Athleisure Style Joggers from Hunkemoller

When you spend a lot of time chilling in doors, you want to wear something cozy but you don’t want to greet people when wearing washed out cartoon PJ’s from a decade ago. You know you need a serious (grown) up-grade. This is where Hunkemoller comes in handy as they offer pretty and practical pyjamas and lounge-wear.

How cute is this box ^_^

Look at my gorgeous new joggers! With a silky tie at the waste, sparkly sporty stripes down the gently tapered legs and a rich burgundy colour, I invited people around just to show them off – not kidding. They are also warm and pretty enough to go outside in, if you don’t have the time (or simply can’t be bothered, let’s be honest) to get changed.

They are made of a velour type material which I love because a) They are bunny soft b) They have some substance about them so they don’t end up getting baggy knees after a day of wear and c) They look sumptuous, especially in burgundy.

These are a ‘Small’ and although I agree with that as far as the waste band goes, I think they could have been a little more fitted around the top and the back. I’m glad I have slightly thick thighs and a lot of junk in the ole’ trunk, put it that way! To be fair, they are one of the few tapered pants I can wear that don’t feel like they are cutting off the circulation in my ankles and the length is perfect for my 5’8″ height. I’d say overall Hunkemoller sizing is generous.

If you could treat yourself to a lounge-wear/pyjama upgrade for the winter, what item would you choose?

Chrissie

10 Ideas for a Cozy Autumn & Winter

  1. Treating yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves
  2. Hot chocolate or spiced tea/coffee in a big mug, which you can wrap both hands around
  3. A stroll around a big indoor artisan food or craft fair
  4. Fairy lights decorating a room, before and after Christmas
  5. A candle or perfume with a comforting fragrance
  6. Extra blankets and big cushions on the settee/bed to make a nest from
  7. A thick novel or biography which really engages you
  8. Donating food/clothes to projects and charities for people who are especially vulnerable around this time of year
  9. Big, hearty homemade stews or pies
  10. Having the heating automatically turn on for a while, just before you get out of bed

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

Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

Rating 5/5

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

Overall

My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

Chrissie

🎃 Spooky TV Shows To Binge Watch Over Halloween 🎃

Stranger Things 2016 –

How could I not include this! With every 80’s horror-fantasy clique, this series somehow manages to seem fresh and retro at the same time. It’s equally charming, funny, subtly creepy and action packed.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1996 – 2003

Total classic about a teenaged slayer, her ‘Scoobie gang’ and her grown up (and very handsome) Watcher who, together, deal with all sorts of supernatural goings on in the town of Sunnydale. Snappy dialogue and wonderful three-dimensional characters.

Preacher 2016 – 

Based on the adult comic book series by DC’s Vertigo line, this story is about a jaded preacher who, stirred by a crazy happening at a church, joins up with his ex and a vampire to fight injustice and to find god. If you are vegetarian you might want to skip all of the scenes with the self proclaimed ‘King of meat’. Thoughtful, darkly funny and a bit nuts!

Supernatural 2005 –

Two brother follow their fathers lead and hunt supernatural creatures. Some episodes can be genuinely creepy but it’s a bit of a mixed bag – depending on what creeps you out.

Doctor Who 2005 –

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The Dr arrives again – this time in the form of a woman who can’t quite remember who she is. When strange things start to happen in the Northern town, she teams up with the people who found her as a race to survive ensues.

The Strain 2014 – 2017

One of the more creepy shows in the list but as a result of a particular person and circumstance, rather than the marauding zombies hordes. The Strain goes from sci-fi outbreak thriller – to holocaust flash-back drama – to zombie horror.

Charmed 2018 –

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Modern take on the beloved 1998 series of three sisters who discover they are much stronger together as they have magic abilities. And boy will they need them!

Grimm 2011-2017

A detective realises he descended from a line of Grimms who are sworn to hunt vesesen – people who turn into animals and other beings – who are disrupting the equilibrium. What happens when he realises some of them are his neighbours and how does he explain everything to his girlfriend and colleagues? Loosly based on Grimms Fairytails, this show is so much fun!

The X-Files 1993 – 

This classic, iconic show has covered, sci-fi, fantasy, pseudo science, the paranormal, myths and legends and in a few episodes straight up horror. Here’s a link to the 10 most scary episodes so you know what to avoid, hehe!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Sabrina is still about a teen witch coping with everyday teen life but it’s darker than the original; a mash-up of True Blood meets Pretty Little Liars in tone maybe?

