This is a blog all about me.
It started as a blog about my diagnoses and treatment of a rare condition called chiari malformation and my long recovery from the required brain surgery.
It is now a blog about me, my life and things I enjoy!
I accept products to review! Just use the contact me form on the right hand side. All reviews I do are my own opinions of the products
So today I went on a day out to playzone which is in Portsmouth. They have another location in Swansea I think.
It is located on an industrial estate out the outside of Portsmouth, only about 5 mins from the motorway and really easy to find with satnav. It has free car parking on site but the spaces don't leave a lot of room to back out comfortably.
Entry is £6.95 for 5-14 year olds and it costs £1.25 for adults. They offer no free entry for carers which is annoying for me. This allows for unlimited play on quiet days and 1.5 hours on busier days. I've been twice in the past month and have always got unlimited play.
Walking in it looks impressive, with a huge soft play area and 5 slides which vary in scare factor.
There is a a slide which looks like a typical sack slide, which is slow and bumpy, perfect for younger ones.
There is a tube slide which is steep but not massively scary.
Then there is a bigger slide with a fall into a ball pool. This is scary but not the worst!
The worst is the red slide. This is a vertical drop from the ceiling to the floor. This has 2 levels (one about a meter lower than the other) and propels you to the ground at a real speed, leaving your stomach to catch you up! You really have to psych yourself up for this and is scary for adults as well as kids. You can go on both levels from the age of 6 (but if I see anyone younger doing the lower level they are braver than I ever was!)
For adults they have an area of seating right by the play area or a quieter area upstairs. The chairs are not bad, even after a few hours!
They sell a good range of food (5 piece cold pick and mix lunch for £3.95) and also sell massive jugs of squash which are great for keeping the little ones hydrated after all that running around! They don't allow any food in that isn't bought on site, which is annoying.
The only downside is that it feels a little rundown and could do with a lick of paint (it looks the same as when I came as an adolescent 15 years ago)
Overall a good price for a day out and if you catch it on a day it isn't busy can be a fantastic full day treat, boredom isn't easy here and the normally eye catching arcade games are left untouched and unasked for!
Brains out of 5 (pictures to be added when I get onto a laptop)
Had my pre-op appointment today. Went fine, they took loads and loads of blood for standard blood tests and blood cultures. As long as I have no infections in my blood I'll be having my blood patch in 20 days time!
I LOVE Wilful Missing. I mean really love them. I have their CDs, TShirts ect. So I was very excited to see this was available. It is 4 tracks, with a cover of "Scarborough fair" and 3 B-sides. Another bonus is that download is available via a Pay what it is worth scheme. This is fantastic if you are just wanting a taste of the album or the band. I would however, always recommend paying more, this is a lot of work and recording costs gone into it, so give at least a few quid! Wilful missing are not a huge band who can afford to not have day jobs and just live of their music!
So track 1is their cover of "Scarborough fair". Many covers of this exist (Simon and Garfunkel being the most well know I would guess) This is a beautiful folk song which is about a man giving a series of impossible tasks to a lady, and if she achieves this he will take her back as his partner. Such tasks include making a shirt with no seams and washing it in a dry well. It is beautiful in many versions, but this one is outstanding. It has such a hauntingly beautiful sound and Sam, the singer has such a nice tone to his voice it just makes me want to listen to it again and again. This song will feature in a film called "I know what I'm doing" The video is below which includes clips from the film.
Track 2 is an acoustic version of their song called "Powerful Pill"This song was featured on their album "Molehills out of Mountains", which is an album that gets blasted in my car weekly, at minimum! This was recorded live at St Bartholomew's Church. This songs AMAING. Must have great acoustics in the church as it has a great sound. You know a band is good when they sound better in a live version than on an album. The album version is good but this just has a great sound.
Track 3 is called "Blue poetry". This was supposed to go onto the "Molehills out of Mountains" album but didn't make the cut. So this is the first "New" song on this. The intro makes it sound like it will be a totally different type of song. I was wondering in the first 30 seconds if this would be in the typical Wilful missing style, but after that it kicks into being beautiful, just the way I expect. One of the things I love about Wilful Missing is that each song they do sounds so different but so similar. I am not sure how to explain it, but it is distinctly them but also sounds different. I really like it, if this is a taste of the album they are currently writing then I am impatiently waiting for it!
