Another Birthday, Another Year…

Once again I am doing great at getting posts up later than I want them to be, but oh well, the fact it is up is better than nothing. Its just something I will have to work on more in the future. schizo

As some will know, yesterday was my birthday, not that big a deal, just another day really. However it does always make me stop and think about what I want to achieve in the next year of my life. I guess I see my birthdays in a similar light as I see the New Years Eve, I see it as a time to focus myself on what I want to do, and what I want to achieve.

With it only being a couple of months later as well, it gives me the opportunity it kick myself into actually starting what I wanted to do this year. And I certainly haven’t been doing all that well with it yet. You can read here what I laid out at the start of the year as wanting to do, and my reading goals for the year here.  I especially need to step up my game on my reading, as I really am not doing anything near as well as I would like to be, having only read 3 books so far this year.

While I still hold every intention of completing these goals, I also now have another quite major one. I have not done a recovery update for a little while, but in the past couple of weeks I have found out that I am now classified as having Pre- diabetes.

Now my knowledge on this is really rather limited, but from chatting with the doctor, my understanding is that I need to start being careful about what processed food I eat, and watching out for sugars and fats (if I’m wrong PLEASE correct me!). Already I am rather big on eating clean food, and really minimalizing how much food is processed before eating it.

Currently though, I will still snack on probably not the best of foods, and I am definitely a big fan of chocolate. So I think I can see where I could focus on making some improvements, so will see how it goes, but I would love any advice that you might have for pre-diabetes, especially if you have any experience of it while being disabled and unable to exercise.

This year though I had a really lovely low-key birthday, after all I am currently suffering with Tonsillitis, so celebrating wasn’t the first thing on my mind. But I was happy to just spend the day with my Nan and partner, and then have a nice meal in the evening with Dad. I was most definitely very spoilt as well, so I truly could not ask for any more.

When is your birthday? Do you have any plans?


Go to bath products…

Not too long ago I did a post all about my favourite skin care products, all of which I use regularly on my super sensitive skin, you can read that post here. So I thought this time around I would talk to you about all my favourite, and go to bath products.

Personally I am much more of a bath person than a shower person. Baths help me a lot with my back and leg pains, so I try to bath each night as it does help me to sleep.

IDShot_540x540How can anybody have a bath without bubbles? Is a bath really a bath if it isn’t a bubble bath? Yes, I am aware that that makes very little sense, but ha I was making an attempt at being funny. But anyway, I have two bubble baths that I generally use, and they are both Imperial Leather ones. For day to day use, I am currently in love with the Special Edition Cosmic Unicorn bubble bath. It just smells so gorgeous, and makes the bath kind of glittery- perfect in my eyes. Though if I am having a late night bath- which happens all too often- I like to use Relaxing Bath Cream. There is something about the smell of this one that just makes me sleepy and want to drift off to sleep. IDShot_540x540 xMy only thing with these are that I am not 100% confident that Imperial Leather products are vegan and cruelty free. This is something that I am very big on when it comes to beauty products. Please let me know if you know anything about this, and any recommendations for bubble bath that is vegan and good for very sensitive skin.

IDShot_540x540aNow onto body wash. Again I have two that I stick too, one that is reasonably cheap and another that is a treat every now and again. Original Source is a really good cruelty free brand that have great products that don’t flare my skin up. Personally I love the Lemon and Tea Tree shower gel, although I do also like the Mint one and want to try the others. You can often pick it up super cheap in Aldi. Then when I want to treat myself, I love the Happy Naturals Nourishing Argan Oil and Sweet Orange Body Wash. It has such a beautiful summery smell, and leaves my skin so amazing soft, especially when using the Happy Naturals body butter. 5060528313483_L

eadsdJust like with shower gels, I actually have two shampoos. I have one that works brilliantly for my hair when it is healthy and doing well (also known as when I’m not on antibiotics), and another that seems to work a lot better if my hair has gone dead because of medication. The one for when its dead, is actually another rather cheap option that you can pick up in most places, the Alberto Balsam Apple Shampoo. This is by far the best smelling shampoo I have ever come across, both me and my partner use this a daily, and we are rather picky about our hair (him even more than me!). But then my favourite is a slightly more pricey product that you can only get in Sainsburys, and that is  Happy Naturals Intense Repair Argan and Avocado Shampoo. Its another of the Happy Naturals products that smells gorgeous. 5060528313162_L

As you may of noticed, I try to focus on vegan and cruelty free products, Happy Naturals and Original Source, I know are 100% cruelty free. Along with Imperial Leather that I mentioned about, I am not sure about Alberto Balsam. If you could please let me know if you know anything more about it, I would love to hear.

