I just wanted to update everyone who read my blog post last week. Everyone’s kind messages have been so lovely and very much appreciated. When rubbish things happen knowing people care really does help. I’ll start from where I left off in my last post.

It took me a few days to fully calm down and get over the shock of Fridays events. Even though I’d had a good outcome from the CT scan, I was so shocked by everything. Luckily my friends and family were absolutely amazing and really looked after me. Although I was so glad that nothing really scary and urgent was wrong, I was still dealing with my head and eyes feeling awful and not knowing what the actual problem was.

On Wednesday I got a call to say I was booked in for an MRI that afternoon. I was really glad to know that I was a step closer to getting some answers. Luckily I wasn’t feeling very nervous about the MRI, as I’m Ok with small spaces. It was pretty noisy and went on for quite a long time, but luckily I found it bearable.

On Friday I went back to the eye department for my first follow up appointment. I ended up having to wait for two hours past my original appointment time, which wasn’t great but I knew all the department dealt with emergencies and having been in that position myself the week before I didn’t mind waiting too much.

The doctor read through my notes and got up the results from my MRI, luckily it had  also come back clear of anything scary, which was a big relief. He then looked at my eyes again. He then explained that I probably have a condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, which basically means pressure in the fluid that surrounds the brain. This explains the pressure on my optic nerves and the bad headaches. Obviously I wish there was nothing wrong with me, but this is still better than some of the original possibilities.

I am being referred to a neurologist for further treatment and a definitive diagnosis. I was told this would probably include lumbar puncture, which I am absolutely terrified of. I know I’m going to need to be brave and deal with what lies ahead, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared and upset about it all.

Luckily I’ve already got used to dealing with my symptoms and have definitely got used to pacing myself, getting enough rest and keeping the headaches under control. I am also looking into food and exercise that will help. I’m definitely ready to face this head on. My lovely husband Rob is being amazing and really looking after me, which makes everything far easier.

I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to post updates about this, as I don’t really know if this is the right place for it. I also want to carry on as normal as much as possible. I also have loads of lovely half finished blog posts that I’ll be working on when I feel up to it, so it will mostly go back to being about tea, books, pretty dresses and fun things.

If you read my last post, you’ll know that last week wasn’t the best. I had thought about not writing a week in pictures post, but this is one challenge that I don’t want to fail at and so I thought I’d just carry on as normal and keep blogging through this. Looking at screens is making my eyes hurt a bit, so I’m trying to spread out my computer time as much as possible. Lots of lovely stuff happened last week and theres plenty or everyday stuff to look back on.

Monday: I had a big list of errands to run and busy things to do on Monday. The only really fun thing was picking blackberries in my garden. We have a pretty big garden that likes to go wild and get over grown at every opportunity. Especially when it comes to brambles. This year we decided to let them grow so the kids could pick the blackberries. Naturally they have spread like crazy and there is so much fruit to pick! So on Monday we picked all the ripe ones and I’ve now cleaned and frozen them for future pie and crumble making!

Tuesday: On Tuesday evening we went to see Jessica’s school show, she was playing Bugsy Malone and she did an absolutely amazing job. I don’t know how she managed to remember all her lines, I was super proud. I always find it funny how confident she is when it comes to singing and drama. I was the complete opposite when I was a kid, I used to get the smallest part possible!

Wednesday: This was a very busy day, after dropping the kids at school I headed out with my friend Catherine who’s blog is called Curiosity Killed. Our first stop was The Sanderson hotel to check out the new NSPA beauty range that will be launching exclusively in Asda in August as well as a haircare range from Andrew Barton. I will be blogging about this properly nearer the time, but it was a lovely event and I can’t wait to try out all the products properly.

Here we are having a pose in front of this gorgeous flower wall…

A post shared by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

After that we headed to a press event called The Christmas in July Festival. In July lots of brands hold their Christmas press days, and this was a great event where lots of brands were all in the same place. It was great to make lots of contacts and get some ideas for Christmas gift guides and blog posts. This is another one I’ll probably talk about a bit more later in the year. Heres a sneak peek at some of the Christmas bits from crabtree and Evelyn.

