Friday, 28 October 2016

Daith Piercing

So a week ago I got a daith piercing - I read and heard from people that it can help with migraines and as it was only £15 to do I thought what the hell lets go for it.

Firstly the place I got it done is super clean and the guys been doing piercings for years before starting we ran through jewellery options (I went for a plain curved bar) and he showed me the needle in its sealed case and the expiry date and so on.

I have dinky ears (sadly it's the only part of me that is dinky!) so he wasnt 100% sure it could be done but after examining my ears he decided yeah we can go ahead.

Holy mother of god it was painful! Like the worse piercing ever! You could not only feel but you could hear the needle going through the cartilage and then followed the worse bit - the actual earring being fitted!

I bled a little, my eyes watered and I bravely was like yeah that wasnt so bad but it really was - so if anyone is considering getting it done be prepared the pain is intense!

After it was done it stung but no biggy- I chatted to the guys at the studio for a bit - got my little after care pack (a baggy of rock salt and cleaning instructions) and headed off to my car to go do some weight training. About 25 minutes later literally out of the blue it felt like someone had taken a damn metal bar and smacked me alongside my face - it was hard to tell what actually hurt - my teeth, my jaw, my cheek, my inner ear my outer ear even my damn eye socket!

This intense pain /burning sensation lasted like 4 hours - I really didnt think I would be able to keep the bloody piercing in - I was considering getting some pliers and removing it! But the pain eased and I was able to move my head without vomming so I figured it needed time to heal and so on.

When I finally got home around 7 hours after getting it done I knew it would need cleaning. It's really bloody awkward to clean because its hard to see - even using a mirror and its hard to reach. I ended up making up some sea salt solution and soaking a cotton balls and just squeezing it over the area before gently dabbing with a fresh soaked cotton ball. It stung like a bitch and a tiny bit of blood came off.

Sleeping was interesting I am a wriggler and that first night any time I stupidly rolled onto that side I woke up feeling sorry for myself. The next morning I cleaned it again and it was swollen and a bit more blood.

Fast forward a couple of days and swelling had reduced a bit so as well as the 3 times a day soaking with sea salt solution an cotton balls I was also using a clean ear bud dipped in the water to clean behind the ball.

Now a week later it's still slightly swollen and its still a bit sore to the touch. It's still a pain in the ass to clean and if I forget it's there and go to scratch my ear without thinking it hurts like hell.

I can sleep okay without it hurting as it's quite far in the ear and now it's (mostly) a lower more bearable pain it doesnt bother me. I wnt for some blood tests today and got the healthcare assistant to check it out for me and she said it looks really clean and like it's healing well yay

Since having it done I have had one headache (the day after) but no migraines so far. As I usually get 2-3 headaches a week and 2-3 migraines a month I am taking this as a good sign - or it might just be that my body is so traumatised by the piercing its decided to focus on one area of pain for me at a time!

It's going to take a long time to heal - the piercer said normally 6 - 9 months but can take longer.

It also looks kinda cool it's very dainty and cute so even if it doesnt work for the migraine and headaches I'm probably going to keep it in.

Oh and in case anyone thinks I am a wuss about the pain? I have had other piercings in the past none hurt like this not even the more "sensitive" area ones, getting the tattoo didnt hurt like this, testing my blood glucose levels, having multiple injections or having to give myself regular injections in my stomach and legs - none of these things hurt as much s this one small piercing!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Baking with Betty (Crocker)

Once again I have been chosen to take part in an Insiders EU campaign (to find out how to join the Insiders and take part in fabulous projects like this on please click here and read my guide)

So the idea behind this campaign is to get people like myself who are not the best at baking to get involved in it and to encourage them to introduce it to the kids as well :)

I applied as it seemed a great opportunity to introduce D (aged 6) and H (aged 3) to the joys of baking.

Happily I was chosen to take part YAY and a couple of days after the e-mail telling me I had been chosen (long with 2500 other insiders!) my goody box arrived.

One of the great things about the Insider's campaigns is they literally send you everything you need to take part - not just the products (which are awesome!) but:

A booklet with ideas and all the campaign info as well as business cards about the Insiders which you can hand out to friends, colleagues and family who might be interested in joining.

As this campaign was all about Baking - we also got 5 fantastic recipe cards to give us ideas of what to make with out free products - we might be baking out of a box but these recipe cards lets you create ideas out of the box too!

A fun little activity plan for the half term week of ideas of what else you can do with the kids :)

A ridiculously generous amount of money off voucher 20 x £1 to be exact - with the offers on in various stores (ASDA e.g.  have buy 2 Betty Crocker products for £3) your friends and family and yourself will be able to use these vouchers to buy the products at less than half price - who doesnt love a bargain!

