Period Poverty in New Zealand

Is it that time of the month again, is old Aunt flo is visiting, are you on the rag, is it moon time, or perhaps you’re checking into the Red Roof Inn?

All of these are ways of referring to something that every woman gets, their period. It’s incredible that although every woman gets it, it’s still such a taboo topic to talk about it publicly. This is a topic that is often met with hushed tones and often makes people feel embarrassed. Ok I get it, not everyone wants to shout from the rooftops that they are menstruating, but seriously team… we all know it is part of life and we all deal with it in different ways, we shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. If anything, I think now is the time we started talking about it.

We should start talking about it because it may shock you to learn, but there is a thing called ‘Period Poverty’ here in New Zealand. After doing some research, I was so sad to find that girls as young as 10 have been using socks stuffed with newspaper or torn sheets to protect their dignity and some simply have not been attending school or work at all to save themselves the embarrassment and worry of insufficient protection.

Having read a study from overseas on this topic women, who have experienced ‘Period Poverty’ (or lack of access to sanitary items) are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, struggle to pay their bills and have an unfulfilling love life. We know that lack of money and education is often the cause of this issue and whilst there are always going to be hurdles for some people, there are going to be people who want to help.

To help make sanitary items more accessible and affordable for women across New Zealand, Countdown have dropped the price on a range of their Homebrand and Select sanitary products. They’re now as low as $2 per pack, which makes it easier to throw in the trolley during a weekly show so that people can equip themselves with an absolute household essential – and hopefully be able to build up a stash of products for when ‘that time of the month’ occurs.

When’s even better is that there is no compromise on quality even though these products have dropped in price.

Now I know that the conversation will happen, so I am going to say it first – Yes, these are single-use sanitary items. HOWEVER, I feel that this is one area we should relax about. I truly feel that no woman in New Zealand, young or old, should have to feel bad for needing to use single-use sanitary items to protect themselves. I am 100% with you on this campaign Countdown.

With that being said, I think it’s also important to mention that Countdown will also be stocking Menstrual cups in selected stores across New Zealand to give people a more environmentally friendly option if they choose to – and I’m so delighted about it.

Sue 🌿

Breaking the Fast

As many of you will know I have had a gastric sleeve operation on my stomach – which means that I have to (I literally NEED to) be very aware of what I eat these days to keep my energy levels consistent and my body and mind healthy.

Harraways have an exciting new product that I have been eating for the past week as part of my morning routine. Harraways Oat-activ® oats offer a double action in reducing cholesterol absorption from beta-glucan (naturally found in oats) and added plant sterols which are proven to reduce cholesterol absorption when you have two sachets of Harraways Oat-activ® as part of your daily intake of 3g beta glucan or 2g plant sterols. When used as part of your daily diet it really does help!

My diet is very low fat and low carb purely because my stomach struggles with heavy carbs and fats can make me feel rather ill,  I also need to consume a high amount of protein which is yet another reason I am obsessed with these oats – they are a source of fibre and protein with no added salt!

I have also made raw snacking balls with Harraways Oats-activ® treats, so at work I have been enjoying them as a mid morning and afternoon snack,  you don’t have to just use them for porridge to take advantage of the health benefits!

If you want to try and create your own breakfast and snack options with the Harraways Oat-activ® oats, you can find them in selected New World & Pak N Save supermarkets or comment below with your favourite oat recipe and go in the draw to win a 2 month supply of the new Harraways Oat-Activ® flavours to try (4 x Original and 4 x Original with Cranberry).

Thanks to ​Harraways​ for sponsoring this content. I have enjoyed Harraways since I was a child and for me they are a trusted and familiar brand.

Sue

Loss – the good kind…….

Hi!!

It has been a bloody long time since I have ‘blogged’ – I lost a lot of motivation last year which has reappeared finally (working 50 hour weeks all summer was also a factor in my loss of motivation 😆) ANYWAY!!

Here is my ‘post op’ blog post – which I have been asked to write and I have promised I would write !

I was ‘sleeved’ (term used by gastric sleeve bypass patients) on the 30th May by Stephen Kelly from Christchurch WLS.

On the morning of the operation I was naturally nervous, however I was also extremely ready for what was about to happen, as stated in my last blog post (it was a decision I had mulled over for years and hadn’t taken lightly….) I spent two nights following surgery in a private hospital which was really lovely – I was a bit of a mess with some of the drugs messing me around but I was soon feeling pretty much normal and ready to leave !

The following weeks I was tired and my body was readjusting but it was nothing I couldn’t handle and my parents and husband were fabulous and helped me with the little ones and let me snooze some afternoons #bliss 😆

A few times shortly after surgery I made mistakes with eating foods I could no longer tolerate – which ended up with me rushing to the loo to be ill,  believe me some foods that I wasn’t expecting to be a problem really were ! Generally though I can eat most foods I want to now just smaller amounts of them! Also my taste buds have changed dramatically and the food I used to crave and delight in no longer interest me 💁🏻‍♀️ Surgery does more than just change your stomach pouch size!

I have lost 26.5kgs – I now sit within the ‘normal’ BMI (I know, I know BMI SCHMEEMI ……..) But it feels great to be here regardless.

I am living again and I am confident and happy 🙌🏻 I struggled with energy levels a couple of months ago but have adjusted my vitamin intake a bit and now receive monthly B12 injections which have made a huge difference.

C7719733-5B97-49EB-984C-E6ED4C0D68A9.jpeg My body isn’t perfect at all – I have saggy boobs a flabby tummy and I don’t think I will ever feel ‘HOT’ 😂 But that wasn’t what I wanted – truly – I wanted to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt and not think twice about leaving the house in them, anyone who hasn’t had a weight problem will probably think I am insane – but my self confidence because of my weight was incredibly low and it affected my day to day life. I was also dying to get into my leather jacket and brown belt and jeans…………..

Since surgery I have been more active and challenged myself, kayaking and canyoning, horse riding (I rode and owned horses for years and I miss it so much !)

I am celebrating life and I can’t even find the words to rightly express how much having surgery has changed my world. I am a better wife and mother because I am happier !

Any questions just ask! I am very open about my surgery and I have ZERO shame in my decision to change my life 🙌🏻 I scribbled out my face in this pic as I couldn’t even look at them back then 🙈

Live and let live ✌🏻

Sue 🌿

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