Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Phota Your Mota!

Moneysupermarket are running a competition called Phota your Mota, where they ask people to take a photo of a car that means something to you and explain why.

Our Volvo has been in our family for 20 years now, I decided to explain why I love it in the form of a poem and after that you will understand the picture!

Our Volvo

The gleaming Volvo sat there in shinning red
'New car, it's perfect' my Grandpa said.
Built to last for ever in 1992
And lasting is something it did do.

It took us on holidays and trips to Kent
The boot held everything, even the tent.
It's now well past its better days
And memories of it working begin to haze.

Independently the passenger seat slowly reclines
While the rest of the motor completely declines.
Fans blow hot air to keep the engine cool
The rain leaks in and forms a big pool

20 years on we are still so very fond
Even if our feet are in a giant pond
It's cared for these days by Grandpa and me
We hope and pray each year it passes its MOT!

3 blogger who I think would like to enter

Friday, July 26, 2013

Scooters pimped!

I don't know what it's like to grow up disabled as I spent the first 15 years of my life walking around after taking my first steps on my 1st birthday.

It's not easy becoming disabled out of the blue and I know lots of people feel very self conscious when starting to venture into public, are people staring at me? What if I bump into someone I know? Will people wonder why a young person is using a scooter?

Lets face it, scooters are brilliant to help you get around but they are just plain granny like! Thankfully my confidence helped on this front, aged 16 I had my first shopping trip on one, at first I was amused at the speedmoniter which had pictures rather than numbers, turtle-hare (ok I admit that it still amuses me) but it wasn't long before I was practising my weaving skills on hare mode in BHS, I left the store only after crashing face first into a display of jumpers! Weaving at high speed aside they just aren't the kind of accessory you would choose until your at least 80.

Then Robbie Williams changes that. He's the annoying kind of guy who can make anything seem or look cool but even so, how cool is his scooter in his latest video with Dizzee Rascal???

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And the 2 of them together

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I have serious mobility scooter envy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Balloon Fairy

I love balloons, they can mean celebration, happiness, get well or good luck wishes, congratulations, sad goodbyes and even 'just because'.

I had some helium left over recently and so today we blew up some balloons. My original plan was to do some and have Mum tie them to the front door of a neighbour (who has the same illness as me) with a note just saying they were from the balloon fairy. I realised it was her 18th birthday this week though so blew up lots of balloons which mum took up with a card. This isn't the first time there has been a balloon fairy. A few years back when I was doing better, I managed to go to a dinner organised by the local paper and they presented organisations/charities with a donation. As soon as I entered the room I clocked the heart balloon bouquets and thought of how they could make kids smile. I was able to ask an official if it would be possible to take some home to give to some local children, they said they would find out for me. So we have dinner, then the cheques are presented and everyone was moved so I could join the others for a photo at the front of the room. After it had been taken they announced that children's charities can take the balloons and to my horror they all seemed to instantly vanish before me (all the other charity people could walk!) and there was chaos trying to move me an inch forward. I told my dad 'forget me, the balloooons, the balloooons' (seriously, anyone would think they had bunches of winning lottery tickets rather than some heart shaped balloons), some kind guy over heard me and snagged me quite a few. Everyone who was with me pointed out we could never get that many balloons in our car and I informed them that they should be positive and when there is a will there is a way (I'm not sure if positivity effects the laws of physics but hey it's worth a try). My dad had recently got a new car which didn't have a boot the size of his old one (which got mentioned every time the boot was used) and my wheelchair alone filled it. That left 4 of us and about 18 balloons, we had them crammed into every nook and cranny, I even had my leg over some so they wouldn't obstruct Dads view, thank god it was dark! We concluded that if we were in an accident we would be fine due to this very large air cushion surrounding us but when rescued we would be all squeaky as its helium! My insanity paid off though, the next day balloons were delivered to a boy who had recently seen his sister die and a family where a mixture of illness and disability led the family to crisis point, they got home to find their porch filled with balloons from seemingly no where (although they guessed it was us). The kids apparently loved it and decided it was the balloon fairy!
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Frustrated Nature review

