A day out at Southwold Beach

I've not been on holiday with my Mum and Dad for quite a while, and to be honest I wasn't really meant to be going away this time, because I should have been at Uni, but thanks to the Stroke I managed to get myself a free holiday (well, free for me, Dad paid!).

We went to Suffolk for a long weekend and spent a day at Southwold. It's a really cute place, and for October the weather was actually really nice, so it was really busy.

We started off by flying my kite (This is on my '100 things to do this year' list, and I've done a post on it here if you'd like to read it).

We then headed down the walkway towards the pier and had a nosey at all the beach huts...

Southwold Pier is really pretty, and wasn't like any other I'd seen. It had a little café, some lovely gift shops and a little clock tower that worked because of the water. Here's a couple of pictures:


After a lot of walking about it was time to head back to the hotel as I was pretty tired, but not before I wasted far to much money on the slot machines and teddy grabber games at the arcade (before you ask, I didn't win a teddy, I never do....)

Hope you enjoyed this post.

Hannah x

My 100 things | #12 Fly a Kite on the beach

I haven't done this for years. I had a kite when I was really little and was heartbroken when it broke whilst I was on holiday with my parents. So, my Dad took me to a little shop and I bought a brand new kite. I have so many memories of using this kite when I was younger, but for quite a while now it's been packed away in its box in the garden shed.

I've just been away to Suffolk (South East of England) with my Mum and Dad, so took my kite with me so I could cross off something on my list. (If you have no idea what I'm on about with my list of 100 things to do this year, click here to go to my first blog post where I explain it all!)

We went to Southwold, and I found a tiny quiet patch of sand to fly my kite....here's a couple of pictures:

This was a proper throwback to my childhood and one of the simplest things on my list but fun nonetheless.

This has been my first blog post about any of the items on my to do list. Pretty short but hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x

Recipe | Slosh Pudding

This recipe is one that my mum taught me and her mum taught her. I don’t know where it first came from (I think one of my mums Auntie’s may have found it in a magazine) but I’ll say it’s been invented by someone in my family until I find out otherwise. I remember Mum making these when I was really little, and to this day it’s a pudding I always ask for. I hear you asking, why is it called ‘Slosh’? What kind of word is ‘Slosh’? Well, in all honesty we ask that all the time. I think it’s because it isn’t a very tidy dessert and looks a bit thrown together….maybe sloshed together.

This is the ultimate indulgence pudding. Its full of cream and all round loveliness – not suitable if you’re on a diet, but we all deserve a treat now and then don’t we?
Anyway, the finished product looks a bit like this (messy I know, but that adds to its charm) so if you fancy making it, carry on reading…

You will need:

300ml Whipping Cream
300g Tinned Strawberries (commonly the equivalent of 2 tins)
150ml Tinned Strawberry Juice
200g Sponge Fingers
A large mould, tin or bowl

What to do:
1) Strain the strawberries through a sieve or colander. Keep the strawberries in one bowl and the juice in another.

2) Dip the sponge fingers in the strawberry juice and then line the sides and bottom of the mould. The mould I use, is my Mum’s that she has owned for years (when I asked how long she said before she got married, so over twenty years – I’m pretty sure she should buy a new one! *Christmas present alert*). We’ve only ever use this for this pudding but you could easily use something else but you may need more Sponge fingers.

(By the way - I know it's October but I couldn't find any other bottom so a Christmas Tree it is!)

3) Whip the cream to be a thick consistency so it holds its own shape.

4) Layer the cream and strawberries inside the sponge fingers

5) Dip a further amount of the sponge fingers and cover the top – it’ll look pretty messy but no-one will see this bit!

6) Pour the strawberry juice over the top.
(It definitely looks messy but this ends up being the bottom so nobody will see it)

Our mould has a lid so at this point I rotate the pudding so that the juice spreads evenly. If you’re using a bowl or tin I suppose you could just place a plate on the bottom to do this. I’ll rotate the pudding a few times over an hour or so.

