Unboxing & Reviewing of my Kawaii Box Subscription Box – June ’18…

As always this box is super cute and I’m super excited to open it up and delve inside. It’s cuteness overload before you even start looking!

First out of the box is a packet or little round Hello Kitty strawberry marshmallows. I’m not a massive fan of the taste of artificial strawberry sweets but I’m sure my youngest will enjoy them.

Next comes a brilliant panda bento rice mould. A bento box is like a layered lunch box. This kit enables you to make super cute panda shaped rice balls.

Next comes a silicone blue bunny head drinks mat. Always have a use for those.

Then we have a packet of Sumikko Gurashi deco stickers. This literally translates as “hiding in a corner” and the characters are shy, just like many Japanese people.

Next up we get something that made me super happy! A Moomin note paper set. Oh I loved it! I adore anything Moomin!

Then comes a pink neko (Japanese for cat) ears headband which I love. It’s ideal for when I want to put on a face mask!

Next comes a common type of toy in kawaii – a squishy. This particular squishy is a salmon sushi squishy and it is so super cute!

Then there is a kawaii hamster soft bag charm. It looks awesome clipped to your bag.

Next we have a kawaii drinking straw pen. This is a combination which I have never seen before. Honestly, never!

Then last of all out come a packet of Precure grape gummies. Precure is a super popular Japanese “magical girl”anime series. These gummies are shaped like characters.

A definite five out of five star box as usual.

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of my Boxcitement Subscription Box – May ’18…

I was super happy when my box arrived. I always look forward to my Boxcitement box as they put everything that they have in to each and every box that they put out. They really do. The theme of this box is “Mono Dramatic”.

First item out of the box was a book mark that was black and white with a simple image of pebbles on it. I was in need of a new book mark, so that was good timing!

Next was a gorgeous white gemstone chip bracelet that has three inter changeable charms on it. You can remove them all and switch around which one you wear or you can wear all three at once if you like.

Then came a unique and novel item called a key keeper. It is in the shape of a large white key and you are supposed to clip your spare keys to it and not lose them in your drawer. I tend to keep all my keys on a key hanger so I will gift this to somebody.

Next out came a small compact mirror with geometric shapes on the back. Again I already have a compact so this will be gifted to someone.

Then came a cute little pencil eraser with the word “Oooooops” on it. Always handy!

Next came a set of three large black and white paper clips.

Then there is a stunning couple of black on white card drawings of a zebra and a cat like people. I’m building up a really good selection of cards, I love it!

Next there is a really gorgeous black and white photo of budding blossom on a tree branch in a white cardboard frame, which will definitely be going on my wall.

Last of all, we have a chunky black notebook with the legend bright ideas on the front. A stationery addict can never have enough notebooks!

A brilliantly put together box as always and a huge thank you to the Boxcitement team! As always, five out of five stars!

Be kind to each other!

Unboxing & Review of My Purrfect Gift Box – May ’18…

Yay!!! My favourite time of the month when the mother of all subscription boxes arrives. I honestly have to say, that as a card carrying crazy cat lady, this is my favourite box of all!

As always, the box is both beautifully wrapped and presented. The theme this month is “Mew York, Mew York!”

The first gift that I encounter is a really gorgeous and unusual letter art picture spelling out the word CAT. All three pictures that make up the picture are genuine New York landmarks! It’s already up on my wall.

Next is a really stunning “tea towel” that says “New York Cats” at the top and includes twelve different illustrations of Olga Angelloz’s fashion forward cats. No way am I messing this up as a tea towel. It’s too good! It’s going on my wall next to my cat picture it really is! It’s difficult to take pictures of it since it is so big, but I tried to get one of the cats. All twelve are different.

Then comes a pack of two cards featuring bodega cats. For those of you who do not know, a bodega is a local corner shop. Cats traditionally live there in return for keeping rats at bay.

Finally is perhaps the most awesome gift in the box. The book “Felines of New York” was the inspiration for this box. There are more than 100 pictures of kitties in various poses, often with hilarious comments to accompany them. If you want to get a cat lover a birthday gift, this would be the perfect thing!

As always a fabulous five out of five star box! Thank you so much My Purrfect Gift Box – yet again you have smashed it! I love it all so much!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Underneath the Rowan Trees Subscription Box – May ’18…

I’m always thrilled when this subscription box arrives. It really is my favourite stationery based one!

