Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday Snippets - 16th October 2016

It has been a pretty crazy week this week, and I’m exhausted. If anyone fancies taking me on a relaxing holiday somewhere, that would be awesome right now! I’m getting a little bit stressed out as my Uni work starts to pile up, alongside all the other life stuff I need to do. I’m struggling to see how I’m going to fit everything in (whilst making sure my health doesn’t get any worse) but I’m trying to prioritise what needs to be done and not beat myself up if I have to leave some things until later.

I finally got to have a proper lie-in last Sunday morning. It felt like I hadn’t had one in ages, and it was so good (and so needed!) After I’d got up and dressed, my Mum and I popped down to Waitrose so I could get some money out for the week ahead. I also wanted to get some mini pumpkins for blog photos, but they only had a couple and they weren’t very nice, so I’ll have to keep looking. When I got home I spent some time writing and uploading a blog post (and watching a few episodes of The Simpsons). I spent the rest of the afternoon watching Family Guy and doing some Uni work. In the evening we all went out as a family for my birthday dinner at Bill’s, which was lovely. I had a really yummy cocktail called Hedgerow Fizz and a Marks and Spencer Connie the Caterpillar cake. I’ve made the same wish when I blow out my candles for more years than I can remember. Maybe one day it might just come true.

I didn’t feel too well when I woke up on Monday morning and to be honest all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But instead, my Dad drove me over to Uni. We spent the morning talking through the portfolio we need to submit before Christmas, which I’m stressing out about a bit at the moment. At lunchtime I went to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte with my friends Ife and Shanae, which was nice. In the afternoon we looked through a few different narrative journalism articles to help us with ideas for what we can write for our portfolio. I’ve got loads of ideas buzzing round my head, but am struggling to work out which ones are any good. Thankfully we finished a bit early, so I was able to come home and get some rest. This box had arrived in the post from Japan Candy Box, which I won in a competition on a blog a while ago.

Monday was World Mental Health Day and it’s something everyone needs to be talking about. One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. If it isn’t you, then it will be someone you know and love. Which is why it is so important to talk about mental illness openly and honestly. And it’s also why mental illness needs to be treated with the same importance as physical illness. It’s not something to hide away or be embarrassed about. I have struggled with my mental health since I was a teenager – depression, an eating disorder, anxiety and Cyclothymia. I’ve been hospitalised, sectioned, medicated. I’ve had years of different therapies. I’ve tried to take my life on numerous occasions. And things are still really hard. But I’m here and I’m fighting. The theme for this year is psychological first aid and the support you can provide to someone in distress. Getting support early is really vital, but because there is so little funding, it rarely happens. But you don’t need to be a professional to help someone with a mental illness. Simply being there to talk to them and asking how they are can help. We need to keep talking and keep campaigning for better support. If you’re struggling and need help, you can check out some of these amazing charities: The Samaritans, Mind, The Blurt Foundation and Time to Change.

I was up early on Tuesday morning so my Dad could take me over to Uni. I didn’t feel that great – I seem to be very headachey and wiped out at the moment. In the morning we got into groups and were given a story to work on. We had to go and get some audio interviews to back up the story, and then start editing it into a package. At lunchtime my friend Nina and I went to Starbucks for our long overdue catch-up. I tried a couple of new things – their Hibiscus tea and a Mallow and Marsh raspberry marshmallow bar, both of which were really yummy. I’m a big marshmallow fan, so was excited to discover these! In the afternoon we had to put together a radio bulletin using current news stories, and then record it in the radio studio, which was good fun. My Dad picked me up and brought me home, where I crashed out on the sofa for most of the evening.

I had another session with my counsellor on Wednesday morning. It was good to talk through some things and get things off my chest. When I got home I phoned the hospital to try and sort out my POTS appointment, but unfortunately the specialist has had his registrar taken away, which means they’ve had to postpone half of his appointments, as it’s only him now. It’s very frustrating that services for people with rarer severe chronic illnesses are continually being cut and receive so little funding. I then had a session of reflexology, which was lovely and relaxing. I fell asleep after my therapist had left and woke up an hour later – oops! In the afternoon I watched the last episode of Shetland with my Dad and did some Uni work. We also took Jaffa to the vets for his annual booster jabs. She checked him over and said that he’s all good and healthy, which is good. When I got home I had one of these Pukka teas, as I was feeling kind of fluey, so thought the honey and lemon might be soothing.