I was introduced to Frustrated Nature by Alexis who runs it when she gave me a gift of the loveliest lip balm I had ever had (sweet almond and tangerine). Alexis started Frustrated Nature after getting frustrated trying to find chemical free beauty products. I am slowly working my way through their range and have loved everything so far. The lip balms (my favourites being tangerine and zesty lime) can also be used as a moisturiser, I had a dry patch on my chest which didn't go away with all sorts of different creams I tried but cleared up with these lip balms, Alexis even uses it on the ends of her curly hair! I have now ditched Lush lip balms and Vaseline for these.

 For years my favourite face scrub was Boots Botanical, I had a break from using it after I ran out and was shocked to find I am now allergic to it (I'm not sure if the ingredients have changed or if its a new allergy). It caused a bright red rash to spread and my face to swell! I very cautiously started looking for a new facial scrub and tried the Body Shop Honey & Oat scrub. While the scrub left my skin soft I didn't feel it exfoliated well and instead just left a smooth coating of the mask on my skin. My hunt continued until I remembered Frustrated Nature does more than lip balms. I brought Olive Stone granule face scrub with Sweet Almond Oil and gave it a go. The product comes in a glass bottle that is 3/4 full, the granules settle to the bottom and so you give it a good shake before using (the empty space at the top is to make shaking easy). I poured some into my hand and it was surprisingly thick, I felt it exfoliated better than any other scrub I had tried before and combined with the oil left my skin feeling wonderful. I had been concerned it might leave me feeling greasy or cause spots but I couldn't of been more wrong. A little seems to go a very long way.

Here I've compared the 3 scrubs (bare in mind I am trying to change to a more natural life style)

Body Shop 3 in 1 Oat Scrub, 100mls £10.

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Aqua (Water) (Solvent/Diluent), Avena sativa (Abrasive), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Kaolin (Absorbent), Mel (Honey (Mel)) (Natural Additive), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Myristyl Myristate (Emollient), Behenyl Alcohol (Emollient), Glycerin (Humectant), Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides (Emollient), Sodium Lactate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Phenyl Trimethicone (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen), Biosaccharide Gum-1 (Skin Conditioning Agent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Hectorite (Opacifier), Sodium PCA (Humectant), Saccharide Isomerate (Humectant), Methylparaben (Preservative), Parfum (Fragrance), Butylparaben (Preservative), Hexyl Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Ethylparaben (Preservative), Benzyl Salicylate (Fragrance Ingredient), Propylparaben (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Butylphenyl Methylpropional (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Hydroxycitronellal (Fragrance Ingredient), Methyl 2-Octynoate (Fragrance Ingredient), Isoeugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Eugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Amyl Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Amylcinnamyl Alcohol (Fragrance Ingredient), Anisyl Alcohol (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Cinnamate (Fragrance Ingredient), Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Cinnamyl Alcohol (Fragrance Ingredient), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Evernia furfuracea (Fragrance Ingredient), Evernia prunastri (Oakmoss Extract) (Natural Additive), Farnesol (Fragrance Ingredient), Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde (Fragrance Ingredient), Caramel (Colour).

Boots Botanical £3.59 for a 100ml (they seem to of stopped the one I was using and replaced it with this),

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Aqua (Water), Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl alcohol, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, Tribehenin, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) seed powder, Cetearyl olivate, Juglans regia (Walnut) shell powder, Sorbitan olivate, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan gum, Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Caprylyl glycol, Sodium benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipropylene glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric acid, Tocopheryl acetate, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid

Frustrated Nature £4.50 for 100ml, Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Olive Stone granules, Sweet Almond Oil

Looking at all 3 I am going to stick with Frustrated Nature, I want to look after my skin rather than smother it in chemicals.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Random Acts of Cakey Kindness

I was going through an old photo album earlier when I came across these biscuits I had made.