FREE PRODUCTS!!! The best bit lol - for this campaign we have been provided with a box of velvety vanilla cake mix - you can use this to make a cake like on the pic on the box or for cupcakes; A box of brownie fudge mix; a packet of choc chip cookie mix and a tub of vanilla frosting/icing. The recipe cards use these products to make various goodies so there's plenty there to use.

Now my original plan was to make something out of these products in the week BUT it's my turn to take cakes into work on Monday following Selasi leaving Great British Bake Off - so I persuaded H & D that we needed to do some cupcakes this weekend.

We decided to try making our own design and I needed to make enough cupcakes for the whole of work plus some for H&D too (and me of course!) so I used the vouchers and got 4 packs of vanilla cake mix in ASDA for £2 and we got baking!

We decided to throw caution to the wind and to make some multi-coloured cakes. It was surprisingly easy and super effective!

We mixed together the wet ingredients (water, sunflower oil and 3 eggs) and then mixed in food colouring - I only had red, blue and purple so we did those colours we then mixed the wet in with the boxed mix and voila coloured batter appeared :

Rainbow batter mix!

We made up a batch each in blue, purple and red and then another batch au nautral and then it was just a case of lining the cupcake tray with cases and spooning the mix in and baking

Blue cupcakes cooling

Red cupcakes cooling and purple cupcake mix ready to go in the oven
Once the cupcakes were all baked (each batch took 20 mins to bake and about 5mins to make up the batter) we let them cool and then decorated them with the delicious vanilla icing - I dont have any posh baking equipment so we literally used a tea spoon to scoop a dollop of icing out and stuck it on the cake and then decorate each one with stuff from the cupboards!

We have sprinkles on purple, smiley faces and flowers on plain cupcakes

We have witches and chocolate patterns on blue cupcakes

We have flowers and butterflies on red cupcakes and marshmallows on purple
H & D loved decorating the cakes - the only rule they had was that they had to make 5 of each pattern which they stuck too until the last batch of blue ones and then they just used up the last bits of chocolate however they could!

After making the cupcakes there was lots of little bits  of different coloured mix left over. Rather than throw it away I decided it to try making a marble effect loaf cake. I poured the red in first, then topped it with some plain, then added the purple and topped with the last of the plain and finished off with the blue. It came out amazingly well!

 After all that baking we all took a well deserved bake and tried the cakes out - they are delicious!

Overall we spent around 2 1/2 hours making up the cake mixes, baking the cakes in the oven and then decorating the cakes. D & H each had 4 cupcakes (not in one go!) and I am taking 40  into work with me. We also have the delicious marble cake which is sliced up and wrapped in clingfilm and stored in a nice air tight container.

We did use all the cake mix provided plus another 3 packets (still have one spare) and the whole tub of icing as well as some smarties, some buttons, some chocolate orange and some sprinkles and a whole box of eggs!

The mix was very easy to do - we dont have a mixer so we mixed everything by hand and everything blended well and baked and came out exactly as it was supposed to - it was really super easy to do.

We are going to try making brookies (brownies v cookies) using the last 2 mixes next weekend as I think we have enough cake to last us for a bit now :)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Cats Vs Friends!

Recently I have been let down by various friends who make arrangements and then cancel last minute  or who think it's okay to change plans, bring other people along or just be late - it's driving me nuts!

As most people who know me in person know I have some real anxieties around time keeping - I hate being late for anything or having other people being late for things. I like organisation and routine and plans which, well, go to plan.  When things deviate from this comfortable norm for me I feel edgy, grumpy and less inclined to be social!

So I have decided that from now on I am going to be a grumpy old crazy cat lady and stay home with my cats instead and here's why:

1. My cats dont give a shit if I walk around stark bollock naked - they don't care if I havent brushed my hair, wear matching socks or look 'presentable'

2. My cat's do not judge my meal choices, snack decisions or alcoholic binges. They dont care if I am fat or thin or ordering a pizza at 2am just cos I fancy a snack - their only concern is whether I will pay extra for the cheesy crust that they like!

3. My cat's do not make plans with me and cancel or change them - they stick to the routine of get up, get fed, nap nap nap, play nap some more get fed and bed - it's  a routine I can understand and relate to!

4. My cat's do not bore me with photographs of their holidays or their family get togethers! If I follow you on social media I get to see these already I shouldn't be forced to look through them a second time - ooh a pretty tree, some flowers, a blurry shot of a butterfly, some random strangers dancing in a conga line and so on

5. My cats are always up for a movie or box set night and dont care if we stay up til 4am watching netflix together!

6. My cats never obsess about my relationships or current lack or relationships, they dont need to know every detail of every sexual encounter or what colour wallpaper someones bedroom has!

7. My cats do not feel the need to pay false compliments and then get all upset when called on that bullshit - seriously dont lie and tell me shit because your afraid of hurting my feelings especially when I have already told you on previous occasions I hate to be lied to even if it's a nice lie just tell the truth damn you!

