School holiday or rainy day activities

We are almost at the end of the Summer holidays so I thought I'd share a few of the (craft) things we have done.

Source Pinterest

As you know if you read my blog, I tend to not do a lot of stuff away from home with my daughter as it wipes me out so much & I end up suffering for days afterwards. It often leaves me bedbound which then makes me as useful as a chocolate teapot. Thanks M.E!

I do go out sometimes though as if I didn't I think it would drive me insane. But I need to decide each time whether it's worth the suffering because if I go too far, the travelling takes a big toll on me before we've even got there. Then whatever it is we are doing will affect me almost instantly & flare my symptoms up. If I am up to going out in the first place, as long as it's somewhere close & doesn't involve doing much, I will be ok for a little while. Using a wheelchair isn't always practical though so sometimes it's just easier for me to stay at home (which always makes me feel rubbish mentally but that's a whole different post & I'm sure I've talked about it before!) & leave them to it.

So given all that, we do a lot of stuff in the house. It wipes me out still but at least I can go & have a rest rather than wait until I've gone past the stage of rest even remotely helping! I've talked before about some of the games & things we play - post here - but we love getting all the craft stuff out & making a mess! Using imagination is always fun.

We got some new paints from Aldi as all ours had pretty much dried out. They sell 4 bottles for £1.99 in various colours & it is really good.

Painting is always a big hit with children but this time I had saved a few paper towel rolls which I cut down & made into stuff for painting. I had seen the ideas online somewhere & my daughter loved it. One of them was to put bubble wrap around the roll & cover in paint before rolling onto paper. Easy peasy!

I then asked her to choose a shape (she went with triangle) & we cut bits away around the bottom of it. She painted the triangles & used it to stamp with. Again very easy!

She mixed some of the colours up & of course we added some glitter too... she was very pleased with her artwork!

Another thing we decided to do after she realised one of her teddies had a birthday (thanks to a Build-a-Bear birth certificate which she discovered!) was to make some stuff for a party. I suggested making some paper cupcakes. We had some paper towel rolls left (they come in so handy!!) & we just used a few sheets of the paper to wrap around them & folded back into themselves. She coloured them in & hey presto...

We used some pipe-cleaners to make a candle & felt balls to use as sweets. She asked if we could make a Pass the Parcel game so she put a pack of mini playing cards in as the prize & used paper towels to layer it up. So cute!!

She had made some bunting using string & some napkins that we had left over from a previous (real) birthday party. She was happy with her party planning! We had to then sit & play Pass the Parcel with the teddy bear. She even got her CD player to use for the music!!

I love spending time with my girlie. It's always fun when we get stuck in to crafty stuff. I think I'm a bit hard on myself sometimes too & don't realise that she will be remembering all these things we do together as much as she will being at the park or whatever. I remember so many things from being little & only today I had a flashback to being really small at my grandma's house as we made some rose perfume from roses my neighbour brought me from her garden a few days ago. The smell instantly took me back to being 5 years old & it's stuff like that I'm hoping my little girl will have fond memories of too ♡

What have you been up to in the holidays? Would love to hear new ideas to save for next time!



Some of the things I'm liking at the moment

I see a lot of the 'monthly favourites' videos on YouTube & I really like watching them so thought I would do a post with some of the stuff I'm enjoying at the moment.

1) Obviously my daughter! Although we are in the midst of Summer holidays & she had a few days in a row of being a very stroppy little thing but that seems to have settled down again now. It's really hard in the holidays keeping them occupied (I am working on a post at the moment with some of the stuff we've done) & especially when you are poorly but it has been nice spending lots of time with her. I do find school holidays difficult too though as everyone is always posting about all the fun places they have been on social media & due to my illness I haven't been able to do a lot of it so it's not easy to ignore but we make our own fun a lot of the time so I shouldn't let it get to me.

My girlie makes me laugh so much & really lifts me when I don't feel so cheerful! Last week we went to a play place with one of her friends which was fun. I love seeing her enjoying herself.

Photos are so important to me which leads me onto my next thing...

2) Before we went on holiday I got a new camera as the one I'd had for years was long in need of replacing. I wasn't sure which to get as I didn't need anything really fancy but still wanted something that took decent pictures.

After a bit of research I ended up getting the
Panasonic Lumix TZ55 (which is on Amazon at a really good price at the moment!).

I am really impressed with it & I enjoyed taking lots of snaps on holiday. Even though the auto setting takes nice pictures, there are various editing tools too if you want to change them around. For those who like taking sefies or for group shots it has a flip screen too which is a good feature.

