Tuesday, 26 May 2015

My Little Provence Box (May 2015)

This post will be the start of a series you will find here every month. My Little Box is a monthly subscription box which is originally French but now is also available in the UK. It is something I really look forward to receiving every month. Some months are better than others but overall it is the best box I have tried so far.

This month, the theme was Provence. As it is where I am originally from, I was quite excited !

Most months, the box contains a print from illustrator Kanako. I love them and have been keeping them all to frame my favourites. I was very pleased about the print this month which did represent Provence in the summer quite well. 

For the past 2 months, My little world, changed from a magazine  to a poster form. It is a good idea as there are not as many ads, you still get the same content and also a poster size illustration by Kanako.

One thing I love about this box in general is the fun little goodies you get in it most months. This month a thing I loved (because I am a big child) was the magnetic dress up doll who now lives on our fridge and was named Maddy by Eoghan. Here she is, styled by Eoghan.

Next was a cuff bracelet. It came in a lovely box and 2 little bobbins of thread to customise it the way you want. In my opinion, it does not have anything to do with Provence more with summer and I don't know if I will wear it much as it is not really my style but I will certainly have a lot of fun customising it.

Last but not least, a bag full of beauty products. 4 products from L'Occitane (which I am guessing were the reason for choosing the theme this month) 2 of which I did not like simply because of the scent : Verbena. It is unfortunately a scent I really don't like. Now I have to admit I have tried the Verbena body lotion before giving it to my mum and if it smelt differently, I would love it. It is light, not sticky and feels very nice on the skin. I have not tried the Verbena soap yet. I will more than likely end up giving it away so wanted to keep it sealed. I loved the other 2 l'Occitane products, especially the "Mer & Mistral" fresh shower gel. It is a product I had not seen before and I love how fresh it smells ! perfect to use on a hot summer day! The last one, "rose et reines" hand cream is also really nice and perfectly sized to fit in a handbag.
Every month, a product from My Little Beauty is included in the box, this month it was a lovely chubby eye pencil in a coppery brown colour. I have been using it a lot since and I love both the colour and the texture. It goes on really soft and stays on very well throughout the day.

What did I think about the box this month ?

Was it a good month ? Yes ! Does it represent the theme well ? Not really... Did it bother me ? No! Although it is not what I would have put in a box to represent Provence, I think it was a very diverse and full box this month. I did not like some of the products but that is only because of a scent which would probably please the majority of people. They can't please everyone !

If you want to know what Eoghan thought about the box, you can find our video review below :

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Do you know the number of your GP ?

"Do you know the number of the GP?" This is how it all started ! Well to me anyway. For James it probably started a bit before when he felt that lump. One that was not there before and suddenly became the one subject always on the back of our minds no matter how hard we tried not to over-think it.

It was followed by a very long 3 weeks wait to be able to get a doctor appointment. As you do you (even if you know you shouldn't) you start to search the internet for every possible reason why there could be a lump and you try to reassure yourself with the fact that there is only 4% of chances it could be cancer. The GP agrees, it is probably nothing, just a cyst, but just in case she prefers to send James for an ultrasound.

And this is when it happened, the moment we will always remember, when the "C word" entered our lives without warning. I never thought we would have to hear it for another good 20-30 years at least. Not when we are 3 months away from having a new baby boy and we have a 3 year old at home. I never thought a 35 year old man who has never drunk or smoked, eats a healthy diet and exercises every day could be affected by cancer but it does happen. Testicular cancer actually mostly affects men between 15 and 49 and there is nothing in your lifestyle that makes you more prone to getting it.

The next day, James had surgery to remove the tumor, the operation went well and the recovery as well . The next weeks were rythmed by doctor appointments, scans, blood tests... Everything was going so fast we were basically following the instructions we were given and didn't have or didn't take the time to think. We did have to start thinking about what was happening when they announced he would have to get chemotherapy for 9 weeks in a hospital 45 minutes away from home as an in-patient for half of the time. To make it easier my due date was right in the middle of it. I think this is when we realised that for the next months at least, cancer would be ruling our lives whether we liked it or not. We luckily have received invaluable help from friends and family who became, cleaners, cooks, baby sitters, chauffeurs, counselors... for us.
Then came chemotherapy. As thankful I am for the existence of such a treatment watching one of the people I love the most on this planet go through this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. As well as killing the cancer cells it literally poisons your body and causes an endless list of side effects I will not go into too much details about.
At the time I am writing this post, James has just finished chemotherapy, and as the side effects start to wear off slowly, our lives are becoming more normal again. The hospital visits and tests will obviously not stop there but at least the worst is behind us.

The reason why I decided to write this blog post is not to get compassion, pity or praise. It is to raise awareness about a cancer which affects mostly younger men. It is a cancer I did not know anything about before it happened to James. Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. More than 96% of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured. So here is what I need you to tell your husbands, friends, or any man you want. check yourself ! and if you do feel anything suspect, go straight to your GP ! it will more than likely not be cancer but if it is, delaying it will only make it harder to treat, if treatable. I understand it is not easy to have to pull your trousers down in front of a stranger but think of the alternative ...

In order to help me get this message to reach as many people as possible, please share this blog post and feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments.

If you want to find out more about testicular cancer or know someone who is affected, here is a link to a website that answered so many of our questions before the doctors could : http://www.yourprivates.org.uk/

Saturday, 2 May 2015

An exciting new project !

Hello Everyone,

At the beginning of the year I posted a blog explaining what my plans were for the new year, it did involve more blogging... But that was before my life was turned upside down. I will talk about this more in detail when I feel ready. The mess and confusion also brought a lot of positive things. It pushed me to be brave enough to take the jump and start doing something I have been wanting to do for quite some time but was too scared to do. So here it goes ...

I am starting a YouTube channel! I will be making daily life vlogs where you will be able to discover a little more about my little family, crafty tutorials, sharing with you things I liked and didn't like every month and more. I will also be posting related posts on this blog.

As I realise it might not interest everyone who follows my handmade business, I have created a separate facebook page More Mademoiselle Poupette. This way you can decide to follow, one, the other or both. Do not worry I will also soon be back to making my creations again once my maternity leave is over :)

I am turning 30 soon and it is about time I stop letting my fears get in the way of what I really want to do. I hope you will enjoy following the adventures of our little family and while I finish to get everything ready, please share your thoughts about this project in the comments below and let me know, if there was one thing you would do if you stopped listening to your fears, what would it be ?

Julie x