Friday, 30 September 2016

4 years since a 4 year old taught me how to live.

It's a long one this evening, bear with me.

1096 days. That's four years. It's been exactly 4 years since a 4 year old taught me how to live.
Its been 1096 since I stood in the Black Box as part of a choir. This way no ordinary choir. It was a choir made up of over 200 people wearing purple t-shirts. There were a lot of purple tshirts, and a lot of tears. We were not singing for a mass or concert, the usual places you might expect to find a choir. We were in the Black Box in Galway singing Elton John's hit Tiny Dancer for Lily Mae.

Tiny Dancer Recording- September 30th 2013.

If you're unfamiliar with Lily Mae's story you can click here to read my post explaining it.
There have been beautiful piece written online today on Tiny Dancer, on what is was and continues to be. Having written about that day 4 years ago, today I'll focus on the impact that day has had on me over the past four years. I will say, that I'm not the same person I was before that day. Anyone who was there would agree, it was an emotional day, magic and tragic all at once.

1096 days. 1096 days none of us reading this today were guaranteed, but presumed we'd have. Sitting here today, reading this, means that although you were not guaranteed these days, you got them. Not everyone was so lucky, not every child was this lucky. I dread to think of the number of children that have been lost to childhood cancer in this time. Chances are you weren't overly aware you weren't guaranteed these days. Most of us go through life presuming we'll wake up the next day. Two people who were extremely aware of the falseness of this guarantee are Jude and Leighton, Lily-Mae's parents. They had to live the horrific reality that their child was not guaranteed a future. Living day to day is a lot easier said than done, imagine trying to that knowing your child might not make it to their next birthday. The only thing can get someone through that is hope. No one's future is guaranteed but we have to hope it is. Lily Mae's parents showed incredible strength and bravery, grasping onto hope. I cannot imagine what it is like facing this fear and having to put on a brave face for your precious child. I never want to know.

Fast forward 4 years later and Lily Mae is a healthy, thriving 8 year old. What a stark contrast there are between these two photos. The first photo is one her parents never dreamed they'd take, the second, a photo they hoped and prayed they'd be able to take.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Lily Mae many times, the first time when she was a beautiful blued eyed baby. A few weeks ago I spoke to her about 'sparkly' cup cakes, she complimented my hair, I complemented her cape.(Because if you can't wear a gold cape when you're 8 when can you?!) These are the type of things children should be discussing, not when they'll be allowed to leave the hospital and go home.
Lily Mae during treatment

The past 4 years have taught me a lot. I used to care about how I looked, I used to care about my 'social standing'. Now I don't. I wasn't confident. Now I have the confidence I lacked. Why? Partly because I've grown up but mainly because a four year old taught me how to live. Seeing a four year old face horrific treatments with a smile, made me cop on, frankly. Seeing her Mother, (my childhood ballet teacher and now someone I'd like to think of as a close friend), fighting the battle of her life for her child made me cop on. Other things don't matter, your health is your wealth. Do what you love, enjoy your life. It sounds clichéd but clichés are clichés for a reason. Lily Mae is now a happy and carefree 8 year old. Being carefree is something we should all strive for. I now dance again, I stopped dancing before Tiny Dancer. I didn't feel confident enough, I didn't feel good enough. I though I was too bad at it, too fat, too uncoordinated. Now I dance like no one's watching. Life is too short not to. Be like Lily Mae in your day to day life, carefree. On tougher days, be like Jude and every 'cancer'  strong, be brave.

Tiny Dancer was and continues to be a phenomenon. Having researched and written a thesis on the subject I can guarantee you that more people are aware of childhood cancer because of it, particularly neuroblastoma.
 Those of us not spending our days in labs researching feel helpless, children are dying, what can we do? We can do what the Irish do best, talk, talk and then talk some more. Talk about childhood cancer. People don't tend to want to discuss it, it's something you 'see  on tv or read about online. It doesn't happen in real life. They are different parents'. They're not. The day before diagnosis every parent of a sick child is the parent of a healthy child. They are thrown into hell overnight. All those of us lucky enough not to be in their situation can do is talk. Talk about it and share stories online these small things raise awareness.

Awareness = Funding= Research= A Cure.

Childhood cancer is massively underfunded, because of this children's tiny bodies are being subjected to horrific treatments designed for adults.  Talk, talk, talk. We are nothing without our children.

Having had the honour of being part (a very small part) of the 'childhood cancer' world over the past four years, mainly online,  I have a better view of the world. I helped out at the Light It Up Gold Walk in Galway earlier this month. (A fantastic event organised by Lily Mae's Mum) All I saw were caring people, brave children and passionate parents. I spoke to parents that still managed to stick a smile on their face despite having lost a child to cancer. They were polite and pleasant. They have every right to be angry, to hate the world. Instead they continue to raise awareness to defeat the monster that took their beautiful child. I laughed with a child about a balloon, a child that is battling cancer for the second time. There was not one bad person there that day. Despite all the cruelty going on in the world, especially that we are increasingly aware of of late,  it was evident to me that there is a lot more good out there than bad. 7 children in Ireland lost their lives to childhood cancer last August. 7 children who gained their angel wings, 7 families lives destroyed forever. Angels are beautiful, but there are enough.

