Category Archives: blog

It’s been a while!

Well it’s certainly been a while since I have been on here!

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on for me to write about it’s more like I haven’t had the urge to write, but lately that has been changing. So rather than bore you will loads of catch up posts I thought I would do a quick run through everything that has been going on.

So this year I have had more hospital imput for my M.E/ Fibromyalgia than I have over the last 8 years since being diagnosed. Finally I managed to get physio treatment for the Carpel Tunnel in my left hand which has helped ease some of the numbness at least. I have also been referred onto a pain management course due to start late September for 7 weeks and I hope that helps me with at least pacing any activity I do ( I am absolutely rubbish at saying ‘No’ to anyone and generally end up overdoing things and then crashing afterwards!). The course will run me up to almost Christmas when I have been told I may get referred onto an exercise class suitable to help with my illness.

Excitingly, earlier this year a ‘dream job’ sort of fell into my lap via a good friend of mine. Dream job in the fact I can do the job in my pj’s, at anytime of day, keeping my own time! Sounds bloody good eh? It comes in the form of running a social media account for a local clothing boutique called Kimmicass (would love you to come and give us a follow) that sells amazing womens clothing that you just cannot find in the high street shops (and will be looking to expand and sell online as well as open more shops too). This one account actually led to a second account for a London florist who lives locally but works independantly for clients like the V&A! This account is a slow burner and is not fully up and running but is definitely getting there and should be more active before Christmas. So how great is that? Literally a dream job for me as with my illness its difficult to predict health wise how I will be feeling on any particular day, but this job does not require me to be anywhere in particular for any length of time! So I get to work from home in my pj’s which I am loving ………….total result!

Also, we had an amazing surprise with my youngest’s sons GCSE results. His plan was originally to do a Level 3 Early years Childcare course at college which he needed 5 passes including English and Maths. Now hes a clever boy so we knew he would get the 5 passes unfortunately his worst subject is maths so we were extremely concerned ( as was he) that he wouldn’t pass that and therefore not be able to do his course. So the results morning was literally the most stressful time ever and I had lots of contingency plans running through my head should he not get his maths. Well talk about a total surprise, not only did he get a level 5 in his Maths ( the new marking system is numbered!) but he also passed ALL 10 GCSE’s and did so well was offered a place back at the school’s 6Th Form!! He was so gobsmacked he literally didn’t know what to do with himself and although he still went over to the college to enrol he ended up taking the place at 6th form to do A levels instead. As you could imagine it was total surprise all round so we ended up going out to his favourite restaurant to celebrate………….it would have been rude not to!

alex meal out

Then it was birthday celebrations for my husband who was turning 50 at the end of August…………….50!! Now he’s not one for big parties etc although is more than happy to go to others he hates being centre of attention himself. So I came up with a cunning plan to use the money that a big party would cost and instead take him away to somewhere I know he has wanted to go to for a long time- ROME! So I managed to find a little family run boutique hotel in the centre of Rome for 4 nights and booked that and some flights etc for early October for the two of us. However, because this was going to be his only present , except for a few bits from the boys, I wanted to make it a little special. So, I came up with the idea of putting some clues together to put inside a cabin size suitcase and then wrap it all up. So I numbered the clues…

  1. A picture of a fountain and some Euro coins (for the Trevy Fountain)
  2. A spanish style fan with a picture of some stone steps ( for the Spanish Steps)
  3. A rosary (hopefully making him think Catholic!)
  4. A dvd of Sparticus with a small Italian flag!! (The Colosseum obviously)

Each clue was wrapped up and numbered and then his present was a gift of 2 guide books for Rome with the flight tickets inside.

present box

suitcase clues

suitcase pic

Now my hubby is not one for showing emotion at ALL but as he opened the guide books his eyes did well up and his hands were physically shaking which showed me he literally had no clue up until that point of what his present was. I had even gone behind his back to one of his work colleagues to help me book his time off work and get it approved (he is in the police so it’s not an easy thing to do without him finding out)……………..BUT I BLOODY DID IT!

rich and present

It was a tough thing to make all the decisions on my own with regard to the flights, the hotel and when to go so I was actually quite relieved when it all seemed to work out. Thankfully now I can relax as I know he will sort everything else out from here- he has already done our medical cards and booked airport parking! The only time throughout that I gave myself a total heart attack was when my Mum asked me on the phone if our passports are in date! For anyone who doesn’t know us we never go away anywhere abroad as we cannot afford it normally and the last time i used my passport was when he took me to Venice for my 40th birthday 7 years ago……………………………………..SO THANKFULLY THEY WERE IN DATE!!

