Tuesday, 2 April 2013


I have some good and bad news. So I will get to the point, with my recovery going so well, I now have the ability to try to achieve my dream of photography being my full-time career. So I have decided that I won't be using this blog so much and this might even be my last post here, however I have started a new blog which is based around photography.


I will be posting about my photography and the work of others that inspire me. I will aim to cover every aspect of photography, from the equipment to the techniques, including tutorials and critiques of my own work. I'd love it if you would show your support by taking a few minutes to check it out and if you like it, then follow using bloglovin.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read any of the posts on Pictures and Pillows and to all of you that have helped and supported me through the good and bad times. I'm so grateful to you all and hope to stay in touch.

Thanks :) xxxxx

Monday, 25 March 2013

The road to recovery.

Recovery is different for anyone with CFS or M.E, for some it can be quite simple, for some its a long and extremely tough road and for some it might not be possible but I am happy to report that it can happen. I am currently doing better than ever with improvements and successes everyday. There were many factors which led me to believe I can make a full recovery, I am young, ambitious and motivated and I've had long spells of minimal symptoms and most importantly I wasn't going to give up. I've been really concentrating and working on my health and fitness over the last few months, I decided that I can recover from CFS and tried everything I could. I am happy to say that my recovery is going really well, there was no 'quick fix' and it is a long and hard road but so worth it when you realise you can live your life the way you want to despte having an illness. There were many things I did to contribute to my new found health, I will let you know a few of them and I hope they will inspire you to try some yourself. I am aware that everyone is different and everyone's illnesses are different so you will need to find what works for you, but here's what I did

- I went back to counselling - I believe you really need to be the right mind-set to achieve health, this was so useful and kick-started my positivity.
- Alongside this I started on a low dose of anti-depressants - this gave me the pick-me-up which I needed to start the journey and it helped me to get out of a downward spiral, I hope to come off them very soon.
- I had my Implanon (contraceptive rod in your arm) taken out and started taking the pill as it is less intense on your body and easier to stop if your body doesn't agree with it.
- I do Yoga everyday. I follow a dvd in my pj's in my livingroom, I didn't fancy going to a group and prefer to do it at home in my own time. I started with 10 minutes a day and am not doing 30 to 40 minutes a day. I love it, I feel so light and free after doing it and it's made a huge difference to my fitness already.
- regulating my sleep. I set an alarm to make sure I wake up at the same time everyday, this has got earlier and earlier over time as I used to sleep till nearly lunchtime, now I am naturally waking up at 9, which is a huge improvement for me and I find I get to sleep alot easier.
- I started taking Bio-Glucan. It is said to improve you immune system and since taking it I have only had a few bugs. This is very strange for me as I used to get a bug or virus every week/fourtnight. however I can't judge exactly how accurate it is as I also have a flu jab yearly which helps to keep those pesky bugs away.
- this one is pretty obvious, but watching what you eat and drink can make a massive difference to how you feel, I will admit i'm not too good at this one, but I have made an effort to drink less alcohol and eat more fruit and veg. It all helps towards a healthy life.

- Quitting smoking - I'm not going to lie to you, I really struggle with this one. I still havn't cut them out of my life completely but i've more than halved my usual daily amount and do manage some days without one atall. It is something I am still working on. 
 -I completed the Lightning Process, I wont say too much more about this as I know it is controversial method of recovery. I also think it isnt right for everyone and also isn't avalable to some people. I however was very lucky to be given the chance to do the programme and found it very useful and helpful. If this is something you would like to do then I advise you look into it yourself and dont make your decision dependant on other people's opinions of it. 
- Lastly, I have a very positive attitude and believe in myself, this is so important and might put a stop to your recovery if you dont.

I hope that my story can help others who have been through what I have to realise that there is hope and you need to always be hopefull and never give up. I dont know what the future holds for me and I dont really want to know, because i'm doing so well today and thats what I am living right now. Good luck to anyone who starts their own journey and congratulations to you if you achieve something today that you couldn't do yesterday.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Things are on the up!!!

What a dramatic turnaround my year has taken, since my slightly depressing blog post in January, my life has completely changed for the good and I'm happier than ever. The 2 main factors which have relieved so much stress and worry are the jobs and my health.

My health and general fitness is getting better in leaps and bounds, I will put up a post soon about my journey to recovery and all the many, many things I did to get my body to work for me and to no longer hold me back. Because of my new found health, I managed to get a job, well not just one job........ 4 jobs!!!! Thats right i'm going to be doing 4 jobs. A few months ago I didn't think I was capable of doing one, now I fully believe I can do all these jobs and to the best of my ability.

I was devastated (in January) to find out that I no longer qualified for disability benefits and was terrified for what the future would hold but I managed to find jobs which suit me and wouldn't result in a relapse to the bed-bound version of me from a few years ago. So here are the jobs, job 1 - is running photography workshops for children in local schools, I'm so excited about this as I get to do photography, which I am passionate about and its regular work, which is rare in the photography world. I also love working with children and can't wait to teach them photography. Job 2 - is working 2 days a week in a gorgeous clothes boutique. Job 3 - Is running craft workshops for children, this is teaching them to make soft toys and other cute things, job 4 - My freelance photography. It is really picking up and i'm getting bookings for weddings and portraits for all throughout the year, i'm very excited. I will also be doing the gig photography alongside this, its not paid, just for fun because I love it.