Thursday: This was another busy working day, that I spent shooting outfit pictures for the blog. After dropping the kids at school I planned the outfits, ironed them and did my hair and make up. This time my dad was taking the pictures for me, so he picked me up and we headed out to take the pictures. I’m hoping to get these up later in the week, but as I’m not sure whats going on with hospital appointments and stuff, we’ll see. Here’s a pic of a cute bee that that I snapped between outfit pics.

Friday: On Friday morning, Jess was starting school a little later so I stayed at home with her, Rob had taken the morning off to go to Lila’s sports day so after dropping Jess in, I headed over the school field to join him. After that I headed to my opticians appointment. You’ll have to read Sundays post to find out about that shit afternoon.

Saturday: I spent most of Saturday in the dark in my bedroom feeling sorry for myself. In the evening I decided to go for a drive round Richmond Park and took my mum. I’ve found driving and fresh air really help my headaches because I find it much easier looking into the distance and it doesn’t tire my eyes as much.

Sunday: Rob took the girls to their school fair, I really didn’t feel like going with everything thats been going on and just needed a bit of time to myself. Luckily my friends came to the rescue and a coffee and chat in with Fay and G in Fay’s garden made me feel much better about everything.

Rob and I sat out in the garden and looked at this beautiful sunset while two cut little bats flew around the garden. Quite a lovely moment at the end of the week.

Weekly Goals: My first goal is to cancel all my plans and work commitments and just get some rest. Before I knew there was a problem, I was just pushing through. Now I know I just can’t do that I need to be more responsible.

So this definitely wasn’t the best week for pictures, or the best week in general really. I’m keeping everything crossed for a quick recovery and for lots of adventures with the kids. They break up from school on Friday, so a whole 6 weeks of fun awaits.

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I normally keep this blog for the good things, I’ve said a lot that its my happy place and rather than needing to include all the stuff from the real world, it’s ok for it to be all about baking and dresses and pretty places and everything thats nice and positive in life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t written about the shit stuff, often when I’ve had a bad day I will write about it, but its not stuff that I would publish on here. I’m quite a private person, so the stuff that makes it onto the internet is usually just the stuff that I don’t mind other people being able to see.

But I do want to write about Friday, because I actually think it was a big thing that I want people to know about and also because it taught me a few life lessons and things I would do differently in the future.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I got a very bad headache, we’re not talking a normal headache that goes away with a paracetamol, it was really bad. I instantly put it down to not enough sleep and too much screen time. I battled through and got on with it. Really I should have picked up that its not right to have a headache that bad, that taking pain killers doesn’t help. But I’m so bad at looking after myself that I just tried my best to battle through and continue as normal. I’m a busy work at home mum, I don’t have time to be ill!

So the headache came back on and off over the last fortnight and I assumed as my eyes were tired that I had eye strain and booked an opticians appointment. The part of this that I’m most ashamed to admit is that I don’t think I’ve had an eye test since I was about 16. I have never had any problems with my eyesight and although I am well aware that it’s important to go anyway, I just never got round to it. I get pretty bad anxiety when it comes to making appointments and medical stuff in general it would take something pretty bad for me to go to the doctor or dentist, something that after this I will need to address.

So I went to the opticians expecting to need reading glasses and that to be that. At first everything seemed normal, I had all the usual tests, was told that my eyesight seemed fine and then the optician said she needed a second opinion on something and left to get her senior colleague. She then looked at my eyes and told the original colleague that what she could see wasn’t Ok. They then told me that they were going to ring the eye department at my local hospital and that I needed to go there immediately. She explained that my optic nerves didn’t look right and she showed me a picture of mine compared to normal ones. I’m not medically trained so I can’t explain in detail, but they looked completely different. She explained that this is a sign of pressure in the brain and that it was urgent that I saw a doctor. At this point I was on my own in a high street opticians and how I stayed calm I really don’t know. As soon as I’d left I burst into tears and called Rob, walking down the high street to my car with tears rolling down my face and a feeling of absolute terror was one of the most awful moments of my life.

I rushed home to get Rob who drove me to the hospital. I was given a quick consultation with the nurse who put special eye drops in for me. These dilate your pupils for a few hours, so they can see into your eye. I was then given an eye scan and had to wait to see the doctor. Waiting was hard. I already knew that things weren’t good as I’d seen the reaction of the opticians and had seen the images of the eye myself. So I wasn’t expecting good news. Rob then had to leave to pick up the kids so I was just sitting there on my own running through everything in my head.