On Thursday morning I had my Recovery College course called Managing Intense Emotions. It was a pretty difficult topic this week (self harm) so I came out feeling pretty drained. I drove my Dad and I home and rested for a little while. My Mum and I went to see my friend Katy. I did some admin on my laptop while my Mum had her nails done, then I had my eyebrows done followed by a very relaxing facial. We popped into Waitrose on our way home so I could pick up a couple of essentials. Half an hour later, my Mum took me down to the doctors for my appointment with my GP. She spent quite a long time with me, as we had a lot of stuff to sort out. I’ve got to have more blood tests, speak to my gastro professor about this reflux (as she thinks it’s more likely to be related to my gastroparesis), be referred for physio on my jaw and make a couple of phone calls to chase up tests and operations. After a pretty crazy day I really wanted to try and have a relaxing evening. So I had a Lush Snow Fairy bath, put on my Topshop teddy bear robe, read a bit more of my book and used my Febreze sleep spray to send me off to the land of nod.

I managed to oversleep a bit on Friday morning, but somehow got to Uni early (how does that even work?!) We had a lecture about media ownership, but I had to go out for a bit halfway through to go over my evacuation plan. My Dad picked me up at lunchtime and brought me home, where I relaxed a bit for half an hour. He then took me to our local hospital for my appointment with a hip surgeon. He was actually running early, which is pretty rare! After examining me we looked at my x-ray, which shows the ball and socket joints are OK in that there’s no arthritis or dysplasia. He’s referring me for an MRI to check for other problems, so I had to have some bloods done, as they may want to inject me with dye. He was really nice, very knowledgeable and also very honest. He said if something shows in the scan that he can ‘fix’ with surgery, he’ll talk me through the pros and cons and help me all he can. But if nothing shows on the scan, then we will have to accept that it’s ‘just’ my EDS and that I’ll have to learn to manage the problems. I do appreciate doctors being honest when they can’t help (as opposed to not knowing when to stop/fumbling in the dark) but it doesn’t make it any less upsetting being told they may not be able to help you. He did jokingly (I think!) advise me to go and wear my hips out as quickly as possible, as then he could justify giving me hip replacements, which could vastly improve my symptoms. When we got home I had a phone call from the Doctors and had to pop down to collect something from them. I then came home and tried to rest for a while. Alfie does this a lot with his teddy and I think it looks so cute. He loves that teddy so much, which is a bit worrying as it is becoming rather threadbare!

I slept until really late on Saturday morning, which frustrated me because I’ve got so much to do, but I’m absolutely exhausted at the moment. Once I’d got myself up, dressed and feeling a little more awake, I stuck some episodes of Family Guy on, edited a load of photos and wrote a blog post. It took me a lot longer than I expected (probably because I kept getting distracted or nodding off!) I then spent a while opening the pile of post that had been building up over the last couple of weeks, which included the Japan Candy Box that I won. It was jam-packed full of so many colourful packets! I spent the rest of the afternoon curled up on the sofa doing Uni work. I was feeling quite unwell to be honest and have had a continuous headache for a week.

I also opened this month’s Birchbox, which is really pretty and apparently glows in the dark! The contents aren’t my favourite selection, and I think a couple of them are more suited to summer products, but I’ll certainly give them a try.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

If you don't already, please give me a follow on Bloglovin here - I would love to reach 800 followers, and do have a little giveaway planned for when I get there! 

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lush Autumn and Halloween Products

I’ve been a big fan of Lush for more years than I can remember, and although I love all their products, my absolute favourites are their autumn and winter range. Recently, I organised a South East Bloggers Circle event with Lush Basingstoke, and the lovely ladies in the store talked us through their new products.

There are so many awesome items this season, so I’ve decided to split them into two separate blog posts. In this post I will introduce you to some of the general autumn and Halloween range, then I’ll pop another post up soon, which will contain their Christmas collection. 

I must admit I’m not big on Halloween. It’s not something I’ve ever celebrated growing up and I’ve always been a bit confused about where I should stand as a Christian. However, I have started to enjoy carving cute pictures on pumpkins, finding fun little decorations and candles, and just celebrating autumn in general. Lush have some adorable products this year to help ease us into the autumn months and I found it very difficult to not buy one of everything!

