Tag Archives: Life

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


A Personal Story To Look Back On..

Warning – This is a serious post and it took a lot to write it. This is more a personal story for me to look back on, than a post for everyone, so if you want to read it, do. But you have been warned.

Over the years, I have had a growing interest in health and well-being. Of course, a few years ago, I had a bad relationship with food, and was also diagnosed with moderate-to-severe depression. I have always had an issue with medications, pills, tablets of any kind, worrying that it wasn’t natural or good to put chemicals like that into my body. So, I researched and researched, looking for alternatives. I asked my G.P, who said that there was no other way but medication ((but what does he know..)). So, reluctantly, after putting up with the symptoms for months, I finally agreed to take the prescription. I took the tablets ((Prozac)) for a while and felt really tired, all of the time. Soon I even started to hear and see things that weren’t there – all the time.. I still don’t know if that was the medication, or my anxiety, but it scared me. I was feeling worse. I wanted out, now. My Dad talked me into taking the medication for a bit longer, just to see if I was adjusting, but it had already been over 5 months, and I felt terrible. I soon had to start going to work with my Dad, my anxiety growing so bad that I was afraid to be alone..

So, at month 7, I went back to my doctor after a day at college, and explained what had been going on ((with Pat beside me)). He was very confused, saying that nobody ever had so many side-effects from that particular medication, but agreed that I could gradually stop taking them. After a couple of weeks coming off them slowly, I felt a lot better than I had before. I wasn’t as tired, I could sleep most nights and I could stay at home on my own again without being terrified by my thoughts. But, the depression still lingered, and after a while, worsened again….

One day at college, only a few months before the end of the course, I was consumed with anxiety and feeling extremely emotional. Even a raised voice would scare me :/ which sounds pretty silly, now. I felt like I had crashed. I couldn’t concentrate on the project I was working on, nothing made any sense, the words had no meaning. It was pretty scary, and I got so worried that I walked out at the break. I walked down into town and got the soonest bus home, trying not to cry, looking behind me every 5 minutes, with a feeling that I was being followed.. Yup, I was extremely paranoid, too.

My depression and paranoia have caused many arguments with Pat in the past, and I can never thank him enough for being there for me. Slowly, every day, things get a little bit better. Obviously thee are a lot of bad times, but then I simply find something that I still enjoy, to put all my attention on, instead. Finding the high-carb low-fat vegan lifestyle has helped me immensely, as well as Pat’s constant support. I’m starting to yoga again, slowly, which is helping a lot, as I sleep better on the days that I do it, I don’t feel anxious and feel more in-control of my emotions and actions.

“Take it one day at a time”, most people say. But it is difficult, feeling this way every day. It’s taken a long time to get to this point. I know that I can do this. I will do this.

3487_515342781824303_1361522834_n 12228_452220468167839_1240058989_n 852_390703944357650_963196278_n 32315_469221109787258_633209936_n 30952_429529427102269_837970663_n 21707_478154118893957_1983637218_n 21991_195536693922957_601400213_n 23941_421352501253295_590241591_n 29572_370856706339658_684037933_n 29818_357301391026838_532018167_n 16799_441737385881473_1909466844_n 16009_449789501744269_1480765477_n 15820_386761498082149_914956311_n 12871_306162779496249_1484845932_n15684_443698409018704_1247297321_n  tumblr_mgo0klvwga1rlhu0ro1_500 tumblr_m3zfxmxdTl1rvzsszo1_1280 Start Do It. 20121102034006-happiness_is_a_choice

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Serious Stuff


Tags: ,

British Summer Over Already??!!

So, it would seem that our summer has already been and gone!! Or so my Dad says 😉

We did have about 10 nice days in a row. Some time last month. Is that all we deserve?? Well, let’s hope not!! It’s pretty rare for the sky to be this blue and this clear over here..

Blue Sky!!

But now we have rain again. Rain and wind. Cold rain and wind. Why am I so frustrated by this?? Well, a few weeks ago, Pat and I started going to the lakes again, where we used to sit and hang out in our first 2 years, before college and everything else started. We’ve found a nice quiet spot on a “pond dipping” platform, where we can watch the ducks and swans, and dip our feet in the water without getting splash-attacks from playful dogs 😛 which aaaalways happens to us!!

Swan @ the lakes

The thing is, after a little while, we decided to get a picnic mat to sit on, so that we don’t have to sit on the dirt and lots of duck mess.. on the platform. We also wanted to do some yoga in the sunshine ((I’ve got Pat into yoga 😀 !!)). But, of course, now that we have the mat, we’ve had no more warm sunny days. I’m sure that we bought the mat on the last sunny day that we had!! Grr..