So yeah.... basically things are without a doubt looking up. I'm so excited to be starting such great jobs, all in areas that I love. Photography, crafts and fashion. I couldn't have dreamed 3 months ago that I would be able to do such a thing.

Anyway, thats enough about me, here are some macro photos I took of the random little flurry of snow we had, I hope you enjoy them and that 2013 is turning out pretty good for you too :)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

An Interesting January

Well, I haven't managed to start the year off in the best way, I seem to have gathered quite a pile of crap news recently and had to make quite a few big, life altering decisions. However it has really made me realise, now more than ever, that if you stay positive and motivated then you can overcome anything. I feel like i'm making my way to the top of the mountain, then I have to take a big leap off the top. Its really scary but i'm also excited by the possibilities that lie ahead and am looking forward to what I can make of the year. I will let you know more when i've dealt with it all and when it has become good news.
Some great things have happened recently too, I covered another gig in Portsmouth which was Anberlin, The Getaway Plan and The Xcerts. I had the privilege of meeting 2 of the bands before, as my housemate interviewed them. The gig was amazing and I enjoyed it so much that I forgot about my legs hurting and the fact I had planned to leave as soon as I got my photos and instead, ended up staying till the end. Here are some of the photos I took that night.

I am excited to also start up an Etsy shop for all my handmade crafty goodies so I will keep you informed of that :) As well as this, I am going to give my photography a big push and get some more marketing out there to spread the word about Amy Sapphire Photography. Overall, Im handling things in the best way that I can and i'm proud of what I have already overcome in 2013. Bring on February!!!!

Friday, 11 January 2013


I can't believe we are already a week into 2013! I had left it a bit late with deciding my new years resolutions this year. It's ok though, as they are long term ones to be completed throughout the whole year and I only have 2 so I can really focus on them.

1) Properly start my Photography Business. I really need to knuckle down and start focussing on things such as the financial side, marketing and developing my skills and knowledge to kick-start my business and all the ideas I have. A big part of this resolution is to improve my health and fitness in any way that I can to make the dream of being a freelance photographer come true. This involves trying new tablets and medication, starting a strict exercise and fitness regime and looking into things such as my diet, etc. All of which need to be worked over the whole year so It is going to be a slow process. This moves us nicely onto my next new years resolution.

2) Learn to Swim!!!! I'm ashamed to say that I am 21 years old and can not swim. I never really learnt as a child as my mum is scared of water and I had no great interest to, then with the development of my illness when I was 15, swimming became the last thing on my mind. Before I knew it, I became a 21 year old who can't swim and has to be watched when going into the sea and misses out on trips to swimming pools and water parks. My boyfriend has kindly offered to teach me and help me get some confidence in the water. This is great as we can do it at my pace and can make sure i'm not over-exerting myself but also getting some exercise which will hopefully start to build up my strength and muscles. It should be fun and I'm quite excited, if not a little nervous.

These are both quite big resolutions, but both have been needed for a long time and the overall goal is to improve my health and fitness so that I should be able to work in the future.

Also here is a bit of good news to start of the year..... I'm in a big photography magazine. I was part of the Focus on Imaging ad campaign which will feature in many photography magazines. Can you spot me?.... I'm in the burgundy hoody :) I'm so grateful to have been a part of it and hope that this wont be the last time you see me in the pages of magazines :)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

My Favourite Moments and Memories of 2012!

1: Living with 3 amazing people, Jake, Junior and Amy

2: Camping trip in Woolacombe and being with my lovely boyfriend, Luke

3: My 21st Birthday,

4: Easter with all the family together,

5: Moving into the gorgeous new flat with 2 awesome girls

6: Graduation!!!! Loved the Vegas themed ball

7: Reading Festival

8: Weekend in Cardiff at SWN festival, my first proper photography press pass.

9: The 2 new rats, Ethel and Bambi

10: A great Christmas (seen in the previous posts) and my first one with Luke. 

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas round 2 and 3

So my main Christmas this year and part 2 of the festive holidays took place in my home town in Somerset, I say 'town' but I come from a teeny tiny village in the middle of no-where (there wasnt even a house here to buy so we build our own). It was such a magical and perfect Christmas, Made extra special by my Boyfriend coming to stay too, it was his first Christmas with my family and I think he was a bit shocked by how excited we all get about it :) We had such a great time and I was so lucky to get some amazing gifts, including some awesome crafty bits and photography things so I'm excited to start playing with them. We spent our time, eating, drinking, playing games and darts and watching christmas films. It was lovely spending a few days with my family and seeing some members of the family who I hadn't seen in a long time. Here are a few photos of what we got up to.

The final part of my Christmas was spent in the Midland's, at my boyfriend's Mum's house. I adore their house as its soo traditional and has a real countryside and homely feel to it, especially with all the gorgeous red decorations. I spent alot of the time there playing and snuggling up with Suki, a 13 week old kitten, she is sooo adorable :) We ate even more delicious food and drank our fair share of wine :) Here are a few photos of the animals we shared the last days of our Christmas with.

I am one very lucky girl to have so many people to share the holiday season with and share so many great times. I am so glad everyone liked their home-made presents and were very appreciative of the time and thought that went into making them. I will post soon on the gifts that I made and how you can make them yourself. I hope you had a great Christmas and am looking forward to spending New Year with my family :)