A Doggy’s Day Out

I don’t have a dog (yet) but one my best friends has a beautiful and energetic little Bichon Frise called Belle. Seeing as the weather’s been pretty nice and it’s bank holiday weekend, my friends and I decided to have a nice day out and we took little Belle with us. We drove up to Hampstead Heath park which is hands down the biggest park I’ve ever been to.

We were there for roughly four hours and only managed to cover less than a quarter of the park. It consisted of two fairgrounds, an animal enclosure, a deer enclosure, an athletics track, a lido, tennis courts, croquet grounds, rugby and football pitches, coffee shops and 18 ponds. I guess now you can put into perspective how big this park really is.

We took a picnic blanket and some normal blankets for warmth as you can never be too careful with the English weather. We brought loads of toys for Belle but, she was much happier playing with all the other dogs. She seemed so free and happy running around, meeting other dogs and having fun. We were enjoying it just as much as she was. My friends and I are quite busy people so it was great to be able to take this time out and spend a day together, enjoying each other’s company simply laughing and joking.

After a long day of walking around and playing with Belle we were starving so we headed off to Shake Shack in Covent Garden. This particular location is one of the few restaurants in London that are doggy friendly and offers doggy treats so it was a perfect way to end our day! There’s a small seating area inside but a really large seating area outside, surrounded by loads of quirky little shops and other small restaurants.

I ordered a double cheeseburger with cheesy fries and a fifty/fifty (half lemonade, half iced tea), delicious! For Belle, we ordered some doggy red velvet biscuits which didn’t go down as we hoped, she was way more interested in our burgers and honestly I don’t blame her because they were so yummy! Overall, it was a great day out with great company and at some point, we will go back to try and tackle the rest of the park – although it might take a few visits!

elisekirsten xo.

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Day out: Tower Bridge!

As of lately, my levels of spontaneity and impulsiveness have been rocketing! Everyday, I find myself in the most random places or doing really spontaneous things, always something out of my ‘norm’. My typical day would be along the lines of; waking up, catching up on my typically favourite crappy shows, get ready for work, blog around those hours, come home and watch more crappy tv; eat, sleep and repeat. Now, I wouldn’t dare try to plan a day because I just have no clue where life will take me and I absolutely love it!

I’ve been on this high from life lately, solely doing things I love with cool people! On this one day, I was supposed to be going to work but because of an incident on the trains I couldn’t get in (count these small blessings!). I now had all this free time on my hands and somehow, a friend and I ended up roaming around London as we do!

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We headed to tower bridge with no real aims or plans but simply, a nice day out to enjoy each others company. The weather wasn’t great, it was windy and quite cold and it rained a bit but sometimes these are the best of our days; where you don’t let the weather or anything else stop you! I’m so grateful to know the people I do, the type of friends who are down for anything; big or small! We spent hours just simply watching the world go by, laughing and joking!

If you’re the type of person, like me, who finds beauty in simplicity then I’d recommend taking yourself out of your norm every now and then and spending a day as such! We all have responsibilities, there’s always something to be taken care of and money to be made but don’t forget to make time for YOU.

elisekirsten xo.

Another Diagnosis!

I usually write posts like these as a way of raising awareness as well as reaching out to others who can relate to my life, and know they’re not alone in this! This post follows a similar theme except this time,  I’m the one who needs to feel I’m not alone in this and hoping there’s somebody out there in the same boat.

My long term readers will probably know that almost a year ago now, I had a sports related injury that affected one of my knees and a lot of my day-to-day activities. Well, a quick little update – all the swelling and pain of my left knee (the originally injured knee) also happened in the right knee! This was a cause for concern which left Doctors absolutely confused. Over time I’d had nurse’s, GP’s and doctors take a look at my knee and now roughly eight months on from the initial injury, my specialist doctor looks me in the eye and admits he’s never seen a case like this.. GREAT! I was referred to a knee surgeon because we were now looking at the possibility of at least keyhole surgery.

