How to maintain a wardrobe?

Hello friends, like you all know I love all the items which are in my wardrobe, but maintaining them neatly is quite challenging sometimes. Recently I thought of cleaning my wardrobe and arranging my dresses, but I was confused from where to start. So I did some research and got some fantastic ideas on how to maintain a neat wardrobe. Here are some ideas which I would love to share with all my friends.

1. Take out every single thing present in your wardrobe
2. Remove those items/clothes aside which do not fits you, which you don’t like wearing, and the damaged ones
3. Hang those clothes which you wear on regular basis, as you don’t have to keep searching for it.
4. It is better you keep all the hangers in backward directions, as it will separate those clothes which you have already worn recently. So that you will have a clearer picture of what you actually wear often
5. Buy new hangers of different colours so that you won’t be confused while you’re searching your clothes
6. You can also buy some garment organizers, so that you can have a separate section of clothes into different categories for eg- your office wear, party dresses and seasonal dresses. This will help you to do your things easily
7. Fold all your denims, jackets ,skirts and other heavy outfits and keep it separately
8. Keep all the folded clothes, in a way that you can understand and don’t need to search it for a longer time.
9. You can sell your old clothes or give it someone who is really in need of it.

I cleaned my wardrobe recently and was very happy to see it neat and organized. If you are thinking to clean your wardrobe use these simple tips. What I did was cleaned my wardrobe and played online bingo for a while on my favourite bingo site New Look Bingo. The one thing which I love about this site is their mobile bingo. Now I can play bingo anywhere, anytime.

For more details click here and have fun and don’t forget to share your experiences with me.

Making the dots work

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Top (was a dress) – Beth Ditto for Evans – via Naomi

Jumper – Elvi

Jeggings – ASOS curve

Shoes – Evans (similar)

I got this dress from Naomi well over a year ago and I barely wore it.  It was too short to wear as a dress but too long to wear over jeans without making me feel frumpy . SO I shorted it and have worn it heaps more since I did that.  It’s now the perfect length to wear with jeans and trousers.

More Elvi love

I think Elvi cottoned on that they had a new fan after I kept posting and gushing about my recent purchases (I’ve so far bought a coat, a jacket, a jumper and a cardigan!) so they contacted me and asked me if I’d like to review an item.  I of course said YES PLEASE!

I picked the orange coatigan.  I’d see it worn by a couple of bloggers – and in black as well as the orange.  I went for the size 2 because the size 3 had sold out.

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Coatigan c/o Elvi

Top – eBay

Jeans – ASOS curve

Boots – ASOS

Necklace – Primark

Earrings – Blackheart Creatives

I wore this outfit to dinner at a friend’s house.  The coatigan is warm enough to just be worn over one other layer and be comfortable enough worn inside. But I could easily layer it up and wear it during the autumn and spring as a jacket.  I paired it with my current go to pair of jeggings, my new boots from ASOS (which fit like slippers – so comfy!) and my old but still very much loved goldfish top.

I put on my amazing goldfish earrings custom made by the talented Charlotte at Blackheart Creatives.  She made me a matching necklace which I will get around to blogging soon.

I know that Elvi’s sizing is very erratic – I have had to return a top which despite saying it was a 26 fit more like a 20 . I also haven’t tried any of their trousers, dresses or skirts . However the items I have bought on the most part fit well.  The coat I bought is a tad snug but I’m keeping it because I love it and I can make it work.

*pictures by Diana at http://www.fashionlovesphotos.com/

In the garden with Colonel Mustard

Now we all know that I have a bit of a . . . umm obsession  with the colour mustard –  I mean just look at this! So when I clocked this little beauty from Elvi I knew it had to be mine!

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I then saw it on Em and was like “nah, it’ll never suit me. It’s cropped and my body is long & boobs are big.” So I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on getting over a major operation etc etc .

A week or so ago during one of my insomnia induced internet surfs, I clicked on the Elvi website and noticed they had a sale on. I then noticed that the mustard jacket was now only £20 (instead of £40) and my sleep deprived brain told me to just order it and see.  So I did. I also ordered a couple other pieces whilst I was at it and was able to get a further 10% off due to being a new customer. The jacket took two days to arrive via royal mail.  I lifted it out and oh my it was love at first sight.  Its made from a soft tweed fabric.  It has shoulder pads and zips up . I was almost too scared to try it on.  You see I’d read mix reviews about Elvi sizing, a lot of people say their items run small. I’m a size 26 so top of their size range. If this jacket was too small I couldn’t size up – I’d have to part with my beloved. So I took a deep breath and put the jacket on  . . .  and what do you know! IT FIT!!