**So if anyone has any recommendations for Rome please let me know**

We also took my eldest back to uni last weekend (sobs) and helped him move into his new shared house ( which is a total state and will be another blog post on its own!) so I am missing him already sitting with us for dinner etc.

Next up is my youngest 17th birthday in a few weeks time before we can get really excited about our trip.

Anyway, it’s lovely to be back and have the urge to put things down in black and white again and would love to hear what you have all been up to. If

Yes I am still here!

You may have thought I had given up on my little blog it has been so long since I have posted on here, but no, I am still here I have just been having a little break.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, there have been loads going on in the past few months in my little corner of the world, it is just the fact that I haven’t had the inclination to put it all on here, call it lack of blogging mojo but I have had a total break from my site although I have been active on my social media sites. Last night, however, I attended a lovely event down in Kent which got me back in touch with the blogging community. It was fun, it was nice to meet new people and get a bit of that missing blogging mojo back.

So, what has been happening while I have been away (and I do not mean the obvious political stuff that is all over social media at the minute). In my little bubble, I haven’t been active on here since attending a review for a local spa, which I have now joined myself and try and go there at least twice a week. I cannot tell you how relaxing it is using the heat rooms ( sauna and steam) there and how lovely that has been for my poor M.E/Fibro muscular pain.

There’s been 18th birthday celebrations for my eldest ( in April) before all the madness of his A level exams recently.

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There’s been more sewing for me as I attended another sewing class learning more skills and meeting new people.

dress collage

There’s been a lot of ‘new to me’ furniture buying and upcycling as we have started to redecorate our lounge from a modern look to a more old style/ country appearance..

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

There is still a lot to do as the walls need repainting and the feature walls need re-papered and some soft furnishings still need to be sorted, but the majority of the change over is done.

There’s also been a trip to Royal Ascot (which was amazing) for a friends 50th birthday.

That's my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

That’s my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

This was something I always wanted to go and experience and I am glad they invited us to enjoy their special day- things are always enjoyed best depending on the company you go with. This was a fabulous day that I will not forget for a very long time…………….did I mention how close I got to the Queen????

There you go - just in case you didn't believe me!

There you go – just in case you didn’t believe me!

Recent weeks have been tough health wise for me, I felt I was having no relief from my Fibromyalgia pain at all. It was making me more exhausted than normal and was just never ending. I finally managed to get a GP appointment and she is very understanding and finally changed my medication to a slow release morphine ( the strongest thing I have been on ever). However, the detox from the years of Tramadol onto slow release MST was just horrific for about 5-6 days in total. I have never felt so rough in my life, hardly able to hold myself up yet unable to sleep  ( I was literally awake all night on the 1st evening watching films!), there was lots of nausea and dizziness and a bloody awful crushing headache that lasted days. A week or so on from there and things have settled and things are on the up and I am slowly but surely getting back to what would be relative normality for me.

Then last night was a huge milestone when my 18yr old went on his 6th year school leaver’s Prom, having officially left school and now just waiting exam results ( do not mention Edexel A level Maths………….there may well be a meltdown here!) and hopefully for him ( definitely not me) off to uni.

Here he looking handsome and dapper being  forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

Here he looking handsome and dapper being forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

So there you have it! There have obviously been lots of normal life thrown in too, ( nothing is ever straightforward or stress free with older teens in the house) but for now I will leave it there.

I look forward to catching up on all the blogging goings on now that I have a little blog mojo back!

