Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday Snippets - 28th February 2016

It’s crazy that we’re at the end of February already – I feel like a broken record writing this, but where has the time gone?! Both of my brothers are getting married this summer, and all of a sudden it really feels like the dates are creeping up on us, which is both exciting and scary! I’m busy planning one of the Hen Do’s and having fun thinking of activities we can all do together. It’s also only a few weeks until I break up from Uni for Easter, which is just crazy. We don’t have any scheduled lectures after our break, and the majority of our work has to be handed in before we break up, so I will have basically finished my first year in less than a month. How did that happen?!

Last Sunday I had a really quiet day because I wasn’t feeling particularly well. I spent the morning doing some blogging, which I always enjoy but I’m getting quite frustrated at the moment. I’ve got so many ideas of posts I would like to do (and videos I want to upload to my YouTube channel) but I just can’t find the time and energy to do them. I kind of feel like my blog has hit a bit of a wall at the moment, and I really want to make it better, so I think I’m going to have to sit down with my planner and really try and plan my time a bit better. I obviously can’t plan how my health will be, but I’m hoping if I try and plan my time a bit better then it might help. After a bit of rest, I snuggled on the sofa to write some letters and caught up with Death in Paradise. I bought these tulips for my bedroom earlier in the week, and they started to open up on Sunday. How beautiful are they!

Monday started with a trip to the Doctors for a blood test. It took them two attempts to get any blood, which is fairly good for me as my veins are an absolute nightmare! But it left the biggest bruise I think I’ve ever had! I came home and spent the morning doing some work on my Uni essay, although I think I fell asleep for a while – oops! After lunch my bereavement counsellor came to see me and we had a good chat about my Gran and how I’m doing. It’s really nice to have a space where I can talk about her, so I’m very grateful that the hospice offered my Mum and I this support. I then watched an episode of Silent Witness (such an awesome series!!) and wrote some penpal letters. Alfie was in a very cute mood, and after playing with his toys for a while he snuggled up next to this ball.

My Tuesday was mainly taken up with Uni related work. In the morning a lady came to do my last session of training for my DSA equipment, so technically I should now be a whizz on the software I’ve been given! I had planned to spend the afternoon working on my essay, but I felt so rubbish I just kept falling asleep. I managed to get a bit of planning done and watched another episode of Silent Witness. This pretty pink Leuchtturm notebook arrived in the post – I’ve decided to give bullet journaling a go, as I think it might help me to keep on top of my to-do lists. I’ll let you know how I get on, and if it works for me I’ll try and do a blog post about it. Unfortunately, my evening wasn’t great, and I ended up crying myself to sleep.

On Wednesday I had a relatively quiet day, which is always nice. I had a quiet morning, as I was feeling pretty rough after a bad night. But I decided to spend some time doing my make-up, which always makes me feel a bit better. My Dad then took me over to Uni for a course meeting (I’m a course rep), which didn’t last as long as we expected it would. So we decided to pop into the Disability Equipment shop on the way home to get some ideas about the electric wheelchairs they have available. Unfortunately I’m not eligible for one on the NHS, which means I need to work out what make and model will suit my needs. They recommended a chair that they thought would be good for me, but didn’t have it in stock so will phone me when one comes in. I’m excited to get one and gain a bit more independence, but I’m really not looking forward to having to spend well over £1000 to get one! I was going to do some Uni work when I got home, but ended up falling asleep again, and felt really rough when I woke up. So I watched yet another episode of Silent Witness and wrote some letters, but Freddie decided he wanted to sit on my knee, which made it rather interesting! I then spent the evening watching The Brit Awards.

