It isn’t about value, but it is about thought.  Looking around me now, my friends are reflected in little goodies all around my siting room.

One of my special friends often brings me a tiny gift from a day out, and I do the same in return.  It isn’t about money, it is about thought and making your friend feel special.

Communication

Best case scenario, sitting face to face sharing a cup of tea and a piece of cake.  This isn’t always possible, but in today’s world we have so many extra options open to us.  Facebook, Skype, Email.  Even the old fashioned letter or parcel.  Keep in touch!

Meaningful communication is soul food.

Listening

In every friendship there is a time to talk and a time to listen.  Listening is so very important.  Sometimes all a friend needs is someone to listen, I know I do.  Thoughts jumble around my brain and fall out.  Knowing that they are falling onto ears that care means a huge amount.

Empathy

The first time I heard about the concept of empathy, the whole world made sense to me.  The Greater Good defines empathy like this.  The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Loyalty and respect

Loyalty in friendship is essential.  Listen, but don’t speak.  and respect our friends feelings.  Imagine yourself back on the playground and ‘stick-up’ for your friend.  My friends that have stood by me, especially in the last couple of years have made a huge difference in how I have coped with live’s little curve balls.

Honesty – sometimes

Really honesty is good all the time.  You need to have people in your life who will tell you the truth, but with empathy and understanding.  I rely on my friends to tell me if I am badly dressed or not seeing things straight.  It isn’t always easy to hear, but if you are going to hear it let it be from a good friend.

Be there

Such an important one.  True friends are simply there, and especially when it counts.  As you know i have some health issues, and I am so grateful to the friends who have simply been there for me.  Listen to your friend cry.  Be there to celebrate the good times with a sparkling glass of prosecco.  Be there, to enourage them when they are climbing mountains.  I can think of so many occassions when friends of mine have been there for me – those are moments that are treasures.

Share

From a simple meal shared to sharing of your thoughts and moments.  Sharing is a true basic ingredient of friendship.  Like sharing your cookie on the playground, for me it is all about giving of yourself.  Now if you have two people sharing, you have such a cool friendship.

Method:

Listen to your heart, be consistent and yes, you have to work at it.  Schedule calls, send emails, set up tea dates.  Our lives get so busy it is easy enough to let things slip.  A true friend will always be there, even after ages of no communication, but it is so much better to be a good friend, and keep in touch.

This blog post goes out to all my friends. Fabulous Woman who are so special to me.  You know who you are xx

Friendship is so important so please feel free to share!

Kerry xx

The Liebster Award – time to learn a little more about me!

Thank you to ashleighthebeautyaddict for nominating me for nominating me for the Liebster award.  Great fun and I  get to look at so many blogs.  Honestly since I have been blogging I have learnt so much and ‘met’ such amazing people – I feel really honoured.

Liebster

Here are the rules:

1) Thank and link back to the person(s) who nominated you and display the award

2) Answer their 11 questions the nominee asked

3) Give 11 random facts about yourself

4) Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers

5) Notify the bloggers you chose for the award

6) Make a list of 11 different questions for your nominees to answer

My questions from Ashleighthebeautyaddict

One:  What is the one makeup product you always ‘need’ to buy, yet you have a thousand different ones in the drawer?

Foundation – I seem to have developed a bit of an addiction for it.  I must be my quest for a flawless skin.  I promise I will use them all.  I tend to swop and change depending on the occasion.

Two:  Are you allergic to anything?

I must be, just can’t think of anything right now.  Oh! I know I am allergic to unkind people – they bring me out in hives!!!

Three:  If I was to quickly look at your profile pic, what would be the one thing I would never ever guess about you?

That I was blond most of my life.  The red hair is part of me striving to be fabulous and be strong.

Four:  Name the first lipstick shade name that comes to mind!

Blushing ballroom

Five:  Okay now join that name with the name of the first street you lived on, that’s your Superhero name! What power do you have and why?

Blushing Ballroom Rosemary – Well obviously this superhero can dance like a dream and forget the cares of her life while dancing.  The real superpower I would like to have is to make people feel good about themselves despite what they are dealing with.

Six:  What is the one thing you cannot stand to be around? (a certain smell/place/animal/insect?)

I don’t really like the smell of raw meat – a butcher shop makes me feel sick!  I was a vegetarian most of my life.

Seven:  What beauty product did you cave and buy that totally didn’t work out for you?

Nothing comes to mind, but I know I do know that I have too many handcreams.  I seem to buy lots of them, and then never get to use them up.

Eight:  Is there a certain product/brand/place you rave about to everyone? It could even be a game or a book!

That’s easy Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream.  It is my go to solution for everything skin.  I think friends and family are tired of hearing about it.  It is a miracle cream.

Nine:  Would you rather throw out your eyeshadow’s, pigments and palettes or your foundations, mascara’s and lipsticks?

It would be my lipsticks.  I love them, but forget to apply them throughout the day, so am often bare lipped.

Ten:  Is there a word/brand you were told you have been saying wrong the entire time? (I thought Morphe was pronounced Morphe not Morph-ee)

Took me a long time to learn to say lingerie as a child.  I think I was in my twenties before I learnt how to pronounce it!

Eleven:  Name one person on Instagram or Youtube that you admire.

I haven’t explored Youtube enough yet.  My summer project! – so watch this space.

I do love Tedtalks – so inspiring.