When I went in to the doctor he had another quick look inside my eyes. He then pushed the machine to one side and told me that it’s really not good to have a combination of severe headache and for my optic nerves to look like that, especially as I had been like this for two weeks. He explained that the concern was that there was a brain tumour or bleed causing pressure to the optic nerves. He was so kind and just took my hand while I cried. A lovely nurse came in and hugged me. I sat quietly crying while the doctor made phone calls and got me booked in for an urgent CT scan. He gave me a lolly pop, which was for some reason really comforting. All I could think about was that I was going to die and leave Rob without a wife and my kids without their mother and that is one of the most horrible things ever. The doctor asked if I wanted to wait outside while he made phone calls, but to be honest I was well aware of the realities of the situation so I stayed there.

The worst part of all of this was what was going on in my head. I’m naturally very optimistic, so I kept telling myself that I would be OK, but then reality hit and I thought about how concerned everyone was and that terrified me. Everyone was preparing for bad news and I just sat there thinking about my kids and silently crying. It was awful.

So then the doctor took me to the CT scan department and I waited around half an hour for the scan. The waiting was the worst part, because of everything going through my head. I just tried to stay calm and every time I got myself calmed down the fear hit me again. When I got called through for the scan I completely broke down and the lovely lady, really helped and talked to me for a minute. As I had to stay completely still for the scan, I used every ounce of strength I could muster to centre myself and stay calm. I then prayed harder than I ever have in my life for this to be OK, for me to not have to leave my kids. I managed to stay completely still throughout the scan. I couldn’t tell you much about it as I was so focussed on staying calm and not moving.

I then went back down to the doctor and waited for the results to come through. This all happened amazingly quickly and I just sat there waiting while he phoned someone and asked the results to be sent through, the scan details popped up on his screen and he looked at them for a minute, he then jumped up and just hugged me and gave me a high five, he looked more relived than you can possibly imagine.

So after all that fear, there was nothing immediately serious or life threatening, I could go home. Obviously there is still an issue and I am booked in for an emergency MRI and have been referred to neurology and I need to go back to see the department next week. I still don’t know what will happen. But where I am now is so much better than where I could have been. I’m still in shock about what happened. I don’t think you can go through something so massive or terrifying and feel OK. I went to a pretty dark place and although I am hugely relieved I won’t ever forget the worry on peoples faces at the optician or at the hospital. Or the relief on the doctors face when the good news came.

I needed to get all this written down for a few reasons, firstly having been through stuff before I know that it is so important to talk about traumatic experiences and to address them and also because I don’t want anyone else to make my mistakes. Because it could have been so much worse. It also made it very hard for the opticians that I didn’t have up to date records to compare with.

So do me a favour, if you are due an eye test or have a medical concern you’ve been ignoring, go and get it looked at. Please. In the meantime I am spending today in bed recovering, resting and preparing myself for whats to come.

I need to take a moment to shout from the rooftops how amazing the NHS are, I don’t know what I appreciate more – the kindness and compassion I received, the speed and efficiency of my treatment or the fact that I can be unwell without the worry of financial implications. But for so many reasons I am incredibly grateful right now.

I have clothes and accessories from many vintage eras in my wardrobe. One of the most fun things about wearing a collecting vintage, is experimenting with different eras. Although each decade has a wide variety of shapes and styles, each one certainly has it’s iconic looks. The fashion illustrations in todays post look at each decade and the glasses styles that go with them. I thought they were really fun and I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.

1920s: This was a decade of huge change for women’s fashion. Hemlines rose and sumptuous beaded evening gowns were everywhere. To recreate the look, loom out for heavy embellishment, dropped waists and hemlines that fall just below the knee. Fringed styles and glitzy accessories also fit well with the era. The look about is quite a modern version of the 20s look, but I still really like it for that fun flapper look.

1920s Glasses: Round sunglasses were popular in the 1920s with many famous Hollywood stars photographed wearing them.

1930s: The 30s were all about glamour, with beautiful bias cut gowns, and tailored styles with pleats, ruffles and wide sleeves. Fur and hats were popular accessories and shoes had chunkier heels. To create the look, look out for elegant dresses which fit beautifully and have those extra 30s details.

1930s Sunglasses: Similarly to 20s styles, 30s glasses were also round. They often had thicker frames and a slight wing. Worn with beach pyjamas they made the perfect addition to that glamorous riviera style.

