I did it..

I had surgery – A Laporoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy.

85-90% of my stomach has been removed.

I tried so hard to ‘Love’ and embrace my ‘bigger’ body…..(for 22 years I have tried).  Guys I really tried.  But I just don’t love it, and I am sick of being the way I am. I don’t look in the mirror and see a healthy person (I see a happy, very loved person!) but not a healthy one.  I don’t enjoy going out, I look at pictures of myself and unless it is just my face – I am revolted……harsh I know but I am being honest here.

I read every ‘Big and Proud’ type blog/article that I could find, the whole Love and Embrace your body and ‘curves’ thing which is so true and real and I know I should do all of this but I don’t.  I know some larger people are healthy, But I however,  am starting to show early signs of not being healthy.  Elevated Cholesterol, constantly lethargic, increasingly sore knees and ankles…..

I talked about my weight endlessly with friends, I dieted, I tried to changed my ‘lifestyle’ instead of dieting (because you shouldn’t diet 🙄), over the years I took Xenical,  Reductil, Duromine, I tried Herbalife, Isagenix, Healthy Mummy, I have tried ENDLESS amounts of diet pills.  I have exercised regularly, eaten ‘healthily’ and do you know what ?

NOTHING. STUCK. EVER.

I always ended up back here where I currently am, uncomfortable and spilling out of my largest clothing. Now perhaps I just have crappy motivation,  perhaps I always set myself up to fail with massively high expectations, perhaps I am just a failure when it comes to keeping myself at a healthy weight. Perhaps genetics and a combination of the above is the problem? I am not entirely sure However I am sure that I have a problem.

I know that so many people have stories to tell about people who have had surgery but I don’t want to hear your negative stories…….keep them to yourself.  I know of as many success stories and I know surgery is a tool not a magic spell….. I KNOW ALL OF THIS. Believe me – I also KNOW that this option is a hard one. I am left able to consume only tiny amounts of food and I will always take supplementary vitamins and minerals,  I have read all about the nausea, vomiting, reflux, dumping etc….. (and four days post surgery I have experienced it also!!) I am not walking in to this blind or ill informed.  In fact I know a lot more about it than most people currently ………(and one would hope so too!)

This may come across as a bit negative…… I apologise if so!  But I do have my guard up….. I am reluctant to tell even certain family members because I know what the reaction will be, instant negativity with comments and stories of failed surgery 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️.

I know that I have a journey ahead.  I know it is going to be hard (yet marvellous!!!!) I am so looking forward to joining mindfulness courses and health retreats and just focusing on my health and not having to worry about all of the dangers of obesity (Obesity kills more people every year than smoking…….. we have a massive problem guys….).  Heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers are all directly linked to obesity.

This new opportunity is huge, exciting, mind blowing and life changing.  I could have spent another ten years mulling this over, getting larger and less healthy,  but instead I am just doing it.

I am so thankful to have my husband by my side (who loves me for who I am and is supportive of me).  I look forward to playing summer soccer with him and our friends in the coming years.

I am also very aware that I have a 14 year old daughter who is at the very ‘self aware’ stage of being a teenager, she isn’t silly, she hasn’t been hiding under a rock and she hasn’t escaped the fact that her mother didn’t like her body.  She knows….. she is also the very lucky recipient of her fathers slim, athletic frame 🙌🏻 and she knows all about healthy choices and she is a super active teen. I have never told her she is anything other than perfect and it is true !  She happily posts photos of herself from time to time on her social media accounts and I know she has pretty awesome self esteem (in a nice way not in a snotty ‘up herself’ teenager kind of a way….) I will continue to build up my kids and never tear them down or comment on what she eats and what she does, provided she is happy and making good choices – I am happy 🙌🏻👏🏻

For those interested :
Pre op weight
ht – 162cms

BMI – 35.8 (Obese)

My Goal weight – 60-65kgs (post surgery it is  very likely this will be where I end up) this puts me in the ‘healthy’ weight range for my height.