Clear day @ Leybourne Lakes

If you’re not in the UK, you may not be aware of the floods and storms we’ve been having over the past 2 weeks. People have had their driveways flooded, their garden fences collapsing in from the force of harsh winds, and even had their pathways blocked by fallen trees.

Me?? I’ve been spending a lot of time inside. When not doing my 100 squats every day, I’ve been bored into doing housework, watching bad movies and just trying to keep warm!! Just kidding, I actually like housework 😛 ((weird teen..)), but it has been very cold here!!

Pat has kept me company a lot 🙂 we watched a film the other day, called Battle Royale.



It’s quite a scary Japanese film about a high school class of students who are kidnapped and gassed, unknowingly thinking that they are just going on a fun school trip. When they wake, they all have metal rings around their necks, that can explode at the push of a button. Furthermore, they have to spend three days on an excluded island, where they must fight to the death, until only one remains. If they fail to kill each other, they will be blown up!! So, each and every one of them are being forced to fight for their own life. It’s a pretty grisly movie, to say the least!! If you’re interested in watching it, I hope that you’re not in school, or that you watch it with someone else!!

Of course, I’ve been up to more than just watching movies and swans ;P . I’ve also been cycling on the days that it hasn’t been pouring so hard that you can barely see a thing a bit, trying to average about 10 miles a day, over the month. I’ve cycled about 80 miles this month, but now have misplaced my Velo 😦 . I’ve been keeping up to date with fitness by getting inspired by TribeSports. It’s an awesome site, where you can challenge yourself and others to try new sports and test yourself to go further in your current routines. I love it!! If you check it out, follow me here and I’ll follow you right back!!

Right, that’s about it for now. To leave you, I’ll share with you a picture of my dinner the other day. I had an awesome steak and chips….

My Steak n Chips ;)

Portobello Mushrooms = Juicy Steak 😛

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Serious Stuff


Tags: ,

Spring Is Here!!

So, the weather here in Kent has been erratic the last month or so. One day it’s cold all day until the evening, the next it’s really hot with no breeze at all. Then on the weather they tell us it’s going to snow the next day!!

Just a few days ago the wind was so strong around here that it sounded like the windows were going to cave in!! Yesterday, I got sunburn all over my face 😉

Anyways, we have had some gorgeously sunny days, and I have definitely been taking advantage of the weather 🙂


I’ve been cycling and walking more, taking photos of everything of course 😛 and just generally trying to soak up as much vitamin D as possible!!


These pictures are of Mote Park and Leybourne Lakes. I have some more and will be taking a lot more, as well as snapping some pics of Pat’s Dad’s amazing garden ((and Elle, too, of course!!)).


So, that’s all this post is about really 🙂 .

The weather and making the most of it. Getting outside even when you don’t feel like it, is important. Once you’re out there, you won’t regret it!! Just push yourself to take that first step out of the door and you’re set. The rest is easy.


Make A Choice!!


See you soon!!

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Photography, Serious Stuff


Tags: ,

Coming Out….

So, it’s been ages since my last post. What’s the big deal??

I’ll get to that..

What’s this blog about, really??

Well, I first started MySparx in January last year. Why?? Well, I had been reading recipe blogs for about 6 months, like every day. Without fail…. I guess I wanted to be a part of the community, maybe even make my own recipe blog. But a lot has happened since then, I have learned a lot about myself and am always learning more every day.

When this first started, I was in a pretty bad place. Mentally. Physically. This is going to be quite hard to write, and is a sensitive issue, so if you’d rather not read, stop here. Sorry in advance if it sounds like a therapy session….

I had a very bad relationship with food, which started when I was about 14 and used to read my Mum’s magazines with models on the front. They always look so perfect and healthy. Right?? Well around that time, I was in school and found Pat. I had a small crush on him that led to a bigger crush.. and a very huge crush soon after!! I’d try to hang around with him and get his attention. Sounds quite sad now :/ …. Anyways, after a while we started hanging out in the playground a bit. We would laugh and talk for a while, and we soon started to really get on well. I hadn’t realised that he liked me, too. When I found out, we would text for hours on end, sometimes into the next morning on school days!!

I wanted to impress him and show him that I was good for him, that I could be beautiful. So, with the magazines and finding out about diets and weight loss, I started to lose weight, myself. I stopped eating breakfast, wouldn’t eat at school because I was very anxious, picked at meals at dinner time and would generally just try to follow the “rules of dieting” that I saw in the glossy magazines.. Which basically just said to eat less and less..