This time the box had an Alice in Wonderland theme. I’ve got to be honest, this is not my favourite theme at all, but that is not the fault of the creator of the box. That’s my fault.

As always, the box arrives stunningly wrapped and presented. The presentation is really lovely.

First item out of the box is a gorgeous little bag of four red &a white jelly sweets with the words “eat me” on the bag. My youngest son will polish these off.

Next comes a single wrapped tea bag. It’s Clipper breakfast tea which is a really lovely brand. I enjoyed that – I love a good cup of tea.

Then we have our first roll of washi tape which bares the image of different playing cards.

The next item is our second roll of washi tape with Alice themed pictures on it.

Then we get a really cute mint green and blue striped pen with a gold crown on the top.

Next out is a pencil with the quote “Off with their heads”!

Then along comes a super cute little pin badge in the shape of a clock.

Next we have a notepad with an Alice themed picture and sentence from the book on it.

Then we have a very cute little pink flamingo paper clip which I love.

Next comes five decent sized different stickers of various cakes. Made me want a slice they really did!

Then there is a long sheet of various Alice themed stickers.

Finally we have a very cute printed sheet with a recipe for Victoria sponge on it: for your very own tea party!

Now, the problem for me here is that I really dislike Alice in Wonderland stuff, but I am only one of many subscribers so I cannot expect every box to suit my tastes. I know exactly who I can gift all of this stuff to.

I can’t be mean and give a low score. Despite me not liking the contents, it is still a five out of five star box.

Be kind to each other.x

Book Review – No Other Darkness (D.I Marnie Rome Book 2) – Sarah Hilary…

Two young boys.Trapped underground in a bunker.

Five years later, the boys’ bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome’s career begins. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them. For no-one has reported them missing – and it seems she is the only person to care.

This book deals with the most shocking of all crimes… the possible torture and murder of two young children. The writer has handled it in a very sensitive way and built a story skilfully around a topic that is sad and disturbing. I have read some crime thrillers around the same topic that just sensationalise and are not layered or enjoyable in the slightest.

Marnie has definitely entered my collective of favourite fictional police women. D.I Kim Stone, D.I Helen Grace and now D.I Marnie Rome.

Marnie is again a multi-layered protagonist and as such, is able to convey her past into the work she does to understand certain aspects of this case.

I admire Marnie’s character a great deal. She isn’t as rule bending as my other two favourite fictional detectives but having a good working relationship with her seniors provides a different dynamic to the story.

It was gratifying to see post partum psychosis dealt with in such a way. It isn’t widely dealt with or known about and the way that this book sensitively deals with the subject is, for me, an excellent thing. The character of Esther was skilfully created and the way that she is juxtaposed with her new self is very cleverly done, it really is. Mental health is not dealt with enough in mainstream fiction and to see it done in such a skilful way really is gratifying.

Another thing that I love about the D.I Marnie Rome books is the character of Noah Jake. He is a person of colour and also a gay man. There are scenes between him and his partner that deal with arousal and kissing which I adore. This needs to be more prevalent in mainstream fiction and I applaud Ms. Hilary for doing this with her characters.

The story is very skilfully written and I adored every page of it. Bring on book three!

This is a definite five out of five star read.

Be kind to each other.x

What a Lonely Life…

I’ve been feeling very lonely recently. Despite the fact that I have people that I can talk to via messenger or WhatsApp I feel so freakin’ lonely it is unreal.

I’m not a person that likes to be with a lot of people physically. I am happy with my family – my manshape (as I call the other half) and my two boys. This is all I need. I don’t need to be surrounded by loud chattering people. I have a condition called misophonia (which I have blogged about before) and being in a loud social situation can be hell for me. I find it so difficult to cope with. I’m a hermit, a loner, a recluse. I just do not blend well with other people, I really don’t.

Yet I love to chat with people online. It’s a great way for me to facilitate a social circle whilst maintaining my privacy and keeping to myself.

I’m severely telephone phobic and can’t bring myself to talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to. The rest of the time, my carer will speak on my behalf. Even looking at the phone which is sitting on a little table at the end of the living room – I can feel my pulse picking up… my anxiety is climbing and I’m starting to panic. I feel safe with my mobile phone because I know inside my head that all it is used for is writing my blog pieces, texting and using WhatsApp. That is my safety blanket with it.