Now………I realise that BMI is ‘ridiculous’ to some people but it is a universal way to measure Body Mass. It really gripes me when people say, “You aren’t obese though!”  “UMMMmmmm Actually I am!!!!!” Let’s use the word and not make it so taboo, one out of every 3 New Zealanders is obese, it is not uncommon.

Also I am doing this privately (I am not big enough to qualify for funded surgery) I understand it is rather a long and painful process to get funded surgery.  Which is quite understandable considering the cost to the taxpayer 👌🏻

Also – the WLS waiting room isn’t a ‘first port of call’ for weight loss patients 😂  Most of us have tried many times unsuccessfully to loose weight before we consider the option of major surgery! 

ingthechapma

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g_1884-1.jpg”> Peace out ✌🏻 Sue xxx

I LOVE B.S. 


Now the B.S. stands for Baking Soda in this instance……. Just to clarify 😆

BLANTs are the pioneers of bulk salts in New Zealand

I had so many people message me with horrified faces when they watched me sprinkle Baking soda alllllllll over my carpet in my Instagram story a couple of weeks ago 😆 many people didn’t know that this natural odour absorber is a fabulous deep cleaner and draws out dirt and odours from fabrics and carpets (and plastic actually and nonporous surfaces actually too!)

I was going to list 20 different uses for Baking soda (but I decided that would be really freaking boring….) so I have decided to list 5 🤦🏻‍ #lessboringthan20 and please believe me when I say that there are SO MANY MORE uses for it than I have listed.

If I didn’t believe in Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate if we are getting technical)  I wouldn’t be writing a blog post about it (in the era of blog post writing about every bloody thing in the world you can buy or know about, I am truly picky about what I choose to write about now).

  1. Carpet Deodoriser – Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and let sit overnight.  Then use a vacum cleaner to suck up the rest. Now I actually add a few drops of essential oil to mine and have a shaker of it always made up.  I use it 2-3 times a week on our carpets as we have a dog and two small children living here 👍🏻 you wouldn’t know though as it smells fresh 👌🏻
  2. Produce Wash – Mix a quarter of a cup of baking soda in a sink full of water. Wash your fruits and vegetables in it, then rinse with clean water. The removal of some of the potential and rather gross surface germs is a bonus before biting into that apple 👍🏻
  3. Boost Your Laundry Detergent – Adding baking soda to your laundry helps soften the water making clothes cleaner, fresher, and softer! Add 1 cup of baking soda to your laundry powder to make your store bought washing powder to make it go further.
  4. Easy DIY baking soda scrub – How easy is this really?  you may ask, very!  Simply sprinkle some baking soda on your tubs, sinks, or tile and then wipe with a clean damp washcloth. Rinse and dry. You can also make a paste by mixing water and baking soda beforehand and using it like jif.
  5. New clothing Detox – Many people do not wash their clothing before wearing them……just a few months ago my husband failed to do just this and ended up with a hideous burning rash all over his upper torso from a new t-shirt that he had purchased online.  Remove the harmful chemical finishes on new clothing, which is important to do (especially for babies) simply by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda in with your washing powder for the first wash 👌🏻

Now that is just 5 – It took me quite some time to come to terms with the fact that my cleaners these days don’t smell like store bought cleaners,  to me now they smell better….. I use essential oils (EO’s) in everything from my washing to my bench spray and as a Perfume 🌸 I also diffuse EO’s daily they are amazing !

BLANTs as well as stocking the Baking Soda I speak of above also stock Epsom Salts (and many other bulk mineral supplies)

Epsom Salts are fabulous and have many uses for around the home and also as a part of your health and beauty regime.

Epsom salts dissolved in warm water (eg in a bath!)  are easily absorbed through the skin where they immediately go to work inside our bodies. The magnesium ions break apart from Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium also plays a critical role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated without causing feelings of restlessness or anxiety……..Pretty much they make you feel relaxed and calm – so if you are a parent you need these salts in your life !

