So, if you’d like to get some similar insights or make similar savings, but don’t know where to start, keep on reading.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s Valentine’s Day! Over on Twitter, Roxy has been sharing her best romance advice, to help you with your relationships – whether it’s Valentine’s Day, your Anniversary, or just because! To make it a little easier for you, she has insisted that I immortalised the advice here on this blog – so without further ado, here we go!
If you like someone, just lick them. All over their face is a particularly good spot, especially if they haven’t woken up yet.
If your other half is on the phone to someone else, show your displeasure by trying to get between them and the phone. Bonus points if you ‘accidentally’ press the end call button. All the attention, back to you.
Lavish your loved one with gifts. Dirty socks, lost hair ties, even dead rodents really say ‘I love you’.
Don’t subscribe to this ‘my side of the bed’ nonsense. Live a little. The best place on the bed is always where your co-inhabitor wants to sleep.
Stop worrying about morning breath. Expose your other half to it as much as possible, until they have no choice but to embrace it.
Want a manicure, but your subtle hints aren’t working? Dig your claws right into your loved one’s skin. The nail clippers will be out before you know it.
And that’s it! Roxy hopes these tips help you out with your future better halves – whether they’re feline or human!
The past year hasn’t been the easiest for my family. In the winter of 2016, I was on the phone with my parents, when they first mentioned something might be wrong with my sister Jessie’s eyesight. My phone signal was bad, and I was on a break at work, so I didn’t really get the full message. I guessed she probably just needed glasses – most of us in my family do.
It was only a few weeks later when I found out she had a referral to Moorfields Eye Hospital, that I really realised the severity of what was happening. By that time, her identical twin had also been to the optician’s and they had found similar symptoms with her – an unusual area on the back of her eye. It was the first of many appointments at Moorfields, one of the leading providers of eye health services in the UK. Each time, there was a little bit of hope that maybe it might not be that bad after all.
I remember the day of their final appointment pretty well. This was the one where we would be getting a definitive diagnosis, as well as an idea of how severe it would be. I was meant to be in lectures for my Master’s, but I didn’t feel I could sit through it without panicking. As a distraction, I ended up heading to the cinema to watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – but when I left and headed to meet up with them post-appointment, the dread had set in again.
When I got to their hotel, they gave me the news. They were both given a diagnosis of Stargardt’s Disease – something that we had suspected for some time.
What is Stargardt’s Disease?
Stargardt’s Disease is a recessive, genetic disorder, that causes fat to collect on the back of your eye – specifically, the central part of your retina, called the macula. It’s the most common form of inherited, juvenile macular degeneration, and symptoms commonly appear in childhood or during your teenage years but can go unnoticed until later in life. In the beginning, central vision becomes blurry and loses colour, before losing sight in that area completely. It is rare for those with Stargardt’s to become completely blind, but many are left with only peripheral vision. It typically starts slowly, before becoming more rapid and then tapering off in later years.
The news broke our hearts, but obviously, the primary impact was felt by Amy and Jessica. They are both currently in their final year of university, and both previously took time out of their degrees because of poor mental health. The news came just as Amy was returning to her second year at Cambridge University to study Veterinary Science. Jessie was starting her year out from the University of Exeter, where she is studying Animal Behaviour. Both of their plans have had to drastically change following the news – Amy will not be able to practice as a vet (unlike doctors, vets must be able to conduct surgery, which you cannot do if you are visually impaired.) Jessie has always wanted to work with big cats but now has to decide what she can do with impaired vision. She recently had the opportunity to go to Africa with her university, which we made sure she could undertake – because we didn’t know if she’d be able to see them again.
Doing things because we don’t know if Amy and Jessie will be able to see them again is a common thing at the moment. And not something we ever thought we would have to consider in our family. At the end of the day, we are glad that we are in a position as a family that we can make these things happen – we know some other people aren’t fortunate enough to have these opportunities. We’re a strong family unit, that can support them, and each other, through the uncertainty ahead.
We will be taking part, as a family, in ‘Eye to Eye’, a sponsored walk raising money for the Moorfields Eye Charity. They support many individuals and families going through a similar experience, as well as funding new research that aims to make blindness a thing of the past. We are proud that as a family we can participate in an event like this to not only raise money for a worthy cause but raise awareness of sight problems like Stargardt’s.
I understand that money is tight right now – no one has as much of it as they would like! But even a couple of pounds thrown in our direction can make a difference towards our goal of £600. So please, if you can, make a donation. We would really appreciate it – and it would make walking for nearly four hours (with my family) seem worth it!
You can make a donation by clicking here.
Can you believe January is over already? The only silver lining is that it’s nearly February – which means my birthday, and I’m off to see to see Hamilton on the West End! But before that, let’s have a look at how I’ve been getting on with my goals so far!
Full Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links. When purchasing on Amazon after clicking the link, I get a little kick-back to keep the site going!
I love crafting (obviously) but there is one craft that has eluded me. I have tried for a long time to be able to crochet, but anything beyond a granny square was something that I just couldn’t get my head around.
I hate not being able to do something. My long-term anxiety has turned into a perfectionist trait, that I’ve never been able to get through. So I’ve been determined to get my head around crochet for a long time. I had numerous books and magazines with instructions, but after a while, I realised I was possibly starting off a bit too ambitious. Knowing that I could make a semi-decent granny square, I searched for a clothing pattern that made use of this skill, along with using up some of my yarn stash.
After a little bit of digging, I found this pattern posted by Lara on her blog, Thornberry, (Originally posted on a no longer available blog). It looked perfect – nice and simple, but still something I would wear often. I dug out my crochet hooks and some t-shirt yarn I’d been hoarding for a while and got to work.
It was great to feel like I was producing something, and the speed of crochet over knitting definitely makes it feel more rewarding! I did hit a couple of speed bumps. I was aiming to make it all purple, but underestimated how much yarn I would need! It’s been in my stash so long the manufacturer has long since disappeared, and I couldn’t find a close enough match elsewhere. So instead I went with grey, which will match most of my current wardrobe. The two colours seem to compliment each other well.
However, different manufacturer means a different feel to the yarn. The purple was quite stretchy, whereas the grey isn’t. In comparison, it’s rather stiff. The difference isn’t hugely noticeable when wearing it, but it did take some getting used to!
The finished item isn’t perfect – it’s a little bit heavy and feels a bit stiff under the arms – but I’m so pleased with myself for finishing it! It’s great for the current cold spell hitting the UK, and it’s been making my gloomy evenings feel a bit cosier! With the practice creating it gave me, I’m feeling a little more confident going into future crochet projects.
If you’d like to make one of your own, follow this link to buy the yarn that I used. (This is an affiliate link, so when you buy anything on Amazon after using it, I get a little kickback to keep the site going!)
What projects have you undertaken to challenge yourself? How great did you feel when you finished it? Let me know in the comments or over on social media!