The first item that caught my eye as we entered the store was this cute little ghost. Boo is a bath melt, containing calming mimosa, grounding sandalwood, vivid Sicilian mandarin oil and earthy, warming ginger. You simply pop him under warm running water and the Fair Trade, organic cocoa butter will melt away, leaving your skin softer. I absolutely adore bath melts, as they leave my skin feeling so nourished and silky smooth. He retails at £3.50.

Next to Boo was the Green Bubbleroon, which isn’t actually an autumn product but I thought the colour was rather ghoulish! This is a moisturising, citrus-scented bubble bar with bergamot to brighten your mood, fresh avocado to reinvigorate and shea butter to make your skin feel like velvet. Bubbleroons aren’t quite as bubbly as other bars, but do contain extra-softening ingredients to hydrate your skin. They retail at £3.95.

Next up, and probably one of my favourite autumn products, is the Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar. It contains juniperberry oil, which is balancing for your hair and skin, lime oil to uplift and protect you, and grapefruit oil, which is uplifting and refreshing. As well as these gorgeous scents, you’ve also got lots of gold glitter, to really make your bath a special experience. The Sparkly Pumpkin retails at £3.95.

The Lord of Misrule bath bomb is a cult Lush autumn product, but one I’ve never actually got round to trying before. It features a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil, which is both warming and clarifying. The bath bomb is inspired by the ruler of the pagan Feast of Fools, with a deep green exterior that slowly froths away to reveal a rich, wine-coloured centre. You will also get a popping surprise as it bubbles away! Lord of Misrule retails at £3.95.

A great product to complement this bath bomb is the Lord of Misrule Shower Cream. Like the bath bomb, you get a herbal blend of patchouli, peppercorn and black pepper with an intriguing vanilla sweetness. Organic wheatgerm oil provides a rich and creamy feel on the body, to make sure you are party ready over the festive season. This comes in a range of sizes from £4.95 for 100g to £27.95 for a massive 1kg!

Another product that isn’t technically an autumn product (but that looks very festive!) is Sunnyside Bubble Bar. You can bathe in a bath of liquid gold with this mood-enhancing bar of indulgence. With a blend of sweet wild orange, lemon and tangerine oils to perk you up and tone your skin, you will feel bright a cheerful after taking a dip with Sunnyside. It retails for £4.95.

There were a few more products that I didn’t manage to get a photo of, but I was desperate to show you them, so I’ve used the photos from the Lush website in the collage above. Fireside Soap is a really beautiful addition, with an orange and yellow flame flickering through the centre of the soap. It carries a spice of clove bud with the sweetness of vanilla. Monsters Ball bath bomb is the cutest little monster I’ve seen! It reminds me of a character from Monsters Inc. and contains a mash-up of uplifting lime and neroli oils to get you feeling ready to do the monster-mash all night long. You can’t have Halloween without Pumpkin and this sweet and comforting bath bomb contains vanilla absolute and spicy cinnamon, evoking the rich, biscuit fragrance of home baking. If you’re looking for something a little different, then look no further than Goth Fairy the shimmer bar. She contains a mixture of iridescent lustres – gold, green, purple and silver, which adorn your skin in shimmer from the first stroke. Illipe and cupuaçu butters will gently melt, softening your skin and leaving a gorgeous fruity scent of almond, grapefruit and bergamot. Another of my favourite products (which I haven’t even seen in person, so it must be good!) is the Autumn Leaf bath bomb, with beautiful autumn colours that dapple your bath red and yellow. With a scent of fresh grass evoking memories of crisp leaves, you will really feel like you are being transported into an autumn country walk. If it's gifts you're after, the Pumpkin Gift contains a few Lush products including Sparkly Pumpkin and Boo. But if you’d prefer to put together your own gift, why not ‘wrap’ them in one of these spooky knot wraps? The wrap can be used afterwards as a scarf or accessory too!

My favourite Halloween gift is this adorable Little Monster. How cute is he?! It contains two ghoulish goodies, which will get you ready to monster mash the night away! With some Lord of Misrule Shower Cream and a Monsters Ball bath bomb, you will definitely feel ready and raring to go when Halloween hits us. This gift will cost you £10.95, so perfect for treating a friend or picking up for yourself!