I had to take a break for half an hour in writing this as my anxiety got to be way too bad. My carer has got me upstairs and settled me into bed and I have had a Valium. I’m slowly starting to feel a little more human now. Well, as human as is possible for me (which is not very).

Back to the point of this piece. I’m feeling inexplicably lonely. What is wrong with me? I don’t want to go out and socialise. Agoraphobia and a love of my own company have seen to that. But for some bizarre reason I feel so disconnected from myself and feel like I am in free fall just spinning time and space with nothing to anchor myself to.

I can’t cope with Facebook or Twitter. It is all just too much. I feel overwhelmed by the number of people on there. I don’t feel very together at the moment. Not one bit. I feel very down. Like my bipolar is going into a crash. When that happens, I can’t cope with anything or anybody and I need to hide away. The weird thing is that I still feel lonely and afraid. I know that as my mood gets even lower, then that feeling will slowly dissipate and I will just feel numb and hollow inside. That is all. Nothing else.

I can’t reach out to anyone at all. Life is very regimented for me. Yet another issue – my OCD. I can’t reach out because people just don’t seem to understand just how bad things can get for me and how low down this illness can actually take me. So I guess I shall be lonely all on my own today. Thank you very much for reading.

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My First DokiDoki Crate – May ’18…

This was the first Doki Doki box that I had received. I’d heard good things about it so was really looking forward to receiving it. When it arrived, I was super excited to get in to the bright pink box and see what goodies lay within there.

As with most subscription boxes, it was really well wrapped and presented.

The first adorable item out of the box was the angel bunny charm. These adorable rabbits will be your guardian angel while you travel. Each rabbit holds on to a different natural gemstone that is sure to bring you luck and good energy on your adventure.

The next item out of the box was a Sanrio ticket holder. The My Melody design will keep all your travel documents together. Stops you from having to fumble and look through bags and pockets for things.

Then comes a brilliant travel kit. They help you travel with ease. The kit includes two bottles that you could fill with shampoo & conditioner, a round case you could fill with lip balm, a comb and a mirror. Other things will also fit in these pouches.

Next comes a gorgeous, generously sized My Melody luggage tag. It’s so very cute, I love it!

Last of all comes a packet of Rilakkuma travel wipes. These are perfect when you need to freshen up or to clean up an emergency spill.

Unfortunately I can’t find the wipes to photograph them. Sorry!

I was so super happy with this box, I really was. I might even stuck around to see if they stay cute. πŸ™‚

Definitely a five out of five star box!

Be kind to each other.x

Unboxing & Review of My Sugar & Sloth Subscription Box – May ’18…

This neat little subscription box arrived this morning and had cute little hearts in the tape securing it. Really cute. πŸ’œ

Getting into the box, it was all cutely wrapped and looking very nice.

First of all I found a mini tube of love hearts that are a sweet that I used to adore as a child. They were eaten straight away!

There was a card first of all, with a yummy smoothie recipe on the back which I absolutely have to try. I love bananas and raspberries!

Next there was a big, circular pink sticker that said tea time all the time. Super cute!

Then the first badge comes out. It’s a round badge and it has a pink macaroon with a blue bow on its head and the badge bears the legend “bite me!” I love it!

Finally we get the deluxe enamel pin. This month’s pin was a wee fox in a tea cup. Oh it’s just super cute!

A four out of five star box.

Be kind to each other.x

Sick and Tired…

I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired. I became seriously ill back in 2007 and fought it off and worked every single day that I could. I was determined to cope with things.

Then in February of 2009, I became even worse. One morning I woke up, and I simply could not move. Every time I tried, a searing pain would shoot the whole way around my body and that made it impossible for me to actually get my ass out of bed. My body was sick and tired of being forced through that shit every single frikkin’ damn day.

I shouted and shouted and eventually my eldest got up out of his bed and came through to see what the hell was wrong. When he saw the state I was in, he just ran forward and gave me a huge hug. I had to really bite my lip to keep from screaming on that one, because my eldest is severely autistic and if I had reacted in any negative way, it would have severely affected his mood and I will never deliberately do that to him. Ever.

