Friday, 25 October 2013

Sick note

Just a very brief update. I won't be online to do any blogs tonight as I think I have the dreaded flu virus, despite having the flu vaccine a week ago. Hope you are all well and preparing for the big storm that is set to hit us this weekend.

Hooked on books

Wow what a busy week I am having. I am literally reading books and comping non stop, in between juggling family life. In the past week I have got to know a fantastic author called Janice Horton after reading her brilliant book Bagpipes and Bullshot.

Now I am lucky enough to be able to read her next book called Reaching for the Stars. As well as this I am reading Cursed by Tara Brown. I am tempted to start a third book too, but I think I will tax my brain far too much. I am a literature addict but I am only human.

I would love to hear what you are all reading at the moment. Once I have read Janice Hortons new book I will be adding a review, but I can already safely say that I have found a new favourite author in her.
Be sure to pop in amazon to check her books out - they are greatly priced and once you start one of her books you simply won't be able to put it down. She also has a range of voodoo romance novellas that I am sure will entice your literacy taste buds. I can't wait to read them myself.

Janice is a Scottish writer with a creative flair for drawing each reader into the plot of her stories. I feel like each character I encounter becomes someone who I personally know, which is the sign of a great author. There is a difference between simply reading a book compared to thoroughly emersing yourself so the words on the pages become as real as the world around you.

Have you ever told yourself *oh I will read just one more chapter and then I will do the housework*? Three hours later and the hoovering isn't done but you have had a truly enjoyable experience. I feel disappointed knowing that I am coming to the end of a book. I want to know the conclusion but at the same time I don't want to say goodbye to the characters with whom I have become too know fondly.

Now my mind is drifting off to matters of sleep as its 1:45am but maybe I might be able to fit in some more reading before the inevitable haze of drowsiness takes over me.

Night for now and happy reading.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

My First Book Review - Bagpipes & Bullshot by Janice Horton


Last week I won a book from Good Reads website. It was called Bagpipes & Bullshot by Janice Horton. Being my first book review I decided to look into the author so that you know a bit more about her as well as her book.



Janice Horton is a Scottish lass true to heart. She lives in Scotland on the side of a hillside. She writes fiction novels that have a feel of romance and humour throughout. She has novels you can read such as the one I have reviewed and also others that i am looking forward to read and review in the future. i have found out that Janice also has Vodoo Romance novellas to add to her accreditation. She has also just wrote a non fiction book called How to Party Online. She is a very popular author with nearly 6000 members on her Twitter profile and she is very active in the online community.

So - onto the review of Bagpipes and Bullshot itself. I am posting on here the review that I wrote on the
Good Reads website so you can pop over there to have a look too. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars as it is simply fantastic and addictive! My husband Mike couldn't get a word out of me for two days!

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This was a fantastic book. I won this book and I had not read a book by Janice Horton before. This book told about Orley, a young woman living in Texas who had yearned to go to Scotland for as long as she could remember. Then she meets Innes, a gorgeous Scottish Laird who offers her the job of a lifetime in Scotland working with him on his estate. She is unsure whether to go as her past hangs over her like a dark cloud but she is desperate to escape. She is also confused as to where her relationship with Innes really stands - is she his girlfriend working for him or does he just see her as an employee?

Orley takes the chance to travel to Scotland and is soon captivated by all she sees. But everything was not as she expected. The estate is in a state of financial ruin, Innes holds a secret that he did not tell her and all is depending on her expertise to save the Buchanan fortune. Throw in a hostile neighbour, Innes mother and a series of accidents all twisted in with her Scottish romance with Innes and you find yourself with a captivating story.

This book took me two days to read - I literally could not put it down. I fell in love with Scotland again through Orleys eyes and I was willing her romance with Innes to work, despite everything that was against them. This book is full of romance, history and laughs. It is definitely a book that once you pick up you can't put down until you are finished.

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Website addresses to go to:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/741734740
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3364605.Janice_Horton
https://twitter.com/JaniceHorton

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Typo Queen

I honestly have to stop writing late at night on my mobile blogging application when I am so tired. I logged on earlier and read my last two articles that were written about 3am. Oh dear, the typos were awful to the point that my 9 year old son could've written a better spelt article.

The problem is predictive typing on my phone. My phone loves to predict the most random word replacements and when it's 3 in the morning and I am also deprived, I have missed a few of them slipping through. I have had many friends who have said they can relate to this. Predictive text is great to speed up your typing but my goodness - it can certainly get you into trouble.

I have seen a few autocorrect websites out there and some of the mistakes are hilarious, including sending explicit comments to your parents or in laws - what a way to make them see behind that well behaved facade that you present to them!