In the garden they can be used around plants to deter slugs and snails,  they can be used as a body/face scrub,  volumiser for your hair,  it can be used as a laxative among so many other uses !


Twice a week Beck and Cora (21 months and 3 years pictured above) have a bath with 1.5 cups of Epsom salts – my kids drink the bath water (gross I know……but they are kids !) and on the nights I see them drinking the bath water with Epsom Salts in it I feel happier about it than the other nights as they are proven to be great for gut health too (See the info here about the use of Epsom Salts and Autism) Interesting reading !!

“Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live” – Jim Rohn

I have a special code for you to use online at BLANTs ! Recieve a 10% discount on your purchase by using the code CTC517 at check out.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you sprinkle B.S. all over your floor too !

Sue xx

 

 

 

 

Cora turns 3 

Wellll I was going to do a big spiel about how time goes so quickly and I wish it would slow down 😆 but you know all that already if you read my Instagram and Facebook posts 😂 But yes Cora turned 3 today – we celebrated on Wednesday with a few wee friends and it was very cute – her cake was decorated ‘ON POINT’ 👌🏻 and the kids just played and had a nice time  💕

Here are her gift details if you are interested 😬 if not just scroll to the bottom of this blog post and you will see her cake 👌🏻 (you will not be dissapointed)


Her Main present (which my parents contributed towards also as I am the gift grinch 😂)  was this wee kitchen from Monkey Kids Store.  I actually had this in the Christmas Edit post I did last year as a want – so I have been very keen on this for a while 👌🏻 Cora loves to help in the kitchen and I find she gravitates towards kitchen based play if we are ever somewhere that happens to have a play kitchen 😁

I picked up the stainless steel kitchen set at Kmart for $15 👏🏻

The wee washing up brush and knives and forks came from The Montessori Shop (we already had these however I thought I would mention it if anyone was interested)

Before Christmas last year I purchased this gorgeous wee teepee from Pint Size Goods and also the wee chair and mat and wooden rounds – I felt she was still a bit off the age where she could appreciate and enjoy them but now a few months on it is perfect for her (I was going to remove the Peppa pig figurines as they aren’t my favourite looking toys 😂 BUT that would be completely stupid as they are literally the most played with toys we have) now at least Peppa and her friends have a fabulous Glamping scenario going on 👌🏻

This Mumma and her baby piglet joined our collection of sweet friends from Dapper Mr Bear (however I am not sure if they are available still as I also bought these a while back and never gifted them to Cora as Beck was still putting everything in his mouth 😬)


This Gorgeous Wee Fairy Door also arrived the morning of her party and she is obsessed with it 💕 the cute mushrooms I purchased from Little Whimsy a while back and they also have been hidden away until she was of an age to appreciate them and she was a LOT more delighted by these wee mushrooms than I thought she was going to be 🙌🏻 #winning

Her Cake………… #nailedit 😳 she put the 3 candles on just FYI 😁

Sue 🌿 x

Cora’s Bedroom Makeover 

With my eldest daughter Lily moving to Dunedin to live with her dad and attend a school with amazing opportunities, it meant that Cora could have her own room and Beck could finally move out of our room 🙈 After 18 months of broken sleep and worrying every time I moved I was going to wake him up this was a welcome change 😅

I wanted her room to be girly whilst still having a touch of whimsy and fun with a reasonably neutral colour palette.