Although Childhood Cancer Awareness Month has come to an end, childhood cancer has not.

Do what you can to help:

Watch the Tiny Dancer music video again here. Share it!

Talk, talk, talk.

Thank you for reading this and Lily Mae, thank you for teaching me how to live, I'll see you soon x

Saturday, 5 September 2015

I deleted my Facebook account.

Greetings earthlings, 

Quick update.... 
I deleted my Facebook account.
I wrote 3 pieces on the topic for a brilliant new website.

If you're interesting in hearing why I deleted my Facebook
you can read 
Part 1 here.
Part 2 here 

and Part 3 here.

Planet Lo will be relaunching in March 2016. Details will be up on my twitter and google + accounts. You can find my twitter here and my google + here.

Thank you for your patience!!
See you then! 


Monday, 31 August 2015

The Comeback.

Greetings earthlings, 

As you may have noticed,Planet Lo has been on quite the hiatus. 
This is a result of many, many reasons including the fact that I recently finished University. 
Planet Lo is currently under construction, getting a lick of paint and a new vibe.
It will be back and better than ever in

Thank you for your patience! 
See you then,Lxx 

*You can follow me on Google+ using the widget to the right of this post on the main page to be notified when the next post goes up.
You can also be kept up to date by following me on my new twitter @planetloblog or  on my instagram: planetlo_blog

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Robyn's Life- Urgent Appeal.

Greetings earthlings, 

Two years ago I wrote a post entitled 'In which a 4 year old teaches me how to live.'
You can read it here.

With the exception of Lily Mae's story I don't share stories of charities etc on this blog as it's very hard to choose one without disappointing others etc.

This however is an exception, this is an urgent appeal. I couldn't not do my best to help. I'm lucky that I'm in a position where I can reach a lot of people through this blog,
the least I can do is use it to do good.

 Robyn Smyth is a 10 year old from Dublin suffering with the life threatening cancer Neuroblastoma for the second time. This is the same cancer Lily-Mae Morrison has now been free from for 18 months. Robyn's family urgently need to raise €300k euro so she can have the same chance of surviving as Lily-Mae. They need to send her to New York to receive a life saving vaccine to stop the cancer returning. Without this vaccine, there is a 95% chance the disease will return again and most likely be fatal. This isn't just an appeal to improve her quality of life, it's to save her life.

Even if you can only donate a euro, please go do it now and share this post. They say you can't put a price on a life but unfortuantely in this case you can, it's €300,000. This family shouldn't have to struggle to raise this money but unfortunetly they do. If you yourself are, or you know anybody in a position to help this family raise the money, please help. Imagine if it were your child.

Click here to donate


Click here to view the Robyn's Life  Facebook page and here for the twitter page.

Please share this page. 

Thank you x

Monday, 13 April 2015

Achieving Goals: Finals.

Greetings earthlings, 

Finals. Exams. Call them  what you may, they all mean the same thing. They embody the fence that
separates us from Summer. The fence that is, in my case, oh so hard to climb.
Being in my final year of my degree, finals have never had such consequences for me. They are the one thing separating me from the rest of my life.

The worst thing about finals? One
 is so close to freedom yet so far.
My biggest problem is tackling the job at hand. I have so many things I want to do and achieve once I graduate that I often waste time day dreaming about them. Day dreaming about these things is much more fun than college work. However I have somehow managed to stay on top of things(kind of).
However exciting the future may seem, my future career depends largely on me attaining my degree.  With only two weeks separating me from the rest of my life it can be very  hard to concentrate on the task in hand. Because of this, I worked out how to motivate myself and it's going well.

Using this self-reflection I have come up with a short list of tips, that may be useful for you or may be a waste of your time, only time will tell.
Even if you are not sitting exams, these tips can be used to work towards the goals you wish to achieve.

1. Make short, achievable to do lists. 
I often find myself making overly optimistic to do lists and I end up doing nothing. If you make a short list, even of two tasks, you are far more likely to complete those tasks. Slow and steady wins the race.

2. Get enough sleep
Yes I sound like a parent here but a good night's sleep is invaluable.

3. Give up the sauce. 
If you, like me are partial to the odd night out on the drink, but put the drink on the back burner for a few weeks. Hangovers and study do not mix.

4. Take well deserved breaks. 
Treat yourself, give yourself goals, whether it be an episode of Suits or a slice of Red Velvet cake, it's important that you maintain some kind of quality of life!

5. Keep Calm and Carry on. 
As cheesy as this sounds it is so important. Stay calm. So many people panic and end up ruining things for themselves as a result of this. Finals are not the end of the world, so don't make them out to be. Have a quick 5 minute stress to yourself to get it out of your system then get back on the horse. You can't achieve what you want if you reside in a ball of panic.

