Pre holiday shenanigans

So I am currently in the pre-holiday 'only a few days to go now' stage & further to my previous post about why I pack early here I thought I would post a little update.

I had a list of the last bits I needed... why do we take so much for a week's holiday?!  I made it out to the shops for a bit with my sister & managed to tick a lot of it off. And bought various snack stuff for my hand luggage in the process. Haribo anyone? Of course it knackered me but I couldn't relax until it was done.

I then decided to tackle packing the toiletries. Which is a task in itself. A few years ago I had a shampoo leak which I didn't know about until unpacking at the other end. Oh it was not a pretty sight! So every time I go away now I put tape around the lids of everything! (I had some nail polish remover pads leak last year which I hadn't taped. Fail). I then wrap stuff in a plastic bag. Mock if you like but it's so much better than having to clean whatever is it that has leaked when you open your case. No one wants a load of sticky stuff all over their pretty clothes!! My friend suggested using washi tape as it's easier than sellotape to get off - thanks Sian - so that's what I've used this time. Prettiest looking bottles heading to Majorca I bet...

As I mentioned in my other post I sorted my clothes without any hassle & the fact I packed a while ago means I've actually forgotten what's in the case! So of course this means I can't match my hair accessories to my outfits so I need various ones just in case (so sly). I think I will take them in my hand luggage too as the special Glitterati bag I am using to take them in (thanks to Sophie & Gareth aka Mr & Mrs Glitterati) is a fab size plus I can't risk them getting lost. I'd be more concerned about them than my clothes with how attached I am to them haha!!

And can I just say I'm a little envious of my little girl's flip flops. I mean glitter & flamingos!!!

So to how I have been feeling. I have been pretty chilled all week about it & I was feeling ok. Or so I thought. It's weird that when you think you're alright, bubbling away under the surface is the big bad anxiety monster. Which keeps hidden until suddenly BOOM. IN YOUR FACE! I started with chest pains earlier suddenly from nowhere & felt really tight chested which scared me so I had to stagger upstairs so I could lay down. I was struggling to get my words out which happens with an M.E crash but this was different. The pains stopped after a while but the tight chest stayed for quite a long time. I had to literally stay laying down most of the day as I felt worse if I got up. I think it must have been an anxiety attack that totally took me by surprise.

However, when I think about the things I will be doing in the next week, I don't think it is such a surprise really. Travelling with a chronic illness that I know will make my symptoms increase is a biggie, especially as I know the after effects won't be the most pleasant. I have disabled assistance booked for the airport which means less queueing etc but I get pretty wrecked travelling. Plus after a bad landing (or should I say a non landing) last year it freaked me out a bit. A lot. It is also my daughter's dance show tomorrow & I think because I know by going it will wipe me out which is far from ideal so close to going away it is making me anxious. But I am having the mummy guilt & know that if I don't go I will probably feel more rubbish than if I do!

I suppose I need to try to stay calm, not worry about the what-if's & just take each day. I am focusing on chilling out in the sun so even if I don't feel brilliant on the day we travel I will just do my best. I CAN DO THIS. I have plenty of stuff to help make the journey as comfortable as possible & a little girl who makes me laugh so I think I'll be ok. Failing that I have lots of sweets....

Source Princess Sassy Pants on Facebook



Parcelgenie.. Sending instant gifts the easy way!

Some of you may already be aware of Parcelgenie as it has been around for a while. For those of you that don't know what it is, I am about to introduce you to something rather amazing!

I first became aware of it about a year ago when I saw something on Twitter & I do love a random act of kindness so it's ideal for me. It's an instant gift service that you download as an app on your phone, available on either Android or IPhone. They have a range of gifts, all really reasonably priced. They start at £1.99 & go up to around £8.00 I think. They are mainly food type gifts like sweets & chocolate but they also have other stuff like lovely little charms or tealight candles.

You just choose the gift you want to send & it connects to your contacts so you can choose who to send it to. You don't need the person's address as once you've arranged for it to be sent, Parcelgenie sends a text to the recipient saying you have sent them a gift & asks them for their address details. Then you get a message saying it has been dispatched. Simple as that.

You can pay either by PayPal or with a card but I always use PayPal. I have just checked to see how many times I've used it to send gifts & was shocked to see there were 22! I know they have made a lot of people smile & for me suffering from my illness, it isn't always easy for me to go to the shops to buy something or to the post office to send stuff so I find it very convenient. I've received gifts too from people & they look so pretty when they arrive as they are wrapped really nicely. I've even sent my daughter things a few times as she loves getting post!