It was my Nans birthday (sadly she passed away last year) and I decided to use a kit I had that made a Christmas tree out of different sized star biscuits with Mum and call it a birthday tree. I saw how big some of the stars were and how many and decided to halve it but it still made LOADS.

Here is my Nan with her tree (which to me looks nothing like a tree!)

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I had lots of stars and an idea came to me. I layered a couple of stars on top of each other, added simple icing and a smartie from a pack I happened to have. I then rang my other grandparents and neighbour and asked if they knew of any older lonely people who could use a smile or if they knew someone who was always doing things for others. After getting a list I wrote little notes on purple paper saying things like 'random act of kindness' or 'as you do so much for others, we thought we would do something for you' and put them on little plastic plates I had acquired from somewhere and which were never used.

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I hope they made the recipients smile!

Retail Royalty Challenge

Money Supermarket are kindly giving bloggers £30 to help a local charity of the bloggers choice, I am helping a local charity, a very local one....

Click me to see

Yep, that's me. I set up Post Pals aged 18 and run it from my iPad. Post Pals encourages members of the public to send cards, letters and gifts to seriously ill children. We do lots of other things too though including an annual party (which is where the raffle from this entry was held). Not being a big charity (no staff or funding) we have to stretch donations and the £30 from Money Supermarket is no exception. I am spending it on the following;

5 year old Aiden has Leukaemia, he also has Downs Syndrome which makes treating cancer even harder. This month he is finishing 2 and half years of DAILY chemotherapy, he has a mixture of oral, IV and even chemo pushed direct into his spine. Finishing chemo is a huge landmark and something to be celebrated so I am spending the first £7 having a T-shirt printed with this drawing done (for free) by a talented friend called Helen on it.Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Next I am using £20 to send cards. If I went to my local card shop a card would be around £3 and then a second class stamp is 50p bringing the total to £3.50 so I could make 5 children smile.
Instead I am buying £20 of credit with Funky Pigeon, as its pre pay they will give an extra £5 giving a total of £25 credit. Funky Pigeon have a great range of cards, my favourite is "Rotten Veg", all very funny featuring vegetables in various situations, even better I can add names to the front of the card. The Rotten Veg cards are £2.99. Once I have put one in the basket I will order a second straight away as if you buy 2 or more cards the postage becomes free, bringing it to £5.98. I've not finished stretching that credit though, Funky Pigeon often have 50% off codes, never order from websites without looking for discount codes! I am signed up to their news letter and often get sent codes, if I don't have one then I go to to find one. I've now sent 2 personalised cards (including postage ) for £2.99. That means I can send 8 cards, I am sending them to
Jessica and Jake (sadly their brother Adam died from cancer last week), Emily (she has Cystic Fibrosis and was good friends with Lizzie who was also a member of Post Pals but died aged 14 last week from CF), Philip (he has SMA and is having surgery tomorrow), Ella (who needs a 2nd kidney transplant), Lewis (who has been in hospital for quite a few weeks), Sapphire (she has terminal cancer), Poppy (who has been through more than any other child or adult I've known) and Milly (has her own health struggles but also lost her sister Alice to cancer 6 months ago).
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The last £3 I will use to buy stamps (from Costco as they give a discount) for the Dottie Project, click here to read about how Dottie Dalmatian brings comfort to children.
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So tonight I will be ordering all these and in 3 days there will be lots of smiling children.
Thank you Money Supermarket!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Money Supermarket Bucket List

Bucket lists are becoming ever increasingly popular from healthy people who don't want to spend old age with regrets to people like Alice Pyne, forced to cram a life time of joy and experiences into just a few short years. Both types of bucket list have the same aim though, to tick off all the things you would like to experience, before you become unable to do them. I too have a bucket list but its a little different, in fact I refer to it as 'my reverse bucket list'.

