One-by-one people I'd never met started leaving comments. People from all over the world, some with Dysautonomia, some with other chronic illnesses, some with no health issues of their own but who also had an equally warped sense of humour or could relate in someway to what I wrote. Over time more people found the blog and a really lovely community developed. I get emails everyday from people thanking me for giving a voice to their experience or helping them find a little light and laughter in the midst of what can be a truly difficult time. Those emails mean the world to me. Being able to help someone, even in a small way, makes the whole blogging process worthwhile.
But it's not a one way street. The support I've had from readers still blows me away. Complete strangers who take the time to care during the hard times and who can laugh with me during the good. Many of those strangers have become friends in every sense of the word, though we have never met face-to-face. That support and the sense of community make what is often a difficult time bearable. And for that I will always be grateful.
Chronic illness strips away much of who you are. It is hard. Damn hard. Sometimes you have to make a concerted effort to find something that makes it easier. For me it has been finding ways to pamper myself even when I am at my sickest. For example, I can whip on some gorgeous hand cream even if I can't sit up, or I can snack on my favourite treat whilst I'm stuck on the couch. Those little things make it a little easier to deal with. And this is what I want to share with those who have supported me through the past three years here on the blog.
I want to give a little something back to say thank you. And thanks to two of my favourite companies and some generous and talented fellow Dysautonomia patients I am able to do just that.
To celebrate Living with Bob's birthday, it's time for a focus on a little pampering. It's time for...
For the past couple of years I have been using the gorgeous body products of a local Australian company, MOR Cosmetics. My sister first sent me their Marshmallow hand cream in a care package and from that time I've been hooked. And it is the Marshmallow range that continue to be my favourite in the fragrance range (as evidenced by the growing collection on my bedside table). The products themselves are luxurious, but it is the eye for detail, which includes the packaging that sold me. Anyone who takes the extra time to create such beautiful packaging knows about luxury and pampering.
Huge thanks to the lovely folk at MOR, whose generosity means that I am able to share three of their lovely products from the Marshmallow range, with one lucky reader. MOR describe the Marshmallow fragrance as a "Vanilla Musk with Jasmine Flower gloriously rapture in this pretty, feminine fragrance. Sugar dipped Rose Petals with White Carnation & Cotton Candy blend beautifully to create a deliciously sweet perfume". I'd describe it as a little slice of heaven.
The prize includes:
Marshmallow Body Cream: A silky, whipped cream designed for intense absorption, with emollient
to soothe & protect dry skin. The luxurious moisturising experience lingers throughout the day with a delicate, soft sweet scent.
Marshmallow Hand Cream: A rich, decadent cream that turns unkempt hands into the softest of
Marshmallow mittens. Shea Butter & Sweet Almond Oil mingle with extracts of Marshmallow, Peach & Vitamin E to pamper, restore and protect hands and nails.
Marshmallow Triple Milled Soap: Feelings of sweet nostalgia are kindled with this pink, vintage inspired, Triple-Milled Soap Bar that produces a soft rich lather which pampers and softens dry skin.
I call this one Ode to Dysautonomia, and it fills me with pride. The Dysautonomia community is both generous and creative. This is a collection of awesome. Products range from jewellery and accessories to beautiful aromatherapy products. Pampering in anyone's language.
Double sided headscarf (above) and rose hair clips (below) from Cherry Pie Accessories by Claire Barnier: As Claire says "Every girl has the right to feel glamorous and I believe they can - it's all about accessories! I create many things from fabulous fascinators, cute kawaii hair clips, glamorous Rockabilly, burlesque and Pin-up styles to Punk and Gothic inspired pieces and generally gorgeous girly things. Cherry Pie accessories' mission is to make you feel fabulous by adding just the right touch to complete your outfit and put that spring in your step that only comes from finding the perfect accessory! Each product is handcrafted with love and Cherry pie's unique style using specially sourced new and upcycled materials". Claire has kindly donated the gorgeous double sided headscarf pictured above and hair clips below.
Metal Stamped POTS earrings from 'Tennille's Jewellery': Tennille creates unique metal stamped pieces in copper, brass and stainless steel. The hooks are sterling silver, so safe for those with nickle allergies.
doTerra essential oil Introductory Kit: This lovely kit containing Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint oils was kindly donated by Vickie Isaac, whose daughter has been using them in the treatment of her Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). A beautiful accompaniment to any pampering and well being session. They can be used topically, internally or aromatically. I'm loving the freshness of the lemon scent. More information can be found at (rechecking the links sorry should be up again soon).
2 Photographic Prints by Kyli Wolfson: Kyli Wolfson discovered her passion for photography in the beginning of her journey with POTS. It quickly became an outlet for her. She discovered that by taking pictures she could freeze a beautiful moment in time and allow others to escape there as well. After that, she was hooked! Kyli has kindly donated two of her beautiful photos size, 16"x20". Both of these photos (below) were taken on the beautiful Mackinack Island in Michigan, USA.
One of the quirks of Dysautonomia is that patients are often prescribed a high salt diet by their cardiologists and neurologists. Although necessary, it can be hard to stomach at times. Last year I discovered a most delicious way to meet part of my daily intake, Lindt Excellence, A Touch of Sea Salt. My discovery of this culinary miracle was most surely accompanied by a choir of angels and a beam of light falling directly on the neatly arranged blocks on the supermarket shelf. Salt and dark chocolate, this my friends is pure brilliance. Since that time A Touch of Sea Salt has had pride of place in my refrigerator. Word of A Touch of Sea Salt spread quickly and it has since become somewhat of an unofficial chocolate of the Dysautonomia community here in Australia. Now I can truly say my chocolate intake is purely medicinal.
Now thanks to the lovely people of Lindt Australia, who generously donated 10 blocks of A Touch of Sea Salt for this giveaway, I can share the joy.
To spread the joy there will be five chances to win 2 blocks each of Lindt Excellence, A touch of Sea Salt.
How to Enter:
The competition opens as of, 9am Thursday the 19th July 2012 (Australian Eastern Time).
To enter simply leave a comment at the bottom of the post sharing your favourite way to pamper yourself.
For extra entries:
Follow me on Twitter
Follow Living with Bob (Dysautonomia) on Facebook
The giveaway will be closed & drawn, 5pm Thursday 2nd of August 2012, (Australian time) using the Thor Method.
COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
A huge thank you to MOR Cosmetics, Lindt Australia, Claire Barnier, Tennille Pooley, Vickie Isaac, and Kyli Wolfson, for helping me say thank you to all those who have supported me and helped to make Living with Bob the blog it is.