This is one I received recently

However, as if Parcelgenie wasn't genius enough already, they have now come up with a brilliant new text service making it accessible to a lot more people. Not everyone has Smartphones so this is ideal. They have 10 of their best selling gifts available & I used it for the first time recently. It was so straightforward. You send Parcelgenie a text telling them which gift you would like to send & whatever message you want. For example "send mum a chocolate pizza to cheer her up". They respond asking for the person's mobile number & then they text them asking for their address. It means you can now send gifts via text without actually having to download the app. Or without knowing the recipient's address. Easy peasy!

Another great thing about the text service is that first time users automatically get 50% off their first order!! So what are you waiting for... go go go!

All the information about how to use it is here at http://txt.parcelgenie.com

I'd love to know if you give it a go.. It really is so simple & such a good, inexpensive way to put a smile on someone's face. I mean look how happy my friend looked when she received her Hearts and Kisses gift today :-)

Happy gifting!



Holiday packing - Spoonie style!

It's almost time for our holiday & I know a lot of people dread packing because it's such a chore. I never particularly liked doing it before I got ill so still find it a hassle but since having M.E I kind of get organised (or try to) several weeks before we so. Because if I leave everything until last minute then it will completely stress me out & make me burn out which may mean not being well enough to travel. And an even poorlier than usual Spoonie (see previous post here about what a spoonie is) is not a pretty sight!

As a holiday approaches, out comes all the small clothing or swimwear that hasn't seen the light of day for a long time. Some stuff I have only makes an appearance when it's holiday time then it gets put away in a cupboard never to be seen again until the next one.. I have some sarongs that are practically as old as me (& I never seem to wear them when I am away!) but it's almost become a ritual for me when packing. "Oh that old thing" I think as I put it in the case. And then re-pack it a week later at the other end wondering why I bothered to take it...

Source Pinterest

The thing I love about beach holidays is that you don't really need that much stuff. I mainly take dresses for the evening & they are always lightweight as no-one wants to be sweaty (or sweatier than you already are) on an evening. We already have to battle with huge hair that no matter how much anti frizz serum goes on it, never stays frizz free. I imagine I shall mostly be wearing mine in a high bun with one of my various hair accessories this time around. However choosing which ones to take has become more of a problem than which clothes to take. So I'm taking a fair few. They are only small so it's acceptable.

After asking (some may say nagging) the hubby to get the cases from the loft several times (why do men never listen?), he finally got them down & I discovered one of them was broken. I seem to remember my mum borrowed it a few years ago & it happened then (!) so no idea why we still have it! I've borrowed another one from her now so didn't have to panic buy a new one. We only take 2 cases between the 3 of us as my daughter doesn't really have enough stuff to fill a case so it's just a waste. Every time we go away I think we will be over on the weight but we never are.

I had a trying on session a few weeks ago & pretty much knew what I was going to take, some new but mainly summer stuff I had already. Of course the denim hotpants from my recent Primark haul are in there!! I also got my little girl to try her stuff on the other day. She's grown quite a bit taller recently so a few things were shorter than we'd anticipated. Good job her big cousin passes stuff down as she has some gorgeous dresses to take!

I am fairly sensible when it comes to shoes & am only packing 3 pairs of sparkly flats!!! I am hiring a mobility scooter when we get there, which I much prefer to using my wheelchair, so although I could get away with heels I'm not bothering. This was me on the scooter last year, as you can see I am really mature!

Currently the cases are in my daughter's bedroom half filled with our clothes ( not his as he will no doubt do it the day before!) & a few toiletries. That's another thing I find a hassle buying for a holiday so this year I did an online shop at Superdrug which made it a lot less stressful. Most stuff was on some sort of offer & I managed to get pretty much everything except children's suncream which we will get elsewhere. I always put some tape around lids & then put each bottle in a freezer bag as I had a shampoo leak a few years ago & it was a nightmare!

I used to pack loads of medicine type stuff (other than my own tablets which I always take in hand luggage) but don't bother with that much now as the pharmacies over there are so good, so if we do need anything we can just get it there. I always pack the basics like antiseptic cream & plasters. Oh and calpol which is a necessity with children!

I intend on getting my makeup bits & jewellery together this week. Not that I wear that much makeup on holiday as I will hopefully have a bit of colour on my face. A selection of lippies & some of the glittery eye liners I use from Collection cosmetics will be pretty much all I need. And I always end up taking loads of jewellery but don't wear half of it so am going to be sensible. Or try at least.

