Basic Self-care List

Everyone needs a bit of motivation and simple reminders sometimes.

  1. Get the feck up
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Wash
  4. Apply deodorant
  5. Cleanse/Exfoliate face
  6. Add moisturiser/Facial oil
  7. Get dressed
  8. Comb hair
  9. Very milky hot/iced coffee
  10. . Have something (pretty much anything) to eat
  11. Catch up on notifications on social media
  12. Write or read blogs and comment
  13. Order food shop?
  14. Wash clothes/Vac up?
  15. Make a nice meal
  16. Bath/Shower?
  17. Read a book/Watch telly
  18. Hug/phone someone
  19. Cleanse face/Brush teeth
  20. Take a cup of water to bed

I wrote this for myself but if it helps you to function too, then great!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

10 Positive Things My Disabilities Bring

If this list serves as ‘inspiration porn’ for someone, then frickin fantastic!

(there’s a full list of my disabilities and chronic illnesses at the bottom of this post)

  1. Being a very sensory person and also having a lot of extra movement in my hips and spine means I have natural rhythm to dance.
  2. My legs are surprisingly strong through them having to correct my balance constantly when I stand and walk. The Amazons have nothing on me lol
  3. I have a really fast metabolism which is great for never having to worry about getting overweight (just hangry) and it means I can totally justify ordering sides and desert. img_7655
  4. Being tall is handy to see where I’m meant to be going in a crowd. 5’8 is usually the same height as online clothing models so I know how clothes will fit me too.
  5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
  6. I struggle to keep up academically but I’ve always had loads of emotional intelligence. It helps me navigate social situations as I pick up on the subtext of what people are saying and doing. Thank goodness as I was way to too trusting!
  7. I have weirdly good balance and fine-motor skills if I really concentrate/hyperfocus
  8. Being hypermobile is really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when something has rolled under furniture or for painting my toenails.
  9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years from accidents but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
  10. Feeling different to everyone for numerous physical, sensory, neurological and emotional reasons that you don’t understand, makes you feel like a total freak at first but later helps you to understand and love your true, individual bad-ass self.

Chrissie

Note: Incase you wondering, the disabilities chronic illnesses I have are: Demyelination (usually as a result of Multiple Soroses ), Dyspraxia (effecting mental and physical cognitive skills but not intelligence; Neurological in nature), Aspergers (again not a mental-health issue just Neurologically diverse), Sensory Processing Disorder (imagine most of your senses are dialled up to 11; relating to Aspergers and Dyspraxia), allergies/food intolerances, PCOS (suspected by GP’s), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (too loose/stretchy joints, ligaments, soft tissue, digestive issues). These all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

Would You Rather tag (with bonus christmas questions)

I came across this on the awesome Hunida’s blog. It originated with The Newbury Girl  (I think) but I wanted to keep the chain going so I joined in!

1. Would you rather lose all of your money or all your sentimental items?

When I first read this question I immediately thought I’d want to keep sentimental items (I do have a giant shoe box as a ‘memory box’) but having no money would take away all of my independence and make me totally reliant on others. So it would have to be the items *sob*

2. Would you rather experience unrequited love or never love at all?

I don’t think I’d like to be incapable of love. The guys I’ve loved haven’t loved me back to the same extent and vice-versa. So to never be madly, intoxicatingly in love again would be okay with me!

3. Would you rather own your own business or work for someone else?

I don’t have the executive functioning to be my own executive (bad Aspie joke) and I’ve actually liked a lot of my bosses, so I’d work for someone else.

4. Would you rather give up television (including streaming/YouTube) or reading?

I get eye strain really easy when reading and I love that I can watch telly with people and chat about it.

5. Would you rather give up sushi or tacos for the rest of your life?

I’d give up tacos. The ones in the UK are really hard and crispy and just break in half as soon as you bight them. I love veggie sushi, it’s so refreshing but filing.

6. Would you rather live in your hometown and never travel anywhere, or live in another country but never visit home?

I have lived in my hometown all my life and love Manchester but it would be cool to live somewhere else and have my Dad visit me (he loves travelling btw).