Thursday I had Uni all day, so by the time I got home I was wiped out. I spent the morning reading magazines and scrolling through the Vogue website, as I needed to do some research on Spring/Summer 2016 fashion trends. My friend and I are doing a fashion spread for a newspaper we’re working on, and are putting together some high street looks, which is quite exciting. I went to Starbucks at lunchtime with a couple of friends, which was really nice. Then, in the afternoon, we did some more work with InDesign. When I got home I crashed out on the sofa with a cup of Bluebird Tea and some popcorn. I’m finding it very difficult to cope with my mental health problems at the moment, especially in the evenings. I’m getting quite stressed out about getting all my Uni work finished on time because I’m really struggling to concentrate while I’m feeling so unwell. It’s really frustrating, much like with my blog/YouTube – I know exactly what I want to get done, have to-do lists with dates of when everything’s due, but my body just seems to have other ideas.

Friday ended up being quite a quiet day. I had a fairly boring morning not really doing anything, and then my Dad drove me over to Uni. I met up with my mentor, which was helpful as she helped me get my head around what work I need to get done. I then headed to my lecture room, but the lecturer wasn’t there. We’d been told there would be a guest speaker, but assumed the lecturer would also be there, so we were already a bit confused. The guest speaker turned up and asked who we were, so we told him we were journalism students, to which he looked rather puzzled. He told us he wasn’t expecting us there and that he had been told he was giving a lecture to students on a different course. He said we were welcome to sit and listen if we wanted to, but that his whole lecture was based on an exhibition the other course had been to earlier in the week, so wouldn’t mean much to us. In the end I decided it would be better to use my energy working on my essay, so I headed over to the library and rang my Dad, who had to drive all the way back again to pick me up. I watched Death in Paradise when I got home, then spent a couple of hours working on my essay. I also received a bright pink parcel in the post, and had no idea what it could be. So I was excited when I opened it and found this new POREfessional product from the lovely ladies at Benefit. I’m excited to give it a try and get a post up for you all to read more about it.

Yesterday I woke up with another awful headache – they’re becoming an all too regular occurrence at the moment. However, I really needed to pop into town to do a bit of shopping for this fashion spread in the newspaper, and my Mum had very kindly offered to take me. My little sister, Bekkah, came along too, and we spent a while browsing round Primark picking out pieces to try on. I actually ended up with a bag full of bits and pieces, which will hopefully mean I can take some photos for my blog as well. Now I just need to style some outfits and take photos before Thursday, which is going to be fun as the weather looks pretty rubbish the next few days. I also popped into Boots, as I needed to get a new make-up brush. I came home feeling shattered, so snuggled on the sofa with Freddie. Bekkah came downstairs to find me, and presented me with this Real Techniques brush cleansing palette, which was so sweet of her. I’m really excited to give it a try, as I hate cleaning my brushes with my fingers! In the afternoon I watched another episode of Silent Witness (can you tell how much I love that programme!) and wrote some letters.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I just wanted to let you know that I have a second blog, which mainly focuses on my health in more depth than I talk about it here. It’s largely for friends and family to follow and keep up with what’s going on, but if it’s something you would be interested in reading as well, you are more than welcome to follow me over there. I’ve actually changed the name from Unicorns and Floral Crowns to ‘Zebra Crossing’ and you can find it by clicking here. I’ve also finally managed to update it, so there’s actually something for you to read now! And I’m hoping to keep updating it more regularly from now on. 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!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday Snippets - 21st February 2016

I feel like I posted my last Sunday Snippets only yesterday – where is the time going at the moment?! I’m sure when I was younger time seemed to go so slowly, but now I’m getting older it’s just flying by! It’s been a fairly good week overall, with lots of time spent with family. I really treasure spending time with my family these days. I think with both my brothers moving out and losing three of my Grandparents, it has made me realise how precious time together is. Unfortunately I’ve been having big problems with my digestive symptoms this week though, which hasn’t been nice at all.

Last Sunday I had planned to go out to a lovely local tearoom with my brother’s fiancé and a couple of the other bridesmaids, but unfortunately I had to cancel because I was feeling too unwell. So, instead, I just had a chilled out day, which I really needed. I spent the morning doing a bit of blogging and pottering around. In the afternoon Emma (my brother’s fiancé) and her sister came over so we could still do a bit of wedding planning. We were actually quite productive and have put a date in the diary for a shopping trip to look for shoes and accessories for the wedding. After Emma’s sister had gone home, we relaxed and watched The Princess and the Frog, which I’d never actually seen before (I know, I’m a terrible Disney fan!) I also opened this adorable Valentine’s gift swap, which made my day as a singleton so much nicer.