Also please suggest any other vegan and cruelty free bath products that you recommend? Ideally not too expensive. I also use a lot of Lush bath products, but I will do a separate post about those at a later date.



Why we had a low-key Valentines…

Now I am aware that this would probably of made most sense to of been published on Valentines, but I couldn’t quite decide whether or not to post it. Its only been this week, going through some tough situations again that has made me realise just how special our relationship is, and how I don’t need society made holidays to prove that to me. Mental Health

Valentines is a lovely public holiday, and I am not one to complain about an excuse for romance. Normally I like to make a big deal out of it, going on a proper date (something we don’t manage often), and generally just not holding back any expense. Last year we did dinner, a film, lots of pressies, and just generally a day all about just us.

This year, things are different. We are in the process of organising moving out, and with that comes a lot of saving. We are soon to go away on holiday, and although we have had all of our flights paid for, we are still trying to save some money for the holiday to really enjoy ourselves. So with all of that, we are really pushing ourselves to try and save as much money as possible.

So we went low-key. A simple home cooked dinner at home after my partner finished work, and a DVD at home with a sharing pack of chocolate. Some would say that this is a big change and question what caused it. But to be quite honest, we do not need big gestures to know how each other feel.

The truth is, me and my partner have a lot to deal with, between my health issues, and his daughter, but we always make time for each other. We never go a day without telling each other exactly how we feel. We constantly do the little things, to keep each other happy and strong to get through the challenges of life.

He never lets me go to a hospital appointment without knowing I have all of his support, and he has missed out on many nights out and fun things in order to sit at my bedside in A&E holding my hand. Ive spent hours awake in children’s A&E to support him when his daughter is unwell. We never have to feel bad for the other, this is just what we do to support each other.

And its not a big deal, that is just what a relationship is. There is no need to have a specified day to feel like we have to prove anything, as we make sure that we prove it everyday.

That being said, I will never complain at taking the opportunity of Valentines to have a super romantic day. But we don’t need it. And for now, what we need is to save up our pennies and continue to prepare for our future to come.

How did you spend your Valentines day?



Morning Routine

Most of the time my mornings are really rather relaxed; the only time that this is different is if I have appointment. To be fair I am really not a morning person, so I’m never awake for very much of the morning, however I do have quite a set routine for the mornings to make sure I start the day off by doing the basics that have to be done. Mental Health

Generally I don’t set an alarm, I’m not a great sleeper so I find its best to just let myself wake up naturally. Over the years I have found that this is the best way for me to ensure I wake up having a reasonable amount of energy- would love any advice about this?

So, when I wake up, I always start off by going to the toilet and then sit on my bed to finish off my bottle of water from over night- normally there will be about 500mls left over. I like to not go straight onto my phone, however I will just quickly check for any texts or missed calls. On the average morning I will wake up after everyone has already left for work, so I find that I sometimes get important messages from my Dad or something that I need to be aware off.

Next step is to make my way downstairs, so I throw on a jumper and some slipper socks, and then go and make sure the kettle is full and on. By this point, my dog Barney will normally be running laps around me, so I will go and put him in the garden, check his water bowl and put his breakfast down. Once he is back in, its time to check on the Princesses, normally they will just need some fresh hay in the mornings but they also get a peanut as it makes them happy.

With all the animals feed and happy, I will make myself a green tea, and go sit down to take my morning medication. At this time, I will not take any pain relief other than my paracetamol and naproxen. I like to assess my pain levels while I wake up before I guess which strength of pain killers I will need that day. Currently I am also in recovery, so this means I am tracking my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature each day, so I will do my morning checks while drinking my tea. It is then time to make breakfast, which will just be whatever I fancy, generally either gluten free toast, or smoothie and porridge bar.