7. Would you rather live in the desert or live in a frozen tundra?

Hmmm, extreme heat fatigue probs or terrible circulation probs. I’d be unconscious with the heat so frozen tundra it is.

8. Would you rather eat dessert (but never dinner) or dinner (but never dessert)?

I’m such a salty person – so to speak. I find a lot of deserts too sickly after a while.

9. Would you rather run a successful blog or a successful YouTube channel?

Blog! I hate the sound of my voice as my Dyspraxia means my pitch and tone can accidentally be a bit over the top (too dramatic) or really monotone (too sarcastic sounding), plus when I’m fatigued I sound a bit pissed, ha!

10. Would you rather give up all makeup/cosmetics products or give up “dressing fashionably”?

I need skincare but I actively try to avoid wearing anything that happens to be in fashion at the time. So I’d bin fashion (or the idea of things being in or out of fashion) in general actually.

5 Bonus Christmas Questions!

1. Christmas jumper or Christmas Jewellery?

These 5 are my questions so I can cheat and say both jumper and jewellery, and a Crimbo scrunchy and pin badges and socks and…

2. Classic or Contemporary Christmas Songs?

Contemporary as in Stay Now by East 17 and All I Want For Christmas by Mariah.

3. Christmas dinner with ALL of your family or dinner cooked by your fave chef in a restaurant?

Well seeing as my Dad is going on holiday and he’s my only family, it would have to be a restaurant in this scenario. There’s a really fit Asian chef that was on Celebrity Masterchef this year.

4. A big surprise present or five things off your wish list?

As I’m (just about) financially stable and can’t buy my own stuff, I’d love a big surprise! Maybe a trip to see The Northern Lights.

5. Snowball fight outside or ice skating at a rink?

I tried to ice skate once, for fifteen terrifying minutes. I’m ace at snowball fights though, tactical and ruthless!

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Please feel free to join in with this tag and include your own photos of your choices if you want, or just comment instead!

🎄Chrissie🎄

Breakfast, Dinner or Tea?

I only got out of bed just over two and a half hours ago so who knows lol

Corn thins with dairy free spread, cucumber, sun-dried tomato (out of a jar, not those plastic unrecyclable tubs, cheaper too) with oregano, artichoke hearts (again out of a jar) and jalapeños. I did eat a giant handful of salted, roasted cashews before this so protein isn’t an issue, for anyone wondering.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Selfcare Feck Up’s, Victories and Weirdness

 

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I’ve been a lazy bunny by not getting up until 1.00pm because I’ve been enjoying the comfort of staying in a real bed again, for as many hours as I choose (long story). The down side of that is getting woken by glorious sunshine but by the time I get up washed and dressed, it’s buggered of behind thick cloud for the rest of the day. That has not helped my mental health or motivation…I swear I’m some kind of emotional weather vane! Anyone else?

List of my self care feck up’s and victories

Bad – Not getting up until pm

Good – Been flying through the novel Mirror Mirror

Bad – At around midnight I realised I was so hungry but the simple burrito I was meant to warm in the microwave collapsed into a soggy mess, I then salvaged it and promptly dropped half onto the floor

Real low – I then sobbed over it (literally), while I cleaned bits of it up and then ate the other half. At least my tears added some well needed salt. I then started bargaining with a God I don’t even believe in to make my Dyspraxia and chronic fatigue easier. Although, to be fair, I had just watched Bruce Almighty. The voice of Morgan Freeman did not reply.

Good – I’ve been keeping up with my skincare routine everyday

Bad – I’ve been abandoning my hydration flask and glasses in random places around the house and then feeling constantly dehydrated. Ironically, this is probably why my memory of where I’ve put stuff has been so crap.

Good – Did shopping with specific meals in mind so everything works with everything else for once.

Bad – Forgot to prepare food to eat for when I’m tired and hungry, then left it too late to be able to cook anything, so had to order takeaway again as very wobbly.

Good – It was a healthy one, with veg curry, avocado sushi and an edamame and spinach salad.