Monday was a really relaxed day, which was so lovely. I spent my morning editing a video to upload to YouTube (it’s up now, so check it out if you have a minute!) I then dyed my sister’s hair for her, but it didn’t go quite right, so it needed to be done a second time to make sure it was completely covered. I then spent the afternoon writing letters to some of my penpals and just generally relaxing. My lovely friend, Libby, sent me this Erin Condren planner, which I am absolutely bowled over by! She bought this one in the vertical layout but didn’t get on with it, so asked if I would like it, and of course I said yes! She also included a load of accessories inside, so I’m really excited to start using it to plan my blog and YouTube uploads.

Tuesday was fairly busy – I had to be up and out of the house by 7.30am as I had an early appointment with my physio. He did some acupuncture, which will possibly be my last session for a while. I couldn’t face eating breakfast before my appointment, so afterwards my Dad and I went to Costa. I decided to go for my trusty porridge with Nutella, which was delicious (even if I couldn’t manage it all!) We chilled out there for a while, then popped into Homesense so I could pick up some storage boxes. When we got home, my Mum asked if I wanted to pop to Tesco with her, so I went along as I had a few bits I needed to get. I got a bit upset looking at all the nice food – my head just feels in a bit of a mess at the moment with trying to recover from an eating disorder, wanting to eat yummy food but struggling like mad with digestive problems and a restrictive diet I’m meant to be following. I spent the afternoon catching up on emails and Facebook messages, while watching Death in Paradise.

Wednesday was really lovely, as I only had one appointment, and for once it wasn’t a medical one! I spent the morning working on a YouTube video and writing a blog post. I then treated my Mum to having her nails done as an early birthday present. I did a bit of Uni work while she had them done, and then I had a back massage, which was desperately needed! I spent the rest of the afternoon writing penpal letters, while watching Silent Witness. I ordered a couple more Disney DVDs to add to my collection, as they were on offer at Amazon, and they came in the post, which I was excited about.

Thursday is my full day at Uni, so I’m always pretty wiped out by the end of the day. We’re starting to work on a newspaper, which is looking pretty exciting and we have loads of ideas. So we spent the day doing lots of planning and learning a bit about InDesign, which we will be using to put our newspaper together. At lunchtime I went to Starbucks with a few friends, which was really lovely. When I got home I did a bit of prep for my Mum’s birthday, and then opened some post. This Veronica Dearly quote completely describes me!

Friday was a really lovely day, as it was my Mum’s birthday. I started my day down at the doctors for an ECG, but after nearly 45 minutes of not getting a reading we gave up. They’ve got to get the machine looked at and I had to rebook another appointment, which was a bit frustrating. We then went to pick up Lisa and Emma (both my brothers fiancés) and headed to Farnham for a bit of shopping. My Dad bought my Mum her birthday present – a lovely coat from Joules (and I may have bought a couple of tops too!) We then went to Maison Blanc for a spot of lunch, which was lovely. I had to go to a lecture in the afternoon so the others headed home. Unfortunately, I felt more and more unwell as the afternoon went on, with burning pain in my abdomen. I eventually came home and curled up on the sofa in pain. Everyone came round in the evening for dinner, cake (how awesome is the cake!) and to watch my Mum open her presents. I really struggled to focus on enjoying it and was nearly in tears because I felt so bad. I think I fell asleep once the presents had been opened and my Dad ended up waking me at midnight to go to bed.

