Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Why is it such a bloody nightmare to buy jeans?

Hello all. I want to talk to you today about the dilemma which is jeans shopping. 

Why is it so difficult to get a decent pair of jeans? I don't even mean plus size jeans, I just mean a plain pair of jeans. 

You have low rise, normal rise (if you're bloody lucky), button fly, zip fly, flares, straight leg, skinny leg, bootcut, cropped, boyfriend style, any number of colours and washes (almost all with that crappy bleached bit down the front of the legs), strange pockets, embroidery, studs, glitter and holes ad infinitum.

How about a normal pair of jeans in a normal wash, which reach the belly button rather than the pubic bone, have a little stretch, pockets in the right places (there is nothing worse than jeans for plus size girls with pockets too far to either side that enhance the vast breadth of arse), which are of the right length, and fit the hips and the waist? Or did I dream such a garment?!

It's not just us ladies who are being stiffed with these low rise jeans, it's happening to the fellas too. The Mr has always bought the same sort of Levis, and even he is finding less room for his man biscuits than before. The low rise jeans aren't designed for anyone other than the beanpole. When I was a lass (admittedly a long time ago) jeans ended at the waist, the narrowest part of the average person, but now they end halfway between belly button and pubic area, which isn't a flattering look for most of the populace. 

The last pair of jeans I bought are so low rise that even with the tightest belt, I spend half my time pulling my jeans up as I walk. 

I've ordered 3 pairs from Simply Be and will send the worst 2 back, if not all 3.

Do you have trouble finding the right jeans?

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A wedding blog - I think I know the 'feel' I want

 Hiya!

Every wedding needs some kind of theme or colour scheme to hold things together. 

Initially I only had an idea of the colours I wanted - cream, old gold and brown. As I've come across a bit of inspiration, I've decided what kind of visual I want for the wedding, and it's a vintage/rustic/natural kind of feel. 

I love rummaging around in antique shops because I love old, unique knick knacks, I love rustic things like wicker hearts and whitewashed wood, and I love using freely available local materials like pebbles and driftwood. So I'm going to try to blend the three. There are loads of antique shops in town so I look forward to a good old rummage in them, I can have some early morning walks by the sea to collect driftwood and pebbles, and there are quite a few shops selling rustic bits and pieces.

Some photo inspiration for you! 

www.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk is a wonderful online shop. 
The following 4 pics are from their website.

Vintage Magnetic Table Plan in pink, blue or neutral £18

Country Style Window Table Plan (2 shown) £22 each


Grey Willow Heart Large £5.50


Grey Willow Heart Small £1.15

That's a bit of a snippet of the route I hope to go down. I'm quite excited to be able to craft the look of the wedding.

While I'm looking around the antique and charity shops for inspiration I'll also keep my eyes open for mismatched crockery and cake stands for the buffet tea.

If you're already married, did you have a theme?
If you're unmarried, what theme do you think you'd like if you got married?

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

My weekend, ta-ra to the electricians and Geordie Shore.

 Hello all.

I had a good weekend. 

I like it when you go into something not expecting much and it turns out great.

The Mr and I met friends for lunch in the next town along on Saturday. My friend who's at university is back so it was good to catch up with him, as well as seeing 2 other friends.

I managed to get hold of the last of the Glamour magazine freebies while I was there. I really wanted to get High Beam and was chuffed to see it sitting there. Photos to come!

We got lots done on Saturday. It was one of those days where we got loads of things we'd needed for a while - washer fluid for the car, printer paper, totally pedestrian things which you put off getting for ages but feel so much better about once you get them.

After we'd had lunch and run our errands we came home to prepare for going out. It was my friend Emma's wedding evening 'do' on Saturday and because I knew I'd be seeing a load of my old workmates I wanted to look nice. I henna'd my hair and did fake tan. The henna went well, the fake tan, not so much! Thankfully it was OK on my top half, but my legs and feet are like streaky bacon. I'm glad it was very dark in the venue!

I've realised why there are never any photos of me dolled up before a night out. It's because we're always bloody late! We were half an hour late to meet everyone for lunch, and more than half an hour late picking my mate up on the way through to the evening do. So the only photos I have of me are from the end of the night, when I was taking mobile phone shots of myself. I don't even have being drunk as an excuse for being narcissistic (I usually end up taking drunken photos, usually as I sit on the loo, for some strange reason!) as I was on diet coke all night. The Mr and I are as bad as each other for leaving everything to the last minute, so together we're useless at being on time.

Me in my new Simply Be butterfly dress
 

My hair has grown lots since I had it cut, yay!


I'm looking mad and starey eyed in all of them as I was in front of a mirror to make sure I was in shot - you wouldn't believe how many photos of the ceiling I take otherwise! 