Bad – The next day I forgot that English mustard is much hotter than the squirty American stuff and practically buttered my bread with it!

Good – I’m getting better at keeping track of time and/or setting alarms for things

Bad – Ended up wearing PJ’s two days straight as all of my chillin clothes were in the wash basket and I repeatedly forgot two wash them.

Good – Washed clothes

Bad – Forgot the damn washer had stopped and left the clothes to crease to oblivion for an hour. Had to do another quick wash to sort them out – sigh.

Good – Had a shower and washed my hair, did body and hair care.

Good – Been well on top of my blogging and reading other peoples.

Bad – Having a nightmare with getting on the housing register properly. Every person I’ve spoken to on the phone (as I’ve had total silence from them since July and I’ve noticed several big mistakes) hasn’t had a clue what’s going on. I’ve heard “Oh, that’s odd!?” about four times now. They keep making notes and saying someone will phone me to explain the confusion.

Hmmm – Their medical assessment team will be arranging a visit ‘soon’ apparently….

Good – Finished having a huge clear out. Finished buying new stuff to replace old/unsuitable stuff and am now saving to move into a suitable flat of my own, finally!

Plans

Keep saving.

Use post it notes more often.

Get up before 11.00am.

Plan evening meal and make it/eat it earlier.

Keep up with washing and styling hair, when I have the energy.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

 

J-Pillow for Sleepy Upright People

Even with chronic fatigue I still struggle to sleep upright. This is why I decided to review J-Pillow (£19.95 Amazon), a pillow which is supposed to support your head and neck in the correct position so you don’t put any strain on your spine.

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It’s a bit clumsy so I’m glad it comes in a travel bag and also has a little loop to hang up. There is a reason I’ve orientated the pillow this way as it looks reminiscent of something else (just me?) when stood upright.

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This one is a lovely blue-teal colour (described as ‘Navy’ also available in Red and Fern Green) and it feels so plush! It comes with an instruction leaflet with photographs, which I was glad about. It also has a handy loop with press-stud to fasten around a bag or case.

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When sitting in a normal chair at home (one suggested use in the leaflet), the pillow only works with a high-backed chair and is only good good for a light doze. If I were to nod off properly, my head and the pillow would start sliding off to the side.

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The main idea of the J-pillow is that when travelling, you squish the pillow between your head, the back of the seat and the window. I’ve found this works perfectly because I fell asleep!

When using a basic neck support when my head dropped forward I’d drool a bit (classy) and when my head was leaning back I’d start snoring (even classier). Because of the front support here, my head is kept upright so neither of these things happen.

Chrissie

October & November Round-up

I’ve been a bit of a nomad these past few months going between home, my blokes flat and his Dads. No wonder I haven’t been sleeping, my body doesn’t know where ‘my own bed’ actually is anymore! Here is a two month round-up for you.

October (a fair bit)

I reviewed this Maleficent tee which I bought from Pop In A Box who sell Funko Pops! but also other alternative pop-culture things.

I was lucky enough to get gifted some products from my one of my fave natural brands Yaoh to review. Total skin saviours in the crazy changing Autumn weather.

With Halloween coming up I put together a Modern Witchy OOTD. I’ve found that this style of dress is perfect if you want something over-the-knee and strappy but have a bit of belly as they emphasise the right curves and hide the ‘I’ve eaten way too much pizza’ kind. I also love this style of boot because they look stylish, don’t cut across legs mid-calf (which is never flattering) and the heel is low and chunky enough to support a wobbly wench like me.

It was my blogs 6th birthday! I’m so glad that I’ve stuck with this particular blog for six whole years and that you’ve all stuck with me too. Thank you so much!

Dyspraxia Awareness Week (7th-13th Oct) celebrated 30 years. For any posts I’ve written relating to Dyspraxia just type the word into the search bar on the lower right side of this blog.

I reviewed Ciate Dewy Stix in Gleam Gold and had mixed feelings about it.