Yesterday was a bit more relaxing thankfully. I had a lie-in and then a very quiet morning, as I was still not feeling brilliant. I then went to Next with my Mum for a little wander round. We had lunch in Costa and had a browse round the shop. I didn’t really find anything I wanted, apart from this adorable mug, which has a dog face on one side and a cat on the other. When we got home, I cuddled the dogs for a while and watched Despicable Me 2.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I just wanted to let you know that I have a second blog, which mainly focuses on my health in more depth than I talk about it here. It’s largely for friends and family to follow and keep up with what’s going on, but if it’s something you would be interested in reading as well, you are more than welcome to follow me over there. It’s called Unicorns and Floral Crowns and you can find it by clicking here. I haven’t updated it for a while, but I hope to get into a routine soon and am planning to write a catch up post very soon. 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!

post signature

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede

I’m a big lover of perfume. It started in my teens with bottles of Impulse or So…? Body spray, and as I got older I moved onto more ‘grown up’ products like Vera Wang Princess and Britney Spears Fantasy scents. I love to go into department stores and spend ages in the perfume department smelling various fragrances, finding favourites to add to my ever-growing wish list. When I started blogging a few years ago, I started to see posts talking about Jo Malone and was bowled over by the simple but sleek packaging.

After having a browse of their website, I decided I really couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on a fragrance that I hadn’t smelt first. So I resigned myself to the fact I would probably never lay my hands on one of their beautiful bags. A year or so later, I started having to go up to London to see one of my doctors. Sitting in the bus on our way back from Whitechapel to Waterloo, we pulled up near Bank and decided to get out and find somewhere for lunch. I was already excited because the bus pulled up right outside Laudrée, the most perfect macaron shop ever! As we headed towards the Royal Exchange, we passed so many beautiful high-end stores – I felt like I was in heaven (quite literally, as I could never afford anything there!) However, one store that immediately caught my eye was Jo Malone. I was so excited that I had to drag my Dad in, even if it was a bit of a challenge getting my wheelchair up the step!

The store was even better than I imagined it would be. The two ladies working there were incredibly helpful and welcoming, and helped me to choose my favourite scent, Peony and Blush Suede. The next problem was trying to decide what to treat myself to. There were the classic fragrances, but then they also have candles, bath oils, reed diffusers, hand creams…the list goes on. In the end, I decided to go for the cologne, as I thought I would probably get the most use from it. I really wanted to buy the larger bottle (100ml for £85), but had to put my sensible hat on and stuck with the smaller one instead (30ml for £42).

I’m terrible when it comes to describing scents I’m afraid, so I’ll refer to their website for some guidance! It is classed as a floral scent, with a heart note of peony. According to Jo Malone:

 “Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of a red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive.”

All I can say is, it smells amazing! It’s incredibly girly, delicate and light. In my opinion it’s more of a summery scent, but to be honest it’s that good that I’ve been wearing it all year round.

It looks perfect alongside some of my other perfumes and makes me feel really grown up! The bottle is incredibly sleek and minimal, so looks great in any room. This little bottle is also brilliant for popping in your handbag or suitcase if you’re travelling, as it’s really dinky so doesn’t take up much room at all. This fragrance has definitely given me a taste for the high life, and now I’m desperate to add to my collection with more of their scents.

Are you a fan of Jo Malone? Or do you have a different favourite perfume? I would love to hear about fragrances you like, as I’m always looking for new ones to try!

post signature

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday Snippets - 14th February 2016

It’s been a fairly busy week, which has been a bit of a struggle with my health playing up, but I’ve managed to schedule in some rest periods as well. I really need to get my head around pacing a bit better, as it’s something I’ve never been very good at, but there’s just so much I want to do that I end up trying to squeeze it all in and then crashing out! I guess it’s just finding things that fit in with my life and the things I want to do, to make them as easy for my body as possible.

Last Sunday was a very chilled out day, which I desperately needed after a hectic week. In the morning I decided to sit on my bed to take some photos of products for blog posts, as the light is quite good there. I set everything up and started snapping. About an hour later I opened my eyes to find I’d fallen asleep on my pillow with my camera still in my hand – oops! I spent the rest of the day trying to do some blogging and photo editing. Various family members also popped in throughout the afternoon, so I chatted to them a bit. I took this photo of Alfie in the evening – everyone had either gone out or gone upstairs, and he decided to settle down at the bottom of the stairs and wait for someone to come back down!