The final product I found in their Halloween range is the Magic Wand Soap. It actually comes as a huge magic wand in the store, and the staff will then cut off a piece in a size that suits you. The orange heart of the soap contains tangerine and orange oil to uplift and tone your skin. And the absorbent charcoal and extra virgin coconut oil mingle, ensuring that one light lather will magic your skin squeaky clean. Plus all traces of palm oil have magically disappeared, which is great news! For 100g you will pay £3.50.

I’m really impressed with this year’s Halloween collection, and am so excited to share their Christmas products with you soon! I have also filmed a vlog of the event, so keep an eye on my YouTube channel for when that goes up. I hope this has helped to give you a quick introduction to the range. I’d love to hear which products you’ve picked up from Lush recently.

Are you a fan of the Lush autumn and Christmas range? Which is your favourite Halloween product?

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday Snippets - 9th October 2016

This week has been quite difficult – harder than it should have been. Birthdays can be hard work, especially when you’re chronically ill, and they always seem to come tinged with sadness. But I’ve tried my best to make the most of it being my special day, and have decided to spread the celebrations out over the whole month! I think I just need to keep reminding myself of the things I have achieved so far, and try not to obsess over the things I haven’t. In other news, our heating is finally fixed! So thankfully we’re no longer shivering round the log burner trying to stay warm.

I actually managed to get myself up at a fairly reasonable time last Sunday morning, which was good as I had a list of things that needed doing. I spent the morning watching back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons and writing a blog post. I then edited some photos for another blog post. After resting on the sofa for a little while, I popped Family Guy on and did a bit of Uni work. Late afternoon, my Mum and I drove over to Festival Place in Basingstoke for a South East Bloggers Circle event with Lush that I’d organised. We stopped off at Costa first to refuel, then made our way over to Lush. The girls in the store were fantastic and talked us through most of the Halloween, autumn and Christmas ranges. They have so many cool products this year, which I will be blogging about very soon!

How cute is the new LuLu Guinness tin for Vaseline! I’ve never had such a stylish tin for my lip balm! Keep your eyes peeled, as it will be available in stores very soon.

I was up early on Monday morning and drove my Dad and I over to Uni. I’m finding the drive quite stressful at the moment. I just hope if I keep doing it then it might get a bit easier. Uni was fairly long and boring unfortunately. In the morning we were talking about writing introductions. I popped to Starbucks in our break and treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latté (decaf this time!) After lunch we had a guest speaker in, but I found it really hard to concentrate for the whole afternoon. I was shattered by the time my Dad picked me up and brought me home, so I had a bit of a nap on the sofa. In the evening, my friends Helen and Sam came over and gave me this lovely birthday present. We had a good catch-up, which really cheered me up after a hard day.

Tuesday was my 28th birthday! I had pretty mixed feelings about it to be honest. The child in me was excited and happy about it, but I also felt really sad. Birthdays have been difficult ever since my health went downhill. Each year is a reminder of another year of being unwell and my life not turning out as I’d hoped. At this age, I dreamed I’d be in a relationship, have my own house and a decent career, and sometimes it feels like these things will never happen. I was at Uni all day, which made celebrating quite difficult. My Uni friends surprised me with a card when I arrived, which was nice. We all went to Bill’s for lunch, which was lovely but unfortunately a bit of a rush. I was shattered when my Dad brought me home, so I had a sleep on the sofa. My Dad was out all evening, but Richard, Lisa, David and Emma all came round, which really cheered me up. We did my birthday cake and I opened a couple of lovely presents. My Mum gave me a beautiful ring, which belonged to my late Gran. I remember sitting with her as a child, listening to her tell me stories about all of the rings she wore. This one belonged to my great Grandmother’s sister, who had the same birthday as me. My Gran would always tell me the ring would be mine when she passed away, so it’s very precious.

I had a counselling session first thing on Wednesday morning, which was useful but hard work with feeling so exhausted. My Mum brought me home and all I felt like doing was going to sleep. But instead, I decided to try and be productive. I spent the rest of the morning writing and uploading a blog post, then editing and uploading a YouTube video. I had a bit of a rest on the sofa and watched some Family Guy. During the afternoon I managed to get quite a bit of Uni work done, so rewarded myself with another episode of Shetland. In the evening I thought I’d practise a bit of self-care and pamper myself. I was feeling really down and was struggling to find the motivation to keep going, which always feels scary.