1940s: With the war, came utility clothing and rationing. Clothes were cleverly made to use minimal fabric and with fewer buttons. Shoulders were squared and masculine tailoring was common. Dresses were narrow on the hips and fell just below the knee. To recreate the 40s style, look out for subtle shoulder pads and pretty details rather than lots of fabric.

1940s Glasses: Glasses in the 40s have a more structured shape with the appearance of horn rims and cat eyes.

1950s: The 50s were all about tiny waists and very full skirts, the sheer volume of fabric was a reaction to the austerity of the war and post war years. Colours were bright and prints were bold. The 50s is always a fun decade to recreate. Original dresses are reasonably easy to find and both modern and reproduction dresses emulate the style.

1950s Glasses: Just as in the 1940s, cat eye glasses continued to be popular for women in the 1950s. The sharp angles of the frame had a lifting effect on the face. These often came in bright fun colours and were sometimes embellished.

1960s: The 60s were all about social change, and this was reflected heavily in the fashions of the era. Hem lines rose by many inches, colour blocks and bold prints were popular and white boots were a must have accessory.

1960s Glasses: Famous women like Jacky Kennedy were wearing over sized frames and these were the go to look of the decade. Look for big plastic frames in colours to match your outfit.

1970s: 70s fashion was flamboyant and fun. Key pieces included jumpsuits, hot pants and maxi dresses, shoes had big platforms for maximum impact. Big and bold gold jewellery was a must. Weather you’re going to a disco or a hippy look, the seventies is all about bold earthy tones and statement accessories.

1970s Glasses: Popular frames in the 70s were bold and chunky. Frames were bigger and bolder and also a lot lighter due to technological advances.

1980s: However you feel about 80s fashion, its hard to deny how creative the fashions were. This decade takes many influences from those that came before it. For a typical 80s look, so for big hair, bright neon colours and lots of layering.

1980s Glasses: Aviators were a really popular style in the 80s, with films like Top Gun making them popular.

1990s: Denim was absolutely huge in the 90s, a pair of mum jeans with a white t-shirt paired with a flannel shirt or over sized sweater is perfect for an early 90s day look.

1990s Glasses: These frames were more understated than the extravagant styles of the 80s and were often smaller, made from thin metal and not covering much of the face.

So which is your favourite era, I absolutely adore the looks form the 30s, 40s and 50s, but looking back on the 90s when I grew up is slaps pretty cool. If I could recreate any look just for fun, it would be the 70s one, I would love to go out dancing dressed in a super glamorous jumpsuit!

Thank you Vision Direct  for working with me on this blog post. These beautiful drawings were created by fashion illustrator Dylan Bonnet. 

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It’s been a few weeks since I shared one of my favourite original vintage dresses and I thought it was high time I showed you another. The dress I’m wearing today originally belonged to my good friend Carrie-Ann from Something Definitely Happened. I had admired it on her a few times, so when she decided to sell it, I jumped at the chance. I love that she’s bought one of my dresses too, I think thats one of the best things about having friends who wear vintage, we can pass things on to each other. It really is a great example of how every vintage dress has been on adventures and has it’s own little story.

The dress is made from cotton, so its easy to care for and really versatile. I really like the darker colour, which makes the dress work all year. Brown is a surprisingly easy colour to wear and we don’t see enough of it in modern clothing. It really does make a great alternative to black or navy and it goes with most skin tones too. I especially like the little pops of colour in the print of this dress.

I’ve worn mine with a pink belt, to bring out the gorgeous colours in the dress. I’m wearing my Orla Kiely Clarks Abigail shoes on my feet. I adore these so much, as I’ve said many times! They another great example of how useful brown clothes and accessories can be, I wear these with so many different colours and they also work across different eras too.

The dress is made by a brand called Jules Canton, who I’ve not heard of before and couldn’t find that much information about. I did find a few 40s and 50s dresses from the brand online though. I also spotted this dress in a different colour way on Google Images though. The picture also shows what the original belt looked like too.

If you’re looking for an easy to wear and versatile vintage dress, cotton shirtwaist styles are such a great option. They are really comfortable and easy to wear. I also find that vintage ones often have more bust room than modern ones, so they don’t gape as much.

I have a few vintage shirtwaist dresses on my Etsy shop at the moment, as well as lots of vintage jewellery.

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