This went on for a while, I didn’t even realise that I was losing so much weight 😦 but had people asking me about it a few times, which felt ..good, in a strange way…. I think that I wanted the attention at first, but my anxiety problem was getting worse and after a year or so I got incredibly paranoid, which led to losing a lot of friends. I didn’t know how to be anymore, didn’t feel anything…. I would go out for walks because I felt trapped inside the house, but didn’t really have friends to go out and meet. So I’d just walk. For miles. Often I would end up at my Dad’s house, talk to him if he was home, or continue walking to his workplace, hoping that he’d be there ((he’s a lorry driver)).

People started to ask me what was wrong after a while, but I didn’t know what they were talking about, felt fine, just ..anxious. But anxiety had just become a normal part of my life, I didn’t know other feelings, really :/ .

Pat and I got together in January 2008, the second-to-last year of school. We have been together since then, which is now over 5 years!! People are always shocked when they hear that 🙂 which feels awesome. He has been with me through so much and I can never thank him enough. Pat has supported me through it all. He has been so patient, understanding and caring through everything. I love you, Pat, so much. Thank you for everything.

With Pat

Now this blog is about anything and everything. It doesn’t have to be a recipe or about food, about crafts or photography. So, now I’m going to write about anything I want to. There will be recipes, there will be photography, and there will be StitchUps.

I have been learning more about the low fat raw vegan lifestyle, been reading and watching YouTube videos for tips and stories, and even started another blog, specifically for the lifestyle!! Interested?? Check it out here 🙂

See you soon!!


Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Serious Stuff


Tags: ,



Such a simple word.

The act of good balance though, is not so simple.

Or isn’t it?? Perhaps to gain balance, one simply needs to think calmly.

Picture this….

You’re standing on one leg, trying to do Palm Tree pose in your first attempt of yoga, for example. You get flustered just trying to keep your body still. You don’t even realise that your back is not straight, you’re hunching over and tensing your abs. You’re wobbling from side to side and your body threatens to topple. How irritating this is. The simple thing to do though, is to just think calmly.

Focus. You need to pay attention to the positive. You haven’t fallen over. You’re still managing, all on your own, on only one leg.

What’s my point here?? Am I struggling in a yoga class or something?? No. It’s simply about perspective. About letting go of some negative thoughts so that there’s at least space for some of the positive to shine through. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Don’t feel sorry for yourself for what you don’t have. Celebrate the small victories. Stop dragging yourself down and beating yourself up all the time.


It’s time to find some balance. Because you’re on two feet and you’re making it alright. It may feel as though you’re unsteady and about to fall at any second, but if you just changed your perspective a little, you’d really see. You will!!

I like to try to see the positives in situations, lately. I’m generally very pessimistic in daunting situations and always fear the worst outcome. But family and close friends can change all that, can’t they. They can make you feel better in an instant. All with a hug or a few simple words.

So if you’re having a hard time, if you’re struggling and feel yourself falling, remember the messages of family and friends. Remember that it’s one day. Tomorrow you can wake up to a brand new one. A day filled with happiness from the start. It’s up to you. Nobody else can live your life for you. Just smile. It can make the world of difference.

Change your perspective and you change your world.

Hopefully my next post won’t be so serious. Thank you and I hope that this can help some people.

See you soon….

🙂 don’t forget to smile 🙂

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Serious Stuff



Chai Spice Soft-Serve and Other Random Things..

This is annoying.. I meant to write in on Saturday, but woke up with a mysterious ((and very painful)) bruise around my right eye.. I hadn’t done anything to it, so I am pretty confused as you can imagine.. I couldn’t fully open my eye and when my Dad saw me he said that it looks as though I’d been in a fight and have been punched in the face!! Thanks, Dad.

Anyways, the pain persisted, a cuckoo thought it would join in and hammer away at my head ((not literally.. – I’ve had “tension headaches” for the past month or so, that just won’t quit)) and now a new tooth is deciding to come through at the same time. It’s like a lovely little party in my head, complete with drums, chain-saws and drills.. 😉 . Due to this, I’ve been very idle, feeling very lazy as I’m trying not to worsen any of this by moving a lot.. I have however, managed to do some gentle yoga, a bit of walking and, well, actually, not much else :/ ..I miss my bike!!

Right, now that I’ve finished moaning, let’s get on with some blogging!!