I was able to have a little bit of a lie-in on Thursday morning because I didn’t need to worry about having any breakfast. My Dad drove me over to the hospital and took me up to the Endoscopy department. The nurse did my admission papers and told me I was last on the morning list, so I spent a couple of hours sitting in the waiting area reading my book. At around lunch time the doctor took me through to the room and I was sedated before they did my gastroscopy. After coming round in recovery, they explained that they hadn’t found a cause for my worsening acid pain and reflux, which I was a bit disappointed about if I’m honest. I’m on the highest dose possible of two reflux medications and it’s still getting worse, so I’ll need to talk to my professor about it. Once I felt well enough, my Mum picked me up and brought me home. I spent the rest of the afternoon resting on the sofa watching a bit of rubbish TV. I also opened my Crown and Glory Glitterati box, which included my birthday crown, which made me smile. But I was feeling so low again and kept crying. I think it’s partly because of the last two weeks being very stressful with my health and also turning 28, but also just life in general and feeling scared about the future.

I really should have spent Friday resting after my procedure on Thursday. But that would be too sensible! So I went into Uni for the day. If I hadn’t missed last Friday’s lecture and wasn’t missing bits over the next few weeks then I would have stayed at home, but I was too worried about missing even more. It was a real struggle to get through the day, and by the time my Dad picked me up I was pretty much falling apart. When I got home I fell asleep on the sofa for a while, then spent the evening just resting. These new copper fairy lights arrived in the post from Amazon and I love them. I’m just hoping they’re long enough to put on my bed; otherwise I might have to get another set.

Saturday morning I had to go for my flu jab with my Mum. The Doctors was absolutely manic, with people queuing out of the door, but thankfully they were getting through appointments pretty quickly. When we got home I fell asleep on the sofa until my Dad got back. Then he drove my Mum and I down to The New Forest for a little birthday trip. We went to The Drift Inn in Beaulieu for some lunch, which was lovely. When we came out there were a few ponies outside, including a gorgeous little foal. We then took a leisurely drive back home through lots of beautiful countryside and towns, including Lyndhurst and Romsey, and saw lots more ponies, donkeys and cows. After a bit of a rest when we got home, I opened a few of my cards and presents. I’m spreading them out because I get quite tired, but also overwhelmed by people’s kindness, so I find I can appreciate it more if I do a few at a time, as I can really take in what each person has chosen for me. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but I hope it does!

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Crown and Glory September Glitterati Box

Another month has gone by, which means it’s time for another Crown and Glory Glitterati unboxing! For anyone that hasn’t heard of Crown and Glory, they sell a massive range of beautiful hair accessories covered in glitter, flowers, feathers and more! They also do their very own monthly subscription box – The Glitterati, which I’ve been subscribed to for quite a while now. Each month the box has a different theme. They’re incredibly creative and fun, and in all the time I’ve been subscribed, there has never been the same theme twice.

It’s always exciting when my box arrives, to try and guess what the theme might be. Sometimes you’ll find a teaser on Instagram, but this month I hadn’t seen any spoilers. On opening my box, I discovered a 90’s theme, which certainly brought back some childhood memories!

Underneath the vivid blue tissue paper were a range of funky accessories, perfectly fitting with the retro theme. As always, the first thing I came across was a printed quote with various details on the other side. For some reason, this month the pieces in the box weren’t listed on the print, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you how much they cost (but I will have a look and see if any of them are available yet, so I can link you to them.)

Underneath the quote card was this black velvet hairband, personalised with a pearlescent inscription of my name! This definitely takes me back to my school days, when personalised hairbands like this were all the rage. I don’t think I ever actually had one as a child, so perhaps this will make up for it! This particular hairband isn’t available on the website, but you can get a gorgeous velvet bow hairband here.

Next up was this adjustable tartan band with gold chain detailing. I’m a big fan of tartan, especially at this time of year. I think it looks really cute as the days start getting colder, and the gold detailing gives it a bit of a twist. Again, this piece isn’t available on the website, but they do have a cute star print wired headscarf which is a similar idea.

You can’t think of the 90’s without remembering the choker trend. I vividly recall my friends and I sporting all sorts of choker designs, and more recently the trend seems to have become popular again. This black velvet choker really fits in with the theme of the box, whilst still being current enough to wear today.

