Avon’s Foot Restoring Soak with Epsom Salts

I suffer with Restless Leg Syndrome which means my legs feel irritated and they can’t stop themselves from twitching. I have never been sure why it happens but I’ve noticed it’s usually when I’m tired or if my legs are too hot.

From flicking through the Avon brochure I came across a Foot Restoring Soak with Epsom Salts and decided to order it for £2.50. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product as I’m usually a bit skeptical about things I haven’t used before but last night I decided to give it a whirl.

My legs thought they were doing a marathon last night, I couldn’t stop them from twitching so I decided to have a bath – I hate having baths. Using Avon’s White Lily Bubble Bath and the Foot Restoring Soak with Espom Salts, I felt like I was bathing in a dream. The epsom salts smell incredible, they smell like tea tree products and are very relaxing. You only need to apply a small amount to your bath to feel the results.

I haven’t used epsom salts before so I don’t have any previous experience with how they work but the results from these were great. After about 20 minutes I stepped out of the bath feeling like a different person. My legs felt a lot better and the pain had subsided.

Overall I would give this product five stars because it took away the pain and the twitching and I was able to sleep throughout the night. Have you ever used epsom salts before?

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Christmas in Berlin and Hanover

At the start of December I flew to Berlin for a bargain price of £24! I hadn’t planned anything for my trip despite reading Trip Advisor recommendations so I let my feet take me around the streets. I used Airbnb for my accommodation which cost me £68 – again another bargain for two nights. My Airbnb host gave me directions to his apartment from the airport which was a great help because I can’t speak a word of German.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of my room I just popped them onto my Instagram story. It was very spacious and had lots of information leaflets on the desk which was really useful.

My first day I spent following Google Maps as I was roughly 15 minutes away from the Berlin Wall. When it comes to history I am obsessed with it. I am fascinated with how the world has changed and what people did for us so I can write this for you now. The Berlin Wall was never a subject studied at school so I wasn’t particularly familiar with why it was ever built. Not knowing why gave me the opportunity to take a visit to the Berlin Wall Museum just opposite the remaining parts of the wall. This is extremely informative and definitely worth a visit if you plan on venturing over to the wall.

Of course I didn’t just go to Germany for the historical aspect, I went because their Christmas markets look absolutely incredible! Yes they do live up to expectations before you wonder what they’re like. There are lights everywhere, I couldn’t help but walk around smelling the different cuisines, hearing the laughter and looking at stalls wishing I had this in my town. I ventured to quite a few markets around Berlin and all of them had their own German twist. The memorial for the terrorist attack at one of the markets was so moving – rest in peace.

Christmas German market

One of my favourite moments from my trip was bumping into Ricky Gervais and his wife at a market. It was an extremely surreal moment and he said ‘hello’ to me as if he was David Brent. I wish I thought of filming it but it was a spur of the moment incident – I mean who would have thought I’d bump into Ricky?

There are endless things to do in Berlin but it was hard to squeeze it into two and a half days. I will be writing a separate blog post on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe because it needs to have a dedicated post. There’s a small Anne Frank exhibition down a really interesting alley which was good to see as I never had the opportunity when I visited Amsterdam. It is self funded so please do try to visit if you can.

Hanover took me by surprise. I expected it to have more to visit than it did but walking through the Christmas markets at night was sweet. It didn’t have the same impact as Berlin’s because some were just down a street so it became extremely overcrowded. I would say Berlin loves Christmas probably a little more than Hanover.

Hanover German Christmas market

Herrenhaser Garten is absolutely beautiful although a summer visit is most likely more interesting than a winter one. This isn’t just a standard garden, it’s huge! There’s a lot of different plants to see amongst the naked statues. One aspect of the garden you will enjoy is the mosaic glass outbuilding, it is full of intriguing art.

I stayed with a friend whilst I was in Hanover and we were snowed in on my last few days but it was absolutely worth it. I had to have a Netflix and chill day because my joints and back were struggling to keep up with me after my adventures on my own.

I would love to keep talking about my trip but the word count is going up and up. Have you ever been to Germany during Christmas time?

Four ball snowman

Leicester’s Memory Walk

As you are aware I signed up to participate in this years Memory Walk for the Alzheimer’s Society in honour of my great nan. The walk took place last Sunday and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. According to the email the walk was a total of 7km but I feel it was further!