The night was really good and so many of my old workmates were pleased to see me. I got hugged to death as soon as I walked in. It was really touching, actually. You don't see people for a few years and you don't know how they feel, so it was really nice to feel the love. Everyone said how well I look, a few said I look glowing, and one mistook me for being pregnant, but I can't blame her for that, because I do look like I'm incubating!

Now the electricians have finished up I'm going to have one well-needed lay in tomorrow, then get my butt to the doctors on Thursday for 8am to queue to see someone about this odd stomach growth. I've listed down all the weirdness with my cycle over the last 3 months, all the mid cycle bleeding and cramping, all the dates, and I even have pictures if the doc wants to know what the discharge looks like (gross, I know, but if it helps with a diagnosis, then so be it).

---

The electricians finally finished today after 6 and a half working days. Finally there is an end to constant moving of furniture and hours of cleaning up behind them every day. They were good at picking up all their bits of wire and discarded boxes, but there's not much to be done about dust in the air, as it takes time to settle. This is what the bathroom looked like yesterday after the guy drilled through the wall to put the bathroom extractor fan in:

Dust all over the floor

Sink smothered in rusty brick dust

The edge of the bath and inside was smothered in dust

I couldn't resist!

There was brick dust literally everywhere, so I switched the shower on and doused the walls, the floor and all the surfaces with water. Then I cleaned everything down properly and mopped the floor twice before all the brick dust was gone. I also had to empty everydamnthing out of the kitchen yesterday except the major appliances so the guy could drill through the wall to put the extractor fan in. There was brick dust everywhere afterwards, including inside the gas hob burners! The guy put a dust sheet down, but the dust is so fine it just went straight through. I had to hoover out the gas burners. Yuk!

Whole kitchen massacred, and I'd spent like 2 hours cleaning it from top to bottom the day before.
Aaaaarggghhh!

The whole flat hasn't been this clean since we moved in. I'm loving it really ;) Excellent opportunity to spring clean and have a good sort out.

---

There's a show on MTV called Geordie Shore, which is our copy of Jersey Shore, and it's so addictive! It's 4 girls and 4 boys from Newcastle in the North (well, one girl is from Middlesborough, so technically she's not a Geordie) acting up for the cameras. They have rows, shag loads of people and generally act like total arseholes, but it's so compelling. Car crash TV! The girls wear way too much make up, the guys are all pretty pumped up, and they're almost all orange from fake tan. It's one of those programmes like Big Brother where you tell yourself off for watching it but can't help it. It's on MTV at 10pm in the UK.

Here's a short clip introducing the characters:


Here's the link to the Geordie Shore Youtube channel, but there's not much on there at the moment other than a ultra-brief introduction to each character.

Do you love reality shows?
How was your weekend?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

New shoes and dress, Glamour mag BeneFit freebies and a bit of waffle

Hi. 

When me and the fella went to Asda a couple of days ago I picked up a new pair of sandals. We're going to 3 weddings in the next 2 months so I thought it was as good an opportunity as any to get a pair of summery shoes to wear. 

I wanted some Boho/hippie sandals that would hide most of my feet, as I have really horrid contact dermatitis on one of my feet and I don't want anyone to see it. These little bobby dazzlers are perfect. James actually saw them before I did and said to get them. He has great taste.


They were £10 and are faux suede. I normally take a 7, but these are an 8 as the 7 was too narrow for my wide feet. They have a zip up the back and come quite high up. I don't think I'd be able to walk any distance in them, but for a bit of schmoozing at weddings I think they'll work.

My toenails aren't black, that's greeny-purple Accessorize nail varnish on them ;)

I also got a dress for the weddings in the Simply Be sale. It's by Jeffrey and Paula and was down from £45 to £25, if memory serves. This is my 'I'm a little teapot' pose. Standing like this gives me the shoulders of an American football player! I'm breathing in so hard here it's a wonder I didn't pass out. Vanity is a terrible thing!


It's a sheer dress which comes with a stretchy under-dress. I'm 5 foot 5 and a half, so this is a little short for a maxi dress, but not terribly so. I think I might do a little fake tan tomorrow so the shade of the dress looks nicer against my skin. 

---

A friend on Facebook gave me a heads up about some goodies that are being given away with the July edition of Glamour magazine. 


 Side note - I LOVE Adele! 

There are 3 different mini BeneFit goodies being given away, and after going into 6 different shops over the period of about 4 days I managed to get 2 of the 3. The magazine is only £2 and you get 4mls of product worth about £8 each so I'm still chuffed!


I got Posie Tint and Bene Tint. 




I'm going to try using them in the next couple of days. 

