Kick-ass Character Inspiration for Halloween Costumes & Cosplay

I’m a big sci-fi and fantasy geek so here are my fave kick-ass characters who are also great outfit inspiration.

Gail – Sin City

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Poison Ivy 

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Dutch – Killjoys

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Kaylee – Firefly

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 Green Arrow

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 Go Go – Kill Bill

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Mia Wallace – Pulp Fiction

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Chrissie xx

Successful War with the Department for Work and Pensions and Illness Update

I’ll start with some good news first. I won my appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions – yay! I am so utterly relieved!

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DWP Assessment

Previously the DWP had ‘assessed’ me in the most pointless way – it was pointless because they literally awarded me no points, meaning that I was supposedly fit for work. I appealed with endless evidence from my GP and Neurologist who wrote me a letter especially for that purpose. I wrote a thorough list of notes on a copy of their report (which I had to request myself) addressing where they had taken things out of context and at one point completely omitted that I’d failed their memory test! Again the DWP utterly ignored all of this saying their original decision was correct and that I was fit for work.

Tribunal Appeal

I took them to tribunal where I faced two lovely and very understanding people with no government agenda who actually wanted to listen and understand me before judging my abilities. So with the evidence from my GP and Neurologist and the DWP report that I’d enthusiastically corrected in my best angry scrawl (blush) and my verbal testament and  written testament and my answers to their gentle and relevant questions, they concluded that my Neurology didn’t exactly fit in with the DWP’s points system but regardless of that fact, my fatigue, memory and spacial awareness problems rendered it too stressful for me to struggle with holding down a job and it would be at a detriment to my mental health – having previously suffered from severe depression after a never ending cycle of starting jobs, doing my absolute best, failing to cope and then being ‘let go’ from the companies.

Phew and Thank You!

There is absolutely no way I could have done this without the help of my family and friends and there support, advice and constant reminders to follow things up! Anyone who has managed to do this on their own is an absolute hero in my opinion. Online communities like Twitter and the Dyspraxia, MS and Sensory Processing Disorder Facebook pages and their members have been a massive source of empathy and knowledge also.

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So what the hell is up with me exactly?

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I have an autoimmune disease which means my body’s immune system is attacking healthy cells thinking they are invading and so destroying them. Unfortunately my immune system is actually attacking my brain and the myelin sheath that protects my nerves in my spine which is called demyelination. Unfortunately this is a  degenerative condition of which there is no cure for – some heavy shit I know! Fortunately there are drugs and exercises (mental and physical) to manage the symptoms (with varying degrees of success). My symptoms are so similar to MS my Neurologist has not yet ruled it out.

So Practically Speaking….

Basically the signals from my nerves are either very weak, don’t get sent or are slow to be understood by my brain and/or body. For instance my brain could ask my body to lift my foot up when going upstairs and my body’s response is either slightly late or my foot doesn’t lift up quite enough – oops! On the reverse side of that, I could have put a little bit of food in my mouth that is far too hot but because this signal from my body has taken a while to reach my brain I’ve already shovelled another spoonful in my mouth – ouch! I can see how dodgy nerve/brain signals can also effect memory and attention but why I get fatigue though I still don’t understand. I’ve been told ‘It’s just part of it.” It does take me a lot more energy to do things properly and to keep my thoughts straight than the average person but fatigue is a lot different than just feeling tired. It’s like the debilitating exhaustion of being really really hungover.

And The Other Conditions…

Along with that it’s clear I’ve had Dypraxia all of my life and to me personally I find that 80% of the demyelination symptoms are very similar but to a higher, even more unpredictable degree. Both the demyelination and Dyspraxia cause major sensory issues so I can also empathise with people who  have Sensory Processing Disorder. Because all of my different symptoms overlap so much I tend not to bother explaining that I have SPD because that is just a range of symptoms from the other two conditions I assume and not something that is separate (like it is for a lot of people).

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I have no clue if anyone is a) reading this b) remotely interested. It’s here if anyone wants to use it as a resource for future reference or wants to understand the things I’ve mentioned a little better. If you have any questions just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Chrissie xx

Murad Intensive-C Radience Peel

Peel, as in skin peeling, as in eek! Actually no, the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel (£49.50) is a very gentle process in fact, which doesn’t even cause any redness. [Murad have changed the packaging since I bought this one but it’s still exactly the same product.]

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The Claim

‘Instantly brightens skin and reduces hyperpigmentation… Actively smoothes and perfects skin to enhance luminosity’

The Science Bit

‘Glycolic Acid exfoliates to accelerate turnover of dark damaged cells, removing dullness and improving skin texture to make skin glow.’

‘Vitamin C and Indian Fig protect against free radical damage while enhancing skin clarity and luminosity for an illuminated complexion!’

‘Myrtle Extract supports collagen production to boost youthful resilience and elasticity.’

To Use

Gently massage into your clean face and neck (you might feel a slight tingling sensation), leave on up to 10 minutes and then rinse off with a warm wash cloth.

Does it work?