Track 4 is called "Thirteen". It is a cover of the song by "Big Star" It is a song which I have heard before but didn't realise that I had, so it was nice to be able to sing along. I find the original a little nasally in singing which does grate on me a little. It is a epic song however. This did cause me to worry as it was voted #406 out of Rolling Stones 500 greatest song list, how can a small UK band live up to that. I have to say they did fantastically. It is strange to hear it being sung in such a distinctly British accent but within 30 seconds you had forgotten that and I was just enjoying it. The harmonies are beautiful and I will be listening to this song again and again.
So overall this is a fantastic 4 tracks. My one complaint is that it is only 4 tracks and not a full album!!
Today at work I bent down to unplug a laminator and smacked my head on the edge of a book display in the library. Not only did I hit my head but the exact spot I hit was the part of my head missing skull because of my ICP. That make my eyes water. Now I have a pretty substantial headache going on!
Doesn't help that work was horrid today including assaults and temper tantrums. 2.5 days left, I can't wait for summer but I am really sad to be leaving my class. I will miss them SO much!
I use a lot of headphones. When I was in hospital I went through many pairs in my many months inside. I like the in ear ones but am quite fussy about comfort and as such I have tried many, expensive ones and cheaper ones but none have lasted. I don't treat them as well as I should, putting them in my bag, draw and other places and this causes me to go through as many pairs as I do.
I read lots about headphones and watched lots of YouTube videos and finally decided to get these.
Upon opening the packaging is pretty big, seems a fair amount of waste. The headphones are bright yellow and come with a 3 different size in-ear buds. The main special feature of these are the fins which sit outside the ear, along the inside rim of the ear, keeping the earphone in, stopping it pulling out if the wire gets snagged. You get 3 different of sizes of these as well. I played around with the sizes and ended up with the medium buds and fins.
I find the fins are great, they really do stop them falling out, perfect for running or other exercise. The buds fit really well. They don't allow for much noise leakage, stopping others hearing your music too, which I like.
The noise quality is good. Has a good base tone, but it doesn't come across as having too much base, which many can. There is also no tinniness to the sound, it is clear and accurate to the actual sound and has a great depth.
The headphones have black fins and the area around that, as well as the control section. The buds and wire are a bright yellow colour. This is nice, not too bright and quite unique.
The wire is great. It is Kevlar reinforced, meaning pulling and snagging of the wire doesn't damage the wire. The headphones are split to a good length and there is no way to adjust this. I actually prefer this as I tend to fiddle with the cable when you can adjust and end up slitting the cable too far and getting myself in a pickle, tangled around everything. The join where the wires meet is strong. I can't be the only one who sometimes chews this part?! (told you I don't treat them well, but makes for a better more unique review lol) This part is so strong I have not chewed it and this is great. There is no volume control when you're just using the standard wire, but this is oky as the wire is pretty short, perfect for attaching to an arm band hen working out. The extension is provided and this adds a huge amount of length, enough to have your player in your pocket and not have a pull when walking. The control included the volume and a clip, which is yellow.
Other handy features include the fact that the headphones are sweat resistant, making them great for a work out. They include a cleaning tool for removing wax build up. Also included are a cable clip and a storage pouch which is large but doesn't have the best closing mechanism, meaning the buds can fall out. Sennheiser also provide a 24 month warranty.
The one downfall is that there is an area near the ear buds, just where the wire goes over your lobe that has snapped on mine, but this doesn't affect usage, just is annoying. This appears to be a common fault. However, this is not a reason not to get these headphones.
These are on sale on amazon for £27.99 but have an RRP of £59.99
I have my preoperative appointment next Wednesday 24th July at 2.30.
Then on the 13th August I am going in for my blind epidural blood patch. GULP!
This means that for 3 years in a row I have had a procedure done during the summer holidays. 29th July 2011 was my decompression. 25th (ish) July 2012 was my intracranial pressure monitor and now this. I am so done with my brain being rubbish!
I am not sure if I have mentioned this. I am rather scatterbrained and with it almost being the end of the school term I am more so than normal.
My best friend, Claire, is getting married in just over 1 month. 24th August. And.....I will be a bridesmaid. I am so excited. Like, so excited. Can you tell =D
We have a second hen do coming up and then it is full steam into the wedding. Ahhhhh.
I already love the compeed brand as they do awesome cold-sore plasters. I suffer a heck of a lot from cold-sores, in spring I normally go only about a week between getting them, especially when I am run down or finding my chiari hard.
I was sent some free compeed blister plasters to try. This is my honest review of them. Whilst I was given the item for free the opinions are my own based on using them.
