Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Snippets - 27th September 2015

This week has been hard work because I came down with some sort of bug/virus and have been feeling pretty awful. I’ve also had a few funny turns (I always think of elderly relatives when I say that, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe what happened!) The worst one was when my Dad picked me up from university on Friday afternoon. In the car on the way home, I suddenly started feeling really clammy and sick. I couldn’t talk, move or see properly and my face felt really numb. It was pretty scary, but my Dad managed to help me into the house and I slept on the sofa for a bit. I have no idea what or why it happened – perhaps I’m pushing myself too much, but a sleep on the sofa seemed to help a bit, so I just need to be really careful. Anyway, enough of the boring health stuff – I’ll get on with sharing a few photos from the last week. 

As you probably know by now, I am both a subscription box and stationery fan, so when I discovered a company called A Beautiful Mess I immediately signed up to one of their monthly parcels. I decided to get their Happy Mail package, which is $15 per month, with a 12 month commitment (they’re an American company but do ship to the UK for another $2 a month). I’ve been getting their monthly goodies for a few months now, and was excited to see this come through my letterbox on Monday. I’m planning to do a proper post about the contents, but just as a sneaky snippet I thought I’d show you these gorgeous autumn cards.

There’s a bit of a theme in these first two pictures, as on Tuesday another subscription box arrived at my front door. This was the first company I signed up for a subscription box with, and have now been receiving their boxes for just over a year. My Little Box is a French company who send out beautiful themed boxes every month for £11 plus £3.95 p&p. As you can see, September’s theme is My Little Fashion Box, and I’m excited to show you what was inside very soon. On Tuesday I also sorted out renewing my car insurance and was very happy to find it has gone down by quite a substantial amount. Sadly it’s only because I currently don’t have a licence due to my seizure, but you’ve got to find the positives in these situations right?!

Wednesday was quite a busy day for me, considering it was meant to be one of my days off! My Dad had to take me over to a hospital in Chertsey first thing to have my EEG because they don’t do the test in our local hospitals. I stupidly washed my hair on Tuesday night and then realised I would have to do it again after the test – not great planning on my part! They spent ages measuring my head and marking it up with a red soft pencil (I think they regretted choosing red after seeing the colour of my hair!) The physiologist then used sticky paste to glue a load of wires to parts of my head – I felt like a right doughnut! For the first part of the test I had to sit very still with my eyes closed, while they recorded my brain waves on a fancy computer. The second part of the test wasn’t much fun at all. They put a bright light in front of your eyes and then ask you to try and keep looking at the light while it flashes in different sequences. I knew it wouldn’t be much fun, as I have a lot of problems with flashing lights, but it made me feel a lot more unwell than I expected. It took me a few days to not feel quite so spaced out and dizzy. I should get the results in a few weeks, but to be honest I’m not holding out much hope that we’ll get any answers. My neurologist told us that EEG’s are pretty bad at picking up epilepsy unless you actually have a seizure while they’re recording you, so made sure I understood that even if it comes back normal there is still the possibility that I do have epilepsy. Time will tell.

After resting for a while after my EEG, a local lady came to see me to talk about my birthday cake. My actual birthday is next Sunday, but at the end of October I’m having a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with some of my spoonie friends, and have decided I’d like to have a gluten-free cake made for it. I’ve been getting loads of ideas off Pinterest and found someone local who’s portfolio of cakes look amazing, so I was really excited to meet her and talk about my cake! She brought round four different cupcakes for me to taste – Chocolate Oreo, Raspberry and Champagne, Jammy Dodger and Red Velvet, to try and help me decide on flavours for my big cake, although I think I’m more confused than ever, as they were all so good! I can’t wait to see what my cake will look like after seeing the initial design now!!

At the beginning of the week, for some reason, I had a real craving for cheese scones with melted butter on them. I rarely get food cravings, as I’m usually feeling too sick to face food, but I’ve always loved a good cheese scone. So, on Friday after my funny turn, my Dad decided he was going to make me some scones to cheer me up. Apparently this was the first time he’d made scones, so I was impressed that they tasted really yummy! We’ve decided they could do with more cheese next time, but I’m not complaining about having to eat them up!

Yesterday I had planned to stay at home, chill out and get a few odd jobs done. But when I woke up in the morning I realised that it was going to be a bad depression day, and being left home alone is not the greatest idea when I’m feeling low. My Mum and Dad had planned to go and look at some wood burning stoves, as we’re having one put into our lounge, so I decided to go along with them. We didn’t spend that long at the shop – there’s only so many black stoves you can look at! So I said it would be nice to go for a spot of lunch somewhere, as my Mum doesn’t get out much because she spends so much time looking after my Gran, who has the end stages of dementia. On our way out we had passed a farm shop, which we drive past so often but have never been to, so I suggested we go there, and I’m really glad we did. The actual shop was so quaint and lovely, full of organic produce from local farms. Thankfully there was also a lovely café, who served an array of sandwiches and a massive selection of delicious looking cakes. I was so tempted to go for a slice of cake, but decided to try and be a bit healthier and went for an egg and cress sandwich. It was ridiculously massive, so I didn’t manage much, but it was really good! I’m hoping we can go back another day so I can try some cake – the problem will be choosing which one to try! If you’re ever in the Hook (Hampshire) area, I would really recommend checking out the Wellington Farm Shop.