The piece beside Cora’s bed is an old telephone table that I purchased off a local buy/sell page on Facebook.  Using Chalk paint I painted it white and re-upholstered the cushion using a pillowcase from the Soft Gallery set we have (and I adore) it is quite a subtle black and white print so will go with anything I throw at it pretty much 👌🏻

The wee pot plant holder was a bargain from The Warehouse ($6) and the Ivy plant in it was a ‘Wee Cutie’ and was tiny when I bought it. It was always destined for Cora’s room as Ivy is a natural air purifier and it inhibits mould growth naturally (not that we have a mould problem but I thought it was another reason to like it 🌿😬)  it can be poisonous if ingested so for small children and animals it is advised to be out of reach……my children have yet to eat ours or any other plant we have inside, but ya know I thought disclosing it’s not so positive trait was important too 😉


Cora’s bedroom is small, we have the ever popular IKEA ‘Minnen’ bed for both Cora and Beck.  We keep them at Cot size (they are extendable to a full size single bed) as the kids are still small.  On Cora’s bed we have a beautiful ruffle edged linen bed cover from The Foxes Den,  I am in love with this special addition to her bedroom. The linen star cushion is also from The Foxes Den

Her pillowcase is from Moonlit Sleep and is lovingly made from Organic cotton.  I have had so many people ask me about it – I am actually pretty obsessed with a fair few of her products so you will no doubt see another couple of pillowcases from her feature in our home in the coming months👌🏻 You can find Moonlit Sleep’s website here xx

Cora’s favourite doll which she has named ‘Grace’ sits beside her bed and is played with and snuggles with frequently.  She is from Claire LeBlond design who is ridiculously talented, her work is incredible and she is a lovely human too 👌🏻 Her incredible work can be found here.

The Ostrich seen here is a special friend from Jellycat UK – I couldn’t find a NZ supplier so he came direct from the UK.

The Set of wee drawers above which house some of Cora’s special things is from Mocka.  The ‘Rad Dreams’ dream catcher is from Moe Pepe and is one of my favourite pieces from Cora and Beck’s shared space.

Her beloved polar bear is from Dapper Mr Bear, as is her music orb (which plays a tune by Mozart) and the iconic rubberwood elephant you can find them all here along with many other beautifully curated objects of desire 🙊 one of the books from the image below is also from Dapper Mr Bear.

Cora’s letter C is from the now sadly closed business Little Letter Lights Co.

Her mirror is a gorgeous blush pink and is originally from Lilly and Lolly from Australia – but I purchased it second hand of another IG Mumma.

Her whale is from Big Stuffed and hails from Paris 🐋 I am pretty obsessed with our Big Stuffed friends 👌🏻

Hanging on her wardrobe door is her leather backpack from Little Design Co in the USA – handmade and stunning – it is a piece that Cora treasures and uses frequently.

Hanging up are the children’s Busy Bags and we have just ordered our third natural set (wooden) to join these two bags. They are played with frequently with the added benefit of being educational at the same time 👌🏻

In the wee felt baskets I purchased from Collected.  Cora has her handmade block from Whittle, her Peppa Pig friends, felt food and sushi from Percy Brown, her kiko stars and toys from Peas in a pod and finally,  in her crate from George and Willy she has her Shiech collection of animals (inherited from her big sister).

This beautiful piece of art is such a delight ! It is from Indigo Eleven and is unlike anything I have seen before – I like that it had a natural theme and complemented Cora’s plant and the colour theme going on in her room.

The talking point of the bedroom when people walk in is certainly her neon heart light from Little Whimsy 😍 I adore it and both of the kids still say “wow” when it is turned on and the room lights up with a gorgeous purple light 👌🏻 It is very special indeed.


One of Cora’s (and Beck’s too actually) favourite things is to lounge about on the gorgeous Beanbag from Dill Pickle Designs –   Many hours have been spent lounging on here already reading books and many more will surely come ❤️

I have enjoyed doing this wee room for Cora ! I hope you have enjoyed the wee tour !  It takes less than 5 minutes to clean up and everything has a home ! She loves it and respects it and is forever telling me how much she loves her space.

Next up – Becks solo room !!! But after our Bali trip and a wee break from Social Media xxx

Sue xx

A Natural clean 🌿

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I have been using these products from The Australian Eucalyptus Oil New Zealand for near on 3 weeks now.

