The Big C

 

Afternoon all! I have something a bit different and personal on the blog today. I’ve teamed up with my local cancer charity, The Big C, to talk to you all about the importance of #CancerConversations.

It’s no secret that talking about cancer can be hard for anyone. Whether you’re male or female, young or old, it can be a struggle for people to open up about what they’re going through. It’s also no secret that cancer is possibly the biggest struggle a person will face in life, so it’s absolutely crucial that anyone affected by it can feel comfortable enough to seek help.

When The Big C first got in contact about their #CancerConversations campaign, one of the first things I thought about was the impact of not having these conversations. Whether you’re fearing for the wellbeing of a love one, or you’re worried about your own health, I feel like the long-term effects of not opening up to someone could lead to further struggles. Enter, anxiety and depression. This is where the cancer becomes not only a physical, but also a mental battle.

Being a long term sufferer of anxiety, I know that it can become all-consuming. It can strip you of all you are, and all of your hopes, dreams and ambition. You no longer love the things you once enjoyed, and you’re stuck in a vicious cycle, worrying about the past or future. You never live in the moment, and that’s the problem. Anxiety can be the loneliness place in the whole world, and you’re often left thinking that nobody understands the way you’re feeling.

My anxiety was triggered by a long-stint of chronic health problems and a cancer scare myself. I would live each day in fear of what was wrong with me, and how sick I really could be. I would ask myself a tonne of questions. What implications will this have on my daily life? Will I have to leave work? How will this affect my relationship with others?

After 12 months of struggling with mental illness, I decided it was time I got professional help. At this point, I just felt like a shell of a person. A body just, breathing. But not really living. I was stuck in a constant state of worry, stuck in the same thought cycle every single day.

I only broke that cycle by getting help. I’m lucky to be able to say that after seeking help and talking to a therapist, I was able to get my anxiety under control. The therapy I recieved helped me to regain my life and myself. Opening up and talking about my worries and my problems felt, cathartic. It was a sense of relief just to get things off my chest to somebody who wouldn’t judge me, and was actually there to help me. We would set tasks, homework and challenges that taught me how to manage my fears. Most importantly though, it gave me stability, a true constant, and a person to always be there for me in the darkest times. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my bad days – but who doesn’t? I’ve also learned to accept that that’s ok too.

Getting help was the best thing I ever did for myself. It taught me to live in the here and now, and live each day to the full. I learned to accept that while we sometimes can’t change our physical wellbeing, we can always change the way we think. Mind over matter. 

For a long time I was ashamed to even accept my anxiety. I’ve always considered myself a strong person, and admitting my anxiety was like showing weakness. I never wanted to be seen as that weak, worrying girl. But after battling long-term anxiety, and working through some of the hardest times, I’ve realised that you have to be incredibly strong to seek help. Never think that starting conversations about cancer, mental health, or anything in-fact, is a sign of weakness. It is the complete opposite. It takes strength to talk when you don’t feel strong.

Cancer and anxiety often come hand-in-hand, but both are becoming easier to talk about these days, and that’s good. Many years ago, most sufferers wouldn’t even dream of venting their experiences, but over the years, cancer and mental health problems are becoming less taboo. The stigma is slowly being lifted, and that in itself is a relief.

It’s ok to talk.

Despite this, there’s still a long way to go. All generations, young and old, need to know just what support is out there. Luckily, that’s where The Big C comes in!

We’re so lucky to have this incredible charity in the Norfolk & Waveney area. The Big C offer free cancer support for those living in the county.  They’ve identified that in particular, men in the region aren’t seeking the vital support and information they need to help them. Which is why they’ve launched #CancerConversations – to engage with men and offer a number of free services and advice available to them across the county.

The Big C offer a range of free services to anyone effected by cancer in the region. They can offer, counselling services, men’s cancer groups, complementary therapies, pharmacy support, nutritional workshops, financial support and welfare advice. To find out more visit their website.

Talking about cancer might be challenging, but getting the right support can be life-changing. Take matters into your own hands, get talking, and start living.

 

Contact your local centre today:

Norwich – 01603 286112 or cancer.information@nnuh.nhs.uk

Great Yarmouth – 01493 855297 or yarmouthcentre@big-c.co.uk

King’s Lynn – 01553 818737 or kingslynncentre@big-c.co.uk

The Louise Hamilton Centre, Gorleston – 01493 453100

All services are free of charge thanks to Big C supporters.

 

Want to get involved?

Donating £3, less than the cost of a pint, can make a difference to #CancerConversations campaign @BigCTweets – Text BIGC1 to 70660 to donate!

 

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HH Turtle Bay Walthamstow041

 

Guys and girls! I could not be more thrilled to share the news that Turtle Bay are coming to Norwich!! Eeeeeeeeeee! Yes, on the 30th August the restaurant opens its doors, bringing a new, vibrant and delicious Caribbean dining and drinking experience to the city.  I could not be more ready to try it out, just browsing the menu gets me all kinds of excited, as we really don’t have anything like it currently in the city.

Here are some exclusive photos (below) of what the restaurant is going to look like. How incredible does it look?! The restaurant is set over 2 floors, occupying a beautiful, Grade II listed former fabric warehouse on Swan Lane – right in the heart of Norwich’s famous Lanes area.