8. My cats dont care that I swear like a trooper and sometimes run out of suitable swear words so make my own up - that's  right you swaddleboggingpubichair eating turdakon!

9. My cats dont care that when I get anxious or stressed I bite my nails until they bleed and mix up people's names - they dot mind what I call them so long as I'm talking to them. Friends get upset if after 4 attempts your still unable to remember who they are!

10. My cats have never hosted an intervention because they think  I am self-destructing, acting crazy, have a serious shoe addiction habit or to tell me it's time to be a grown up and get a mortgage and settle down. They accept me with all my idiosyncrasies (should that be idiot-syncrasies) and dont try to change who I am to make me fit into their idea of who I should be!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Mental Health Awareness Day

So October 10th was Mental Health Awareness Day I wanted to write about it but decided to wait because for those people living with mental illness, their friends, family, health professionals and neighbours everyday is mental health awareness day.

Both my half sisters have mental illnesses and it impacts on them every day of their lives, it also impacts on us as their family.

One sister has Bi-Polar disorder and psychotic episodes - the psychosis is controlled by medication the bi-polar is not. How it impacts on day to day life varies depending on her mood - some days she doesnt get out of bed, she doesnt clean her home or herself, she will refuse to take her meds or self medicate with alcohol.

She has three adult children, the oldest lives with her foster parents who have been responsible for her since she was around 4 years old - she is now 26 and has learning and physical difficulties - something my sister would never be able to cope with. She visits my sister regularly but doesnt understand why her mother is dirty or refuses to go out and do things. Her comments hurt my sister who doesn't understand why her daughter is ashamed of her. The second is 24 and moved out just before she was 16 - due to her mother's issues she was provided with her own small flat. She  moved out because she couldnt cope with living with her mum, the state of the home and her mother's lifestyle. She rarely contacts her mum or the wider family and suffers with depression. The youngest is 18 and has aspergers, she lives with er mum - she has severe social anxiety and unfortunately like her mum has poor personal hygiene which doesnt help with the social anxiety and awkwardness.

This all has a huge impact on our family, from checking on her every day to make sure she is okay, on her meds, not taking someone elses meds (she did that one time and it took us like 2 weeks to get the doctors and health professionals involved and helping and then it took like another month for her to stabilise on her own meds again!), to trying to get her house clean and in a livable state to stopping her from getting involved with people who would harm/take advantage to her, to making sure her animals are okay (she has a ridiculous amount of pets from tarantulas to dog to lizards/reptiles!).

It's exhausting and it's a thankless task - she doesnt appreciate our help, she doesnt want it a lot of the time, she can say horrible nasty things, she can be needy, her home and body odour are disgusting and she can be an embarrassment. But on her good days she is a lovely person, she can be kind and caring and smart and funny but mental illness has caused her to have more bad than good days.

My other sister has mild learning difficulties and suffers with depression and ADHD. When people think about ADHD they think of hyperactive kids bouncing off the walls - they think it's something people grow up and out of. How it impacts on my sister is different. She struggles to concentrate - this means she will start doing something like cleaning the kitchen and then she will get distracted. She will look at a room thats untidy and not know how to start to clean it - she gets muddled and clutter fatigue. She hoards things. She can't manage to budget her money, pay her bills etc If she gets £100 a week on a Monday and has a bill due on Friday of £50 she wont plan to save £50- she will spoil her kids and grandson with the £100 and then come Friday she wont have any money left to pay her bill! She has 2 children. The oldest is 24 and has a 6 year old son. The youngest is 3. The oldest and youngest live with her and the grandson spends every weekend and most of the school holidays. She loves the kids and grandkids and will do anything for them but she isn't good at being a parent - she wants to play and have fun and they all love being with her but she isnt so good at things like discipline, routines and is more of a friend than a mum to them.

Like with my other sis we have to call her or see her everyday - my mum will call her every morning and make sure she has done her house work, planned her meals, knows what appointments she has to attend, remind her to pay her bills and so on. We also call her every evening to make sure the kids are sorted, the houseworks done and to check everything that needs to be done for the morning is. We also take her shopping, make sure she has paid bills, make sure she has electricity / gas / water etc

This sister is a lot more fun to be around, she's generally happy and easy going (depression is controlled well with medication) she wants to please people and is generous to a fault but we spend a lot of time checking up on her and making sure everything is okay - when we are on holiday we have to call home and check in every other day as well as staying in touch on FB (thank god for the internet) - in fact on our recent holiday she forgot to pay her phone bill and spent her money so we had to sort that out from the USA!

Neither of my sisters have carers so keeping an eye on them falls directly to their family and friends. So like I said at the start we live mental health awareness every single day! We have to make council officials, health professionals, friends, our employers etc aware of mental health issues. We have to ensure that they are both safe and because they both have children we have to make sure they are taken care of too. Both are considered to have full mental capacity so we often struggle to get information from health professionals - even though neither can manage without support! It's a difficult situation to be in.