These holographic flower clips are absolutely beautiful, with their silver, gold and white details. The holographic part is a nod to the 90’s, whilst still keeping them relevant and fun. And you can’t possibly receive a Glitterati box without a bit of glitter! These particular clips aren’t on the website yet, but they have so many other glitter-filled clips for you to try out.

As I mentioned last month, Crown and Glory have now added a hair flair to their Glitterai boxes, with each month being designed by a different designer. This month’s piece was this rather ‘fetch’ blue heart, with the quote “Ugh as if” embroidered on it. Very 90’s, and makes me think of the film Clueless a bit!

Last but not least, you couldn’t possibly have a 90’s themed box of hair accessories without some butterfly clips. Do you remember how popular these used to be?! I would often go to school with plaits in my hair, decorated with multi-coloured mini butterflies!

I’m really happy with this box (as always!) and love being part of such a lovely, supportive community. I’ve met some lovely girls through our Glitterati Facebook group, and Crown and Glory has now become a way of life, not just a monthly subscription box.

Are you a Glitterati member, or have I tempted you to join?! Can you recommend any other subscription boxes?

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sunday Snippets - 2nd October 2016

In some ways, this week has been much quieter. I haven’t been able to go into Uni much, and have been forced to rest after a hospital stay. Yet again, it’s made me realise how terrible I am at resting and doing nothing! It has also definitely become autumn, almost overnight. One day it was lovely and warm and sunny; then the next it was absolutely freezing and pouring with rain. It doesn’t help that our heating has broken (and my electric blanket broke at the same time!) so I’ve been struggling to get warm. Fingers crossed we can get it fixed early next week.

David and Emma picked me up last Sunday morning, and we drove over to Kingston. Emma and I had an appointment at the Lush Spa there, so David dropped us off in the centre of town. Unfortunately, my therapist had called in sick, so I wasn’t able to have the treatment I’d booked. I was quite disappointed, as I’d been really looking forward to it, but they offered me a treatment called The Spell, so I thought I’d give it a go. While they got our rooms ready, we were both treated to a hand and arm massage. Our treatments were then explained before we were taken to our treatment rooms. ‘The Spell’ concentrates on the feet and head, and was unbelievably relaxing! I even fell asleep at one point! At the end, I was given a cup of hot water with lemon, mint and lemongrass to help cleanse my digestive system. I came out feeling like I was floating on air, and found Emma feeling very similar (she had The Comforter, which I’d really like to try out!) I was also given a Random Act of Kindness of a couple of their new products, to apologise for not doing my original treatment. For lunch, we found an amazing little gluten-free café called Glutopia where absolutely everything was gluten-free. A complete bonus when you’re on a restricted diet, and it made a change actually having so much choice! While we waited for David to pick us up, we looked round Cath Kidston and John Lewis who had some awesome Halloween and Christmas stuff in. When we got home I popped over the road to see my best friend, Sarah, and finally got to meet baby Charlie, who is absolutely gorgeous.

These are a few photos I took at the Lush Spa. I was so impressed by the creativity of the space and the treatments (I wouldn’t expect any less from Lush!) and I’m absolutely desperate to go back and try more treatments. Unfortunately, the spa at Kingston is closing soon, so if I want to try out more spa treatments I’ll probably need to go to London in future. But it will definitely be worth it. I’m determined to make my way through everything they offer!

I had to be up really early on Monday morning so I could have some breakfast before 7am. I spent the morning packing a small bag for hospital, putting up a blog post that was meant to go up on Sunday and then I fell asleep. My Dad drove me over to the hospital and took me round to the Day Surgery Unit. They settled me in my bed and went through various questions and observations. A bit later, the anaesthetist and doctor came to see me to discuss the procedure. There was a bit of a mix up, as they thought they were doing the injections in my neck, which I had about a month ago. Thankfully they were happy to change my paperwork, as I was a bit worried they would send me home again. I then spent a few hours reading my book from Zoella’s book club, flicking through a magazine and dozing. I was taken down to theatre late afternoon, where I was sedated and given around 14 injections at various places in my back. I woke up in recovery feeling rather sore and groggy, and after I was given time to come round and my observations were stable, I was taken back to the ward. My Dad came to pick me up later in the evening.