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Mum, grandma, auntie & me

Abbey Park had such a great atmosphere and I was glad to be there with everyone. Whilst walking around I came across lots of people and I couldn’t help but read their little signs on their backs. I was walking behind this young boy and his sign was in memory of his ‘grammar’ and the message was absolutely beautiful. I am sure his grammar would have been proud of him last Sunday.

I loved the route for the walk because we explored different parts of Leicester that I hadn’t seen before and it wasn’t too strenuous. It was all planned so that everyone could participate whether that was young children, the elderly, disabled people and parents with pushchairs! It was great. My only critique was the lack of signage to let you know how far you’d walked. I would have liked to have seen when I’d reached half way etc.

Despite the short distance I was really suffering with my Joint Hypermobility. My hips were extremely sore and felt like they were on fire. At one point I thought I would have to have a long break but I ignored the pain and carried on walking! I’m pleased I was able to carry on as I was doing for a family member and I didn’t want to let myself down.

It melts your heart because you don’t realise how many people have been affected by this terrible disease but taking part in an event like this really opens up your eyes. I would love to speak to anyone that has taken part in these events before or maybe you have a family member suffering? It’d be nice to meet some new people.

Why you should relax – do it!

I have recently been suffering with a very painful back, shoulders and neck due to the chair at work not giving me the support I need. However, I decided to visit my local beautician for an Indian Head Massage. I have had one of these before and I felt so much better afterwards, my head was clear, the knots in my back had gone and my mood lifted. With the impressive results last time I thought that it might help me this time and my word it really did.

What is an Indian Head Massage?

Well I can’t give you an actual definition because I don’t know the meaning. Jasmine, my beautician from Beauty at Pelo, Swadlincote only charges a bargain price of £25 for one hour and fifteen minutes of absolute heaven. Your shoulders, back and neck are lightly covered in an oil to soften the skin. There is a lot of thumb and arm work involved during the massage. Today I could feel the knots crunching and I had so many of them – no wonder I was in pain. You should have seen the smile on my face as they were being demolished! Plus, I had relaxation music on in the background so I got to completely switch off from the world, it was wonderful.

The session then moves onto your head and face. AHH I love my hair being played with, love it love it love it. This is another reason I choose to have an Indian Head Massage because your whole scalp is massaged and then she moves onto circular techniques on your face (if you suffer with migraines, give this a go).

I never want it to end, I honestly cannot say how better I feel, I have a clear mind, my back, neck and shoulders are no longer in pain and I’m in a great mood! If you have a beautician please consider this if the option is available. I just want to say a big thank you to Jasmine for being such a lovely lady, she’s really helped me today.

 

You’re just double jointed so get over it

Why did I choose this title you might be asking? Well I am not ‘just double jointed’. One thing I need to say, you have no idea of the daily struggles of living with an invisible illness. People often stare at one another, on the train, on the bus, in a queue but no one actually knows if that person is okay just because they’re able-bodied. Welcome to judgemental life.

Will you tell us what is wrong?

Of course, I suffer with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder as well as Fibromyalgia. It affects people differently, in my case I am fairly lucky to not have a severe form but I still have to adapt to certain things. For me, being tired is the worst pain of all because I’m not tired, I am physically and mentally exhausted and a nap doesn’t fix the problem. Sleeping for hours and hours helps but then I wake up and within three hours I feel I need to sleep again. It is like a reoccurring nightmare.

1) Career

Oh it is easy to get a job, there are so many jobs out there – I hear this ALL of the time. Yes I know there are jobs out there but I can’t just waltz into a job like a completely healthy person, I need to choose carefully. It might seem daft but even working in retail and hospitality causes me grief. Working on my feet all day is a disaster, the pain is awful and the swollen ankles tops it off. ‘Oh just take some painkillers.’ – No because that is not the answer. The answer is to have a job you believe in, you want to do and one that does not cause you physical damage. The doctors told me I needed to consider changing my career path (when I was 18) as I will cause myself lasting damage. Self-employment has always been advised to me by doctors but it isn’t guaranteed income which is something I need to figure out and plan.

When I was working in hospitality I spent a lot of the time hiding my pain behind a fake smile. Home time was my favourite part of the night, I would get to go home in agony, crawl into bed and cry. It felt fantastic. It also made me feel extremely low about myself because I was incapable of doing my job. I often cried at work, my colleagues would find me washing up or trying to pour a pint whilst crying. Shame and embarrassment was a common feeling for me and I had to quit my job for something more suitable. From then on, I have stuck to office work.