Eventually, around ten minutes later, he went and got me what I needed – my own mobile phone so that I could call the boys school and tell them that they would be a little bit late as I was having some difficulties. Luckily the school understood and were really fine about things. Then I had to call my partner who was at work and wasn’t happy about having to come home. That was until he actually got home and saw me sweating and vomiting over the side of the bed into my rubbish bin because the pain I was experiencing was literally that bad.

He rang my doctor’s surgery and they advised him to call 999 to get me to hospital. I fought against this because the ambulance service are under enough stress. They don’t need to be dropping the blues and twos for my pain they really don’t. So I begged for a doctor to come see me at home instead. Foolish me thinking that he would see me and just tell me to rest a while and all would be well. Oh no no foolish woman! Guess again! After being poked and prodded around, he pulled my partner off to one side and started talking to him which really did piss me off! Ummmm, hello? It’s my legs that aren’t working, not my brain.

The doctor then announced that I did have to go to hospital and he was calling ahead to get me a bed and also arranging for ambulance transport (not paramedics) to come and take me in. My partner packed my bags and then took the boys to school so they wouldn’t have to see me leave in an ambulance. He was back before they even arrived. A fast ambulance ride later and I arrived on the medical emergency ward. A few hours later, I was taken onto one of the medical wards. My care was undertaken by a group of consultants. Medical, Orthopaedic and Rheumatolgy. I went through two long weeks of scans, X-rays and blood tests. This resulted in me being given one hell of a shock. I didn’t get just one diagnosis. I got several, and all of them were life changing.

I was told that I had both osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then Fibromyalgia and type 3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which also led to me being diagnosed as having Dysautomia due to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. After that came osteoporosis.

Just as an afterthought, I have restless leg syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, a cardiac murmur and a small congenital hole in my heart. Couple that with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and IBS and you can imagine that since February of 2009 that my life has become hugely different and I had gone from being a totally independent woman who worked bloody hard and had been a registered nurse for most of my working life to being a totally dependant woman who needs help with pretty much every aspect of my personal life and care. This really gets to me. It makes me so sad and so freakin’ angry. I used to bake some pretty awesome cakes (I did a mean lemon drizzle) and I just can’t do that anymore. I can’t cook, clean, take care of the house or myself. I literally am dependant on my carer for everything. Yup, at 46 years old, I have a carer. 😭😭😭 I hate my life.

My day starts when I wake up, normally around 4am. I’ll have had around three hours of broken sleep and been tossing and turning like a fucking washing machine. I then clock (almost typed cock then) watch round to 6.30am when I can take my morning medication – hey, it’s only a handful of 15 pills. Shake me and I’ll rattle! Then I need to wait until around 8.30-9am for my carer to arrive. I’ll then get my hot water bottle made for my back. If the day is a very bad one, then there is a less than zero percent chance of me getting out of bed. I know if I do my pain levels will shoot through the roof and if I’m lucky, only one joint will dislocate. I have learned how to pop most of my joints back into place. I would be spending half of my life in the emergency room otherwise. The only joint I can’t do is my shoulder. So days like that see me with all of my braces on and resting in bed.

β—¦ On the rare days when I feel well enough to get out of bed, I will have help to get changed into a clean pair of PJs. I have hyperathaesia and my skin is so sensitive, most days I can only tolerate soft cotton PJs. On bad days, I have to go nekkid. If my bad days fall on a day where I have to leave the house for an appointment, I really suffer and have to strip the moment I get back home. I hate it.

On good days, I’m able to prop myself up in bed and either do some colouring or write letters. On a bad day, I just tend to cry and read on my Kindle.

I’ve learned to accept that my day is peppered with taking pills and having my time consumed by struggling to do even the most simple of things. I’ve had to learn not to be sick and tired. I’m just so very lucky that my friends and family are tolerant and I am so bloody lucky to have them in my life I really am. Without them I would be less than nothing.

Most of my days are now spent reading, writing letters as I’ve already said, and trying to think of interesting things that people who follow my blog might like to read. I try hard to balance what I write and I also try to fact check anything newsworthy as I don’t like spreading stories that aren’t true. It can do a lot of damage to people.

So why write this? I guess just to show how things can change in the blink of an eye and you should never be ungrateful for what you have. I see myself now as very lucky. People have asked me how I can say that given how my life has changed. It took me a while and a lot of adaptation before I could say it. I have two fabulous kids, a partner who worships me, a gorgeous if slightly potty cat and some of the best friends that I could ever wish for!

Be kind to each other!x