Absolutely! It’s such a shame that it’s so difficult to show smoothness of skin in a photograph because this really made a difference. I left this on for the whole ten minutes and didn’t feel any tingling at all and then I rinsed it off using a muslin cloth.

The pores on my nose looked almost invisible (for a change) , my skin felt incredibly smooth and didn’t look as dull and flat, in fact it looked really healthy. My skin didn’t feel tight or dry and my daily moisturiser got absorbed really quickly, rather than it just sitting on the surface for a while.

The best result was that my T-zone remained oil and blemish free for three days. Usually there is some shine, a small blemish or redness at some point during that time but my skin looked great! My cheeks didn’t look instantly smoother but a BB balm was sufficient coverage – even when I went out for drinks that evening.  I’m going to keep on using this twice a week and I’ll give you an update if there are any more improvements!

Expense This is at the very top of my skin care budget but considering the cream is very thick and I only had to use a small amount to get a big effect, I know this will last me a long time. Plus, if I only use this on problem areas it will last even longer!

Rating 5/5

Have you considered any kind of facial peel before?

Here are some more of my Murad reviews.

Chrissie xx

Bayliss & Harding Jojoba, Silk and Almond Oil Fragrance Diffuser

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This is one of the biggest fragrance diffusers I’ve seen and the sticks are incredibly long  so it makes a lovely visual statement. I love the scent of jojoba and I like almond but I never knew that silk had a scent. The three scents combine to make a fragrance which smells exactly like expensive vanilla ice cream!

I actually had to remove half of the sticks as the scent was drifting out of the bedroom and along the landing and down the stairs! That would have been wonderful if it was a lighter fragrance but not suitable for this one.

This was a present and isn’t a fragrance I would normally buy for myself but I actually really like it and it helps to relax me so I can get a peaceful nights sleep.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie xx

Sketchers Memory Foam Trainers Review

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Love them or hate them, these are my new Sketchers!

Style

Recently I’ve become a big fan of wearing little hints of hot pink and turquoise/light blue together as I think the opposite colours really compliment each other. I didn’t want to go too nuts so I was chuffed when I found these which are mainly black (the flash bouncing off the shiny fabric makes them appear lighter in places than they really are). I would have preferred them without the white polystyrene looking soles but the rest is perfect. They are much slimmer looking than the chunky trainers I’m used to wearing but they are a good fit and I have plenty of room to wiggle my toes.

Memory Foam

The insoles feel incredibly comfortable and the slight ache in my wonky knees has gone – unlike when I wear my thin and flat soled Vans/Converse. They are surprisingly breathable and very light weight. However, it feels like you are walking on sand so you are constantly re-adjusting your balance slightly with each step. This sounds like hard work but it’s not as the foam literally puts a spring in your step.

I’ll be honest, after wearing these for two days my feet were aching like crazy! Obviously those particular muscles had never been worked before. I stopped wearing them for two days and then when I put them on again my feet were absolutely fine. My physiotherapist was really impressed and said they should improve my balance and tone my muscles.

I wore these shopping on Market Street and I staggered in them three times on the cobbles, I was giggling at the end because I must have looked like I was utterly plastered! So no cobbles for me again.

Good

  • Exercises muscles while you walk
  • Absorbs any vibrations and feels bouncy
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • So many styles to choose from

Bad

  • Not a good idea if you already have bad balance issues – although I can cope, even with my dyspraxia.
  • I don’t recommend for people with very weak/unstable ankles

Rating 5/5

Would you get some?

Chrissie xx

 

Adult Colouring Books For Fun and Mindfulness

Dream Cities

by Rosie Goodwin £6.29

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Anything can be possible in a dream city and it can be as complicated or as simple as you like. If you enjoy the calm of colouring but are bored of repetitive patterns then this is the perfect book for you.

The Tattoo Colouring Book

by Megamunden £7.95

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Sailor and biker tatts and everything in-between, this book is full of traditional designs to colour and possibly inspire your next inking.

Under The Sea

by Mademoiselles £4.99

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This duo of Paris illustrators create a wonderful under sea world where anything can be imagined – even an octopus with a pout!

Marvel Mega Colouring Book

by Disney £2.00

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Ok so this isn’t for adults exactly but who cares!

The Little Book of Calm Colouring

by David Sinden and Victoria Kay £3.85

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If calm rather than creativity is your aim then this book encouraging mindfulness and relaxation should help. It’s mini too so perfect for your handbag.

Enchanted Forest Colouring Book

by Johanna Basford £9.95

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This isn’t just an adult colouring book, it’s a beautiful journey across waterfalls through woods and mazes to a castle. There is also a quest to find hidden objects to find along the way such as lanterns, germs and eventually the key to the castle!

Unicorns Are Jerks

by Theo Nicole Lorenz $6.99

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Lorenz has created some very tongue-in-cheek colouring books including Mer World problems (urban life can be tough under the sea) and Fat Ladies in Spaaaace (kicking alien butt).  Lots of surprising LOLs basically.

Harry Potter Colouring Book

by Warner Brothers £6.99

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Containing line drawings from the actuall HP films this book features beloved characters and well known scenes, even Harry’s battle with Voldermort.