From the pictures you can pretty much see how over time, my knees have completely changed and swelled as well as how visibly obvious it is that I’ve lost almost all muscle tone. By this point, I’m exhausted. It’s been almost a year of constant pain and no answers, no treatment, no cure and not to mention it was all getting worse! However, one visit with the knee surgeon and he was ready to diagnose me… with arthritis! I was told I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but what is it??

Rheumatoid Arthritis – a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

In layman’s terms, my immune system attacks the cells in my joints, causing inflammation, swelling, thickening of the tissue and pain! The only thing that really runs through my mind is, I’m 21 and I have arthritis! There’s a lot of things I feel I can’t do anymore, or when my friends say “lets go and do *insert activity*” I have to think, can I really do that? It’s great that I now have a diagnosis because I can finally begin treatment and working towards regulating my flare ups. I’m aware I have to change my lifestyle by avoiding certain foods, taking different vitamins and reintroducing light exercises but honestly, it all feels quite surreal. There’s still a number of unanswered questions and as much as I understand RA, I still feel so unsure about what this means for me and what I can expect long-term. Especially as it’s now spreading to joints other than my knees, I can’t help but worry about how far this will go!

I would love to hear your stories! Especially if you’re around the same age as me. If there’s any advice you can offer or anything you feel I should know, please get in touch! I’m also more than happy to share more of my story so hit the contact button my lovelies!

elisekirsten xo.

Comfortable vs Complacent?

Comfortable: to be in a state of physical or mental comfort; contented and undisturbed; at ease.

Complacent: feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you do not need to try any harder.

I definitely struggle between these two, it’s a process of becoming so comfortable with a situation or a person that I become complacent. On the flip side, I hate complacency, I hate feeling as though somebody has become so ‘satisfied’ with me they no longer feel the need to make an effort, but annoyingly, I know I am prone to this. We all are! It’s so easy to become so comfortable with something or someone, especially when a routine is involved. I love routines in my life but then again, I think they’re my biggest enemy of progress. Think about it, once you’re so set in what you’re used to – your normality – what is the need for change?

I notice this happens with friendships, relationships, work and general stages of life. We become complacent and suddenly need a kick up the bum to refresh and restart. Think about your relationships, when was the last time you did something nice for your partner? Something out of the ordinary just to show you really still care. Go the extra mile for that person because they’re worth it! And your friends? Do you still make enough time for them or even check up on them regularly? Because you might be so caught up in other things you don’t even realise you haven’t seen your good friend for a while. They’re worth it! Has work started feeling really boring and repetitive lately? Try something new, or what about a new job altogether? Find a hobby, plan a holiday, meet up with an old friend!

We are not made to be stuck in boring routines and what is supposedly ‘normal’ but instead, we should be breaking barriers and going the extra mile for our loved ones and for ourselves! Don’t become so complacent you miss the opportunity for something new and exciting or you begin to think “my life is so boring” because it’s not. It all sounds cliché and you’re probably tired of hearing it but I’ve learnt that literally everything requires effort. Complacency is the bane of our lives. 

I’ve noticed that going out of your comfort zone and doing things that may not necessarily be your norm is usually quite beneficial. It’s how we grow and learn what we like and what we don’t. For the first time in a while, I’m happy to be breaking barriers! 

I hope this helps lovelies!

Elisekirsten xo. 

What the hell am I doing with my life??

A question I’m sure most of us ask ourselves a few times in our lives. I’ve been going through a few changes lately which have left me thinking what on earth am I doing and where am I going with it! I ended up thinking back to when I was 16, finishing my GCSE’s and being forced to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life.. at the mere age of SIXTEEN!!!! Thinking about the situation now, having grown from it, I think it’s ridiculous that 15/16 year old’s are expected to make this big decision. Of course there’s room to change your mind or really find your interests and maybe it was the school I went to but I just remember my teacher’s drumming into us that we had to get A*-C’s in our GCSE’s or else we wouldn’t get into the best college’s or sixth forms of our choice and so therefore we won’t be able to get a good foot in the door for our future careers. In other words.. we’d fail at life.