The slosh is best left overnight to allow the sponges to soak up the juices and for it to set to the shape of the mould.

Finally, remove from the mould, eat and enjoy! 

You can taste the calories when you eat it but WHO CARES?!


Hannah x

Recipe | Baked Apple

I make this so much when I have apples that need eating. It's great for a pudding, or snack, or a really light quick meal maybe.

If you fancy making something that looks a bit like this, keep reading:

You will need (per serving):

One Apple
A handful of sultanas
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon

What to do:

1) Preheat your oven to 190⁰C/ Gas Mark 5

2) De-core the apple. I used an apple corer but if you don't have one just use a very sharp knife

3) Place the apple on the baking tray. Fill the apple centre with Sultanas. (You could also used other mixed fruit like cherries or apricots)

4) Slowly pour the honey into the centre of the apple allowing it to soak down through the fruit.

5) If there is any excess honey rub it on the outside of the apple

6) Sprinkle with cinnamon


7) Bake for 12 - 15 minutes in the middle of the oven.

8) Once you've taken your apple out the oven, place it on a plate and drizzle with a little more honey.

So that's it. Hope you like the look of this. It's super simple, and only needs a couple of ingredients, and things you'll probably have in the cupboard!

Post again soon

Hannah x

What's in my handbag?

At the moment I'm using a £9, black, Primark bag as my everyday handbag. I only bought it recently and wondered if I'd get much use out of it but I'm using it almost everyday! It's only Primark so isn't the best quality in the world but I liked it for it's very adjustable straps, and insane amount of pockets. It's also pretty big, and if you keep reading you will see why I need a big bag....

Right then, what is actually in my bag?

The pouch I keep my tablets in was a couple of pounds from ASOS earlier in the year. Since I started taking more regular medication, I was fed up of shoving pill boxes in my bag and having to search for them so now I can put what I need in one place - without it looking like I'm carrying a pharmacy!

I love, love, love my sunnies! The weather is definitely not sunglasses weather right now but I carry them just because I'm hopeful. They were a few euros from a street stall on my holiday earlier in the year and I love them. I was worried they'd break quickly but they're pretty sturdy. The case was £3 from Primark, and it's material is waterproof, which is why I got it because I thought it'd be great for my beach bag. I think these might be my favourite sunglasses, they're so lightweight, I love them! (Have I mentioned I love them?!)

My purse was £5 from Primark. It's filled with receipts, out of date vouchers and very little money. I shall say no more on that matter...

I have a chewing gum pot because when I had the little packets I kept losing them. I much prefer having this as I hardly ever need to buy another one as they seem to go on forever - the only problem is when there is only a few left it begins to sound like a rattle in the bottom of my bag.

I get the same diary every year from Wilko's. I buy it because it has a built in notebook which saves me carrying a separate one. It's £4/£5 I think, and great value for money.

I always carry a snack because I'm always hungry - I'm not even exaggerating. On a really busy day, you may never know when your next opportunity for food is so I always have a little snack (sometimes healthy, most probably not!) tucked away in my bag.

The above picture shows a stack of hair related items. My hair is very unpredictable in the bad weather, and the rain and wind can make it look like a bit of a birds nest. I have an ever growing collection of beanie hats so always carry one with me so that if my hair gets all messy, I can just pop one on and forget about it. 

I carry these when I'm travelling so I don't get bored. I've downloaded a stack of books onto my tablet, and have read hardly any of them because I get a headache when I read and travel, but I'll get through them eventually. My headphones were a cheap, urgent buy when my other ones broke - and these have broke to, but will do for the time being. (Note to Self: Add buy headphones to your to do list).