---

The electricians still haven't finished the rewire and will be back again tomorrow. The only power in the house tonight is in the living room. The sparkies set up an extension lead from the living room to the kitchen so we can run the fridge freezer and the kettle. 

I emptied out the spare room over a period of 2 days so they could do the wall sockets in there, but because they were doing the main bedroom too, I couldn't store stuff in there. I had to move everything into the hallway, the living room and the balcony. Because the landlord is tight and/or strapped for cash it's not a full rewire - they aren't going into the walls themselves to get at the cables, they're going under the floorboards and running cable up the walls and putting trunking over it to cover them up. I've had to have a furniture rearrange in the main bedroom, as they've put sockets back in different places, so the furniture wouldn't fit as it was before. It's no big deal though, I like change. 

Do you like magazine freebies?
What's new with you? 
Any plans this weekend?

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hi!

It's time for some well-needed work to be done on our flat. We've got electricians in doing a basic rewire of the flat. When the electrics were tested a few months ago it became apparent that the place was very dangerously wired. Some sockets had 4 times too much power (eep!), some are totally dead, the electric shower is unsafe, the fusebox is older than I am (and I'm no young 'un!) and it looks like the wiring hasn't been touched in decades. 

They put all the new wiring in for the lighting today, but haven't done the new switches and light fittings, so we have no lights tonight. It's no biggie as we have loads of lamps. Tomorrow they're going to start rewiring the sockets, which is going to be messy and awkward and will mean lots of things need moving. Major upheaval. It's supposed to be a 3 day job (it's only a very basic rewire) and soon we'll have safe electrics, so it's all worth the bother.

Also tomorrow the head of our letting agency is coming round to look at our double glazing in the balcony, as not only does it leak like a sieve in the rain, but one of the locking mechanisms has rusted stiff, which left the 3 feet square window blowing in the wind. As soon as you let go of the handle, it pings back to the open position, and the window flaps open at the top. It's only supposed to open about 3-4 inches wide, but was open at least double that last night, and it really looked like the top left hinge was going to give.

The photo below was taken on a day with no wind.

This is as far as we could shut it before we taped it up

Last night we had heavy winds and rain and it took both of us to hold the window in place to stop it snapping off its hinges at the top. Eventually the wind died down enough for is to tape the handle into the locked position by attaching it to the adjacent window's handle. It felt like we were on the deck of the bloody Titanic - rain was pouring in as the window kept opening, the wind knocked the breath right out of us - and there were more than a few expletives uttered, I can tell you ;)



We also taped all around the window, as the hinge on the left side is so rusty there's about a half inch gap between the window and the frame. We taped all around so no wind or rain could get in. I emailed these pics to the letting agency tonight and they rang back 5 minutes later.

I'm not sure the landlord is going to have the purse to pay for new double glazing so soon after a rewire, but it really needs to be done, it HAS needed doing for a long time, and I'd wager he's been putting it off for years, hence things being so dire now.

I'll be interested to see what course of action is taken - if they board it up to keep it dry, leave it as it is (which will make me most unhappy), or pull their fingers out and replace the double glazing SOON.

They say things go in threes, I wonder what's next ;) 
It's nice to know that once everything is done it'll be lovely. 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Some visible signs of my illness

I found the lead to my camera - yippee! Expect a few photo blogs now.

I've wanted to do a blog about some of the things my illness does to my face and scalp. My skin and scalp are incredibly dry, and I have various rashes here and there. I'm chemically sensitive to hair dye, and increasingly to shampoo. Almost every time I wash my hair my scalp weeps, causing scabs all over my head. It feels like grains of sugar have been sprinkled onto my scalp and have stuck. It's REALLY hard not to pick at them. 

Normally they're not at the front of my scalp where you can see them but it has been getting worse, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to document it. 

Photos are all click-able for bigger ones

It's more of an inconvenience than anything else, it gets a bit sore, but at least my hair covers most of it. Then there's the bloody dandruff! Some of it's big enough to have a face! It's horrible.

The other thing which really pees me off is the rashes on my face. They are worse when I'm hot, the worst time being when I'm just out of the shower, or if I've been out in the sun. 

I don't look very happy, do I?


Just look at all those bloody freckles!!

The redness on my forehead is some kind of eczema I think, as when I scratch it it sheds skin. It feels thicker than the rest of my skin too. 

The rash on my cheeks burns like fire! It gets so hot and leaks clear liquid, like sweat but more slippery, if that makes sense. Sometimes I have to ice my face, as it's really uncomfortable.

Well that's what I see when I look in the mirror every day.
There's quite some covering up to do there!

Since this is a blog with me looking craptacular, I'll counter it with the next post, which is me doing some makeup swatches. 