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Jacket – Elvi

Blouse – ASOS

Jeans – ASOS

Boots – ASOS

Necklace – Tatty Devine

 

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Not only did it fit, it fit like it was made for me! I am over the moon (!!).  Speaking of moons – look at this amazing necklace! Its my most favourite necklace ever! I’d been lusting after one after seeing Amanda look fabulous in hers.  I decided to treat myself to a Christmas present.  I’m so glad I did!

This post is also a bit of a collaboration post with my lovely friend and fellow blogger Becky . You see Becky and I have a habit of buying the same things.  She inspires me and I inspire her and sometimes we spontaneously buy the same stuff without knowing. So when Becky saw I’d bought the jacket and it fit – she was decided it was needed in her wardrobe too. One day we are going to arrive somewhere dressed head to toe in the same outfit!

 

*pictures by Diana at http://www.fashionlovesphotos.com/

Bad blood – part two (my experience of having a hysterectomy because of cancer)

I explained in my last post what lead me to end up having a hysterectomy.  Here is my experience of actually having the operation.

Time to cut

Thanks to my wonderful consultant, I managed to get on the books of one of the top five laparoscopic gynaecological surgeons in the country .  My consultant’s thoughts were if I was going to have to endure this operation lets make it as easy as possible. The surgeon was a softly spoken giant of a man.  He immediately made me feel at ease when I met him.  He examined me and said that he would be able to the operation on me no problem (basically as long as the surgeon can find and feel your hip bones then you’re ok).  My weight was not mentioned once.

I was booked in for 11 December 2014.  I went privately.

I went into surgery at around 7pm – I was back up in my room by midnight.  I don’t remember much about this at all – morphine is wonderful.  My husband had been told all had gone to plan.

The insider knowledge

Hand on heart – although scary and not at all pleasant – having a LAVH (laparosopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy) wasn’t all that bad.  I’ll break it down by the lead up, the first 24 hours, the first week, the first month and we’ll take it from there.

the lead up – before the operation you will be told not to eat or drink for a certain period of time. You will also be given a laxative to take.  The laxative for me just made me feel like I was having one of my dodgy tummies.  I have a sensitive stomach and sometimes its violently upset.  This wasn’t so traumatic for me.  However, if you are someone you doesn’t have an issue normally, it basically feels like you’ve got food poisoning without the fever or the pain.  Just be close to a loo and have moist toilet tissues to hand!

the first 24 hours – the first six hours I don’t really remember post op.  I remember being given morphine.  I remember thinking the leg pressure thingys were someone touching me on the leg, I remember it feeling like I really needed a wee but being unable to go.  You have a catheter in – for me this was the worst thing.  It wasn’t painful, just really uncomfortable.  You will have packing – basically a whole box of tissues will be shoved inside of you and I think this more than the catheter was making me feel like I needed a wee. You may have a drain in if you have bleed a lot during the surgery.  I did – this only hurts when you try and bend.  You have a big tube into your pelvis.  You will be on a drip – and you will be having saline and antibiotics put through it.

I had 4 tiny incision wounds. One in my belly button, two either side and one below my belly button. They were about a centimetre across and I had 1 stitch in each one on my belly and two in my belly button. They’re pretty much healed now and not very noticeable.

About 9am I was helped out of bed and allowed to wash my face and body if I wanted to.  I washed my face – I thought I was using my face wipes, turns out I was using my moist toilet paper!!

By 12pm my catheter and packing was out and my leg compressors were off – BLISS!! I was then able to get up and go to the loo by myself and move around.  My drain was still in but as long as I was careful it didn’t bother me.

Every hour I felt better.  I was being regularly topped up with pain relief but the strength of it was slowly being wound down. I was able to eat a little and my stomach was making lots of noise (you fart a fair bit!) and was a little uncomfortable as your intestines begin to work again.

My drain came out around 8pm – it wasn’t very pleasant but I was given morphine to cope with the pain and it was over and done with quickly.  Once that was out, I had next to no pain moving around.

the first week – I left hospital at lunchtime on the Saturday – just a day and a half after my operation.  I was sent home with more dressings, injections of blood thinner and painkillers.  I walked out of the hospital without any help.  It felt odd – like my legs and head didn’t really belong to me . I also couldn’t believe it was all over!