My mirror was my Mum's, she leant it to me a few months ago and I took it on as my own and haven't given it back. The glasp was broken when she gave me it and I haven't done any further damage so mum if you are reading this, mine are safer hands than yours! I'm not one of those people that carries all the make up they're wearing around with them every single day. I tend to carry my concealer, the lipstick I put on in the morning (commonly this soap and glory one) and a mascara. I'm wearing this one a lot at the moment as I have it in Brown/Black and find it very Autumnal!

Well then, that's all that is in my handbag. You can probably tell why I need a big handbag now I've gone through all the stuff I put in it.

Hope you've enjoyed this post.

Hannah x

Going back through my Instagram

I've been taking a look back through my Instagram and found some great photos that bring back some great memories so thought I'd share a few with you.

Here are my Top 10 Favourite Instagram pictures of mine:


This most probably looks like the worst photo in the world and you might be wondering why it even made it to Instagram, let alone into my top ten. I didn't take it, my friend did, and he guessed my phone password and uploaded it to Instagram without me knowing. He was really irritating me that day and by this point I'd given up trying to argue with him. This was in the middle of exams and we were revising like crazy and sometimes we just lost the plot and needed a laugh. This picture caused a lot of laughter so even though it's really rubbish it's made it into my top 5 because I laugh everytime I look at it, and moments like this kept me sane during exams.

L - R: Abi, Bridie, Robyn, Alex, Me and Alice
The Girls! I have hardly any pictures of all six of us together so this is a very treasured one. We'd just been for a meal out before our exams began - you can tell it was taken before exams because we're all smiling! We put a camera on timer, balanced it on top of a bench, and stood against a very glmaourous shop shutter door - this kind of adds to the spontaneity of it! Now the girls are at Uni or have busy jobs, this may be the last group photo for a while so it's a much loved favourite of mine!


I probably took 20 selfies before I decided this one was good enough to make it too Instagram - and now the internet! I don't often have straight hair so took a picture of the rare event. I have naturally curly hair and the effort and time it takes too straighten it means a lot of the time I just can't be bothered even though I really like it when I do. Actually though that isn't the reason this picture is in my top ten. It's because my eyes just look so blue. They never look this bright! I was about to go to a summer party and I feel like I'm smiling through my eyes!

This picture was taken in February when me and my best friend went on a little trip to London. It was my 18th this year and there was nothing I wanted so Mum and Dad said they'd treat me and Robyn to a little trip to London Town. The weather in this picture looks miserable and it was a little bit but it was dry and in February in England that's all you can ask for. I love this picture for the scenery - a little lake, Buckingham Palace in the background, the queen waving out the window (ok, I made that bit up!) but we had a great weekend and this is one of the typical tourist pictures I took!
Ice Skating. I love it! It's a complete release for me and is about the only sporty thing I do or hobby I have so when I didn't skate for months during my exams I really missed it. I can't wait to get back on the ice soon! If you've never tried it - give it a go, it's such a laugh.
Coming in at the half way mark is this picture from New Years Eve 2013. Robyn and me had a pretty quiet night at hers and didn't get drunk or go mad but we still had a great night. It's as memorable for me as some of the craziest nights I've ever had and taught me that if the company is good, you don't have to go out to have a great time. We were very sophisticated - drank champagne, watched the London fireworks on TV and ate canapés (posh snacks).

Earlier this year, myself and three friends made the decision to get up ridiculously early (about 4am!) and I drove us to Manchester to queue for the One Direction Where We Are Stadium concert. Some would say we are completely foolish to do it and yes, most probably we are but we did it anyway! We queued from about 7am until they let us in at something like 6pm. Luckily, it was nice weather - I was so tired I think rain would have just tipped me over the edge. Once we were in there though I was cooking - and it was very squashed. However, all our waiting had paid off because we were really near the front. The first couple of rows were VIP's but we were right behind them. We'd also been queuing next to this girl and her mum all day, and her mum completely looked after us all making sure we were all feeling ok and handing out her water - she was really cute! Anyway, these aren't the best quality photos I've ever taken because I was too busy jumping about, generally fangirling, and claiming that everytime they looked in my direction they were specifically looking at me (which I'm 99% confident Niall actually did - just saying) but who cares because we had a great time.