I bought some seasonal and creepy-cute pins from Little Lefty Lou and Em & Sprout (the cat I’d previously bought from Punky Pins and it tends to spin around upside-down unfortunately).

I put together 6 Simple Autumn Style Essentials as we all want to be stylish and warm!

For Halloween I also treated myself to these pre-loved Monster High dolls from ebay which were about a quarter of the price they would have been new. One is a punky vampire and the other is a goth looking ghost. #stylegoals

I reviewed Ciate polish in Paradise Lost – part of their Gelology collection as it’s perfect for Autumn and the upcoming party season.

I compiled a list of Spooky TV Shows to Binge Watch – old and new.

I was so happy to be gifted these beautiful Moonstone rings from Gemstone Silver Jewellery to give my thoughts on.

I bought the oversized bat-wing jumper from Boohoo and lived in reviewed it. Why I look like the actor Ron Perlman in this particular photograph I don’t know.

November (not so much)

My hair was very happy that I reviewed this Shampoo and Conditioner from Yaoh but I begged to differ at one point!

10 Cozy Ideas for Autumn & Winter. I love doing posts like this each year as it makes me feel all cozy and optimistic for the months ahead.

I was gifted an Exercise (resistance) Band by Care Co. and had a lot of fun and some mishaps reviewing it.

When Hunkemoller asked my to choose something from their range of PJ’s and loungewear range I knew I wanted these velour joggers immediately. Here’s what I thought of them.

I thought it only fair to share My Autumn and Winter Skin and Hair Saviours with everyone.

I’d say this photo pretty much sums up my October and November lol

Chrissie

Care Co – 4 Week Resistance Exercise Plan

Pretty much every Physio I’ve seen has taken into account my little noodle arms, my easily misplaced balance and chronic fatigue and suggested I exercise with a resistance band. So when Care Co – who sell discount mobility aids – asked me to try out an item, that’s what I chose.

What is it?

The Exercise Band (£10) helps you to improve your muscles, fitness, control and co-ordination. You use it’s resistance and your own existing strength to build up more strength. This one smells strongly of latex and is a lovely teal colour. It has numbered positions on it to show you where to place your hands so you can increase the difficulty as you get past the first month.

How and Why?

The booklet contains a four week plan of six different exercises per week. It describes them with easy to follow instructions and illustrations (I’m not great at following instructions thanks to be Dyspraxic but I found this really simple) and also information on diet, general exercise tips and mental health tips, which I all found useful.

I have Hypermobity Syndrome meaning my soft tissue, muscles and joints are too stretchy, flexible and weak so I’d have really preferred the band had a loop on each end to help me hold it better (the booklet does mention consulting your GP if you have joint problems, right at the start). It does have enough room to wrap it around your hands though, if you don’t mind them getting squished, which I didn’t. However, I did need to wear wrist supports when using this.

I really enjoyed working my way through this plan and, I’m not going to lie, the novelty of this weird rubber band. It felt more like I was having fun rather than exercising but I also loved how structured the plan was as I have zero attention span and sporadic motivation, at best.

The Shoulder Press totally defeated me however, as I just didn’t have the strength in weak two or three or four to stretch the band over my head. I actually lost my grip at one point and smacked myself in the jaw! Hardly the first time that I’ve done this over the years btw. My Dad tried it, who stays fairly fit for a bloke in his Seventies and he got it to his jaw, the same as me. My bloke tried it who’s 6’2″ and 16 stone and succeeded immediately. So it is possible!

Can a giant rubber band really make a difference?

I didn’t have the energy to use this everyday but it certainly encouraged me to use it when I did have some. I’ve gotten better at the exercises with practice and my balance and co-ordination have noticeably improved – a big deal for someone with Hypermobilty Syndrome and Dyspraxia (which also effects co-ordination). I also noticed that in just four weeks my muscles adapted to the new kinds of movements.

My lower back was not happy at first but I realised it was because it was already incredibly tense from holding up my slightly floppy spine all day. A massage relaxed the muscles and I’d say the exercises will continue to make my core stronger in the future.