Once breakfast is eaten, its upstairs again to get dressed for the day, before coming back down to write my to-do list for the day.

That is pretty much it for my morning routine, after this I will just start getting on with my day. This is something that I didn’t actively plan, I just found it was a routine that I naturally fell into.

How do you start your days normally? Do you have a routine, or is each day different?


Thoughts before Moving Out

This is not the first time I have written about the topic of moving, and I know that it will not be the last; but this time is different, because I am not just moving house. This time around, I am moving out with my boyfriend, best friend, partner.

I can definitely say that this time I am really excited, its a huge help that we have no pressure to move, this is just something that we have decided that we want to do. That in itself is a huge difference from my last two moves where I have had to combat being ill with the pressure of suddenly having to moved unprepared.

However that being said, this move comes with all its own new challenges. Mental Health

My whole life I have lived with my Dad, to some degree getting to continue living as a child, with minimal responsibilities and knowing that I can always fall back on my Dad. But with this move, I have stepping up as an adult, and moving forward from being a child to being an adult. And yes, I know I’m 20 something, and yet still consider myself as a child, but to some degree that’s exactly what its like. I’m independent, and do a lot for myself around the house, but when you live with your parents there is always an element of being a child.

So this time around, I am handling all the estate agent stuff, all the paperwork and all the organisation. I will have say in where we move, I will have say in how and when we move, and I will have a lot of say in how our new house will work for us.

That being said, moving forward is truly rather terrifying. Whole heartedly, yes this is what I want to do and what I want to happen, but that doesn’t stop it being a bit scary. Have you ever found a step forward with your life to be really scary?

Generally however I am just so excited. It gets boring very quickly of only being able to be with the person you want to be with by going between two houses. As I’m sure many of you can relate, you get to a point where you just want to get your own place to call home, settle down, and start shaping your life how you want it to be.

Being independent and rather a control freak, it really is going to work better for to live independently. I’m lucky that me and my partner work very similarly together, and often seem like two of the same person.

I will be doing more posts as I move forward with all the organisation, with my plans, thoughts and fears.

At this stage, I would love any tips from people that have moved out for the first time? I would also love to hear from any other Zebra’s who have started trying to live more independently? I’m very apprehensive about how my health is going to impact my move and any future that will ensue from this.


31 in 31 days..

January was the month of challenging myself to publish a blog post each and every day. Lets just say that it has been a month of many challenges not just the one I set myself; I’ve had infections for the entire month, been on antibiotics since the 4th and had five emergency hospital visits. All while trying to achieve my own set challenges; between my TBR, and health goals, I can say I have not had the success I had been hoping.

Mental Health

So I had a day by day plan for what I wanted to post, and I can say that I definitely did not stick to it. I covered the topics that I most wanted to write about this month so, all in all I wouldn’t say that this was the worst of things. To be fair I am surprised that I managed to stick to the plan as much as I did.

As for the biggest part of the challenge, posting 31 different pieces over 31 days; that is a post a day for the whole month of January. I had been doing so well before I ended up in hospital because I collapsed, but that was really the final straw for me having to put the blog aside for just a moment. That being said I managed to only miss out on 3 days of posts. So that works out that I managed 28 different blog posts through out the month.

I have to say I am really proud of this, it was no easy task, but I feel like its been a good positive start to my blogging year, and I have lots of plans now for the coming months.

But that does leave me with one question. Should I move forward blogging twice or three times each week? Last year I worked on the aim of three posts a week, but I would really like my audiences opinion.

Have you ever thought of doing a full month of blogging? Or have you done it in the past? What did you find it taught you?



Some of my recommended blogs…

hkThere are so many bloggers out there, and there is just no way that any of us can achieve what we want to achieve without the support of each other. This is a community that will strive best if we can all wok together; yes there may be some competition but there is no reason why we cant help to promote each other at the same time. So this is just some of the many blogs that I really do feel that you should check out; I will probably do another one at a later date with some more..