The first week had its ups and downs and actually the worst was the fact I had done something to my leg and that was causing me agony (I think due to the position I was in during surgery it pulled a nerve or a tendon in my thigh and its taking its sweet time in recovering!).  You feel stiff and a bit battered – its uncomfortable to bend and to sit in certain positions but overall I was up and moving around.  I was walking for five or so minutes everyday and I was able to use the shower and the toilet without help.  The husband did have to help me dress for the first week – but that was due to feeling a bit tired and weak and not being able to bend.  But I dressed myself one week after the operation no problem (the husband had to return to work).

I was able to eat what I liked, but didn’t feel like huge meals so just had small ones.  I was pretty teary – but I think now that was more due to the shock than the kick started menopause.  In fact I would burst into tears every time I brushed my teeth for some reason.  My pet theory on that is trauma from them trying to knock me out.  It took them a while and then had to sedate me to get a line in. I must remember it on some level.  But that’s just me – it wont necessarily be everyone’s case.

the first month – its been over a month now.  By two weeks in I was doing ok! I even managed to cook Christmas dinner (with a lot of assistance but I was head chef!!) for five of us.  I haven’t had any horrible menopausal symptoms – the odd hot flush and pretty constant insomnia. But then my mum or Aunt didn’t have any really bad symptoms.

It’s still uncomfortable to sit in certain positions – but that is because where he removed my cervix and then stitched up the gap is still recovering.  I had discharge until a couple of days ago . My stitches dissolved within two weeks.

I feel able to do more every day.  From walking to the end of the road, to walking to the shops, to walking to the park to getting on public transport and going to the cinema.  I can now bend over easily but I’m still cautious about lifting stuff.  I get tired easily but again I get less tired doing things the more that time goes on. I’m gagging to get back to work, back to normal.

The big C

Cancer – a word that strikes fear into nearly everyone.  At the time I was adamant that my results would come back negative.  There was over a 60% chance I wouldn’t have cancer – that I would be without a reproductive system for no real reason.  The husband and I concentrated on being prepared for that.  I reasoned that my periods had been so bad that that in itself was reason enough. So when I got the results that cancer had been found I was pretty shocked.  But what worried me the most was that I would have to endure more tests or possibly have more treatment. Luckily, I don’t.  Cancer was found in a small part of my womb but no where else . It hadn’t spread to the muscle of the womb nor to my cervix or my ovaries.  My perseverance and the fact I have good medical support paid off.  My GP and my first consultant didn’t just brush off the fact I had prolonged bleeding being down to PCOS and my weight.  They listened when I said “something isn’t right here”. I was lucky.

And finally. . .

What happened to me at my age was really rare.  I have a few of the factors that lead to uterine cancer – I started my periods before I was 10, I’m white with fair freckly skin, I have a family history of heavy periods, I have a family history of female cancer. I also had PCOS.  All these are factors which might lead you to have uterine cancer . But equally they might not . However, I would urge you to talk about your periods with your friends and push your GP if you feel something isn’t right.  My cancer was put at stage 1a – having the hysterectomy cured me of cancer 100%.  I dread to think what would have happened if I’d carried on ignoring what was happening.

 

 

Bad blood – part one (my experience of having a hysterectomy because of cancer)

So I’m five and a half weeks post op and I thought now was the time to write about my experience. of having a hysterectomy – because of cancer and before having children.  When I got diagnosed and was looking on the internet for other women’s experiences – all I could find were horror stories and I couldn’t find anywhere a woman was having to have the operation before she’d managed to have children.

I was going to write one post but there is a LOT to fit in so I’ve split it into two.  Just so you don’t fall asleep before the end but also so I don’t feel like I’m writing an essay and rush at the end.  My story is a positive one and its important I make that come across.  So here’s part one.

The before

Every woman I know complains about her periods – they are painful, heavy, go on for ages etc . Having periods suck – its the worst thing about being a woman. BUT pretty much every woman has them . So when you have a period – you don’t know what is right and what you should be concerned about.  The internet and doctors tell you that “about an eggcup” is normal – but how do you measure that? Is that an eggcup a day? A whole period? A lifetime? Anyway, I’ve always had difficult periods . Incredibly painful up until I was 20.  Then they vanished and then they came back non-stop.  My “floods” began back in 2012 – I was on a canal boat with the husband and two friends and it was horrific.  I was using numerous pads and still having to change every 20 minutes or so . I bleed through all the bedding and all of my clothes. Plus the pain! I bled so badly that I stood up and it gushed out and ran down my legs and onto my shoes.  I thought I was dying!

I went to a GP and he was concerned I’d had a miscarriage and once I’d assured him I definitely wasn’t pregnant he gave me some progesterone tablets and told me that would stop it.  Which it did – for the week I was taking them for and then it all started up again so I went to see my normal GP (she’s wonderful!) and I was prescribed some clotting medicine – this did the trick .