These are AMAZING. I suffer from blisters lots, especially in summer. I do a lot of PE at work and wear shorts in the summer. However, if I am not wearing trainer socks and just fold ankle socks they often slip and then rub. Normally plasters don't stay on or don't offer enough protection over a big enough area.
These plasters stick on, I mean really stick on. They last over a full day. They are skin colour, they are big enough to protect if your shoes are ill fitting and slipping. Basically I would 100% recommend them!
So recently Bzzagent.co.uk sent me voucher to get 3 different flavours of Danone Danio Yogurt. These were sent to me for free as I am a bzz agent.
I was excited to try the yogurts as I have seen the adverts with the spoon bendingly thick yogurt and I was intrigued to try it as I honestly couldn't see how it could be made thick without feeling far too odd. My hopeful expectation was that my spoon would stand up in the pots!
So I picked up the passionfruit, the cherry and the strawberry flavours. I love anything passionfruit or red cherry flavoured so was excited.
I was happy to read that the yogurt is high in protein, with 26% of your GDA and it is almost fat free. This made me happy as I am currently following the insanity diet and fitness plan (on and off, mostly off at the moment as I've been unwell) and protein is a big thing as it helps build muscle.
I opened it and it was very white, I stuck my spoon straight in and.......it stood up!!!! YAY! I tried some of the yogurt first, this was creamy and slightly bitter but not too bad as I eat natural yogurt daily so am used to the tang.
I then ventured to the bottom of the pot to try the fruit. This was amazing. It was sweet and crunchy as there were still seeds left in it.
I then (after stopping myself from eating all the fruit) ate it working down through to eat both yogurt and fruit together. This was nice, however about half way through I felt myself growing less fond of the strange texture of the ultra thick yogurt. I had to stop eating it in the end, I just couldn't enjoy the taste when the texture was bothering me so much. I have, however, always been a little funny with my food and if something doesn't feel right, even if it is yummy, I cannot eat it.
My boyfriend, therefore, ate the rest of that pot and over the next few days ate the others too(helped enthusiastically by Jacob). I also handed out vouchers to family and friends. They all really enjoyed it and best of all felt full up after eating it. So even though I didn't like it, everyone else did!. Brains out of five
So after experiencing what can only be described as the headache from hell last week my chiari is playing up.
I felt rough last Tuesday and had a meeting at 5pm which I had to get Richard to drive me to. I got home and flopped before going to bed at 8.30pm. I woke on Wednesday morning at 7am as normal to go to work. I immediately had a strong headache and took my morning meds. I made my lunch and actually put my lunchtime meds in my lunchbox so I would take the as soon as lunch started rather than when I went back to my classroom for at the end of lunch.
My headache got increasingly worse, to the point people were noticing I looked unwell. I looked like I was in pain apparently. I battled through a very long morning, which in reality was a very easy morning with only 5 children in my class as the rest were away on a trip!
I had my break and didn't touch the large amount of cakes that are ever present in the staff room as I was feeling very nauseous at this point.
After break I was told by a few people I needed to go home, but me being me and being terrified of admitting I had such a massive headache, ignored them, but did take the next two lessons on my own as my class were busy. I managed to get nothing done and found myself close to tear in pain. I was at this point very very scared as not only did I feel like passing out and kept walking into walls, I realised this was a very very bad headache, like I hadn't had since the meningitis times.
I finally decided to go home, when the head teacher walked into my classroom (not because I was ill, to be honest I never found out why lol) and looked very concerned asking me if I was oky. I promptly burst into tears and told her I really needed to go home but was too scared to drive myself as I felt so unsafe even walking properly.
She was awesome, she took me to her office, and within 3 minuets I was in a car on my way home as she found a free member of staff (not easy in my busy school, full of very needy pupils). There was no one at home and the head had told the member of staff to not leave me on my own. After 45 minuets, a very teary phone call to my Mum and Richard, a cup of tea, my lunch time meds and a call to the doctor Rich came home and I went to the doctor.
I was given a full MOT and it showed a pulse of 147, clearly I was in pain and my body was fighting it. I was given 2 diclofenac suppositories ( yeah gross I know but I am giving a honest account and to be honest I didn't care at that point.) and given 60mg of codeine (my normal is 30mg) My doctor was concerned enough to mention me going to hospital and that the next step is morphine at home (which I don't want, at least whilst I am still working) I was told to rest up, take the meds and return the next day if I was still feeling no better.