Honestly, there is no other blog that I could start with than one of my best friends in this blogging community; she truly does so much for me, and I can honestly say that the blog would not be what it is now without her. Aimee over at Aimee Raindrop Writes is an amazing lifestyle and book blogger who covers such a wide range of topics. I adore all of her bookish posts, but her lifestyle pieces are often so relatable, plus you cant go wrong with a good haul post. You really should go and give her blog a looksie.

My next blog to mention is run by the lovely Ellie, over at Hatterell. Mostly a book blog, but with also university based posts, it really is any bookish nerds dream. Ellie’s blog aside, she is truly a lovely and supportive person, who always leaves really heart felt and supportive messages on my blog. For someone who is so sweet and kind, she deserves some love and attention to her blog.

The next is a blog that is after my own heart, full of book reviews of all different genres that leave my bank account hurting. RoseMarie over at Books and Stuff runs a fabulous blog full of all things bookish. Honestly if you love books anything like I do, then you really do need to go and have a nose at her blog; but you may want to prepare yourself for wanting to buy all the books.

Without this last and final person, same as Aimee really, my blog would probably never of got off the ground in the first place. Justine from Girl Gone Dreamer is another fantastic lifestyle blogger. Over the last few years I’ve had her constant support and advice. Girl Gone Dreamer covers so very many lifestyle related topics, with reviews, guest posts and advice pieces; and wow is it beautiful.

So those are my recommended blogs for today, each have their strengths and are all beautiful! You really should go and have a read as I believe that you will find a new blog to love.

Let me know of any blogs you would recommend; I am always looking for a new blog to read.


Mid Year University Update 2019

Its back round to that time of year where we are half way through the university year, meaning that I am mid way with my current module. This year, I am doing a introductory module on Childhood psychology, and first impressions are that I am absolutely loving it. However this module has not gone as planned so far. Mental Health

So I started this module the first time around last year, but I had to take a break as I was having issues because of having to go on strong pain medication; thankfully though I managed to bank my first two essay scores. This means that technically don’t start studying until this week; however I started at the same time as everyone else, wanting to complete the entire unit as normal. Mostly this was because I felt like I have little recollection of last year, so I wanted to start from scratch.

This was going very well, but as you may of picked up, the end of last year did not go to my plan. I had to drop everything for three weeks in order to support my partner in his time of ill health, this did set me back a bit. As always, I then followed by being ill myself, a number of chest infections, the development of pneumonia and then a kidney infection. Still now I am not doing too great, currently remain on antibiotics and even strong pain medication to normal.

Back to study, this means that I am much over a month behind schedule now, and still not in a position to get back to working on it. I am lucky to have a very supportive tutor, but I am not honestly sure how I am going to manage to get caught up.

That being said, I cant wait to pick my study book back up. I am determined that I will get back to it the moment I have my energy back, or at least have some focus. Then in October I will be picking up my next module, I will get this degree finished, I am certain of it.

Are any of you in university? Or studying at college? How are your courses going?


Skin Care for Sensitive Skin

I have always struggled with having incredibly sensitive skin, regularly having reactions to products that I had previously found I was okay with. But thankfully I seem to of found some products that I don’t seem to react to which I use each day to ty and improve my skin.

However that being said, I have found one of my best tricks for not reacting to products is to switch it up everything now and again. So, my three facial products are the same constantly, but I have a range of moisturisers that I rotate around in order to keep my skin healthy but not have come out in reactions to products. Each of these I find are gentle to the skin, while also smelling and feeling absolutely gorgeous. Some are better for the Summer months when you want your legs out, while others are quicker at soaking in making them better to use with trousers, but none of them irritate my very sensitive skin.

The first part of my daily face care is to use a face wipe; my go to ones are the Simple Spotless Skin Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes. These are just so soft, and leave your skin feeling so refreshed. I have previously tried several of the Simple face wipes, but I have found some of them can be quite rough; these however aren’t and I find they do wonder for my spots and eczema. They are a touch more expensive than others but well worth it if you ask me. 169335

I then follow this by using the Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner. This just leaves my skin feeling so nice, fresh and just lovely and ready for the day. Generally I will do this both morning and night, but I find this sets me up for the day as I don’t wear makeup, I like to feel that my face is clean and well cared for. I got this on a deal from Ocado, so I actually managed to get hold of 6 months worth for just a £5, each bottle lasts about 2 months, so actually works out very cheap.