So this is how I survived – whenever I started to bleed heavily, I would take tranexamic acid for four days and my periods would stop.  For the first two days it was like carnage but then slowly became manageable.

Never-ending

After my second big flood – I arranged to see a gynaecologist.  I had been seeing one due to PCOS but we’d fallen out after she’d fat shamed me (read about that here) so I needed to find a new one.  My GP had heard of one lady in particular so I used my BUPA cover and went to see her privately . By this time I was bleeding continuously – not heavily but enough I needed to wear a pad every day and change it a couple of times .

I got my appointment with the consultant gyneacologist and we discussed my PCOS and my bleeding.  She wasn’t overly concerned about the PCOS  – but she was concerned about the fact I was bleeding – she sent me off for blood tests and a scan.  The consultant thought I might have a  polyp or a fibroid but she wanted to wait for the blood & scan results.  Neither of these showed up anything to be concerned about and by the time I went back to see her, the bleeding had stopped.  She thought it was likely I’d had a polyp and that had passed – which would have caused the heavy bleeding.  She told me to come back if anything started up again and she would arrange for me to have a hysteroscopy .

So this is how I managed for the next 18 months – taking the tranexamic acid when things got too much and wearing pads when the bleeding didn’t stop.

The summer of blood

I didn’t have any more major bleeds and in fact between March and June 2014, I had pretty normal periods.  So in July when I began to bleed, I didn’t worry.  I didn’t even have any tranexamic acid in the house.  The flood began at work – I was in a meeting and I stood up and I felt the gush.  This was how my summer of blood began.  I took tranexamic acid – it didn’t work.  I took progesterone – this slowed it down but didn’t stop it or stop the pain and also drove me insane! I would cry without reason, I hurt everywhere, I felt sick all of time time.  I couldn’t sleep.  Horrible. My GP signed me off for two weeks . At the end of the two weeks I went back to my gyneacologist – she ordered a scan and bloods.  This time, the scan showed something – the radiologist couldn’t say it was a polyp but she suggested a look was required .

Hello hospital my old friend

On 20 August 2014 – I went and had a hysteroscopy.  My second ever general anaesthetic and it went fine – was a great experience in fact. My gynea couldn’t find a polyp – she said the lining was thick and “fleshy” but she cleared it all away and sent it off to tested.  I was in and out of hospital (private) within an evening.  The next day, I felt wonderful! The best I’d felt in ages. No bleeding, no pain.  Amazing! By the Saturday (I had the op in the evening of the Wednesday), I felt awful – really bad cramps, bleeding, feverish. I just put the cramps down to the womb going back to its normal size and the bleeding being because I’d been scraped out.  And the fever I didn’t really recognise as such.  The husband was away for the night and I spent it feverishly dreaming slugs were climbing all over the cats’ bowls.  I was also freezing.  I remember putting loads of layers on and using the hairdryer to warm my socks and my feet.  Yet still I didn’t recognise I was sick.  Not until 7am on the Sunday morning when I stood sobbing in the bathroom feeling so terrible and a memory flashed into my head – I hadn’t felt this bad since I’d gotten my post op infection after I’d had my tonsils out.  THEN I knew . An early morning phone call to NHS direct, a trip to A&E with my wonderful friend I’d dragged out of bed and two lots of antibiotics later, I was back home – feeling worse.  The doctor I’d seen in A&E had said if I felt worse or felt sick to come back in.

To cut a long story short – I did have an infection.  I was treated ridiculously poorly by every department I encountered on my return visit to A&E and I was hospitalised for three days due to the infection.  But this was it yes? I had been unwell enough? Ha! No quite .

The worst is yet to come

Two weeks after I’d had my infection, I was due to go back to work. But finally – the results of my biopsy were back.  I walked into my gynea’s office thinking I was going to be told it was nothing that loosing some weight wouldn’t solve (answer to EVERYTHING when you’re a fat girl) and walked out with a potential cancer diagnosis.  Basically my results had been reviewed by two pathologists and both were unsure – including one who is one of the leading pathologists in the UK.  It was likely the fact I’d been taking huge amounts of progesterone had skewed my results but to be better safe than sorry, I was going back to have another biopsy but under urgent care at my local NHS hospital.