I know I mentioned this before, but just wanted to remind you that I recently started a second blog, which will just focus on my health in more depth than I talk about it here. I’ve mainly set it up 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’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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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday Snippets - 20th September 2015

The last week is a bit of a blur if I’m honest! I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to get through the first week at University. It hasn’t been without it’s hiccups, but I did it, and that’s the main thing. If you follow me on Instagram (Jennycole1988 if you’re interested) you’ll have seen my daily posts about my week – I tried to keep it fairly positive there, but I think it’s important that people also know that it’s been far from easy. There have been a lot of tears at home in the evenings and I feel completely run down, in pain and unwell, but I knew this wasn’t going to be without its problems. I’ve just been trying to get as much rest as I possibly can, and am hoping that now I have my timetable I will be able to get into a better routine.

My busy week started on Sunday evening with an early night. I was determined to be in bed by 10pm, and although I didn’t quite manage that, I think I did pretty well. I had planned to snuggle under my duvet and read a bit more of my book before I went to sleep, but I think I’d exhausted myself by worrying, so didn’t even finish a page before I was nodding off! I’m definitely more of a night owl, so waking up early is particularly difficult for me. But I’m hoping if I can be strict with myself and stick to my early nights when I have Uni the next day, it won’t be too painful being an early bird.

As you know, Monday was my first day at University. I was beyond nervous, although actually managed to get a good night’s sleep the night before, which is pretty unusual for me! I even managed to get up on time – even more unheard of! I’ve pretty much gone the whole summer without wearing make-up, so it was quite nice to have an excuse to do my face again. My Dad drove me over for 9.15am and we met my support worker, who will be helping me get around the campus for the next year. I’ve only been there a week and I already know that she is going to be an absolute lifesaver! This week has been full of induction activities, icebreakers, campus tours and lots of information to take in. The staff have all been lovely – very understanding and accommodating, which has made me feel a lot more relaxed. I’ve chatted to a few people on my course so far and I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest by a fair few years! I’m a little bit worried I’m going to find it hard to connect with the other students on my course, but hopefully once we all start working together things will get a bit easier.

On Tuesday I finished university at lunchtime, after having a quick look round the Fresher’s Fayre (lots of leaflets, food and sports clubs!) On our way home, we popped into my old college to pick up my certificates. I now finally have proof that I somehow managed to get through a year of college and achieved an Access to Higher Education Diploma for Allied Health Professionals. Yes, it’s not particularly relevant to what I’m doing now, but I’ve got that qualification now so that in the future I may still be able to work in the health sector. Plus it gave me so many other skills that will be helpful for whatever I decide to do, and I made some fantastic friends who I hope to keep in touch with.

On Wednesday we had a pretty long day, but ended up having a two and a half hour break around lunchtime. My support worker asked if I’d like to go into the town to have a little look around, which I thought would be great. Although this university is local to me, I haven’t really ever spent much time looking round the town. Unfortunately, just as we headed out of the university main reception, the heavens opened and the rain started hammering down. We managed to get as far as Starbucks before deciding we were better off going back to the warm and dry of the university refectory. But before we turned back, we popped into Starbucks, as I was desperate to get one of their pretty autumn takeaway cups! I decided to try a Pumpkin Spice Latte, as I’ve heard so many people raving about them recently, and I can now see why! It was just what I needed on a cold, rainy September afternoon, and I will definitely be going back there for another one very soon.

I can’t quite believe how quickly Friday came around, but I was very grateful for a day off, which meant I could have a lie-in! I spent the day just chilling out, trying to give my body some time to recover from the last four days. In the afternoon we had a social activity timetabled at a local pub for everyone on the Journalism course. If I’m honest I could have quite easily stayed curled up on the sofa, but I wanted to show may face and hopefully start to get to know some of the others a little bit more. Our course leader very kindly bought us all a drink, however unfortunately (or fortunately – depends how you look at it!) I was the only girl there. It’s a shame, as it would have been nice to get to know some of the other girls on the course, but it was quite fun chatting with the guys about music (and football/rugby), even if I had no idea what they were talking about!

If I was a sensible person, I would have spent yesterday resting and giving my body a much-needed respite, but it seems wisdom eludes me. Instead, I decided to go to a local garden centre with my Dad and brother for a spot of lunch (my treat). Redfields in Church Crookham is definitely one of my favourite garden centres around here. Since being completely refurbished, their café is hands down the best for miles. They used to do some really great gluten-free options, but the last couple of times I've been I haven’t seen anything, which is a real shame. I ended up going for a cream tea, with a cherry scone, clotted cream, strawberry jam and English breakfast tea. The scone was bigger than my hand and way too much for me to manage, but it was all really yummy. They also do cheese scones, which I really do need to try sometime, but only if they’ll warm it up for me, as there’s nothing better than hot cheese scones with melted butter! As it wasn’t gluten or lactose free, unfortunately I was pretty unwell for the rest of the afternoon, but it was a risk I knew I was taking, so I’ve only got myself to blame. My brother had a massive slice of very naughty looking chocolate cake, and my Dad had a smoked salmon and egg wrap, which he said was delicious. 