Tuesday was hard work unfortunately. I didn’t sleep very well on Monday night because every time I turned over the pain woke me up, so I got up quite late. I managed to have a bit of breakfast, but am really struggling with eating at the moment because I feel so sick and my acid pain is getting worse. Roll on having this gastroscopy to see if we can find out why things have got so much worse. I didn’t manage to get dressed until lunchtime, and then went downstairs and dozed on the sofa until mid-afternoon. My Mum walked me across the road so we could see Sarah and Charlie again before they went home, which was lovely but completely wore me out. I crashed out when I got back home and snuggled with the two doggies, who were looking after me. I’m sure they know when I’m more unwell/in more pain, as they seem to be even more gentle and careful with me. I’m not sure if it’s related to my day surgery, but during the day I kept having these hot flushes where I was dripping wet, and then got all cold and shivery. It’s happened before after operations, so I’m guessing it probably is related.

I had an appointment with my asthma nurse on Wednesday morning, so had to be up early. My breathing has been getting worse again recently, so she increased my dose for my inhaler and gave me a different spacer to try. I’ve got to go back in a month (or earlier if things keep going downhill) to let her know how I’m getting on. My Mum and I popped over to the chemist to get my prescription, and then went home. I had planned to do a few jobs on my laptop, but must have fallen asleep when I sat on the sofa. Next thing I knew, my Mum was waking me up a few hours later, so I obviously needed the sleep. I had a fairly quiet afternoon doing a bit of Uni work and watching another episode of Shetland with my Dad. I was feeling really sick still, so tried to relax a bit with a PG Tips Strawberry Cupcake green tea.

I felt quite wobbly when I got up on Thursday morning, so I just took things slowly. My parents went out, so I decided to try and get a new blog post up during the morning. I did manage to drive my car down the road to pick my sister up from school at lunchtime. It was hard work, but she drove back, which helped me a bit. I spent most of the afternoon curled up on the sofa. I watched the first episode of ‘The A Word’ and wrote my cards for October. I also tried to ring the DWP about claiming for PIP, but after 45 minutes on hold they said there was a high volume of calls and that they’d ring me back on Saturday. These gorgeous flowers in our kitchen brightened my day.

I had hoped to go into Uni all day on Friday, but because I was still feeling quite wobbly after my surgery I actually listened to my body and decided to just try half a day. So I had a bit of a lie-in, took things slowly and spent the morning doing some tidying in my bedroom. My Dad drove me over to Uni around lunchtime and my support worker took me up to the classroom. We spent the first half of our lecture learning about contract law, which was quite intense! For the second half, a lady came in to talk to us about work experience, which just made me feel even more anxious about it if I’m honest. I’m mainly worried about finding something that will be right for my health, and which will be able to accommodate my disabilities. I know I need to just get on with contacting places, but I keep convincing myself no one will want to take me. My Dad brought me home, and just as we got through the door the heavens opened. This beautiful double rainbow appeared, which I’ve heard is meant to be lucky!

Saturday was the first of October, which means only three more days until my birthday! I’ve got very mixed feelings about it to be honest. Part of me is excited to celebrate and do some nice things, but the other part feels sad that I’m another year older and my life hasn’t turned out as I’d hoped. As a young child, I dreamed that by this age I would have a degree, live in my own house, have a partner and perhaps even a family. But my health has put a stop to a lot of that, and sometimes it really does feel that it may never happen. Anyway, back to yesterday. It was absolutely freezing when I got up, and with the heating broken there was no way of warming up! Richard and Lisa popped over in between looking at houses (they’re planning to move), so it was nice to chat to them. My Mum and I decided to go into Camberley to have a look at a couple of shops. The traffic was absolutely awful and it took us ages to make what should have been a very short journey. We went to Primark and I picked up some cosy pyjamas and a couple of tops, but it was really too busy to look round properly. We also had a look at the Zoella Lifestyle range in Superdrug and I made a mental note of a couple of things I would quite like to get. Finally, we popped into Boots and I found the most beautiful highlight from L’Oreal in Icy Glow. We also picked up the Boots Christmas catalogues, which just feels crazy! On our way home we stopped at Marks and Spencer to get my birthday cake, which I’m very excited to share with you soon! By the time we got home I was exhausted, so crashed out on the sofa with Freddie. I popped some episodes of The Simpsons on and did a bit of Uni work.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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