pin

pin
Get the #Snowgosh pin

flight

flight
My Carry On Flight Essentials

cancer

cancer
My Cancer treatment

Lets talk about hair baby........

Can we take a minute to chat about the mess that is my hair. Again.



In the week that I've finally got to the point post chemo where I can use a proper dye on my hair, I'm still dealing with a lot of the side effects of having had treatment that makes your hair fall out!


So, yes, I know I was lucky* enough to be able to cold cap and not lose all my hair during either of my chemo cycles. But for the second time in less than 18 months I'm having to deal with the fall out of losing 60% of my hair and having it grow back again.

Seriously, what on earth am I meant to do with it? It's like there's a two inch fringe growing all over my head. Again.

It sticks up between my old hair on the top of my crown, stands out sideways around my ears, creates a shelf along the back of my head! Basically, if I cropped there a mullet growing that any Toni and Guy stylist in the early 2000's would have been proud of!

This time last year I'd just about got to the point where I could see an end to having to hide my weird short regrowth when I went back into chemo in May, and now I'm at an awkward stage where it's not long enough to hide with any style! All over again. I can get away with a beanie or cap on a dog walk, or if I'm out and about somewher chilled, but there's no making it look nice any more!

I wore head scarves last time I was growing it back out (it was more summery) but people told me I looked like I had cancer and that made me self conscious, plus, real cancer patients, the ones who lost their hair, look at you a bit funny when you rock up in one! Like you're not really supposed to be joining their gang. (I think I've mentioned it before, but online, it feels like there's a definite hierarchy when it comes to cancer worthiness. People who have lost their hair definitely score higher than people who didn't. Maybe I'll do a post all about the hierarchy of cancer one day. If I'm feeling brave! And don't get me started on the amount of people who've been pregnant who have told me that their hair also fell out, like it's the same thing!)

But I'm kind of in a really crappy hair place right now, and I know I've probably got another 6 months of growth before the short hair gets to a length where it'll start to actually blend in with the rest, (it's definitely growing slower this time round so maybe it'll take longer!) And then maybe another year after that before it's an actual style. Until then I'm trying to deal with the fact I've had one usable hair style (half up, half down) for the last 18months, and if it's not this style, it's currently hidden beneath a cap. That's not much choice is it?

So I'm getting impatient. I want nice hair now. I want to be able to properly style it. Grow it out of this bob. Have a messy bun. And beachy waves. And a balayage. Basically, I'd take anything right now that didn't look like I was cultivating a mullet.

I'm also kind of bored by people with decent hair telling me to be grateful forwhat I have, because I bet if it was them they wouldn't be happy about it either!

In short, I miss this old hair. I miss my long hair. In truth, I miss the me that had this hair!

*You know you're living a fucked up life when your idea of lucky is only losing 60% of your hair, twice, to chemotherapy. But yes. I know. There's always someone else worse off. And I can't complain. But let's face it I worked bloody hard to not lose my hair and having hair doesn't mean I didn't suffer side effects as much as someone who went down the #baldisbeautiful route! No matter what the internet thinks!

Sheffield Beer Week at The Stag with Burning Sky Beer

On Sunday night Jim and I were invited to the closing event of Sheffield Beer Week, a beer and food pairing at The Stags Head, with Burning Sky Brewery. And as we both love food and beer, and have a soft spot for Burning Sky, there was no way we were going to turn it down!
The night started with a welcome drink of a cask Plateau, and a chance to catch up with friends who were also there with us! Cask wouldn't be my first choice of a beer, it's always too flat for me - but this was really tasty and a really nice start to the night's drinking.

Then the eating began!

Starter: Mushrooms on Toast - Wild foraged mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter and cream, toasted brioche, a sprig of fresh thyme and topped with a crispy panko quail egg. Paired with: Cuvée 2016
Seafood: Steamed mussels in a white wine velouté sauce, buttered shallots and pan-fried pancetta. Paired with: Arise
So, course 1 and 2 were made up of some of my absolute favourite things. Mushrooms on toast is one of my favourite meals for when I'm feeding myself if Jims out, but I'll be honest, they aren't this fancy or tasty! And Moules are my go-to meal whenever I'm in our favourite restaurants in Cornwall, although, to be fair, I'm even a fan of the supermarket packets. This had some awesomely crispy pancetta in it. My only issue with it was there was no more bread to soak up the sauce!

The Cuvée 2016 was absolutely delicious. It's Burning Sky's "Saison à la Provision from Foudre no. 1 and from a number of Chardonnay barriques, we then blended in a large portion of Lambic, imported from Belgium that has been ageing at Burning Sky."

We've got a bottle of their most recent release of the Cuvee in our bottle stash that we picked up at Indy Man so I hope that bottle is just as nice!

The Arise that came with the mussels was made as an easy drinking, after work tipple, and whilst it might not be something I'd order over and over in a bar, but it was perfect with the moules because it didn't overpower the flavours of the sauce!
Sorbet: Cuvée sorbet

Our next course was a sorbet made from the cuvée - which was way more flavourful than I thought a beer sorbet could be. 

And then we moved on to a meat course; 

Meat: Lamb rump glazed with rosemary and thyme butter, creamy dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a red wine jus. Paired with: Saison de fête
Both the lamb and the potatoes were amazing. The herb crust on the lamb was so good, but our tables only complaint was that the lamb was a little cold. Delicious, but it could have done with being a little warmer! I'm such a fan of a sour beer so this saison de fête was right up my street. A perfect level of sourness! 