Then to finish off my face care routine I use the simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. I have been using this for as long as I can remember, and that should be all I have to say about it. Its super quick for sinking in so doesn’t leave your skin feeling damp, and its not at all oily.

Now onto my selection of moisturisers; my most commonly used one is actually one I borrowed off my Nan once when my eczema got bad, and I have actually found it to be my absolute favourite. Its the Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Healing Lotion, you can pick it up almost anywhere, and it smells absolutely beautiful. Definitely I use this one almost every day, as it drys nice and quick, and is very good at keeping eczema or dry skin away. 083960

My other regular moisturiser is absolutely gorgeous for using in the Summer, especially if I’m going to have my legs out for whatever reason. The Happy Naturals Argan Oil and Sweet Orange Nourishing Body Butter. This is definitely the slightly more expensive option, but oh my is it gorgeous; almost good enough to eat. I got my first tub for my birthday a couple of years ago, and am still now only on my second tub; they really do last quite a long while making them worth the little bit extra money. 534435

Other options that I don’t use as often, but will grab if I get a voucher or they are on a deal, are any of the body butters from The BodyShop or Lush. I love both of these shops so much, but I don’t live close to either, and find that between that and the cost its just not worth my while. But every now and again I will treat myself to a nice one every now and again, if I go into Cambridge with my partner or something.

Generally my have to factors, are that they have to be super soft and sensitive on my skin, and ideally vegan. Although I do not follow a vegan diet, I do not see the need for animal products in skin care. So any suggestions you have that follow this, I would love to hear.

If you would like to hear more about skin care and other beauty related topics from me then please do let me know?



Most Anticipated Games

Now this one is a bit different to my most anticipated book releases as not all of these will be coming out this year; some have been out for a while, but they are the ones that I can not wait to my hands on this year whether I get gifted them from family or save the money to treat myself. You may not know that I am much of a gamer, but I have been getting into it more and more, plus my partner is a pretty big gamer so its something we enjoy.

Assassins Creed is my big weakness, I absolutely love these games. Dad got me the new Odyssey game for Christmas which may just be the best one I have played so far. I love how much more open this one is, you have to stumble across the quests and explore the worlds; its just so much more immersive. With being ill I haven’t been feeling up to spending some real time on it for the last few weeks, but I really can not wait. Hopefully in this next week of resting I will get more time to sit and play.

I will most likely treat myself to another Assassins Creed game at some point mid year time; I would love your recommendations as to which one you think I should get? I already have Odyssey, Origins, and have completed Syndicate, would love to hear your thoughts. Currently I play on an Xbox One so ideally would like it to be on that platform.

My other gaming love is The Sims. Since I was a little child I have been playing the original Sims, and played each one since until now I have the Sims 4. I got it in 2017 but didn’t manage to play too much since then, but with Sims 4 Get Famous coming out this year, I will definitely have to get it and get back into it. Have to admit, I was very unsure about getting Sims 4 on the Xbox as I no longer have a gaming computer and it did turn out to be better than I though. However for some reason it just was not the same, I have not found myself getting as into it as I used to with the PC versions. I think it may be because I would play it on my laptop while watching films previously. I currently don’t have any of the add ons, so please let me know which ones you would recommend I invest in?

The final game that I am truly hoping that I get for my birthday this year is the Lego Harry Potter Xbox One games. I used to play these years ago on the old Play Station and up until very recently I believed that they were not available on the Xbox. It was only when me and my partner were looking through the second hand games just after Christmas that I spotted that they have now been remastered for the Xbox. I am so excited, I really do want to pick these games up again, they pretty much were my whole childhood.

So those are the games that I am really looking forward to getting engrossed and obsessed over in 2019. I am so excited for all of these, but I would also love to hear your recommendations?

My partner has said I should try out Red Dead Redemption as he adores that game, so think I will be giving it a go, but any other suggestions are highly appreciated.

What games are you looking forward to playing this year?