 Computer Lessons From Ozzy

Pat’s birthday was on Friday. He turned the big 2-0 ((Pat, if you’re reading this, SoRrY!! 😛 ))!! Pat also has a twin sister, Rebecca, or Becky / Beck, for short. So.. guess who else turned 20 😀 can you guess??!! .. ((OK, I think this headache is making me a little loopy – please excuse me)) They had a nice quiet day with their brother and Dad. I think they’re secretly trying to deny the fact that they’re getting old growing up 😉 . ((Yes, Pat, I can say that – I’m not joining you for another 5 months, so there 😛 ))

So Pat and I met on the Sunday instead. Again, it was a quiet day, spent inside, watching a lot of YouTube vids and cuddling to keep warm. It’s so cold here!!

I know I haven’t really posted any proper photos of myself or of Pat, and when I first started this blog I was quite positive that I would never “have the guts” to do so.. But I’m getting older and wiser a bit braver, so here’s one of us!!:


This was taken last year in May, we look a bit different 😛 , I must get some more soon. I have lots of pictures of the two of us, as well as some of Pat on his ((stationary)) bike, which will definitely be up here soon ((if he likes it or not 😉 )).

Pat and I have been together for over 5 years now, having got together in our second-to-last year of school. We’d been very good friends before that and started to pass notes in class ((which we often got in trouble for 😉 )) and then we texted each other over the holidays. Every day. 🙂 . I’d like to share our whole story at some point, but am going to leave that for another post 😛 .

Pat has said that he is happy for me to feature on the blog, as much as I like, and I’m hoping that soon he will join me so that I can introduce him properly – he does exist, I promise!!

In other news, I made another yummy thing today..

Chai Soft-Serve

Chai-Spiced Soft-Serve 🙂

It was really simple 🙂 ….

Those of you who have seen previous pictures of mine will know that when I buy fruit and produce, I literally get boxes full. Well, here’s what I have right now..

 Fruit Stash Mid-March

Pineapples ((got another downstairs)), Blood oranges ((my secret affair….)), huge Globe grapes ((thanks, Dad 🙂 )), mangos, avocados, passion fruits, baby pink dragon fruits and bananas just here.

Yes, there is a pair of slippers behind this box. My bedroom is where I ripen my fruit. There’s always so much of it, so I store a lot in here 😛 .

Downstairs I also have lots of carrots, cucumbers, celery, half a box of apples, grapefruits, pears, broccoli and courgettes ((or zucchini to you peeps from “across the pond” 😉 )), but no spinach, kale or greens!! Ahh!!

Well anyways, look at those bananas. There are five there, right?? Well, times that by about 10 and that’s how many bananas I had last week going overripe. Now the majority of those ((almost black!!)) bananas are in the freezer, just waiting to be thrown into smoothies, made into soft-serves, banana “mylk”, ….

The bottom drawer of our freezer is now more than half-filled with frozen bananas, then there’s other frozen fruit of mine, so not much space for Dad’s stuff ..oops 😉 ..

So, I grabbed a few for a yummy dessert to free up some space in the freezer. Actually, I had this for lunch….

Easy Chai-Spiced Soft-Serve

Inspired by CCK’s Vanilla Chai Shakes

 Chai-Spiced Soft-Serve

  • Very Ripe, Frozen Bananas
  • Milk of choice ((I used Vanilla Rice Dream, for it’s naturally-added sweetness))
  • Optional – Chai Teabag
  • Spices – Cinnamon; Cloves; Ginger; Cardamom; Nutmeg ((you don’t have to use all of the spices. Use as much or as little of each as you wish. If you use a very flavourful tea, you may not need any additional spices!!))
  • Optional – Sweetener of Choice ((Dates / Coconut Sugar / Agave / BR Syrup / Maple Syrup / Some Other Sweet Thing….))

If using the tea, steep tea bag in about 1/4 C of hot water now, until very strong. Discard teabag and allow tea to cool. If not using tea, ignore this step!!

Place bananas ((I used 2)) in your blenderizer / food processor. Leave for about a minute, to defrost slightly. Blend it on a low-speed, until smooth and lump-less.

Now add in your tea, if using, spices of choice, and however much of your chosen milk as you like. Start with 1 T, adding until soft-serve consistency is achieved.

Make sure that you add the spices and liquid little-by-little. You don’t want an over-powered bowl of gloop 😉

Empty into a bowl and dig in.

 Chai Soft-Serve - Xtra Cinnamon

I sprinkled on some extra cinnamon after serving, and stirred it right through. Yum 🙂

I may also have stirred through a few T of sultanas, too 😛 . Well, it was a “lunch”, after all. Needed some “bulk” 😉 ..