I also had to get a new phone last weekend as mine had totally broken. I upgraded early to the Samsung A5 & I am so impressed with the image quality. I have also realised when taking selfies it makes me look airbrushed which can't be a bad thing either!!

3) Some of you will know I enjoy making bracelets when I feel up to it but I seemed to totally lose my mojo. However I have finally got it back & have been making some bits this week. I really enjoy doing it & I love gifting them to people which makes them smile so of course that makes me smile. And my new phone captures the beads so well too! This is one I made for my sister.

4) I am loving (as always) positive quotes. I just received a card from my friend today saying "never let anyone dull your sparkle" I have put it on the wall next to my bed. I have various different ones & just love the idea of a wall of happiness! I have some postcards with nice quotes on too so I just need to get a frame for them & can put it up.

5) My friend Meg started a YouTube channel fairly recently. I had never really been into YouTube until then but I am hooked now. I don't think I am just bias because she's my friend because she's just so lovely! I really enjoy watching her videos & I am clearly not the only one who thinks so as currently she has 18 & a half thousand subscribers & it is going up all the time.

I am so proud of her & not only does she make me laugh a lot but she's so genuinely nice you can't help but like her (plus we share a love of Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders!). Please check her channel out at MegSays & if you enjoy her videos, leave her a little comment telling her I sent you!

6) This is quite an obvious one for anyone that knows me but it is my hair accessories from Crown & Glory! As you probably know I get their monthly subscription boxes & I love how much gorgeous stuff I have. No matter how rubbish I am feeling I just reach for one of my many pretties & I feel so much nicer with something in my hair. I recently got a new cake stand to put some of them on as the one I was using was too overcrowded so now I have several places where I keep my stash!! If you want to read my unboxing post for the August box it's here.

I could probably go on & on but I will stop now! I'd love to know what sort of stuff you're liking at the moment. Leave me a message in the comments & I may hold you responsible for me developing an obsession... I mean a liking... for the same!

Thanks for reading,



Glitterati unboxing August 2015

If you read my blog you'll already know I am a huge fan of Crown and Glory  & their monthly subscription box The Glitterati. If not where have you been?!

It's been a whole year since the start of The Glitterati & although I didn't join until October, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the much awaited first birthday box. There had been a poll in the group for us to vote for our favourite themes but there was no guarantee of what it would be despite lots of us hoping for unicorns!

My little Miss made a card with some of her favourite bits & we sent it to Sophie & Gareth to say Happy Birthday!

Each time the postperson brings my box I feel like doing a happy dance (which if M.E wasn't there I think I'd actually do). Instead I do a bit of a silent woooop & hold it for a few minutes admiring the glittery tape. But then I can't wait any longer & in I go...

Lo and behold the first thing I saw was a unicorn sticker. Hurrah!

And then a gorgeous print from Veronica Dearly whos work I love. Rainbows & unicorns... It was like the perfect box!

And this is what was inside...

Unicorn headband, which is part of Crown & Glory's collaboration with Sugar & Vice
 RRP £20

Glitter rainbow clip
 RRP £12

Rainbow rose clip (limited edition)
RRP £3

Unicorn wing comb
RRP £10

Love bobby pin pair
RRP £5

Glitter unicorn hair (in blue, yessss) which is the first look at their new line of hair accessories

The whole box was totally gorgeous & I *think* (although I seem to say that often) that this has been my favourite one so far.

If you would like to share the joy that these amazing boxes bring, as well as joining a fab community of ladies, if you give my name as your referral (Alison West) we will both get £10 to spend on the site. Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed!

Before I go I want to share a YouTube video that one of our lovely Glitterati ladies Amber put together, in celebration of the first birthday. Some of the members (including me & mini me!) filmed messages to show what the Glitterati means to them. It is so much more than a group of people who like hair accessories, which you will see if you watch. Thank you Amber for putting it together & a big thank you to Sophie & Gareth for putting a smile on my face each month as well as creating the best girl gang to be a part of! Having something to look forward to (as I've mentioned several times since signing up!) when you have chronic illness makes such a huge difference & I can't thank you enough.



Holiday Part 2 - Puerto Pollensa Majorca 2015

Following on from my previous post about the journey - here - this is the rest of my holiday blog.

Part 2.
Arrival & holiday

I am always so relieved when we've landed safely & feel like I can finally relax. Time to enjoy myself! Because I had wheelchair assistance, we had to stay on the plane until everyone had got off. It makes me feel a bit claustrophobic when they all stand up the second the seatbelt sign is off waiting for the doors to open.