Chrissie xx

Customer Service Food Intollerence Fails.

To put this into context I eat some wheat, gluten and dairy but as a concession to the rule and only for a meal which is a treat occasionally. On a daily basis I really try to avoid them but it’s not always easy when other people are involved.

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Going nuts in Tesco

Me: Would you check if those wasabi coated nuts behind the counter have wheat in them, please.

Shop assistant scans them and puts them in my bag!?

Me: Excuse me I only asked you a question about them!

Shop Assistant (taking them back out): Why?

Me (taking a deep breath and speaking slowly): Can you check that they don’t have wheat in them please?

Shop Assistant (speaking even slower) These. Are. Nuts.

I take the bag off him.

Me: Here, it’s the first thing on the ingredients list!

Shop Assistant (optimistically): So now do you want them?

Me (trying not to loose my shit): No I have a food intolerance to it.

Shop Assistant looks at me like I’m (wasabi coated) nuts.

Local Shop Which Tries To Up-sell People Random Stuff

I put the glue I’m purchasing on the counter.

Shop Assistant: You buy Nutella!

Me: Excuse me?

Shop Assistant: You are girl, all girls like Nutella.

Me: I have a food intolerance to milk.

Shop Assistant: No, no milk.

Me: It’s ‘milk’ chocolate!

Shop Assistant: No, no – no milk, you buy now?

Me: IT WILL MAKE ME FEEL ILL! Goodbye!

Shop Assistant’s Wife freaks out at him in Indian.

The Flattering But Confused Deli Assistant 

Shop Assistant: Hello!

Me: Hello! Can I get the falafel with humous and salad in a tray please, without the pitta. I’m wheat and dairy intolerant so trying to cut down. Thanks.

Shop Assistant: Oh you are so slim!

Me (blushing and puzzled): Oh, erm thank you.

Shop Assistant serves me with my order including some extras and then smothers it all in yoghurt sauce.

I grit my teeth, thank her with a smile and leave.

Asda

Me: Do you know if you have any gluten free soy sauce in the free-from…..

Shop Assistant sprints off and shouts at me to follow.

Shop Assistant: Here is the soy sauce.

Me: I was trying to say, maybe in the free from isle? I have an intolerance to gluten which is why I’m asking.

Shop Assistant: It’s just sauce.

Me: Well, yes but 90% of the popular brands I’ve seen contain gluten though.

Shop Assistant (frowns and thinks for a moment): Oh right! Is it fish then?

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I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have severe allergies – although when I’ve used the word ‘allergy’ instead, most people seem to understand the concept. I do think the term ‘food intolerance’ needs to be used though so people get more used to hearing it.

Chrissie xx

Fashion A/W 2015 – Pretty and Practical OOTD

Pretty and Practical for A/W 2015
Wether you are visiting the beautiful Autumn countryside or trudging through Winter snow in the city, you can look both pretty and be practical.

Book Review – The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time

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WrittenbyMark Haddon this is one of the most unique and intriguing books you will ever read. Narrated by 15 year old Christopher Boone it is darkly funny, emotional and a detective novel in a very unexpected way. Christopher has Asperger’s and his father has a very big secret, which sends his son on a revealing and incredibly brave journey.

I admit that I missed some of the more subtle humour as I found myself approaching the text from Christopher’s honest and black and white point of view. Like I was reading it completely from his perspective – which is just one of the genius things about this novel.

Here’s one of his thoughts on life which made me laugh:

“Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity which explained lightning, and it might be something about peoples brains, or something about the earths magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won’t be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and non-stick frying pans.”

It is a rare novel that makes me cry and laugh, that lets me zoom through it with ease and contains lists and illustrations from the protagonist which are entertaining and informative.

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My bloke has had this on his bookshelf for years and I can’t believe I’ve only just got around to reading it, seeing as it was also recommended to me by several friends over the years. Read it. It will entertain you and give you more empathy and understanding than you’ve ever had before.

Chrissie xx

Good Night Stop Snoring Ring 2 Years On Update

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It’s been a while since my first review of these rings which work on an accupressure point.

Well as you can see these babies are looking worse for wear. Even though we’ve taken care of these putting them in their own little jewellery box the metal has either corroded or the silver plating is wearing of.

Do they still work though?

Well for some odd reason me and the bloke stopped wearing them. We simply forgot they existed! Then after two horrible nights of the bloke CONSTANTLY snoring we remembered we had them – thank goodness. It’s recommended that you give it up to four or five nights to work and to put it on half an hour before bed but THEY WORKED STRAIGHT AWAY – woohoo! The only problem was that the ring left a black mark on the blokes finger and we don’t know what the base metal is hmm…

Why the snoring in the first place?

The bloke has a food intolerance to beer…ok it’s yeast but that’s not going to stop him enjoying a beer of an evening so often his sinuses are blocked, hence the snoring but no more!

These were originally sent to me for review purposes I just wanted to do an update as I was amazed at how quickly they were so effective again.

Chrissie xx