The band immediately highlights your strengths and weaknesses so, if like me, you have chronic fatigue and have to pace your workouts, you could just focus more on the areas that need improvement and reduce the amount you do in just four weeks with the areas that don’t need it as much.

Conclusion

Overall I found the Care Co exercise band to be fun, incredibly versatile, confidence building, easily transportable and storable but more importantly, something that gives me a reason to exercise, rather than an excuse not to.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

You Don’t Have To Hide Your Disability Or Condition

I have what is referred to as an ‘invisible disability’ because Dyspraxia is part sensory, part co-ordination and part comprehension/attention/memory related, it’s not always an obvious physical thing. Invisible Disabilities have their own problems when it comes to mingling with the general pubic (yes, I know). I’m going to list them because I like lists!

Lazy But Frequent Assumptions People Make About You

  1. People loose patience with you because they think you are being lazy or just taking your own sweet time.
  2. People think you’re just a big weird goof and make tactless observations or find it easier to avoid what/who they don’t understand.
  3. People scowl at you for using things/spaces for disabled people because you aren’t in a wheel chair or you don’t have a big neon “DISABLED” sign hovering over your head.
  4. People think you are acting precious or being a bit of a diva because you’re asking for special attention or more frequent attention compared to everyone else, who’s just ‘getting on with it’.
  5. People think you are being an ignorant arsehole. Yes, I just love loosing the plot of our conversation about your baby who’s just started walking (and who’s name I can’t remember) or literally bumping into you on the street when we’re the only two people on the pavement or over compensating and giving you a ludicrously wide birth (hilarious to watch apparently!) or struggling to join in a group conversation and then blurting out what I want to say when it’s not even relevant anymore.
  6. That you are just plain stoopid.

Talk About Your Condition/Disability! Tell people!

Don’t stop strangers in the street and regale them with details of your latest Dr’s visit like, but do get a dialogue going with people you are going to be spending a lot of time with.

In hindsight I would have found it so much easier in every college, every job and every new circle of friends I’ve made, if I’d have just had ‘the talk’ with them. Alright, back then I had no understanding of why I struggled so much but I knew which things I struggled with.

 

Yeah, I know it shouldn’t be up to the disabled person to set the standard and to feel like they have to justify their actions but explaining them might possibly make it easier for said person in the long term. Your disability shouldn’t be something you are ashamed of either.

Why Covering For Your Disability Won’t Always Work

I did an Office Administrator apprenticeship in my 20’s where I wasn’t much older than most of my colleagues kids. They noticed straight away that I wasn’t coping very well but falleveryone was lovely and they all really helped me. After a year the apprenticeship was over and I had to find a new job.

I fell in with a group of people that had started a month earlier and had bonded with each other quickly. After 6 months I still felt a little like I was ‘the new girl settling in’ and had an uneasy feeling I hadn’t meshed quite right with them. I automatically assumed it was down to my wonky social skills. Other people in the office had previously dropped subtle hints to me about ‘knowing who your friends are’ etc. but subtlety isn’t my strong point and anyway, these people were doing just enough to con me into thinking they genuinely were my friends. I think that they knew I was (intentionally) hiding something from them and something i_m_fine__by_halliova-d5jex0lwasn’t quite right, so they all thought it gave them the right to treat me like shit. I ended up leaving because of it, with no other prospect of employment on the horizon but that’s not the point. They were a bunch of knobs, obviously, but that’s not the point either….

Accept It And Own It!

The point is, I was trying to hide my condition in plane sight and failing miserably. One minute I was chatting a mile a minute and the next I was being evasive and not making eye contact. Fine not fine. Basically I was really embarrassed by my ‘weirdness’ and was bright enough to quickly be able to come up with a vaguely plausible excuse for every symptom, while t the same time feeling really rather stupid. We need to remember we aren’t wrong or broken, we just function differently. We shouldn’t be making excuses for being who we are or acting the way that we do regarding being different.Every single person on the planet has things they are good at and things they are crap at. The only difference with us is that we are more determined to give the things we know we’ll struggle with, a try in the first place.