What do you have to hide from the rest of the world?

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Elemis Monoi Melt review

Hello you!

I've been meaning to talk about Elemis Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt (how's about that for a tongue-twister!) for as long as I've had it, which is about 7 months.

I don't know why it's taken me so long, because it's the only thing that totally moisturises my Fibro-ravaged skin. I have a huge range of lotions and potions to use with my parched skin, but the only one which provides long lasting moisturisation is the Monoi melt. 



It generally retails at about the £29 mark, but when you consider you can use it all over your body, on your hair and scalp as a treatment, on your nails and cuticles, and also to get rid of that ever-so-annoying sticky residue from home waxing, it seems a lot more reasonable. I bought mine from an Ebay seller for about £24 (for 100ml).

Here's what is said about it:
Monoi Oil leaves the skin unbelievably satin-smooth whilst shielding the skin against external aggressors. The exquisite aroma of the Frangipani flower, known as ‘Flower of the Gods’, intoxicates the senses as the Elemis Exotic Fragipani Monoi Moisture Melt warm oil nourishes and smoothes dry areas.

It comes as a solid in the bottle and is made into liquid oil by putting it into hot water. It's in a glass bottle so I just put it in a sink full of hot water while I shower so it's ready to go when I come out. Applied to damp skin, it leaves a lingering smell which is very pleasant (pleasant enough for the Mr to notice), although I wouldn't know the smell of frangipani from falafel! ;) A little goes a long way, but because of the price it isn't something I use every day. I'd imagine if I had used it every day it'd probably have lasted me about a month (pure guesswork). 
 
I'd recommend this to anyone with exceedingly dry or mature skin who needs protection from the elements and some relief from dry, scaly skin, especially if like me your skin is prone to chapping on cold, windy days. 
 
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Today/Tomorrow

Today

I took a call from my specialist who let me know my chest X Ray was clear (hence no Sarcoidosis) and that my bloods had inflammatory markers to further add to the Fibromyalgia diagnosis. At least I know now. It's a huge relief.



I did some exercise on the Wii even though I was dead tired. Gentle exercise every day is my new mantra. 




I didn't come on. I have no idea what's going on with my cycle any more. I have been regular at 29 days for a long time (there has been a little blip occasionally) and came on exactly 8 weeks after my surgery to the day. Thus followed one more cycle of 29 days, and for the last two months I have no idea what's going on with things. I will see what Mother Nature brings me soon enough, I'm sure. 



Tomorrow 

The man and I are going to the registry office to organise our banns. It's one step closer to the big day :)



What's new with you today?

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Health stuff - a flicker of hope?

I had an appointment to see a specialist today.

I was seeing a specialist from 2008 until late 2009 and it wasn't a fruitful experience. When I told my GP recently things were still bad she arranged to send me back to the same department (Thoracic) and I was dreading it. Also, as a woman of size I was expecting to be moaned at for that above all else, as has always been the case.

I'd worked myself up into such a state that when the nurse took my blood pressure it was sky high, and my heartbeat was at 150 beats per minute! Holy cow! I was virtually having a panic attack. 

I needn't have worried as the doctor was really nice, didn't nag on about my weight *quelle surprise* and actually listened to me! He told me he thinks I might have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He did say that he hates labels, as sometimes people can think they're worse off than they actually are because they have this millstone around their neck, and because the 'chronic' part of chronic fatigue suggests never getting better. I've been ill for 4 years give or take a couple of months, and have a good idea of my limitations, so any label attached to me won't make me take to my death bed! For all intents and purposes he has put 'Fibro and CFS??' on my notes with emphasis on the question marks, I guess.



 You can read more about Fibromyalgia here.



You can read more about CFS here.

While I was at the hospital today I had a load of blood tests and also a chest X Ray. This is because when I first presented with symptoms in early 2008 (pain symptoms, that is - I'd already been exhausted for about 9 months by then) my GP thought I had Sarcoidoisis. I told the specialist today I don't think I do have Sarc (he concurred), and that I've long suspected I have Fibro/CFS, and although he shares my suspicion he said as I hadn't had most of my tests repeated since 2008 he would do those again to rule out Sarcoidosis once and for all. He did say some people with my symptoms DO have Sarcoidosis, but that it's dangerous to prescribe Steroids willy-nilly, especially in a person of size.

So hopefully some help is at hand! Wheee!
I will wait to hear about the results from my GP and go from there. 


It might seem odd to some that being suspected of having 2 major medical complaints is a relief, but believe me, when you've been ill for almost 4 years and have been doubting your sanity because of it, a possible diagnosis is a lifeline, as a diagnosis might bring some help.

EDIT - I DO have Fibro and CFS. 

Thanks for reading.