Once all the passengers have got off, they bring an ambi-lift to the doors of the plane. They always take the wheelchair off you when you get on the plane as it goes in the hold, but in my experience it has always been waiting for me before going into the terminal. While we were waiting for them, the cabin crew & captain were at the front so my little girl thanked them for the flight and the captain asked if she wanted to sit in the cockpit. Oh yes she did!! She loved it. He told her she could turn the wheel so she thinks she moved the plane. And she pressed something which made a noise so she thought it was brilliant. Think she would have happily stayed there!

One of the perks of having assistance is that you don't need to queue. Which at any airport is a pretty good thing, but at Palma airport it's excellent as it's so huge! By the time we got through security & to the carousel, our luggage was there so we went to find the coach. We must have been some of the last people to get on it as not long after we were ready to go. That was a bonus as sometimes we can be sat waiting for ages. It took about 40 minutes to get there which compared to the 90 minutes it had said in the brochure was a pleasant surprise.

We've been to Puerto Pollensa once before. I was pregnant at the time so it was around 7 years ago but I'd always wanted to go back. It's a fishing port & it isn't very built up so it still feels really traditional. I had already had confirmation from the Travel Agents that we'd been given a first floor room near the lift as I had requested so when we got to the hotel & we saw the room I was really happy. The hotel has had a recent refurb & is lovely & modern so I was pretty excited.

I can never relax properly until the unpacking has been done so we cracked on. We were still in time for dinner so we headed down after a quick change. I was exhausted & wasn't that hungry as I'd eaten on the journey but I still had a few bits. We were all inclusive too so no having to make sure we had money on us!! The restaurant has been extended since we were there & they have chefs cooking fresh meat & fish each night as well as a huge choice of other stuff. Was very impressed throughout the week with the food.

We went to sit round the pool & had a drink. It was so hot & I finally felt like I was on holiday. There was entertainment going on but we didn't stay long as we were ready for some sleep after a day of travelling. I was hiring a scooter but the place was shut until the morning so we headed to bed. I dosed myself with painkillers & sprayed some heat stuff on my wonky body!

Our hotel was the biggest in the resort with lots going on. We stayed at the Fergus Pollensa Park. Hotels are always a bit noisy at night/early morning but that's to be expected. We managed some sleep & even though I felt pretty knackered & achey the next day, we headed down for breakfast. There was everything you could possibly want to eat. Then it was time to go & chill by the pool!

I had booked the scooter via reception so went to collect it at the time they said it would be there. However in typical Spanish "maƱana" style, they were not on time! It was an English lady who brought it for me so we had a chat & I was rather happy to discover the scooter was blue, my favourite :) And of course my little Miss loved it...she spent all week wanting a lift on it & I think she was as disappointed as me at the end of the week. I love having the independence of a scooter as oppose to being in the wheelchair. I did find it hurt my hand where I was having to hold down the accelerator but other than that it was good.

Just in case you wondered I am wearing shorts in this!! 

The outside area in the hotel was really nice with decent sunloungers & not the usual white plastic things you usually get. There were activities going on throughout the day for both children & adults. I hadn't really intended on sending my daughter to the Mini Club that often but it turned out to be really good & they did stuff around the grounds so we could pull a chair up & watch close by. They did stuff like colouring, yoga, pool games, garden games & every night was a mini disco. She loved it & made a lovely friend who she spent a lot of the holiday with & we spent time with her parents so that was nice. We are actually going to see them in a few weeks as they don't live very far away.

I felt really chilled whilst we were away, I went & had the odd rest but did feel relaxed round the pool & I was in the shade a fair bit as I can't seem to hack the sun very much these days. We had the occasional wander in the day but it was so hot that it was pretty uncomfortable. We went to the beach one day but it was busier than I thought it would be so we had a drink at a beach bar & left after an hour or so. Beautiful beach though.

The resort has the beach running along next to a road & from our hotel it was about a ten minute walk to the harbour where the cafes are. Some fab picture opportunities!

All in all we had a lovely time. I find the sun helps me loads too & would live abroad if I could. By the end of the week though I was ready for home. I think doing so much compared to normal was taking it's toll on me & also I was sick of all the food!! Which is really silly as I actually ate really healthily while I was there.. I was feeling pretty wrecked & the thought of travelling home was at the back of my mind. The journey home was really draining as by the time you've got to the airport on the transfer & gone through check-in then security you feel like you are ready for bed. But we had a few more hours yet! I was really good again taking off & did the looking out of the window thing but then turbulence started & I freaked. I really don't like it! Combined with exhaustion I was ready to cry. However, we finally landed safely & were soon home. I love the feeling of climbing into your own bed when you've been away!