11 Random facts about me

  1. I have 2 different colour eyes – one blue and one green
  2. I am a middle child
  3. I tell everyone (and honestly secretly believe) that I can talk dog! I am sure I understand them and that they understand me
  4. I have a really boy/techie side to me
  5. Through my son – I have developed a huge interest into the psychology of video games.
  6. I have a number of tiaras/crowns (perhaps that isn’t a big secret)
  7. I am very untidy
  8. Friends are my real wealth
  9. I had serious imaginary friends as a child
  10. I pretended to be my brother’s twin for a good few years (and he is 6 years younger than me!)
  11. I love to paint

I am nominating 11 bloggers – I hope you haven’t done this before …

(May I just say I have loved this research – could read blogs all day!)

Style Gamblers

EA Loves

Enhance what is yours

Beechmount Art Studio

Helpless while Drying

Sometimes Write

Squidgy Moments

But you have such a pretty face

Lilliwhiterose

Glittermamawishes

Red Lips Red Hair

My Questions:

  1. Did you have a nickname as a child – and what was it?
  2. Did you have an imaginary friend? Tell us please?
  3. Where do you come in your family? Is it a good or bad thing
  4. TV guilty pleasure
  5. Your best bathtime routine – favourite products, scented candles ….
  6. Quote that defines your life
  7. Your favourite exercise
  8. Have you ever considered online dating?
  9. What triggered your first blog post
  10. What beauty product in your make-up bag makes you feel really special
  11. The book that changed your life?

Fit, fat and fabulous!

Life LoveLife (2)I had a fantastic day yesterday!

A little history first though.  I have always struggled with my weight.  I have also always struggled with my fitness levels, never really believing that I could do anything sporty.  I huffed and puffed and found excuses not to do sport at school.

A few years ago a health scare or two had me buy my first pair of trainers in years.  I started walking. At first I could only walk for a short while, but slowly I extended the length of my walks, and then the intensity.

I think I only realised how fit I had become when I went beach walking (my favourite type of walk) with my teenage son.  Off we went and the next thing I hear him behind me.  ‘Who are you and what have you done with my Mother?’, he said.

I will be honest here and say it is really hard to keep up with my walking and fitness.  Because of the health challenges I face there are days, and sometimes weeks where I simply cannot exercise.  I have however kept fit.

Walking is so important especially for diabetics!

  •  I walk whenever I can – even if it is to the post office
  • I have a mini-trampoline which has a permanent place in my living room
  • I have two flights of stairs in my house which I bound up and down many times a day
  • I go for longer walks whenever I can

Yesterday was one of those days.  A beautiful spring day and my friend Ruth and I off to walk on the beach. When we arrived I started taking photographs – some of which will be on my other blog very soon – Kerry Buí Creates.  We walked along the water line enjoying the chat and strolling along.  And then …..

Ruth suggested we walk on the dunes.  The new Kerry says ‘I can’ and then thinks about it so off I went.  When I struggled up the pebbled bank I worried a little but, when I got the dunes I really started to wonder if I could.  You can Kerry.  Up and down the dunes, sometimes wondering if I would have to resort to my hands and knees, we scrambled through the sand and grass.  At the highest point I stopped and realised that I still had a long way to get back to the car.  We did it though, and I was really proud of myself.

I am a fabulous curvy woman but that doesn’t have to stop anyone from enjoying and embracing fitness.

Roll on summer.

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

Breakfast – setting myself up for the day!

Christmas OatsAs a woman who has been battling with my weight since my early teens I have read a lot, been told a lot, and learnt a lot about food and nutrition.  As I am still struggling, I have some opinions on what is right and what is wrong.  I have probably lost my entire body weight about 3 times (conservative estimate) over the last 30 something years.

It is trial and error really.  Right now I know that I like tasty food, and that I need a decent breakfast.  My winter breakfast of choice is oatmeal porridge.

I have some sort of childhood nightmare memory of not wanting to eat my oats and having the bowl of congealed lumpy grey mash dished up to me for a later meal.  Perhaps that didn’t happen, but it lives somewhere in my subconscious.

I had to overcome this.  Everyone was telling me to eat porridge oats.  Everything I read said eat oats.  So I had to reinvent.

This post is about my Christmas porridge.  I made it one Christmas morning, and added a naughty dollop of whipped cream – it was Christmas after all.

How I do it ….

  • I cook 1/3 cup of oats per serving and bring to the boil with 2/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of skim milk.
  • I add in a good shaking – about a half teaspoon of cinnamon, and a dash of ginger and any other spice that comes to hand. Cinnamon is great for blood sugar.
  • While the oats are cooking I take …
  • 1/2 cup of frozen berries and bang them in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Because I like my food to be pretty, I empty the berries into the middle of the bowl and make some pretty patterns with a tiny bit of agave syrup.

All my breakfast essentials in a bowl and I can keep going till lunchtime (on a good day).

Try it and let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kerry

Ouch!! The Pain of beauty!

2015-01-31 10.14.49 2015-01-31 10.31.02

It is all about eyebrows now – or so I am told.  It is just about 35 years too late for me.

As a teenager I had lovely soft blond hair and nice strong brows.  I cried the first time my friend tried to pluck them.  The fashion was for these beautiful thin plucked brows.  I found it so painful that I really just hid them under my fringe for the most part.  In my twenties I discovered waxing.  No less painful, but far less drawn out.  One or two swipes and beautiful brows are revealed.

Ironically now, I could really do with those brows of my youth.  With the passing of the years, my eybrows have thinned out a little, but of course the straggly ones that were there at 15 are still there now.

I decided to try threading.  Seemed so simple from the Youtube video.  No hot wax, no nasty tweezers.  How much can a length of cotton hurt?  Quite a bit – but the result was well worth it.  Thanks to Lyndsay at the Hair & Beauty Rooms in Westport.  A beautiful job, despite the pain (which thankfully fades fast).  Might even thing of brushing the eternal fringe to the side!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to share your beauty pain story.

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