2) Outings

The worse topic for me. Planning an outing is difficult whether it is with friends or my boyfriend, I always have to be considered. When people tell you they would love to go ice skating, roller blading or for a night out, my mood instantly drops. Ice skating is my worst fear because it feels like my ankles are on fire and I feel guilty for having to sit down or hide the fact I want to burst into tears. The guilt that goes through your head at each outings you go to makes you fear the next one. I have ruined many nights out with friends because my ankle has collapsed and I have needed to go to A&E and they’ve had to come with me. Then there’s the ‘Guys I’m really suffering *sniff* I need to sit down or go home.’ – Oh I dread that phrase and I’m sure my friends do as well. SORRY GUYS, I LOVE YOU!!

3) Day to-day

Each day is different for me, sometimes I am suffering and other days I can be as happy as a lamb jumping through a field. Today is a bad day, my back is sore and my ankles are because I have over done it with housework – I know, call the excitement police. Most days I just want to sleep and be left alone because my moods are all over the place. I probably should have a WARNING sign attached to my head when I’m having a bad day. I appreciate it when people ask if I’m okay or if I need time on my own as I don’t need to explain myself nor snap at anyone. Thank you!

4) When winter is coming

Ah, every joint, Arthritic and Raynaud sufferers worst nightmare. The cold really aggravates sore joints and makes you want to hibernate for the entire winter. However, I do love winter, I love the scenery, the fact I can sleep at night and use a hot water bottle if needs be and it is my favourite season. I love the fact I can choose my temperature and keep myself warm.

As much as I would like to, I can’t speak for everyone who has been diagnosed with Hypermobility Syndrome but we are not the same people. I want to raise more awareness about this condition and this is one of the reasons I wrote this post. It is important to show that other things exist and to help educate.

This little keyring is something that I adore because I do not have to explain anything to anyone if I have an accident. It is there, it does not say what it means but at least if I am unconscious people can ‘Google’ if they need to and find out what the condition is. Thank you to Memories Enclosed who made this.

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Medical Alert Keyring

So I am not ‘just double jointed’ it is something a bit more serious than doing fancy party tricks and putting on a show. Yes I am able-bodied but you have no right to judge anyone and take a minute to think about others. If you see someone who is screwing up their face or gripping onto anything they can whilst on public transport maybe ask yourself one question ‘Should I see if they would like my seat?’.

Race for Life 2016

Today was the day, today we had to tackle 10k at Markeaton Park in Derby and wow it was hard. The turnout, the weather and atmosphere was great, it was definitely a day to remember. If you are considering doing Race for Life, do it without hesitation and even get a big group of friends together, you’ll love it.

I did the race with my friend Rachel, we took part 6 years ago and only did 5k back then. I’ve got to say, this year it was really difficult and it felt like it was never going to end however I am really happy I did it.

We started off running and then my asthma decided it wanted to say hello, the joys of being asthmatic. My joints were causing me havoc as well, I honestly thought my legs were going to give in as my hips were in absolute agony. Again, worth the pain.

I thought it was brilliant the way Tom from Capital FM kept everyone going with his spirit and cheering people on as they were coming up to the finish line. He gave us the final push we needed so thanks Tom!

Oh also, thank you to the volunteers at the event today handing out water and those pain au chocolats, they were incredible to eat after using up all of my sugar energy.

It was a fantastic day and I am really looking forward to taking on bigger challenges. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me and supported me through this. The whole day and fundraising has been a huge success.

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Just three weeks to go until the big 10k

In January I decided to take on the challenge of doing a 10K run for Race for Life during the summer. Well the date is approaching, I only have three weeks left which feels a bit surreal because I will admit that I’m not ready for it. I mean I can walk that but run? Pfft no. I have been training and changing things though just to prepare me for the race however being an asthmatic and having Joint Hypermobility Syndrome makes things a little difficult. My aim is to run though so I will try and prove my body wrong!!!

35127_1487679945703_863489_nThis was me 6 years ago doing Race for Life with Rachel.

I love that picture, it shows how great it was to do Race for Life and to be honest it also saddens me as I was so slim back then (okay not so slim but a hell of a lot slimmer). I look back at this and it pushes me to carry on and not give up on something I want to do. It also lets me appreciate the trainers I have now, those ones are horrendous.

If anybody would like to sponsor me, even if it is just £1 as every £1 will help save a life then I have popped the link below. I would be over the moon as I’m just £45 away from reaching £300 which will be £100 over my target.

Race for Life donation page

Thank you xxx