I’m not quite sure how young my audience ranges to but for anyone around this age range  who might feel the pressure do not worry! You’re young.. We’re young. We have time to figure it all out! It’s quite important to have an idea of your interests and potential career choices (disclaimer: this post is not to encourage laziness or a “go with the flow” / “wing it” kind of lifestyle but simply to reassure you that’s it’s OKAY to not have the answer right now) but don’t stress out if you haven’t made a set decision or plan just yet. I can probably list my career choices over the past 5-7 years:

  • model (glamour, then hand)
  • photographer
  • psychologist (clinical, then counselling, then child)
  • beauty therapist
  • blogger
  • something social media related
  • something to do with childcare
  • honestly, the list is endless!

I personally don’t think this is such a bad thing. I know some people will probably read this post and my list and think “goodness, what a misguided and confused girl” but I honestly believe that in life we shouldn’t be set to just one thing. Well, that’s how I want to live anyway (disclaimer: not trying to influence my beliefs or lifestyle on others). I want to be involved in as many things as possible, have a number of different qualifications and experience in loads of different fields. That way, I don’t have to worry about what one thing I’m going to for the rest of my life. I’ll have more choice.

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As Patrick demonstrates above it’s easy to feel like the anomaly in a group of friends where everyone is talking about all their goals and dreams and what they’re doing to achieve these especially when you haven’t quite figured it out yet. We are easily influenced by our friends and especially our parents and families. For a while I was so caught up by what my parents thought was best for me I forgot to think about what I actually want! I recently made a decision that is sort of the complete opposite of what my parents were hoping for me and for ages I was so worried about telling them. It didn’t stop me, I’d made up my mind and made my decision and it was just a matter of actually telling them. Low and behold they support me ! They’re my parents after all. This brought me to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter what I do, as long as I work hard and I’m successful!

And remember, change happens at any age! It’s never too late or too early to try something new or pick up a new hobby, to pick up a new qualification or even start a new career path!

I wish you all nothing but success my lovelies.

Elisekirsten xo.

Challenging Negative Thoughts

I promise that not all my posts will be as deep as these or based around mental health but I did not expect to get the response that I did from my prior posts. I realised that opening up about my illness and what I was dealing with really helped others which is my whole purpose for blogging – to reach out to others.

I woke up this morning knowing that I wanted to be productive today, as I aim for every day but I started feeling quite low. It’s so easy for me to become distracted by my negative thoughts and slump back into my old ways but as I’ve progressed and become more aware to my mental state, I’m now trying to challenge my thoughts. I have the forsaken ability to think myself into a complete low and depressive state which I’m trying ever so hard to fight against but it’s definitely easier said than done. The other day I decided I wanted to work more and I fancied another job so I started looking at applications online, the next day I got a call back for an interview so of course I was so happy but by the time the interview day came along, I woke up in the morning and I just did not feel prepared. I’m the type of person who can easily make myself feel guilty for things like not ticking off most things on my to-do list or not attending an interview lol. I just did not feel prepared for this interview, it’s something I was excited about and I suddenly felt crap. I was kind of going back and forth in my head about what to do and I decided I was going to reschedule it for another day. A lot of people won’t understand my thought process and will look at the situation as “why didn’t she just go to the interview, she’s just being lazy” but I’ve realised it’s not my job to make people understand or convince people.

Instead of making myself feel worse about myself for not going to that interview or worrying about other people’s judgement and opinions, I try to look at everything more positively. It’s not that I’m not grateful for the opportunity or that I didn’t want to go to the interview, I just didn’t feel good about it at the time and I wouldn’t want to jeopardise my chances of getting the job knowing I’m not giving it my all. I told myself I made the best decision and there’s nothing wrong with rescheduling! This allows me time to prepare and a decent amount of headspace.

It’s a challenge. But I’m going to challenge all my negative thoughts. I’m going to take back control of my life! I hope this helps lovelies.

Elisekirsten xo.