I started giving blood when I turned 17 as soon as I was able to. I was utterly terrified the first time I went. The only thing that got me through it was knowing that I was doing a great thing and potentially saving lives. I took this picture the second time I went when I was a lot more relaxed, and wasn't worried about having no blood in me or bleeding out and being rushed to hospital. I gave it at every opportunity I could and loads of my friends donate. Unfortunately, since the stroke I'm unable to continue donating and in all honesty that is one of the worst consequences of having it. The stroke usually only affects my life, but not giving blood hasn't just affected me but it's affected the people that could have received my donation to help save their lives. So, if you're reading this and you're in the UK there will be a donation centre near you and appointments to donate really soon. So, go on, give blood and help save a life!
Click here for the NHS Give Blood website.

Having a bad day? Not now you've seen this! I was having a bad day a few weeks ago so googled something like cute animals and this came up. How can this not make your day? This is a completely random picture to take second place in my top ten, but it's here because of the smile it puts on my face everytime I see it. If a picture puts a smile on your face it's got to be a good picture.
(All rights of this picture go to whoever was genius enough to take it, a piglet eating an ice cream - legend!)
Taking the number one spot is me and my best friend Robyn on our recent holiday! We've been friends nearly 15 years and I honestly don't know what I'd do without her. We went away with our other friend Alice and all had a great time. I've got memories I'll never forget and stories I'll be able to laugh about for a very long time.
This picture is also my most recent Instagram picture as it was taken in the last couple of days of our holiday and the day after I got back I had the stroke haven't had chance to post a picture since.
So there's my top ten Instagram pictures. Going back through my Instagram I realised I've put up some utter rubbish - example: the back of the seat in front of me on the train! What was I thinking! Anyway, these are my favourite ten and there were many more I really liked (it started out as top five but I was just too indecisive).
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Hannah x
P.S Shameless plug - if you'd like to follow me on Instagram....I am @heythereitshan

Getting all crafty with the Stroke Association...

There's never a good time to have a stroke. But for me, an ordinary 18 year old, having a Stroke in July, three weeks before Results Day, meant that I had to decide to defer University for a year to get myself fully recovered. Once I'd decided, I thought I'd cope fine when all my friends left knowing that it would be my turn next year. My final year at college went by so quickly, I thought this year was going to pass at the same pace. But I soon realised that it really wasn't.

Before the stroke I used to be really sociable and I tried to still get out and about once I left the hospital. But once my friends went to Uni, I figured that I couldn't get out and about so much, not because I didn't want to but because there was no-one to do anything with. Only a couple of friends hadn't gone and they had their own lives, I guess I didn't want to be a burden asking them to do stuff with me all the time.

I'd been in touch with the Stroke Association since before I left hospital. Once I'd got home the lovely Diane (a Stroke Association volunteer) came to see me and made me realise that there was loads I could get up to once I was ready, that didn't mean I had to be so dependent on my friends and family.

I'd got used to the fact that most people who had strokes were elderly, or at least a lot older than me. Everytime I ever told anyone I had had a stroke I got the same answer....'oh but you're so young'. Those words have become the soundtrack to my life!

I decided to join the Art and Crafts group that's run by the Stroke Association in my local area.

I've been going every week for a month now and I really enjoy it. It's only two hours at a time but its the perfect amount of time for me to enjoy it all without getting tired (for those who don't know much about strokes, being tired is one of the biggest problems...I think of it as my brain has to take the diversion route everytime it wants to do anything, which is always longer and more tiring).
It's great to sit and do something crafty at the same time as spending time with people in the same situation as me just chatting about life. The volunteers are all great - Diane, Ingrid, Sally, Sheena, Helen, Katie and Jamie (think I've got them all?!). It's also a chance to have a cuppa with some cake! I'd go just for the cake its that good!