On Monday morning I had to go into Uni for a couple of hours to get some grades back from an assessment. I did fairly well, so was happy with that and understand what I need to do to improve. When I got home I wrote and published my blog post about the Festival Place Valentine’s Event and then filmed two YouTube videos. I’m excited to get those edited and up on my channel! These two books came in the post, which was nice. I’m looking forward to trying some recipes from the Deliciously Ella book, and I’ve wanted to read Me Before You for ages.

Tuesday was quite a relaxed day, which was nice for a change! In the morning my Mum took me over to my friend, Katy’s, house for a facial. It was so amazingly relaxing and I actually nodded off a few times, which I don’t normally do with spa treatments. I’ll definitely be having one again! I then came home and ended up falling asleep on the sofa. I’m really struggling with my fatigue levels at the moment – I’ve always found it one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with, as there really is nothing anyone can do to improve it. After resting for a while, my Dad took me to the hospital for an appointment with my physio. I had some more acupuncture, which seems to be helping the pain a bit in the places he’s putting the needles (my lower back and neck). In the evening I needed to wash my hair, so decided to use some of my Rose Jam shower gel, which smells amazing!

Wednesday was a completely free day, which was absolute bliss! I was meant to be having some more training with my DSA equipment, but the lady text me in the morning to say she wasn’t well. I tried to do some tidying and sorting in my bedroom, but didn’t get very far as I kept falling asleep and just couldn’t motivate myself. The afternoon went a bit better, as I managed to get some Uni work done and wrote a few letters to penpals, whilst catching up on Death in Paradise. This month’s My Little Box arrived in the post, which is always exciting to see what’s inside.

On Thursday I had Uni all day – it was pretty manic for a while, as we were getting ready for our news broadcast. We spent the morning getting everything sorted, edited and tying up loose ends. Then in the afternoon we went ‘live’ with our television news programme, which was so much fun. It went really well and looked pretty professional (although I know I’m biased!) We then had tea and cake, watched it back and had a debrief. I was totally shattered by the end of the day but it felt good to have produced something we were all so happy with.

On Friday morning my friend, Helen, came over with my little Godson, Jack. It was so lovely to see them both and see how much Jack has changed since I last saw him. It really made my day. They stayed for just over an hour, and then Jack needed a nap so they headed off. I spent the rest of the morning sorting out a load of things that needed posting. In the afternoon I had a lecture at Uni, but wasn’t feeling too well and found it quite difficult to get through it. It was lovely to come home and crash out on the sofa. I also had a lovely surprise waiting for me – these gorgeous Accessorize gloves, which were a belated Christmas present from my friend, Lizzy.

Yesterday was nice, but incredibly difficult. I woke up not feeling brilliant, but had arranged to meet up with my friend, Becky, which I didn’t want to cancel. We went to a local place called ‘Watts Gallery,’ which I’d actually never heard of, so it was interesting to discover it! We went to the tearoom there first for some lunch, which I really tried with but was feeling more unwell by the minute. It was a shame, as the food was amazing and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. We then had a look around the gift shop, where I found a few cute cards, and the art gallery, but I was struggling to stay upright so spent a lot of time sitting down. In retrospect I should have taken my wheelchair, but even if I had I don’t think I could have propelled myself around. It was another reminder that I desperately need an electric wheelchair, so I’m going to have to push forward and get one I think. Despite this, it was lovely to catch up with Becky and we’re hoping to do a DVD day soon. When I got home, I curled up on the sofa and slept for the rest of the afternoon. My Dad ended up waking me up at about 6pm, so I decided to have a pamper in the bath, with a face and hair mask.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I just wanted to let you know that I have a second blog, which mainly focuses on my health in more depth than I talk about it here. It’s largely for friends and family to follow and keep up with what’s going on, but if it’s something you would be interested in reading as well, you are more than welcome to follow me over there. It’s called Unicorns and Floral Crowns and you can find it by clicking here. I haven’t updated it for a while, but I hope to get into a routine soon. 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!

post signature