I have packed most of the evening stuff already on hangers as they never provide enough when you are away, plus it makes it easier when you get there. No matter how knackered I am, I always feel better once the unpacking has been done so tend to do it when we arrive & then can push the cases under the beds & forget about them!

A tip I learnt from my friend Sian who blogs at howtodealwithme.blogspot.co.uk & has a series of travel tips for Spoonies on her blog, was to pack your beach bag ready with what you need so depending on when you arrive you can just grab it & go without having to think about what to put in it. I found this useful last time so am doing it again. It already has my huge hat in & some sunglasses so I will add bits to it & then pack away with everything else.

I always split stuff between the cases so if one went missing at least there would be enough in the other to keep us going. And I always put a bikini in my hand luggage just in case both cases went AWOL!  I take an inflatable cushion in my hand luggage too so I can put it at the bottom of my back as I get so uncomfortable. I got one from Poundland & have tested it already as the one I got last time was rubbish & deflated every 2 minutes.

I am aware this is getting really long so going to stop now & I might do another post before I go. To let you know if I have managed to be as sensible as planned!

If you have any questions or tips please leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading



Making food fun (and healthy)!

I am very lucky that my little girl has always been a good eater. She has never been very fussy, prefers salad/vegetables to meat & will always try new things.

Whenever possible I try to make food a bit fun for her whether it is by her getting involved somehow or by making it look pretty! She loves to bake too but due to my limited energy I need to be careful how much I do so we tend to stick to more basic things.

Something we make for dinner, which is a firm favourite, is our own healthy chicken nuggets. They are so easy & she loves doing it. Me not so much as raw egg turns my stomach but hey ho!

All you need is chicken breast pieces, 2 eggs & cornflakes. Yes you read correctly, I did say cornflakes!  You crush, bash or jump on them if necessary to get them into a breadcrumb like consistency but we keep them quite chunky so they are a bit more crunchy.  You mix the eggs, dip the chicken pieces in & then roll them in the cornflakes, covering them as much as possible.

Place them on a baking tray covered in tinfoil (which I do so you can just throw it away afterwards & it makes cleaning a lot easier)!  They take about 30 minutes in the oven at about 180 & that's it. Done. As Gordon Ramsay would say.

My little girl always asks for wooden sticks to put in them so she can eat them like lollipops so we use toothpicks & they work a treat!  We usually have them with potato wedges cooked in coconut oil. And some sort of veg. Nice healthy meal!

Another favourite of hers is to make pizzas out of tortilla wraps. Just spread some tomato puree or passata onto a wrap, add cheese & then any toppings they want. The pizzas take about 15 minutes to cook in the oven & they are lovely. Again, as they have done it themselves they seem to like it & they aren't as unhealthy as normal pizza. And they taste delicious!

For a healthy version of fish and chips we oven bake some white fish with chips cooked in coconut oil (or olive oil) & some peas! My daughter really likes it.. Of course it isn't the same as proper fish and chips but it's a nice alternative & doesn't bloat you like the real stuff does!!

A good snack I've been making a lot recently is frozen yoghurt cupcakes with fruit. They take a few minutes & are really yummy. I put a spoonful of yoghurt in a bun case (& I know people call them various things other than buns but that's a whole other discussion & it's what we say in Yorkshire!!!), push a few pieces of fruit in then stick them on a tray to keep them flat & put them in the freezer. They don't take long to freeze & my daughter thinks they are a real treat!

I usually use strawberries, grapes, blueberries or kiwi but most fruit works. And any yoghurts work too, I've tried with flavoured and natural & they all taste as nice.

Talking of frozen treats, a good tip for stopping ice lollies from melting everywhere is to put a bun case underneath them to catch any drips!

Something we had today after our barbeque (which was cooked in the rain.. typical British weather!) was fruit kebabs. I had a vegetable kebab with my dinner but my girlie asked if she could have a fruit one instead so we made some. They looked so pretty! 

And then I said they would be nice with a bit of chocolate spread on them so that's what we did...!!

I'd love to hear of any different stuff people make as I'm always looking for new ideas for meals or snacks (for both me & my little girl). I eat pretty healthily the majority of the time and I'm not sure if not being able to exercise because of my M.E makes me more conscious of what I eat but I do like eating clean (ish). And obviously not all the time. I am partial to a Chinese takeaway! I have cut out bread this last week or so as it bloats me so much & I feel a bit better for it, but I do love bread/toast so am missing it a bit. A previous post of mine about food & eating healthily with M.E is here.

Let me know what you think & whether any of the things above are something you may try :)

Thanks for reading,


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