I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've been getting up to. As I said I've only gone four times so haven't got that much done, but thinking of taking some of the crafts up as a bit of a hobby as I think they'll made great Christmas presents.

These are some decopatch Christmas tree decorations

A decopatch Giraffe and Box - this craft is seriously addictive!

It's taken me hours to colour this is in. Took me back to my childhood
Just colouring a pattern in is actually quite fun - I sound very boring!

A few weeks ago I really struggled to do things with my left hand, and even thought it's improving all the time, the art group is great therapy without it feeling like therapy and great fun as well. It's getting me back out, meeting new people, and really improving my confidence.

I know there's a lot of Halloween and Christmas things planned over the next few weeks so I might blog about them - if what I get done turns out to be any good!

Hope you've enjoyed this blog post.

Hannah x

P.S This is the first post I've done that is basically entirely stroke related. It's not meant to be a really sad post or something to get sympathy it's just about my life at the moment - I've actually really enjoyed writing it, so I hope you've enjoyed reading it! :)

Review | No7 Match Made Lipstick Service

I'd never tried No7 make up until last year when the Foundation Colour match service started. They matched me to Cool Vanilla (the second palest shade). I wore it for a while and felt like it was a little bit dark for me so it got pushed to the back of my make up drawer. I paid about £15 for it, and considering it was meant to be matched to my skin, I was pretty gutted once I'd got home that it looked so much darker than it did in the store lighting. I never really thought I'd go back to the No7 counter....that was until I saw the lipstick match made service advert on the TV.

I hadn't seen anything like this before so thought I'd give it a go. They did my skin match again and it turns out I am now the palest shade....Calico (aka white!). They put a little gadget against the side of your face and it matches you to one of 17 shades.

After this they gave me a little card that showed the perfect lip shades for my skin tone, there were 19 colours to choose from for my skin tone so I was there for a while.

I wanted a colour that could brighten up an Autumnal day so looked at the pink/plum tones and went for 'Cranberry Kiss 180'. It has the 'Moisture Drench' formula, which is designed to keep lips 'smooth and soft'. It is mega moisturising and feels great on my lips. It isn't sticky at all and applies really well. I apply it with a brush as I feel the colour is a bit too full on for me if I was to apply it straight to my lips, so this way I can build it to get the perfect strength.

Cranberry Kiss 180
I'm definitely thinking of going back and getting a copper shade, possibly in the 'Stay Perfect' formula, which claims to last for up to six hours, as I think this would be great leading up to Christmas! (Sorry...I said Christmas, is it too early for that?)

If you're wondering whether or not to get it done, I'd say go for it. The service is completely free, except from the price of the lipstick if you choose to buy one (which they do their very best to convince you!)

The lipsticks are available at £9.95 each.

See you soon

Hannah x

P.S In the very unlikely event that the lady who helped me in the my local store is ever reading this....thanks muchly for all your help.

Recipe | Peppermint Creams

I've been doing a lot of baking recently and find it so relaxing. Since I had the stroke, I've struggled with movement, co-ordination and grip in my left arm and hand. Cooking and baking is really good to wake it up a bit.

The other day, I went to the shops and picked up saw some peppermint extract (very exotic!). I had no idea what I'd do with it but decided to get it anyway.

I had no recipe so turned to the internet and found one for Peppermint Creams.

If you fancy making some that look a bit like these, continue reading....

You will need:

1 egg white
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 and 1/2 tsp of peppermint flavouring
400g Icing sugar
50g dark chocolate to decorate

What to do:

1) Whisk the egg white in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks form as you lift the whisk out of the bowl.

2) Add the lemon juice and peppermint flavouring and whisk slowly.

3) Add icing sugar and whisk until a thick paste forms (I added it 50g at a time so that I didn't get covered when I turned the whisk on).
I found the paste to be quite hard to mix after I'd added about 300g of icing sugar so stirred it in first then finished it off with the whisk from that point.