If people notice you are acting or doing something that’s a little different don’t try to hide it,uniqueness-quotes or make excuses for it. People will see through you and wonder what on earth is going on. If you continue to behave like that, it’s pretty obvious people are going to get tired or even annoyed. It’s not fair I know but there you go. Either find a quiet time to have a casual chat or wait until someone brings it up and then just be open and honest with them about it.

 

Even if you only make your lecturer/manager aware so that they can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help you cope. For instance, amassing angrier and angrier warnings from your boss for being late, when you struggle with time management and planning might actually be avoidable! Maybe you could start and finish slightly earlier/later to avoid rush hour?

What To Say About Your Disability or Condition

Maybe talk about specific things you struggle with, if you’ve been diagnosed with a certain thing or the reason why that condition effects you (if you are lucky enough to know) or how long you’ve had it. Go into as much or as little detail as you want but try to keep your sense of humour. At the very least it gives people a better understanding of you, and why shouldn’t they!

Admit If You Need Help WithA Task

I know with invisible disabilities it’s possible a person can keep on scraping by and covering up their mistakes or their needs but that knotted stomach feeling of dread can lead to anxiety and depression. It’s much better to ask for help or clearer guidance from your teacher/lecturer/manager/colleagues/friends from the start, even if that help is just a little more patience or understanding from them. Absolutely everyone needs help sometimes so if you are really really struggling with a task don’t feel embarrassed to ask for some!

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Being more open about it might make you feel vulnerable at first but as I’ve learned, hiding it can make you just as vulnerable. They are some awesome people out there with more empathy and understanding than you might first realise.

The more people talk about disabilities, the more people get to hear about them and gain a greater understanding of them :o)

Chrissie xx

5 Aids Which Really Help with Dyspraxia and Related Disabilties

For Dyspraxia Awareness week I thought I would share an old post of mine.

Jar Opener

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Or as the Bloke likes to call it ‘the openzy shifter’ lol This is so easy to use with a little wheel which winds in the rubber band until it’s tight around the jar and then you angle the handle to lock it and only need the slightest turn – ta da! Similar here.

Reinforced/Non Slip iPad Case by STM

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The entire edge of this case is surrounded by chunky rubbery plastic meaning my iPad is protected if I drop it and so much easier to grip. I actually hate the person who came up with polished aluminium finishes! It has a cover which folds into a stand position, making it easier to type or watch and a clear back so you can still read your engraving. It’s also fairly water resistant and fastens with an easy open magnetic grip. Buy it here.

Shower Chair

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This can completely fold up so it’s out of the way for other people but when unfolded it’s very sturdy and safe. The arms can be folded up if they get in your way while sitting on it. Because I have so much hair to wash it takes me about 25 minutes, which used to really make my back ache. Not to mention the whole spacial awareness probs causing me to bounce of the walls and door and worrying about slipping and knocking myself out. Similar here.

Multiway Opener

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This gadget is genius! It opens the lids on plastic bottles, beer bottles and you can slide the ring pull of a drinks can into a groove and use it for leverage instead of breaking your fingernails. It also has a hook to open peel back food tins. Similar here.

Wrist/Ankle Support

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A lot of people who have Dyspraxia also have hyper-mobile joints (which bend/stretch too much) and get fatigued easily (not surprising seeing as we use up more energy trying so hard to do ‘simple’ things) but this Boots wrist support really helps. It was recommended to me  by a waitress with Hypermobilty who carries a tray all day. Can’t get a better recommendation than that! If you are having trouble with the fit, go to Decathlon who will measure and fit you with one of their supports.

Kitchen Timer

I find having a timer so handy for so many things. Setting myself reminders of when to turn things on or off like a cooker or a heater; setting how long I want to spend doing something so that I don’t get too hyper-focussed and loose track; to remind me to do things at certain times of day. I used to use my iPad but found it confusing, similar to when using a timer with multiple timers on. So now I use a simple egg timer and big post it notes, along with general routines I’ve got down over the years.

Do you have any suggestions?

Chrissie