 

Turtle Bay

 

The interior decor and furnishings captures the lively, colourful, soulful spirit of the Caribbean. Just the restaurant design alone has got me itching to go – you just have to look at how funky it is inside!!!

As well as the stunning ‘island hut’ bar, there’ll be special veranda dining areas, plus an open ‘street kitchen’. Norwich guests can also expect to see Turtle Bay’s first salvaged VW Campervan, which has been reinvented as a unique seating area!! This is surely a must to try sit at on your visit!!

 

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There’ll be repurposed shipping containers, oil drum lampshades, reclaimed wood and chequer-plate and disused speakers… all making up one very vibrant, quirky restaurant.

Oh and we haven’t even mentioned the food yet…

 

HH Turtle Bay Food Shoot Beach platter 001

 

Turtle Bay offers up food that celebrates the Caribbean with every mouthful, from its rich and explosive flavours, to laid back ‘liming’. This is fuss-free, joyous food, from the soul. Dishes are brimming with zesty flavours and spicy hues – there’s plenty to share or dig into alone.

An eclectic cuisine that is influenced by a rich tapestry of ethnicities, the food at Turtle Bay offers a vast choice of bold flavours and rustic dishes, all inspired by the laid back, social outlook of the Caribbean. Signature dishes include their famous Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat.

Turtle Bay have also confirmed that there will be a number of gluten and dairy free options to enjoy on their menu. Typical foods include curries/stews/jerk chicken, and because a lot of Caribbean cooking calls for coconut milk instead of dairy – there will be plenty to choose from! Happy days!

 

As well as hearty dishes, Turtle Bay also boasts an amazing cocktail and rum list – with a menu of more than 40 Caribbean rums to choose from!! Happy hour lasts from 11.30am – 7pm and then starts up again at 10pm! With ALL of their cocktails available at 2-4-1 during that time – it’s a must for cocktail lovers and rum enthusiasts all week long.

So Norwich folks, make sure you mark your calendars for the 30th August – because this is one you’re not going to want to miss!!!

I will be reviewing the food at Turtle Bay at a VIP preview dinner on the 25th August – so be sure to check back soon for my verdict!

You can read more about Turtle Bay or find a menu here.

 

Norwich Bloggers

 

Last weekend, me and bestie blogger, Millie from Shabby Bear Co, attended the latest Norwich Bloggers networking event at The Mash Tun. I recently discovered Norwich Bloggers not so long ago, and I was so ecstatic to find a community like this in my local area! The July event also sounded amazing – with the chance to get to know new local bloggers, businesses and their products. Without a second thought – I bought a ticket.

 

Norwich Bloggers

 

When we arrived, the venue was already bustling. It was great to see so many bloggers there, and the whole place was buzzing with excitement. The Mash Tun made for the perfect venue, with it’s big windows letting lots of light – making it so bright and summery! Everyone got a chance to chat and mingle, as well as explore all the amazing stands and brands on offer!

 

Norwich Bloggers

 

Walking around there were some fantastic businesses to meet!! Here are some of the awesome stands at the event:

Arbonne Cosmetics

Benefit

FYFO

Jarrold’s

Just Essentials

Lisa Angel

Milk and Moss Coffee

Nails by Courtney

Neal Yard Remedies

White Rabbit Gifts

We also received some Curl Cream from The Curl Company and an Amie Skincare Mask.

 

Norwich Bloggers

 

We had a chat with the lovely girls at Just Essentials – who gave us a free goody-bag with some stunning cosmetics. We also met some of the friendly folks at Jarrold’s, who gave us some little perfume samples, and signed us up to hear about their own future blogging events!

Upstairs we got to have some insanely relaxing free hand and arm massages from Neal Yard Remedies. I seriously could have fallen asleep…

 

Norwich Bloggers

We tried the most beautiful and delicious vegan and gluten-free cupcakes from Milk and Moss. Being gluten + dairy free for a couple of years now, I felt so happy that I could actually eat one, because I’m so used to having to say no to cake – and for those of you who understand, you’ll know that saying no to cake is seriously hard work.

With two delicious flavours on offer, we both decided to get different flavours so that we could try both. I went for the Salted Caramel Chocolate, and Millie opted for the Double Vanilla – both were heavenly, and beautifully decorated with pretty dainty flowers!

 

I was also so excited to see that Lisa Angel were at the event, showcasing some of their beautiful jewellery. I’ve always been a massive fan of Lisa Angel, and tend to pop into their Lanes store on my lunch breaks, just to stare at all the pretty things. Then I get a bit spend happy in there on pay days!

They were kindly giving away one piece of jewellery to each blogger at the event!! Thinking alike, as besties do, me and Millie both loved the feather bangles – and got one each. Millie decided on silver, and I decided on gold. They also personalised them both with our initials – which was the perfect touch!

 

Norwich Bloggers

I have also been gifted a discount code, which I will be spending very soon, but as a double bonus – they’ve also give me a code for all my readers to use at Lisa Angel!

For 10% off Lisa Angel use the code:
LANWCH15
(Expires 10/09/16)

Norwich Bloggers

 

Pictured above, you can see my haul from the day, from many of the brilliant brands and business that came along. It was such an incredible day out – and was so much fun to meet some fellow bloggers, and some fantastic local businesses.

Thank you to everyone I spoke to for being so lovely, to everyone who gifted me goodies and freebies, and to the Norwich Bloggers girls for organising such a successful and fantastic event! xoxo