Which ones have you watched or are planning on watching? 

Chrissie V—-V

Simple Ghoul/Undead Look Using Everyday Makeup

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Brains!

Fringe (bangs) – Dry shampoo and styling putty. I ran out of dry shampoo but would have like to apply more so it looked white.

Face – White and light green eyeshadow, mixed with a silvery highlighter to give my face a pale but eerie glow. Used my fingernail to gently score out bits of makeup around my nose and chin for an uneven look (top picture).

Eyes – Grey eyeliner randomly applied, blended up to my eyebrows. Sparkly green liquid eyeshadow dabbed in the middle. Grey and green smeared down my cheeks like slimy sludge (bottom picture).

Lips – A nude-brown lipstick with foundation lightly dabbed over the top.

Chrissie V—-V

Maleficent Tee from Pop in a Box

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Where

Pop In A Box sell Funko Pops! as well as other pop-culture merch from various brands, like this Disney Maleficent tee £14.99.

Design

I think her image here is subtle but effective, in a quietly menacing sort of way. The printing is more faded in real life than it looks on the website. I usually prefer this as it gives it a retro look as if I’ve picked it up from a charity shop or I’ve had it since I was young.

Unfortunately, I think the designers were a little too enthusiastic about the grainy effect of the image. There’s ‘faded and edgy’ and then theres ‘had a fight with a sandpaper’. As a result, it looks almost sketched on with pencils, rather than printed and I can’t decide if I actually like that or not.

Maybe I might dye it a slightly darker grey to give it more depth. I did this with my Count Duckula tee which was originally white with very bright printing and it came out looking really stylish.

Fit

I chose ‘Medium’ which, according to the size chart, is the equivalent of a UK size 12 and found it to be true to size. It’s a slightly fitted, flattering cut rather than boyfriend-fit, a good length and not too tight around the neckline or the sleeves.

Rating 3/5

Chrissie V—V

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

September – Monthly Round-up

Food & Drink

My Bloke got me these posh teas from Twinings so I can have hot drinks that aren’t builders tea (strong, milk, two sugars) which I’m not overly fond of. I can’t attest to their waking and sleeping powers as my brain seems to function in any other way possible, than what’s expected; I can say they both taste lovely though. Fairly subtle and fresh in flavour and not too perfumy.

We are successfully growing chillies! The plant is both male and female so you get a really soft and narrow makeup brush and act like a bee and go around all of the flowers pollinating it. We planted it at the start of summer and now have seven decent sized chillies, with lots of tiny little green globes that will hopefully grow bigger.

I’ve figured out the perfect way of making a vegetarian Roast ‘Chicken’ Salad & Fahita Filling.

Style

This is the one of my trusty styles for autumn, along with a more dressy look I’ll post next month.

Of course there had to be something Halloween related as we near October. Unbelievably some of the things I wanted to include in Halloween Fashion were already sold out!

I’ve never been a big Disney Princess fan, in fact the words used to make me shudder as a kid BUT I’ve always loved a good baddie. Perfect for Halloween Disney Style.

Beauty

Here’s why this GOSH BB Cream was both a hit and a miss.

Ooh pretty! See what I thought of the Barry M Holographic Eye Toppers and what look I created using the green one.

If you want an everyday mascara which will be kind to your lashes and the environment then PHB Natural Mascara is the one you need.

Random

Even though my Bloke has never watched friends he has somehow picked up on the recent resurgence of it and has started saying Joey’s expression “How you doin’?” to me. He started off enthusiastically (and hilariously) saying “How ya doing!!!” while wiggling his eyebrows up and down. Bahahaa! Nope. I told him it’s “How you doin’?” with one eyebrow raise to accent the word ‘you’, that makes ALL the difference. He is now utterly and disarmingly brilliant at it! I seem to have subconsciously picked up on the Joey look too.

Squirrels hate me. Yup. On three separate occasions I have been screamed at by a squirrel. Walking by one on a footpath, walking under a low hanging branch and yesterday one was on a tree, next to the window and I was inside the flat! I’m starting to agree with Carrie Bradshaw that they are indeed ‘Just rats in cute outfits.’ Although, that may be an injustice to rats.

Here’s an honest and lighthearted list of 15 Relatable Ways Brain Fog Effects People. You might think of someone or even yourself as rather ‘ditzy’ or sort of ‘head in the clouds’ but it could be brain fog if they/you have chronic fatigue or various other conditions. I’ve come out with some great one-linners and wonderings while feeling brain-fogged however.

 

Chrissie