My Sk:n Treatment- a Glycolic Peel

I had the pleasure of attending the Dartford branch opening of the Sk:n clinic a while back which you can read about here

A week or so afterwards I had the opportunity to try one of their treatments that they offered called a Glycolic Peel. This isn’t a normal ‘fluffy style’ facial that you could get elsewhere, this is a treatment. It is the one most suitable for sensitive skin before heading down the microdermabrasion route. The treatment itself lasts about 25 minutes in total and overall is a very pleasurable experience. If you wear make up there they will remove it but leave any eye make up alone. There is several stages to it and you will probably feel a tingling or a bit of ‘heat’ when they apply the actual product that is used.

Ok not an attractive shot but this is me having the treatment and you can see the darkness around my eyes in this picture

Ok not an attractive shot but this is me having the treatment and you can see the darkness around my eyes in this picture

Afterwards they use a coolant that instantly takes any of the tingling away and then your face is fully moisturised and covered in SPF sunscreen which I didn’t really think about before but obviously if they are deep cleansing your skin and using products for the peel itself then it does make sense to protect your skin when you go outside in the sun.

Now I really suffer with large dark circles under my eyes due to my sleep problems associated with my ME/CFS. It doesn’t matter how much I try and keep hydrated and I really do try they are always there, and if I am having a really bad day there will be bags under there too…………..I know I have ALL the luck!

It was actually my teenage sons that remarked a day or two after that I didn’t have the dark circles under my eyes which I myself hadn’t taken much notice of but I was pleased that someone else did think it made a difference. My skin itself felt soft and fully moisturised for a few days after and I was surprised and very pleased that I didn’t break out in any spots ( which I would be prone to with a normal facial).

Top is me normally and generally looks as though under my eyes are bruised- especially on a bad day. Bottom is me 1 or 2 days after my peel and you can see that without any make up most of the darkness under my eyes has disappeared

Top is me normally and generally looks as though under my eyes are bruised- especially on a bad day.
Bottom is me 1 or 2 days after my peel and you can see that without any make up most of the darkness under my eyes has disappeared apart from the left side which is always the worst!

Now because this is a ‘treatment’ rather than just a facial it is reflected in the price with this Glycolic Peel coming in at £80. I know myself, with only one wage coming into the house and two teenage boys to feed and clothe etc then I think I would probably not be able to justify the money to have this as a regular occurrence. However, with that said, as a treat I do think this is worth the money as I was certainly pleased with the results and to have others notice the dark circles were gone is definitely worth it!

So if you are in a position to pay out this sort of money I would certainly recommend this treatment over a normal facial- as it was great not to break out in spots afterwards. I would certainly think about having one of these if I had a ‘big’ occasion to go to, such as a family wedding or party etc. They also do Gift Vouchers so if you wanted to treat someone for say a birthday or ask others for vouchers to treat yourself that option is available. With the festive season coming up and Christmas knocking on our door this would be a lovely present.

** DISCLOSURE- this treatment was offered free to everyone who attended the opening of the clinic, I have decided to review it to show exactly what to expect from the treatment- all views are my own.

sk:n – launches in Dartford

Last week I was invited to the opening launch of the Dartford branch of sk:n which happens to be inside the David Lloyd health and fitness club.

Now I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel slightly intimidated by these sorts of places  (anything beauty related really) as I expect everyone in there to be young, beautiful with perfect make up and hair and therefore, I feel uncomfortable walking in with my walking stick for a start, my wild curly hair that has a mind of it’s own and the minimum of make up applied ( sound familiar anyone?) I have come to the conclusion I would make a rubbish footballer’s wife!

This couldn’t have been more different. Yes, I know it was a launch and so people will be welcoming, however there were all sorts of age groups and types of women there to see what was on offer, which instantly made me feel more at ease.