I had really bad holiday blues for a few days & felt quite down but I'm ok now. I think because being away I escape everything & although I still feel poorly when I'm on holiday, it is better than being stuck at home not being able to do much. Once you get back it's like reality hits you & there's no escape anymore. But I have all the lovely pictures to look at & some really nice memories. And I would be back there now in a shot!



Holiday part 1 - Puerto Pollensa Majorca 2015

I am going to split my holiday blog post over 2 seperate ones as it will be too long otherwise!

So here we go with part 1.
The Journey.

Even though I had done the majority of packing in advance, of course I still ended up a bit stressed the few days prior to leaving. The last bits seem to be the most stressful and I kept thinking of yet more stuff I needed. I was going to get some Rescue Remedy to try to keep me calm (or calm me down I should say!) but I never ended up getting round to it.

I didn't sleep much the night before, which always seems to happen when I'm going away no matter what time I am travelling. I am a rubbish sleeper anyway but add a holiday to the mix & I've no chance! I did manage a bit of sleep though & then woke up far too early. Great. I had to cram the last bits into my ever increasing hand luggage which included travel cushions, a few bits of make up, chargers, tablet, camera, travel documents & a couple of clear bags with various toiletry bits I didn't want to risk getting smashed in the main case etc etc. You get the idea. There was a lot! And it was heavy. Good job I had a wheelchair to rest it on!!

Fast forward a few hours & the taxi arrived. As the hubby was hoovering. Seriously.. hoovering. I was not impressed but it made me seem to forget about panicking so much as I was shouting that the taxi was there over the sound of the hoover. Men! I had done the usual "our cases seem really heavy" thing, despite us being allowed to take up to 22kg in each case. I do it every time. And every single time we are way under.

We had done the online check-in via the Travel Agent & had booked wheelchair assistance. However when we got to the desk they had no record of the assistance. Erm what?! Slight moment of panic but she said she could add it no problem. It's at the other end that I need it more. Palma airport is ridiculously huge so without them helping us through security etc it would be a nightmare with the wheelchair. But all was ok. And our cases weighed about 5kg under! Surprise surprise.

Little miss practising for her holiday!

Then it was security which always makes me anxious for some reason. But we were soon through. My daughter was relieved that none of us had anything bad on us!! We went through to the departure lounge & nipped to the loo. The next thing, we heard someone knocking on the door. And then again. Probably kids I thought. But no, hubby was standing there saying he had heard an announcement with our name saying to go to a particular gate as a matter of urgency. Bloody brilliant. However he hadn't been listening properly so had no idea where to go. 'Surely they wouldn't be calling us' I thought... I sent him off to find someone as I was annoyed I'd not had chance to look at duty free (!) & he came back a few minutes later saying it was someone else with the same name.. I was not very happy with him & I stomped (wheeled myself) off into Superdrug!!

I managed to grab a few bits I'd wanted for a while (Rimmel stay matte primer, holiday necessity!) then suddenly it was time to board. With having wheelchair assistance we had to get to the gate earlier than the other passengers. An hour earlier in fact. The guy found us before we found him & took us to the ambi-lift which is a special lift they use to take you up to the plane, which was quite far away. I was also complimented on my funky wheels several times which was nice! Why have a boring wheelchair when you can have a blinged one (post all about it here!)

Leading the way to the plane!

Our seats were towards the back of the plane & they had said we would board via the rear steps, but the lift goes at the front so I had a bit of a walk down the plane. It was fine though. We usually get on first but this time it was after everyone else. Cue all the stares from people! (This is when I feel like wearing a badge saying I have a chronic illness)..

And then the panic started. I hate taking off. I always sit with my eyes shut & my head under a pashmina because I'm a big baby, but this time my friend had given me a tip (you know who you are!!) to keep my eyes open & look out of the window when taking off. I didn't know if I would be able to do it, but I did. For the first time in years. I can't say I particularly enjoyed it but I was so proud! And it really did make a difference. I didn't feel as scared or as iffy as usual. Until the turbulence kicked in & I freaked haha.

Because the flight was only a few hours it wasn't that bad. Sort of. And it did go quite fast. Once they have been round with drinks, snacks etc & we've eaten half our sweets it soon passes the time. My daughter was kept occupied with various crafty bits I'd got her & her DS which I ended up playing Super Mario on for a while! There was a fair bit of turbulence on the way down so I wasn't as brave as on the way up (I was a complete & utter scaredy cat as my daughter would say) but after some breathing exercises & telling myself it was fine we were down. Yay, we were in Majorca!!!

To be continued..


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