6.Celebrate when it's over! 
Most people have no problem with this one, I certainly don't!
Whether it be with a cocktail or a Netflix binge, once your exams are over....celebrate! Reward yourself for your hard work and enjoy life :)

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you found it helpful.  Good luck with whatever goal you may be trying to achieve :)

Stay classy,


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

10 instagram accounts that I folllow.

Courtney Adamo

Greetings earthlings, 
Many of us humans use the app instagram, about 100 million of us. 
Persoanlly I love instagram, it's my favourite app on my phone. If I had to pick just one app to keep it would be instagram witout a doubt. I love trying to discover new accounts to follow to keep it interesting and see different people's experiences of life through photos. I have complied a list below of 10 instagram accounts that I love to follow, hopefully some of them will interest you. Enjoy ;) 
Stay classy,
L xx

Some of Courtney's photos. 

Vadim Makhorov 
  • Courtney Adamo
  •  Chelsea Peretti
  • Giovanna Fletcher
  •  Vadim Makhorov
  • Tal Peleg
  •   Samantha Lee
  • Rachel Ryle
  • NationalGeographic
  • Donal Skehan
  •  Irish Healthy Gal


                                                 Who What Where Why When    

Courtney Adamo:  Courtney Adamo, an American based in London , is the co-founder of Courtney's instagram is currently my favourite instagram account. A Mother of 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls Courtney shares her life through pictures of her beautiful children, their knitted clothes and mini adventures. She has a simplistic parenting approach that I really admire and can only hope I can somewhat emulate it when I'm a Mother. I really recommend this account for someone that wants a fresh view of parenting as well of beautiful pictures of London and gorgeous home decor posts.
Username: courtneyadamo
View instagram here

Chelseas Peretti: For those of you who watch the comedy tv series Brooklyn 99 you may be more familiar with Chelsea as her character Gina. Chelsea is by far my favourite comedian at the moment and appears to be just like her on screen character in real life. Her  instagram posts never fail to make me laugh.
Username:  chelsanity
View instagram here

3. Giovanna Fletcher:

 Giovanna is an author and also the wife of McFly/McBusted's Tom Fletcher. Giovanna strikes me as very down to earth despite her surroundings. She posts gorgeous photos of her beautiful baby son Buzz, her enviable relationship with Tom(Relationship She's honest about Motherhood and also gives great book recommendations.
Username: mrsgifletcher
View instagram here

4. Vadim Makhorov

Vadim takes photo's on the roof. The photos are fantastic. He has a unique way of viewing the world and it's fascinating to see the world's biggest landmarks from a different perspective.
Username: makhorov
View instagram here.

5. Tal Peleg
Tal tell's different stories using eye makeup. I love how creative these are, it's something anyone with a few eyeshadows and eyeliner's can try out. Disclaimer: Your results may very from those on Tal's account!
Username: tal_peleg
View instagram here.

6. Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee is a food artist that makes designs out of her meals, enjoy,

7. Rachel Ryle
Rachel Ryle is an animator & illustrator whose work I really admire, she's super talented and her stop motions animation posts are great pick me ups.
Username: rachelryle
View instagram here

8. National Geographic
This is one is pretty self explanitory. National Geographic are known for publishing amazing photos and their instagram account does just this. Their stunning photos of both people and animals in nature put small stresses into perspective.
Username: natgeo
View instagram here

9. Donal Skehan
Donal is a young Irish chef. A former member of the band Streetwize he has managed to launch an extremely successful career as a tv cook and has many best-selling books. He's basically Ireland's answer to Jamie Oliver. I'm not going to lie he irritaed me slightly at first(probably because I'm jealous of his success.) Donal has to be one of the most cheerful people I have ever seen. I can't help  but smile when I see his big cheesy grin on my Instagram homepage. Aswell as sharing delicious food pictures of his creations Donal also takes his followers along with him on his ever increasing travels. He is doing extremely well at the moment, he recently apperared on The Today Show with Martha Stewart.
Username: donalskehan
View instagram here

10.  Niamh (Irishhealthygal) 
Niamh is an Irish instagrammer I recently discovered on my quest for inspiration. Since beginning my diet coke detox I have tried to adapt a more healthy lifesyle by 'eating clean' and introducing more exercise into my life. Niamh's instagram shares pictures of her diet and exercise routine. What I really like about it is her realistic approach. She isn't a bodybuilder she's just a normal girl trying to tone up and eat well. It can be easy to aim straight for the top when undergoing a lifestyle over haul but I think it is so important to be realistic and make small gradual changes that will last a life time, you are far more likely to stick to your plan.
Username: irishhealthygal
View instagram here

Samantha Lee 

Tal Peleg
Rachel Ryle

Giovanna Fletcher

Irish Healthy Gal 

*I do not own the rights to any of the photos included in this posts. All rights remain with the instagram accounts in question.*