I can confirm that they work 🙌🏻 and work well 👌🏻

I will start by telling you about the Dishwasher powder 👇🏻

I was on the last of our version of rinse aid ‘White Vinegar’ 😆  But this Dishwasher Powder includes it – which is a huge bonus ! I haven’t been having glistening glasses with the white vinegar (but this isn’t overly important to me as it is chemical free so no residue on our plates and eating utensils – because NOBODY needs that aye 😷)  But with The Australian Eucalyptus Oil Automatic dishwasher powder it leaves them nice and clear 👏🏻

I have been using the washing powder also 👇🏻

Now we live in an area with DISGUSTING water – if there isn’t a warning from the council letting us know it is unsafe to drink, it stinks of chlorine – it contains high iron levels and everything here ends up being stained an orange colour 😩 So I have struggled to get my washing both clean and soft…..and not filled with chemicals, because it actually is hard to get both unfortunately without using a fabric softener. But I have found that this laundry powder does both 👌🏻 (I will admit that our clothes are not ‘fabric softener’ soft…..but that involves chemicals that are then against your largest organ for hours at a time 🙅🏻 so I am ok with just soft not CRAZY chemical filled soft 😉).

And everything smells very fresh and clean when it comes out of the machine and I dry my clothes naturally (we don’t own a dryer) I LOVE the smell of eucalyptus personally so I really enjoy using this 🌿 You can purchase it here (I have also sampled the Lavender and it is also gorgeous!)

This product here I hadn’t used up until today 😆. But I now know it’s power !!! I had made an oil blend up for the kids (Cora has a cold) and I peeled the label off  an essential oil bottle and it stuck and was all sticky and I hate that 😑 Anyway I thought I could try this ! And yep it worked a treat 👏🏻  before photo of the bottle 👇🏻 other uses for this product (aside from its awesome sticky spot removal 😆) include cleaning stainless steel appliances ! (note how shiny my Dishwasher is in the photo above)

The multi-purpose spray is really good – smell wise it is stronger than I am used to but not unpleasant – as I love the smell of Eucalyptus myself!  All of the benches, the sinks, bathroom, toilet, it has been sprayed everywhere with great results 👌🏻 I love it ! You can buy it here

We have truly put this next one to the test !! The Multi Purpose CLeaner 👇🏻. Beck has vomited all over our kitchen floor 🤢 twice in the last couple of weeks (our poor carpet has been in such a state 😑)Anyway !!! Post disgusting initial clean up – a capful of this into a bucket of warm water and the room is full of delightful eucalyptus ! It truly cleans beautifully and leaves everything feeling and smells clean 🌿 it is my favourite I think 👏🏻

Now I am very minimal with my skincare routine – I use Dirty Hippy face soap and after every shower I use Eco Tan Face Tan Water, that is usually it – Beauty Regime over 😆 I don’t usually bother with an all over body oil – BUT I have been using this Bygum All Natural Body Oil 👇🏻 post shower whilst my skin is still wet and I have noticed that my skin is softer and more hydrated 👌🏻

Most of you that read my posts know my views on chemicals within the home – they are not essential and just because they are cheap and in our faces at the supermarket and so readily available doesn’t mean they are good for you or even ok to use in close proximity to where we eat and sleep 🙅🏻  I was reading an article this morning about how consumers are becoming a lot more aware of what is in products and also how they are being produced and who by (ethical production 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻) I am always so excited when I read this kind of thing –  guys we CAN make a difference, even when it seems like your voice is falling on deaf ears – keep yelling and speaking YOUR truth.  Some things take time 😀

The Gathered Store 

The Gathered Store – now these ladies know about ‘nice things’ 👌🏻 Stocking some incredibly beautiful brands – I will share some beauties from their store 🙌🏻

The Gathered Store was founded by two sisters who founded ‘The Little Gatherer Blog’ bringing together the sweetest and coolest new things that they could find from around the globe.  I have followed them on Facebook since 2013 when they started the blog showcasing alllll the awesome things 👌🏻

They stock these incredibly beautiful music mobiles from Cam Cam which plays ‘Summertime’ by George Gershwin, perfect for above a small persons sleeping space !!! You can check out the full range of Cam Cam that The Gathered Store stocks here.