I took the new meds plus my normal medication ( minus the codeine and diclofenac, as I had them in much higher doses) felt not too much better but very relaxed and drugged up so that made it a bit easier to handle as I wasn't so panicked.
I went to sleep over night, waking to take more meds which isn't something that happens often. I often wake but can normally fall back to sleep without additional medication and didn't expect to as the new medication seemed to have a sedative effect.
Awaking the next morning I took the meds again and still felt rubbish. I obviously took the day off work and got another appointment at the doctors. I explained my reluctance to take morphine and was instead given Meloxicam. This didn't do much but it did seem by the end of the day my headache had run its corse and I was starting to feel better.
The friday I was off work again, just because I felt rather hungover from the new medication and didn't feel I would be safe in a class of kiddies and my head was still having niggles now and then.
So after 3 days of pain my baseline headache is higher, my meds have changed, I have been told I take the maximum medication I can without taking morphine but I am oky =D
I was sent a Veet® EasyWax™ to review by bzzagent.co.uk This is a site which sends products out in return for honest reviews and word of mouth feedback. I am always excited to test new products and this was no exception. I have a bit of obsession with having smooth legs after being in hospital and having nothing better to do than shave my legs using all the different products I was brought as there were no flowers allowed on the ward. I would shave my legs everyday and eventually found a combo that I love and still use today! However I don't enjoy shaving my legs now I am out of hospital and hate the fact it needs doing so often, so the idea of a home wax kit that is tidy and easy to use really appealed to me. Plus the weather means I want smooth legs all the time. I used the kit on a Saturday morning when there was no one home (to hear my screams of pain haha) It stated I should leave it to heat up for 20 mins but it took much longer than this (about 50 mins) I spread the wax on my leg according to the instructions and timidly stuck on the fabric wax strip, realising that once it was on it had to come off and the only way for that to happen was to pull, hard! It took me a few minutes to get my nerves in check, I put on an episode of switched at birth to distract me (I am obsessed with this show!) Then I realised I looked like a total wimp and just grabbed it and pulled. Now I was expecting agony, but there was only a small amount of pain. Maybe that was because it only pulled out a small amount of hair. I tried again and again but ended up waxing only the front of each leg before I ran out of strips. It did say they could be reused but it got so messy I just used the back and front of each one once. So overall I wouldn't buy more strips so I could use it again, I just stick to my normal routine of using covent garden spa exfoliator and some exfoliator gloves, washing it off, using foaming lime shower gel and shaving (with a mans disposable razor, so much better!) then finishing with warmed L'occitane almond shower oil to finish. Baby soft legs for a few days! Much better than messy painful waxing. If I want to wax again I would go to a salon. Brains out of 5:
So this week the lovely people over at money supermarket.com gave me £50 to throw a budget BBQ. And what perfect weather to enjoy such a gift!
We hosted the BBQ but invited some family so in attendance was myself, my boyfriend Richard, my mum, my 3 year old brother Jacob, my big brother, his girlfriend and their daughter, my lovely 1 year old niece Gracie!
We love a good BBQ in our family and myself and Jacob who both have summer birthdays have one each year with all the extended family.
We only used the £50 and used nothing else that we already had to get into the real swing of the challenge.
And here is what we brought
Snack bits (crisps and cocktail sausages)
And loads more
It really is amazing what you can get for £50, well actually £49.17 to be precise =D
As it always seems to be the BBQ cooking turned into a mans jobs, with the ladies prepping the food and the men doing the cooking
We put the radio on and had a little dance and sat under our big gazebo whilst the food was cooking and Jacob and Gracie were playing (my brother is a plonker)
Once the food was ready it was about 5pm but still about 27* so we all sat under the big tree and chilled out and stuffed ourselves to bursting!!
Gracie entertained herself by eating sand and stealing the sausages out of my rolls and nicking everyone's garlic bread, the monkey!
My favourite part of the BBQ is alway the bananas we put on the BBQ at the end to cook whilst we are eating.
We split the bananas right down the length whilst keeping the skin on and then stuff them with chocolate and marshmallows. We the wrap them in tin foil and stick them on the BBQ. I like to leave them on till they are really mushy, but in my excitement I took them off a little early this time =[
The chocolate melts and the marshmallows ooze and it all gets into the banana. Pure heaven!!
This is my entry into the charcoal challenge with money supermarket. I received £50 from moneysupermarket.com which I used to buy the products listed above. I will also be entered into a prize draw to win £250 to host the ultimate BBQ! http://www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/competitions/the-charcoal-challenge/