We all had the chance to have a ‘skin scan‘ in a very odd looking contraption that shows up every blemish and trouble area of your facial skin. I can tell you now it’s not for the faint hearted as you think you are looking OK that day, then you pop your head into the scanner for a lovely young assistant to tell you that the scary face looking back at you in the mirror is actually a normal representation of what our skin looks like under the light. For me I had huge dark circles under my eyes ( that to be honest I thought I had done a great job of covering with concealer beforehand) which indicated dehydration- something I suffer badly with due to my ME/CFS however much I try to keep hydrated. This just shows that even when you think you are drinking enough fluids you probably need to drink more. I was glad to be told that I had some bright spots on my cheeks and forehead that were in good condition too so it wasn’t all bad news. Having never done anything like that before I was actually quite surprised at how informative it was.

Told you it was a weird looking thing!

Told you it was a weird looking thing!

Next we had the option of watching a lady  have her Botox treatment. I personally have only seen bad press about Botox so I was definitely going in to watch this demonstration. I was pleasantly surprised at firstly, how quick this treatment was ( our volunteer was having it applied to the side of her face around her eyes to combat her so called crows feet) and secondly how small the needle actually was!

Having watched the procedure it was more clear that the tiny needle was going in at such an angle it was literally going just under the skin, our volunteer assured us all that it wasn’t painfull at all although this wasn’t her first experience. The practitioner made 4-5 insertions on each side and told us that you would be able to see a difference within a few days but by 2 weeks it should have fully taken effect and they offer a free filler session if it wasn’t enough, which I though was more reassuring than just having it all put in and maybe go overboard unnecessarily.

botox_shots[1]

Next was a demonstration of the Glycolic Peel treatment that they had offered free to everyone that attended the evening, so not having had many facials I was interested to see what I could expect  when I came back for mine. We were talked through the whole thing showing us what exactly what would be done, the application and how long it would take ( just 20-30 minutes) and seeing that it looked quite a relaxing experienced I booked my free treatment before leaving and I am looking forward to that next week.

glycolic_peel_treatment[1]

This isn’t a ‘fluffy facial’ kind of place but rather somewhere that offers treatments for conditions that include, skin peels, microdermabrasions, acne issues, thread veins, skin tag removal, liver spots and even tattoo removal to name but a few. So as you can imagine these treatments do not come cheaply however, on looking through the products on sale  on site and the treatment prices they seem competitive with this market. Most of these have a single treatment or a test treatment price starting at £50 with savings of up to 20% on a 3 treatment course for some things. The products themselves are very competitively priced which I was quite surprised at with vitamin rich cleansers priced at under £17 and Aloe Vera gels at £12 and cold cream lip balms at just £5, although obviously there are more products in the higher price range depending on your needs.

skin_launch_dartford[1]

All in all I was so pleased I attended as I think it did help to change my overall perception of how I expected these sort of clinics to be like. The staff were friendly but also very informative and I learned quite a lot about how things can affect your skin but also that there are treatments that can help, I was especially interested in the acne treatment for my teenage sun who seems to suffer quite badly now he has started shaving too. I was also treated to a goody bag with some products to try at home so I will let you know how I get on with them too.

So I will keep you updated with how my glycolic peel goes next week- watch this space……….

 

It’s been ages!

I haven’t been around much as I made the decision to invest some money and get some super tech person to upgrade and overhaul my tired little blog.

I had no idea what I was after to be honest but I wanted a more professional, clean cut look rather than something I had thrown together myself. It was time to get someone on the case who actually knew what they were doing! This is where Geek Fairy comes in. She was absolutely fab, gave me links to look at colour schemes and sorted out the header etc. As we emailed back and forth the idea evolved where I wanted muted, almost vintage style colours. Then when I saw it I had the idea of the knitted stitches which fitted in with my craft side of things as well.

She was incredibly helpful, changed anything I wanted as we went along, was prompt and unbelievably easy to work with and to top it all off I was able to pay in 2 instalments- so that really helped me out.

Over all I am really chuffed with it. I think it is easy on the eye, not too busy, simple and clear. It also pushed me into joining instagram which for some reason I have been putting off for ages ( not sure why!) and wanted everything put on there while she was in charge.

So what do you think?
I know it wont be everyone’s cup of tea but it really does suit me, and lets face it we cant all be the same otherwise the world would be a very boring place.