I mentioned this last week, but just wanted to remind you that I recently started a second blog, which will just focus on my health, in more depth than I talk about it here. I’ve mainly set it up 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’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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Friday, 18 September 2015

Veronica Dearly V Gd Fun Club September Box

I like to try and vary my content on here over the week, but just at the moment I have so many awesome subscription boxes to unbox with you! I thought it would be better to tell you about them as soon as I get them, as I know when I’m reading a blog I always love to feel that I’m hearing about the very latest products, rather than finding out about them after everyone else. So, before I spend too much longer trying to explain how my brain thinks (we could be here a while!) I’ll get on to today’s box – The V Gd Fun Club by Veronica Dearly. You won’t have heard anything about this stationery subscription box here before, as it’s a pretty brand new idea!

This is actually the second box I’ve received now, but by the time I got round to posting about August’s box, September was already upon us! The basic idea is that this is a monthly subscription box for people who love stationery (who doesn’t?!) If you haven’t heard of Veronica Dearly before, she makes unique cards, mugs, desk organisers and even tea towels – everything you could possibly want. Her designs are quirky and funny, so if you’re looking for something a bit different I’d definitely recommend checking out her online store. Now, onto this month’s box. This box is small and compact, and I’m pretty sure it can fit through a letterbox, but I must admit I haven’t tried that out so don’t hold me to it! I opened mine to find the contents wrapped in black crepe paper with a fun Veronica Dearly ‘I love fun’ heart sticker.

After carefully unwrapping the paper (is it just me who tries not to rip it so I can use it again?!) there is a paper booklet and a business card, which can be shared with a friend – you even get a discount voucher if you can persuade them to sign up. Inside the booklet is a bit of information about the club, as well as some fun photo challenges to take part in on social media. You’ve probably already seen for yourself, but everything inside these boxes is great for photos to fill your Instagram feed with.

Each box will contain a few cards and another special gift. This month’s extra product was this cute pencil case and tiny heart shaped eraser – perfect for those of you heading back to school or university.

Finally, at the bottom of the parcel was a pile of four different cards, each with an original design, which I’m pretty sure you will never find in a mainstream card store. I really loved this month’s cards, and as I looked through them when I first opened the box, I already had ideas of which friend I could send each one to (although saying that, there is a big part of me who just wants to keep them all to make my room look pretty!)

Overall I thought this was a great idea for a subscription box. It’s different but fun, and despite it only being a fairly recent creation, there is already a lovely little community of members building up on social media. What’s even more great is that this comes in at a bargain rate of only £10 a month, which I think is brilliant for a monthly subscription.

If like me, you’re a stationery fanatic, head on over to Veronica Dearly’s website here where you can find out more about becoming a member of her V Gd Fun Club or just browse her online store for some goodies.

Have you heard of Veronica Dearly before? Have I managed to tempt you into joining up?!

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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Crown and Glory September Glitterati Box

If you’ve never heard of Crown and Glory before, then I would definitely recommend checking out their website. They sell a massive selection of gorgeous hair accessories covered in glitter, flowers, feathers and more! If you like sparkle and glitter, then I can guarantee you will be a Crown and Glory fan. After doing some browsing on their website, I found out that they did their very own monthly subscription box – The Glitterati, and I knew I had to sign up there and then. Every month I like to share with you what arrived in my box, so I hope you will enjoy this month!

At the beginning of the month my box arrived, wrapped up in pink glittery tape – I always get so excited when I see the postman carrying this box! I couldn’t wait to open it, and the first thing I found when I opened up the box and undid the tissue paper was a little card telling me everything that was in my box and the values of it all – you definitely get great value for money with these boxes! First up were these beautiful orange butterfly hair clips, which give you a little idea about this month’s theme – butterflies!

Just nestled underneath the butterflies were these delicate gold leaf bobby pins, which I think will be absolutely perfect for taking us into the autumn months.

Also inside this month’s box were a couple of super exciting products. The first was this absolutely gorgeous Lotta Rosie floral crown in a deep red wine colour – again, perfect for going into autumn. This box gave us not one, but two amazing crowns! The second was a different style autumn berry crown, with purple flowers and berries and a lilac ribbon to tie at the back.

I was quite excited when I heard what the theme would be for September, and when I opened it to find it was also carrying us into autumn I couldn’t be more pleased. Although I love the Spring/Summer months, Autumn has got to be my favourite season. I just love the leaves turning golden brown, fairy lights, candles and snuggly clothes, plus it’s almost my birthday (October 4th for anyone that’s interested!) So yes, this box was definitely a winner with me and I can’t wait to wear it all to brighten up the next few months.

If I’ve managed to tempt you into becoming a Glitterati member, head over to their website here to join the fun!

Are you a Glitterati subscriber? Or have I managed to tempt you into joining up?!

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