The unknown journey

The biggest difference I noticed between NHS and private care is not the level or standard of care you get but how much you are told what’s happening.  With private – I guess because you are a paying customer – you are told “you are going to have a scan for x reason.” “These blood tests are to tell us y”.  That doesn’t happen with the NHS.  I got back from holiday with my next operation already booked in – with lots of demands about how to ensure I have it.  My first appointment with the gynea oncologist consultant involved me having to have an internal scan without warning (and it being discussed in the middle of the waiting room with me!).  I wasn’t told much else.  I read the results of the scan because I was given the paperwork and had to walk back to where my consultant was. It read “womb lining <5mm thick (measuring 25mm) looks hyperplasia in appearance.” whatever that meant.  I should have known then that I was going to spend a lot of time asking “why?” and being on the defensive.  It’s probably easier if I bullet point what happened next:

  • I was booked in for my operation – and told I would need to stay the night as they would put me on IV antibiotics to prevent me getting another infection. But only my consultant and I appeared to know this! I spent my whole time in recovery explaining “I get post op infections, I need to stay in for antibiotics” .
  • I was asked by the ward sister if I’d had an operation in last six months, three hours after coming out of surgery!
  • I kept receiving phone calls about scans and MRIs but had no idea what these were for and why.  In fact my MRI and CT scan were booked for the same time and if I hadn’t enquired about why I wouldn’t have had one of them.
  • I wasn’t told I would need to have a cannula in for both scans – until the day . I then had to endure someone trying to get them in!
  • I was fat shamed 10 minutes before my operation by the anaesthetist – who asked me what I was doing about my weight! She then got shirty that I was abrupt with her “you took offence when none was intended” “no, you assumed I would just take it when you questioned me about my weight when it has nothing to do with why I am here” .
  • I was told I needed to have my results discussed at St Thomas’ and was given an appointment time.  Two hours before that appointment it was cancelled because “as you don’t have cancer, then you don’t need to see us.” !!!

And I’m sure there was more that I’ve blanked.

Tough decision

I was ready for my results.  I was confident that it was nothing to be worried about . After all, I’d been told it wasn’t cancer.  WRONG (kinda)! I had pre-cancer – I had something called complex atypical hyperplasia and I had two choices:

1 – take 16 times the amount of progesterone I was on in the summer (you know when I felt like I was going insane) for three months.  Be bioposied again.  If the hyperplasia was under control, loose eight stone, try and have IVF.  If the hyperplasia wasn’t controlled – have a hysterectomy.

2 – have a hysterectomy.

The consultant wanted me to decide there and then – he also assumed that I would go for option 1 . I didn’t – I needed to talk to my husband . I needed a second opinion.  I needed to research it further.

Here’s what my research found:

  1. Hyperplasia means you are infertile.  My womb was not a healthy or hospitable environment for egg implantation.  Getting pregnant naturally was impossible. Getting pregnant and staying pregnant through IVF for someone with hyperplasia? – 1%.
  2. A third of all women with complex hyperplasia were found to have cancer once they’d had their hysterectomy.
  3. Taking the progesterone was basically a way of clearing out my womb – I would have more horrendous periods over the three months of taking the progesterone.
  4. The hormone therapy only works in around 18% of cases.  The rest end up having three months of hell and then having a hysterectomy.
  5. I would be given around a year to loose eight stone and try and get pregnant – throughout that year I would have a biopsy every three-four months to ensure the hyperplasia was still under control.

None of the above sounded positive.  I decided to be logical – even if they didn’t find cancer, I had to think about my periods.  Did I really want to spend potentially the next 20 years with periods like I had been suffering? The chances of me getting pregnant seemed slim to none.  We had already discussed other ways to be a parent.

So after a second opinion – where my original consultant was as logical as I was.  I decided to have a hysterectomy.  At 35 years old and without yet having children.  To me it seemed like a non-brainer.  As it did to pretty much everyone else we discussed it with.  Everyone fully supported my decision – this made it easier.

. .. to be continued

 

 

January swap

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There will be the first swap of 2015 on 17 January and it’s being held here

As always we’re asking for donations to help us fund future swaps and other events. You can either get your ticket beforehand here is our eventbrite page or you can pay on the door on the day.

Clothes wise – please bring good condition items that are clean. If you don’t have anything to swap don’t worry, still come along! We always have surplus! We are also collecting work/interview suitable clothing to donate to the circle. The charity provides free clothes to women who can’t afford to buy suitable outfits and are desperately short of plus sizes.

Simply Be have kindly agreed to send us some end of stock items in size 26 upwards. This is because we are always really low on these items.

So there you go! I already have a bag of items ready to go ! Hope to see you all there! We’ll have the usual supply of cakes and zines too.