4) Roll the paste out thinly onto a surface covered in icing sugar.

5)Cut out shapes with a cutter of your choice up to 5cm in size.


6) Chill in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours until they set.


1) Melt the chocolate in bowl over a saucepan of boiling water - don't let the dish touch the water!

2) Decorate the peppermint creams with chocolate and put back in the fridge to set.
I drizzled chocolate over some and half dipped some - you could fully cover them if you have more chocolate!

And taa-dah.....you final peppermint creams may look a little bit like this....

The original recipe says it makes between 15 and 20! I got a lot more than that but I think these are the perfect size....the more the better!
They are sooo yummy and very moreish...I think I'll have one everytime I pass the fridge!

Hope you like them :)

Hannah x

To make mine I tweaked this recipe:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/peppermint_creams_00124
I'll definitely go back to BBC Food for more recipes, there was such a great variety and it was really easy to find what I was looking for.

Monthly Favourites | September 2014


The Soap and Glory Super Volume Thick and Fast Mascara is the first Soap and Glory make up product I’d tried. When I’d looked online I saw some mixed reviews on it, so wasn’t sure whether or not to get it, but, I got given it in a Soap and Glory set, and this mascara did not disappoint! I think it’s great! It’s meant to give ‘super volume’ and even though I’m not sure what the difference between this and ‘volume’ is, I think it definitely makes my lashes look longer. It coats my top and bottom lashes really well, and doesn’t flake throughout the day. Because it lasts so well, I tend to wear it on days where I won’t be topping it up and want it to go from day to night.
The perfect nude lipstick. I wear it all the time. It’s got great staying power and is really moisturising on your lips. It’s really annoying when you have a drink and see more of your lipstick has gone onto the cup than stayed on your lips, however this isn’t like that at all. It doesn’t really transfer and I can eat and drink freely without worrying about whether it’s smudged or disappeared completely. It smells great, can’t describe what it smells of but whatever it is is great. It isn’t sticky on your lips and doesn’t have a horrible taste. It comes in a crayon like packaging making it really easy to apply, and build to suit the strength of colour you want.
I have this in the shade nudist and would definitely purchase another colour.
Throughout the month of September I have rediscovered my love of biscuits! How I ever lost it is beyond me, but I haven’t really sat down and had a cuppa with a couple of biscuits much this year at all until September came. I think when it started getting darker earlier at night, I kind of thought onesie weather was back and that comes with hot chocolates and biscuits. Gone back to my all time favourite, the classic digestive, but I’ve also been having a few Jammy Dodgers, a complete throwback to my childhood!
I love a good scented candle, but I’m definitely more of a fan during Autumn/Winter than I am in warmer weather. I bought a couple of cheap candles from Asda last year for a few pounds each and hardly burnt them but this month I’ve lit one in my room every single day and absolutely love them. They were only cheap and the smell isn’t as strong as I would like it too be, however for the price I can’t complain. I’ve become addicted to burning them, and my room just doesn’t look right without them glowing in the corner.
I really like this book. I couldn’t put it down. Even though I was desperate to find out how it ended I was kind of gutted when it did. I also felt like there was soooo many unanswered questions I really wanted to read more. The book is about two teenagers, Eleanor and Park (the book title’s imaginative, right?) and its told from both their individual points of view. It’s almost as it the same event is happening twice, but they both think of it differently so often, it tells the reader what’s going on inside their heads, when they don’t know what the other is thinking. It’s about first love, heartbreak, friendship, family loyalties and individual challenges and all within 329 pages.  
So that’s it, my first favourites post over. I had no idea what I was going to choose but liked thinking back. September went so quickly, can’t believe it’s already October, it’ll soon be Christmas and then a whole new year. Wow. Time flies! Anyway, back to September, that’s what I was loving. If anyone reads this I’ll do another at the end of October.
Hope you had a good September!
Hannah x