For many fortunate people, your teens and twenties are years alternating between the hard slog working and experiencing life itself. My experiences are some what different, at 17 I expected to learn to drive, instead the only 'vehicle' I used was the wheelchair which my parents pushed me flopped over in, the destination, the bathroom before returning to bed. My dream had been to spend my 18th birthday in New York, instead my day was like any other day, laying in bed feeling awful, balloons and a poster of New York in my bedroom being the only hint of what could or should of been. I'm 28 now and still in bed but better than some previous years. I'm in pain 24/7 with an array of horrible symptoms but I don't feel sorry for myself. Most of the time I escape into my imagination and walk through in my mind the adventures one day I will have. My bucket list is a reverse one, I dream of the things I will do when my body improves. The crisp white sand in Hawaii, ice skating in Central Park, going to a shop by myself, walking across my room, seeing the trees in all the seasons, so much I want to do.

Last year I ticked a big item off my Reverse Bucket List- I went to the Olympics! It's something I've always wanted to do and when they announced they were coming to London in 2005 I WAS going! I never imagined I would still be in bed by 2012 but I was, still this wasn't going to stop me. I told anyone and everyone I saw that I was going to the Olympics, reactions varied from sympathetic looks to looking at me like I was crazy. A discharge letter from hospital even said 'Vikki has said her goal is to go to the Olympics, this isn't possible due to *big list of physical challenges*, we will just have to wait and see how far she gets".
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This is how far I got! I did it! I chose the shortest of my favourite events and traveled in the car laying down and I made memories that will last a life time. It came at a cost, £50 ticket and 3 months in hospital completely paralysed but I WENT TO THE OLYMPICS!!!

The reason I am writing about my Reverse Bucket List is Money Supermarket have asked bloggers to write about budget bucket lists, so often when asked what someone's dreams are, the reply is always huge things like going to Australia or having a huge fancy wedding but dreams don't have to be expensive. In the spirit of this I am ticking off an item from my list today.
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An ice lolly with 2 sticks! It sounds silly I know but I've always wanted one but never actually had one. For years I didn't find any but have recently discovered these, so my double licker ice lolly dream costs 12p!

Money Supermarket also asked bloggers to share one of their big dreams from their list, the 'big one' on everyone's list, for me that dream is to make a snow angel in New York, today however I have one less item on my list and one more dream completed. Do you have a low cost dream you can make come true? I would love to hear about it.

From Aldi to Harrods

Make Me Joyful

Little Things in Life

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The luckiest raffle in the world.

Once a year I have a day out of bed, just the one and it knocks me back for months. I plan to share more about this annual day at a later point but today I entered a competition and crossed my fingers I would be lucky which inspired me to blog today. Winning is always a fantastic feeling, no matter how big or small the prize (although I'm yet to experience winning the lottery or an ITV competition!), I always remember the junior school Christmas fair where I won a giant teddy on a guess the name stall, a giant cuddly toy and also tickets to a local vineyard all in one day. I was on cloud 9 and felt like the luckiest girl in the world. This memory is why I hold the dodgiest raffle in the country....

At a party for seriously ill children we hold a huge raffle, tons of prizes from hand knitted rag dolls to bubble bath and everything inbetween. The families buy tickets (only £1 a strip) and volunteers do too and tend to slip their tickets into the kids pile. We then draw the raffle like any other, first ticket out is first person to pick a prize and so on. Except after the first handful things change, some how all the kids win a prize, and then they win again. Any child who doesn't have a prize just happens to have their ticket pulled out (not at all related to helpers peering over shoulders). By the end all the kids have a big pile of prizes and a huge smiles on their faces. I will always remember the little boy who took ages choosing which ticket to pull out of the bucket, what luck it should be his own number! That little boy didn't take part this year as he is in the final stage in his long fight with cancer. Another memory is of a girl who had lots of difficulties bursting with joy and excitement 'it's me, it's me again', 'I can't believe it's me again' and 'I'm the luckiest girl in the world'

 Prizes ready for winning this yearPhotobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

We had some costumes on this years raffle which went down great Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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And this is so typical of Courtenay (who suffers neurofibromatosis), she got the Father Christmas suit and had the little ones 'ho ho'ing!

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