I’ve been using that Rice Milk lately, quite a bit. It’s very easily-digestible, which is great for me. I may just be making some more recipes with it soon 🙂 .

Right, I’m off for the night ((note to self – start writing blog entries EARLIER!!)). I’m pretty tired. I will write tomorrow, for WIAW . I haven’t done that for a long time!!

I’ll leave you with a picture of one of the massive carrots that I found in Sainsbury’s the other day….


See you soon!!

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Recipes, Serious Stuff


Tags: , ,

Simple Pleasures, Sunshine and Secrets

Hi, you 😀

Monkey Madness

We’ve been seeing more of each other lately, haven’t we…. Let’s try to keep it that way 😉 .

((What’s she talking about..??))

I’m going to try to be much more regular with my blog posts than I was last year.

A lot happened last year, but that’s no excuse to slack in writing!! So, hi everyone. Hope you can put up with me writing more often than usual 😉 ..

Computer Lessons From Ozzy

((^^ About 5 years ago, on a VERY old laptop 😉 )) — and in case you were wondering, ^that’s^ not me, that’s Ozzy., the Bengal >^.^<

Aaaanyways, what’s with that title?? Well “Simple Pleasures” and “Sunshine” are kind of linked into each other. See, I have been quite the “hermit” lately, getting myself stuck in the house when the weather is “gloomy”, “too cold” / “wet” / “windy” / “blahblahblaaaahh”, which eventually, always leads to “cabin fever” for me, the feeling that I HAVE to get out right NOW!! So todays sunny and warm weather was quite the turnaround. The “Secret” in the title?? That’s a secret!! Read on if ya wanna know it 😉 ….

I have Bandit here today ((see here for more about Bandit)) and try to make sure that I take him for long walks that will give him a chance to stretch his legs, get some fresh air and calm him down for 5 minutes!! tire him out a bit.

Today we went for a walk for a total of 10 kilometres exactly ((a bit over 6 miles)), according to my Omron pedometer. And well, it certainly worked 😉 Bandit is lying beside my bed falling asleep as I type this :D.


It was a very eventful walk, so I’m not too surprised Bandit’s so sleepy!!

We walked around the village, then down the country road into the next small town. Felt really good just being outside and walking. The warm sun and light breeze made it the perfect temperature – it almost felt like summer!! We walked through another small town and stopped at Sainsbury’s for a bottle of water, as Bandit was panting heavily and I’d forgotten to bring one..

We headed back after going to Sainsbury’s, walking a longer route back home. We met a Black Lab, a Chihuahua, a Yorkshire Terrier and another Jack Russell, who Bandit appeared to be in-love with – the 2 ladies walking their new Jack Russell ((Billy, 7 months old)) stopped and asked me if it would be alright to let the two meet, as her dog was new and hadn’t had much experience with other animals yet. So we let them play and sniff and follow each other for a few minutes, before parting again, but both dogs were straining their leads to go back!! We also came across a sweet old man who stopped me briefly to chat about dogs. I was asked for directions ((again!!)) once. Bandit didn’t like the look of a bus that zoomed past us, and tried to chase it.. and when we finally got back home, the moment I let him off his lead, Bandit ran up and down the length of the house about 30 times, stopping every now and then to bark at random inanimate objects 😛 . He does have his moments….

"Who, me..??!!"

“Who, me..??!!”

Back at home now, and feeling inspired and optimistic after being out in the sun, out in nature. Why have I been keeping myself cooped up all the time???? Silly..

So now I’m about to start making another StitchUp, I’ve uploaded a new one to Etsy today, so check it out here if you’re interested. I have some ideas for some brightly coloured, Spring-themed dolls. We’ll see what happens 🙂 ..

Ohh right, you want to know about the secret?? The secret is simply a recipe that I made for after my dinner today. It’s a  simple, low-fat, vegan, sugar-free, creamy pudding, and the “secret” is the hidden ingredient 😉 . I’ll be posting that soon, possibly tomorrow, so stay tuned if you like the look of this..

Secret-Ingredient Pudding....

Look good?? Don’t worry, the secret ingredient isn’t gelatine or anything nasty, it’s 100% natural and nice 😀 .

See you tomorrow!!

((P.S.. Pat will soon be featuring on my blog, and we’ll be talking gadgets, the future, bikes and other things 🙂 – Watch this space!!))

1 Comment

Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Crafts, Photography, Serious Stuff


Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: