Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday Snippets - 29th January 2017

This week has felt pretty busy, and I’ve been struggling with fatigue a lot more, which is making things quite difficult. At the moment, I just feel like I need a few months of solid sleep, but as that’s not likely to be an option any time soon, I’m just trying to rest whenever I can.

I got up pretty late last Sunday and still felt totally exhausted. I think chronic fatigue is one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with when you have a chronic illness because there’s nothing you can take or do to get any relief from it. I had a pretty lazy morning sorting out my medication for the week ahead and watching The Simpsons. I did manage to write and upload my Sunday Snippets blog post though. I then spent the whole afternoon editing and uploading my Christmas vlog. It took me a lot longer than I’d planned, and I had hoped to do some other jobs but at least the vlog is up now. I felt really crap, so curled up on the sofa and rested for a while. We had a family dinner with my Grandma in the evening, which was nice. But I was feeling really down – I just feel very lonely at the moment, and inadequate in every area of my life. These roses I bought on the Saturday started to open, and they looked really pretty.

Monday was quite a productive day, which seems to be a rarity these days so I made the most of it! I didn’t get up particularly early, but I sorted out some paperwork and made a couple of phone calls to sort out medical things. After that I took some photos of products for a few blog posts that I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks now. My Mum and I then popped over to a new Paperchase store that’s opened quite near us, which is rather exciting! I picked up some cards and postcards to send to various friends, and had a look at all the new products for spring. When we got home I had my Fortisip and edited some photos for my blog before writing the post to go with them. I was feeling pretty shattered afterwards, but pleased I managed to make a dent in my to do list.

I got up later than I should have on Tuesday morning, but somehow managed to get to Uni on time. It took us ages to get started, as our tutor was having problems with the printer. We spent the morning looking through a long form article about cats, to try and understand what’s needed in a long piece for when we write our own. I was going to go for a Starbucks with a couple of the girls at lunch, but neither of them were able to make it in so I stayed in Uni and drank my Fortisip there. The afternoon was a bit slow – we were mixed with the first year, but our tutor said we could spend the time doing research for our article. I think I had a migraine or something because I couldn’t cope with looking at the computer and the lights were making me feel really strange and spaced out. I wish I could have gone home at lunch to be honest, as I would have been able to rest a bit. My Dad picked me up and because I felt so exhausted I ended up crashing out on the sofa and fell asleep for a bit. When I woke up, I got myself a nice cup of tea to warm myself up and relax, and had some cuddles with Alfie.

You might remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was taking part in the Crown and Glory January photo challenge. Well, I’ve been a bit slack with it, but this week I managed to finally catch up with it! Week 2 was ‘New Favourite’ – how cute is this pink eye mask that I got in my January box?! I love it!

I had to be up fairly early on Wednesday morning so my Dad could drop me off for my counseling session. I’ve been struggling a bit more with my mental health recently and it was good to have someone to talk to. I rested for a bit when I got home, and then edited and uploaded my Happiness Project video to my YouTube channel. While it was uploading I did some sorting and tidying in my bedroom. It’s gradually starting to look a bit better. I was quite tired after tidying, so decided to have a quieter afternoon on the sofa. I put the TV on and, in between resting, I replied to some emails, ordered a couple of presents for friends and sorted something out for posting. This book by Katie Piper arrived in the post – someone recommended it to help my mental health a bit, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

Week 3 of the Crown and Glory January photo challenge was ‘Grateful for.’ I’m incredibly grateful for my lovely family, who support me through everything. I would be completely lost without them.

I was up early again on Thursday morning. My Dad and I went over to Frimley Park Hospital and I saw my jaw physio. My TMJ and occipital pain have been really bad the last couple of weeks. She did some massage and then some laser treatment, and also gave me another exercise to try. It’s frustrating because there’s no easy way out of this pain (as with the rest of my body) and it’s likely nothing will make a lasting difference. We came home and I rested for a while, before my Mum took me down to the hairdressers to have my hair coloured. It was nice to have an excise to chill out for a couple of hours and just read my book. I felt pretty shattered when I got home, so curled up on the sofa for a while and tried to relax. During the afternoon I managed to analyse a news programme for part of one of my assignments. It took ages (and I’ve still got another one to do!) so by the time I’d finished I had a headache and felt pretty awful. These pins from Box Monster that I won came in the post though, which cheered me up. I’ve been thinking about collecting enamel pins for ages, so these can now officially be the start of my collection!

Week 4 of the Crown and Glory January photo challenge was ‘Golden.’ I love these gold bobby pins, and thought they went well alongside this gorgeously sparkly Barry M nail varnish.

I felt a bit rubbish when I woke up on Friday morning. I’m not sleeping very well at the moment for some reason and it’s not helping my usual symptoms. My Dad took me over to Uni and I tried to wake up a bit. Our morning lecture was all about local government and how it’s structured. I really struggled to concentrate though, with feeling so tired and having a weird headache again. At lunch, I met up with my mentor and we chatted about how my week has been. We also looked at the essay question I’ve chosen to do and she helped me do a bit of planning. In the afternoon we had Law. Usually I really enjoy our Law lectures, but it just seemed really difficult. My eyesight kept going funny and I just couldn’t focus on what was being said. I was quite glad when my Dad arrived to bring me home. As soon as we got back, I crashed out on the sofa and fell asleep. I felt a little better when I woke up, and got myself a cup of Whittard tea in my Cheshire Cat mug. Disney and tea are always guaranteed to make my day a bit better.

On Saturday morning my Mum had to wake me up, as I overslept. I had a pounding headache, blurred vision and felt really dizzy, which was not what I needed! I had a quiet morning and dosed up on medication in the hope I might feel a bit better. Thankfully it helped a little, and my Mum and Dad took me over to Odeon Cinema in Basingstoke where I met my lovely friend Charlie, her husband Ben and their little ones, Izzi and Joe. They very kindly treated me to a ticket to see Sing with them, which I’d wanted to see since seeing the trailer before Christmas. And it didn’t disappoint – we were all singing along and dancing in our seats! My headache started getting worse again towards the end of the film, so once I’d said my goodbyes, my parents brought me home (they’d been to John Lewis and Dunelm close by). I spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sofa trying not to cry because of my headache. I also felt really sick and had a bad stomachache, so was glad to be able to just rest and not do anything. In the evening we had some Chinese food to celebrate Chinese New Year.

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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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Getting ready for a wedding with Simply Be*

It’s not going to be long until wedding season is upon us again, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there’s anything better than planning the perfect outfit. I’ve been dreaming about my wedding dress since I was a little girl, and still hope that one day I will meet my Prince Charming so I can choose the perfect dress. But it’s not just the bride who has to pick her outfit – there are bridesmaids, mother of the bride, mother of the groom and wedding guests too! I was recently contacted by Simply Be to see if I wanted to check out their wedding collection, and, of course, I jumped at the chance! They kindly let me choose a couple of pieces and I’m excited to share them with you.

Up until last year, I hadn’t really paid much attention to clothes from Simply Be, mainly because I associated them with plus size clothing and I’m generally a size 12. But I was pleased to discover they actually cater for a whole range of sizes, from 10 upwards, and are passionate about women embracing their curves and feeling confident. They have a huge selection of clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty products and more, as well as a range of different brands including AX Paris, Benefit, Coast, Jimmy Choo and YSL. And just to make things that little bit easier for you, they have a section specifically for weddings, which you can check out here.

I’ve been lucky enough to be a bridesmaid a few times over the last few years, and as I’ve got a couple of weddings to go to this year, I thought I would look for an outfit that I can wear as a guest. It took me ages to choose my pieces – they have so many lovely items, I just couldn’t choose! But I finally settled on this beautiful Scarlett & Jo Prom Dress for £65. I know there’s a bit of debate about whether you should wear black to a wedding, but I think this is perfect for this time of year. The longer sleeves will keep you warm, but you’ve got the gorgeous winter floral design on the skirt. It’s incredibly comfortable, and can easily be paired with a variety of shoe colours (I chose these amazing rose gold glittery ones, which I picked up in Next a couple of years ago).

When you’re planning a wedding outfit, finding the right bag is vital. You want something just big enough to fit all your essentials in (phone, camera, lipstick) but nothing too large to be carrying around all day. I found this adorable little Satchel Bag with a gold bow, which is currently reduced to £25. The blush pink goes perfectly with the bright pink floral design, and it really reminds me of a Ted Baker bag I’ve seen before, but obviously a fraction of the price! It’s just the right size for my camera and phone, and can either be held as a clutch or has a long strap if you want to wear it over your shoulder.

Once I’d got into my dress, I thought I would go for a natural make-up look with a rosy pink lip. But the great thing about this outfit is, it would suit all sorts of make-up looks from glam to barefaced. I decided to leave my hair fairly un-styled, with just a slight wave, but again, any style would look good. To take these pictures, I went down to my local church (it’s a wedding outfit after all!) and got so many lovely comments from people who were visiting. I definitely felt like I was waiting for the bride to arrive! The great thing about the Simply Be collection is that they also have a selection of fantastically priced wedding dresses and a range of items perfect for bridesmaids too. So whatever your role in the big day, I would really recommend checking out the website for some inspiration.

Do you have any weddings coming up this year? What do you think of the Simply Be collection?

*The dress and bag were kindly sent to me by Simply Be to write about. However, I chose them myself and all opinions are my own. I will only ever talk about items that fit with my blog/lifestyle.

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Snippets - 22nd January 2017

It’s been a fairly quiet week this week, which has been really lovely. As I was meant to be doing my work experience, I’d kept the week completely clear, so I had no appointments at all. I’ve mainly spent it catching up on jobs I need to do and spending some time with my family. It’s also been absolutely freezing, so when I’ve not been busy doing things, I’ve been curled up on the sofa under a blanket trying to keep warm!

Last Sunday I had a fairly quiet morning sorting out my medication for the week ahead, and then watching TV while I did some blogging. After I’d got my blog post up, I started editing my Christmas vlog that I’m determined to get uploaded before the end of January! In the afternoon I curled up on the sofa and sorted through a load of old magazines whilst watching Not Going Out and The Windsors Christmas special. Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs came on the TV, so I decided to watch it, as I don’t think I’d ever seen it before. I also managed to write quite a few thank you letters. For some reason I felt really wobbly and was finding it hard to breathe. In the evening we all went over to The New Inn for a meal to celebrate Richard, Emma and Callum’s birthdays, which was nice. This Rekorderlig cider is definitely one of my favourites, but they don’t seem to sell this flavor in any supermarkets near me. After dinner, everyone came back to ours so Richard and Emma could open a few presents.

I got up later than I’d planned on Monday, which was a bit annoying but never mind. I rested for a while and caught up on some Snapchat while I waited for my Mum to finish what she was doing. Then we headed over to Camberley, as I had some trousers to take back. We had a look round New Look as I need some smart trousers. I couldn’t find any I liked, but I did get a lovely jumper. We also have a quick look in a couple of other shops, and then went to Costa Coffee for a spot of lunch. I really fancied crumpets, but they seem to have stopped serving them, which is a shame. After lunch we had a look round Primark and I picked up a couple of bits. I was feeling pretty exhausted by that point, so we made our way home and I rested on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. I also had awful pain at the base of my skull. I’ve had problems with occipital nerve pain for a while and had a nerve block last year, but it’s really flaring up now and I’m finding it hard to find any relief.

I was back at Uni on Tuesday and decided to give a whole day a try. We spent most of the morning talking about the next part of our narrative portfolio and how to get ideas for our story. I’ve got a few ideas but I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment to be honest. In the afternoon we went through some bits on InDesign, as it’s something we will need to use when we put a magazine together, and also when we do our final major project next year. We finished a lot earlier than I’d expected, so I went down to the canteen and replied to some Facebook messages on my laptop while I waited for my Dad to pick me up. I was feeling really low and just wanted to shut myself away and cry. I keep getting all these thoughts that I’m not good enough and that everything is going to go wrong. I really need to find some ways to lift my mood and have some things to look forward to. I opened some post in the evening though, and received this lovely letter from my friend Naomi, which really made me smile.

I had a nice lie in on Wednesday morning, and then it took me ages to get myself ready to do anything. I’m pretty terrible in the mornings to be honest. I think it’s partly down to my illnesses, but also that I’m just not programmed as a morning person. But I did finally manage to get myself sorted, and filmed a couple of videos for my YouTube channel. The first was about my Happiness Project and the second I talked about looking for love with a chronic illness. I haven’t decided if I’ll upload the second one yet, as it’s quite personal, but I hope it might help others in a similar situation, and perhaps make me feel less alone too. My Dad then took me out to take a few outfit photos for my blog. I was sent an outfit by the lovely people at Simply Be and can’t wait to get the photos up on my blog. When I got home, I watched an episode of Silent Witness and checked my Uni emails. Later on, I popped down to Waitrose with my Mum to get a couple of bits.

I managed to get myself up and ready a bit earlier on Thursday morning, which was good. I spent the morning doing a bit of organising in my bedroom, although it doesn’t really look any different! At lunch, I went down to CafĂ© 46 with my Dad and Richard to take some photos for an article I’m writing. We had a bit of lunch too, which was very nice. My Mum popped down when we were just finishing, so I went home with her, as my Dad was going next door to the church to do some work. I had some cuddles with Xena (one of our cats) and then snuggled up on the sofa, watched Death in Paradise and checked through some emails. After it had finished, I put an episode of Silent Witness on and wrote a couple of penpal letters. I was feeling pretty sad and lonely in the evening.

Friday was a bit stressful to say the least! I actually got up on time, but for some reason ended up running later for Uni (we did almost forget my wheelchair, as it was in the wrong car, which probably didn’t help!) My morning lecture went OK – we talked about the UK political system and rules for reporting during an election, which was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. At lunch, I met up with my mentor and we chatted about how the last week has gone. After that, things got a bit more stressful. My support worker took me up to the classroom for our Law lecture, and my friends and I got ourselves ready to start. Then a lady came in and was extremely rude, basically telling us it was her room and we needed to get out. We asked her if she knew where we were meant to go (we’ve been in that room every week since September) and she just told us she didn’t know and had no idea who we even were. So I started trying to get my wheelchair sorted out so I could leave, when she then pretty much shouted at us and said, “Can you do that somewhere else and get out now!” I wish I’d spoken up looking back, but I just felt really embarrassed. Our tutor turned up and had no idea we’d been kicked out of our room, so we then had to find out where we were meant to go. When we finally found our room, we discovered it was only accessible via a flight of stairs. So our tutor and course leader then had to spend ages arguing with the Uni to find us a suitable room, and when they did, the heating was broken and it was freezing. I just felt really small and like a complete nuisance (because of the Uni, not my tutors – they were great). I came home feeling quite wobbly – I don’t normally let things like that get to me, but for some reason I got really upset about it this time. When I got home I opened some post – a letter from Stanmore, which I was initially really excited about because it’s my admission date for their three-week rehab. But it’s for the 2nd May, which I can’t do. I checked through my past letters and they’d actually written in my assessment that they would offer me from mid-May onwards, so I need to ring them and try to sort it out. This chap gave me some lovely cuddles though, which definitely helped make my day a bit better.

On Saturday I woke up pretty late with a sore throat and feeling like I’m coming down with another cold. But my Mum asked if I wanted to go out to try and get some smart trousers for when I do work experience, so I thought I’d give it a go. We went over to Next and had a lool round. Thankfully it wasn’t too crowded and I managed to find a few things that I liked. I was quite excited as well because they’re opening a Paperchase in the store, which I’m sure I’ll make good use of! We popped into Costa for a bit of lunch, although I was disappointed that they had no gluten-free sandwich options. After lunch, we went next door to Tesco to pick up a few essentials. It was quite busy, so I was glad we didn’t need to get much. I felt really tired by the time we got home, so I curled up on the sofa with Freddie and had a rest. I also got myself a cup of tea in my cute cat mug.

I thought I would share a photo of our little Xena from when we were having cuddles earlier in the week. She’s such a sweetie.

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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