Dessert: Warm spiced ginger and treacle tart with clotted cream topped with candied almonds and lemon zest. Paired with: Saison de Pêche
And then, just as I thought I was too full to eat anything else this treacle tart showed up accompanied by a peach Saison, and suddenly, there was room for more! It was so perfectly sweet and I'm pretty sure I could eat clotted cream every day if I had to! The peach saison was really lightly peached, and so drinkable. I definitely could have drunk a lot of it!
All in all, it was an excellent evening and the perfect end to Sheffield Beer Week for us. The beer was, as we knew it would be, excellent. And the food was really good, so we'll definitely be heading back to The Stag for dinner soon. It's somewhere we feel like we ought to go to more, it's a really nice space, and I'll be honest, somewhere we probably only visit in the summer as it's really nice sitting outside in their beer garden! But it's only 10 minutes from our house, so we'll 100% be back for food soon!

Thank you so much for the invite, Thornbridge, we loved it!

Gifted - We were given this meal in return for sharing the evening. All the views are our own!

House Update: Our Kitchen revamp

The first thing we wanted to do when we moved into the house was to rip out the kitchen and start again with it - tiled work surfaces are definitely not our design choice! But, well, kitchens are expensive, and Jim is incredibly indecisive when it comes to designing a big ticket item like this - especially when it was his space to design, with him being the cook in our house!
Before
Then we thought about maybe tarting up what we had, painting the cabinets, and getting a new worktop, adding extra space to the narrow cupboard that was built into the corner, but when we bought a new washing machine we found out that the floor was rotten underneath the old one thanks to a slow drip that had probably been going for years and years and needed replacing, so at that point we knew we had to just scrap that plan and save up for the full renovation - floor and all! So we left things that were just down right messy and gross - like the unboxed in boiler, and the unpainted plaster around the door and window! Even though it was super embarrassing!
Before
But finally, towards the end of last year, we were able to go ahead with starting to plan a new kitchen. We'd been to see some of the big chain kitchen companies, but they were all coming in over budget for us, and so a few people suggested a local company, Sheffield Kitchen Outlet. And not only were they the most reasonably priced, but they came up with the nicest design we'd seen, and were able to get a fitter in who could do all the extra things we needed doing.
So, in December our kitchen was ripped out and we moved the kettle and microwave to the dining room, along with every other thing from our kitchen. Then the floor came up, to reveal a 15ft drop into the space beneath the kitchen floor, and even more alarmingly, we also found a bit of it in another spot, where the floor had rotted away and was just being held up by the vinyl flooring tiles! Which wouldn't be so alarming if I'd not just a few weeks before been jumping in that spot to show Jim how bouncy it was. Our builder, Scott, told me he was amazing I'd not fallen through it!
As you can see, there was a LOT of dirt, a lot of dust, and a lot of mess! And the hole under the floor - well, that contained a lot of cobwebs and some cleaning products that had fallen out of the back of the cleaning cupboard and through the hole by the washing machine! It was such a glamorous life I was living before, wasn't it!

But eventually, the floor was replaced so we no longer might fall down into a 15ft abyss, some rogue gas pipes from the middle ages were re-routed, some other now-defunct waterpipes were cut out, the height of the hole in the chimney breast was the increased, the walls were replastered, and then, only then, could the kitchen fitting start!
Now, onto the kitchen we chose. We haven't gone for anything groundbreaking or revolutionary in our kitchen design. We don't really have the space for anything too crazy, and we definitely didn't have the budget, but what we have gone for is what we wanted - not what would make a good instagram picture! Mostly because Jim doesn't give a fuck about instagram, but does care an awful lot about having lots of countertops!

We've chosen a mushroom-y grey cabinet door colour, I believe it's called Mornington Grey, in a shaker style, with extra height cabinets on the wall, to make use of the super high ceilings we've got. Currently, we've just got slightly off white walls because we just can't quite decide which colour to put on the chimney breast, and there is a pile of tiles in the dining room, just waiting to go on the walls under the cabinets and behind the hob!


Before
After

We debated a range cooker in the space where the chimney is, but in the end, Jim decided to go for two wall mounted cookers and a large hob in that space instead - which just made more sense for the types of cooking he does. He was also really keen on having a Belfast sink, so we have one of those too! And a wine fridge so that we could reclaim our actual fridge from all the beer we were keeping in it.........And his other pre-requisite was a lot of countertop space.......which he's also got too!

Before
After

My demands were anything other than a white floor, and space on the kitchen sides for my Kitchenaid.  Mostly because it's far too heavy to be lugging in and out of cupboards! And we achieved both of those too!
The ovens we have are a small microwave oven and then a full sized oven. Jim picked them specifically because they go down really low, so are perfect for him when he's proofing bread. Honestly, that was the criteria for picking the oven. The perks, or perils of living with a foodie!
So, there you have it. Our kitchen revamp.
I think you'll agree it's a little bit different from what we started with, and like I said, there are just a couple of bits of that we still need to do, but the main thing is that it's so much nicer than it was before, there aren't any gross tiled surfaces to contend with, and we've got loads of space for all our stuff!





Kitchen bought from - Sheffield Kitchen Outlet
Paint - Valspar 
Floor  - Camero Yorkstone tiles fitted by Mintons 
Square frames - Habitat
Coffee Machine - Nespresso Creatista
Clock - B&M Bargains
Spice Jars - Anthropologie