Slumberkins are one of my favourite soft toy brands and finding out that I could buy one from the Southern Hemisphere made me quite pleased ❤ they are extra special to us as we do the ‘Slumber Sloth Poem’ every night before sleep for both Cora and Beck – since starting this ritual Cora has been ‘sleep ready’ pretty much every night ! She adores the practise of repetition  and finds a huge amount of comfort in routine. They also carry the Yeti!!  Who is next on our purchase list ✨ I mean look at this wee face 👇🏻 Shop Slumberkins here !

Now this is a ‘Baby Book’ with a difference, designed and handmade in Australia by Laikonik – this adorable book allows you to showcase your child’s first 18 years 🙌🏻 I really like this concept ! As all of a child’s childhood should be recorded and celebrated, not only the first year. You can shop the Laikonik range here.

Cot sheet perfection right here 👇🏻

I am currently planning Beck’s new room alongside doing Cora’s 😅 And I am eyeing up this for his wee bed! (Which is cot sized currently 👌🏻) You can see the entire range of Liewood here.

The Gathered Store also have a delightful range of books to suit many ages – but this is a FAVOURITE of both of my children and I know it off by heart 😆 

Truly though if you are looking for books for your children they have a wonderful array available here.

Fast and efficient shipping around New Zealand and the world, The Gathered Store is a great ‘go to’ for gifts and specialty items 👌🏻

SNUGBAGS 

 We have been using this Organic Cotton Summer sleeping bag from SnugBags for the past few weeks, I chose the Grey Marl colourway (pictured here with a sleepy Beck above).  Beck is an exceptionally warm sleeper and this has been ideal for him over the past few days!

Beck needs a sleeping bag to sleep well, on the few rare occasions he has been without one (usually due to both of his bags being in the wash, due to his extremely good gag reflex 😆) he has slept awfully.  So I think they help him feel both secure as well as keeping him a comfortable temperature.

SnugBags have some wonderful features such as:

  • 2 layers of GOTS certified Organic Jesey Corton
  • Underarm domes for smaller babies (which we use – Beck has a 2-4yr size bag in these photos)
  • A Seat Belt Slot for easy sleeping baby car or pram transfers
  • A Diagonal Zip Design
  • Available in 5 different colours

SnugBags are made right here in New Zealand and and meet the New Zealand Sleep Wear Safety Regulations.

Comfortable in room temperatures between 23-30 degrees C. Beck has been sleeping in his with his Lulu Funk Summer PJ’s (pictured below) underneath his bag at night and has been comfortable   – we live in North Canterbury and have only started to see true Summer temperatures a couple of weeks ago 😆

SnugBags have won numerous awards and are ethically a VERY sound company 🌿 those that know me know how important to me this is.

  •  They use only NZ Merino wool (Certified Organic where they can) and they only source it from non-mulesing certified suppliers (Hooray for cruelty free wool production !)
  • They also only use Organic Cotton – which has none of the harmful chemicals found in normal cotton – it is extremely soft and stronger and more durable #winning 🌿👏🏻
  • All of SnugBags dyes meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) so the pretty colours without the chemicals 👌🏻🌿

I would encourage Anybody who is looking for a Sleeping Bag for their little one to look very seriously at a SnugBags Bag.  Beck is in need of the next size up Winter weight Merino bag and I am 100% going to be purchasing from Kim at SnugBags.  The testimonials on her website are a wonderful reflection of her product. As are the numerous awards they have received 🌿