I think the moral of my story today is watch what you type - dont rely on technology to get it right or you could be saying the wrong words to the wrong person. Oh, and be asleep by 3am unlike me.

Night for now x x z

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Introducing Mike

I thought I had best introduce my amazing husband Mike to you as I have talked about our children, introduced me but not given Mike a formal introduction. 

Sooooooo..... What do I say? Lol - so many things go through my mind about ways I could embarrass him on this article but I will (on the whole) try and behave myself. You will soon come to learn that Mike and I have a very humorous relationship - we tease each other rotten and love playing pranks on each other. Our house is a house full of laughter. 

Ok back to the amazing Mike. Mike and I met 8 years ago. We had been friends on a chat server called IRC for a few months before we met, but I was finishing a bad relationship with the sperm donor of our gorgeous son Ibby. 

Mike and I were great friends online - he always made me laugh which was great as I hadn't properly laughed in a very long time. He also made me feel appreciated which was something I was also lacking. When you are in an abusive relationship, be it physical, mental or both you start to believe that you aren't worthy of people and deserve the treatment you are receiving. Mike, through just friendship at that point, gave me strength to finally stand up to my ex and end things once and for all. I also had started developing feelings for Mike and I don't believe in staying in a relationship if I feel anything for somebody else. You could say Mike rescued me, as he gave me the strength to stand up to my ex when I hadn't had the courage before. 

My ex took it very badly so I packed my stuff up, got me and Ibby on a train and went to my mums. Whilst there Mike (who lived 3 hours drive away) offered to take me and Ibby out for the day to cheer us up. Saying yes was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. We had an amazing day out, we were so comfortable together and before I knew it we were sharing our first kiss. That was September 25th 2005, so 8 years has just passed since our first date - time flies. 

The rest is a long story to tell but in a nutshell I moved to Wiltshire two months later to live with Mike. We had visited often in between, Ibby was thriving from attention from a male figure that he never got from sperm donor and we were all head over heels in love with each other. 4 years later we married in an amazingly special and romantic ceremony with our friends and family present. Then followed our beautiful daughter Amber-Leigh who just turned 3 last month. Add two crazy cats into the fold and you can see we have a very busy house. Mike is working very hard as a financial controller for a thriving manufacturing company and due to my health I cannot work, so I am stay at home mum, which I love.

Now here comes the slobber-fest! Mike is the most amazing man that I have ever met, and I have kissed my fair share of frogs to find him. He is a fantastic daddy to Ibby and Amber and he is the best husband that I could ask for. He fully supports me with my disabilities and rarely ever complains. He didn't come into this relationship with me and my disabilities - they developed within the first 3 years of us being together but he hasn't batted an eyelid and says he loves me exactly for who I am - not my disabilities. He is the most unselfish person that I know and if I could give him the world I would. I am so blessed to have an amazing husband and can't wait to grow old, grey and wrinkly with him. 



Stoptober - battling along.

I have been smoking on and off for the past 11 years. I stopped to try for my daughter Amber and then through my pregnancy. I carried on not smoking until she was nearly 2 years old. Then I went on a Butlins hen weekend and it all went downhill. Everybody was smoking and I have always been someone who smokes whilst I am drinking. So I bought a couple of packets to last the weekend vowing that come the Sunday I would smoke no more.

Monday morning once I was home I realised that I still had half a packet left. Sensibly I should've thrown them away but I thought *hey I am an adult. I can smoke these and be fine.* of course that wasn't the case. One pack led into buying another pack and so forth. Before you knew it I was a full time smoker again. My husband Mike, who has never smoked and hates it, was really not impressed. He complained about the cost, the smell of it and how he didn't like the kids seeing me smoking. But I still persevered and in the end Mike said that if I was to smoke then it had to be pouches of tobacco as we couldn't afford cigarettes at the prices the shop charged them. Last time I smoked a pack of 20 was around £4 - now the price has doubled!!! So I switched to making rollies from tobacco.

I went on smoking for many months until I realised that I was using my inhaler alot more and I had a wheeze on my chest and a nasty cough. Not only that but Mike wouldn't kiss me until I brushed my teeth and my 9 year old son Ibby was begging me to stop. He was quoting lots of statistics about how it was bad for me and effectively making me feel really guilty that I had caused so much sorry for him

So it is Stoptober - the official month to give up smoking. So here I am. I have bought an electronic cigarette kit. It's the sort of kit that you refill with oil. I was told that it was cheaper every month and had a better taste. You can choose various different oils in all crazy flavours from standard tobacco through to redbull flavour if that takes your fancy. I have taken a liking to the dessert ones. They are sweet but give me that hit that I need from a cigarette. I won't lie - the first few days were awful - I wanted a real cigarette and that was it. One of the few benefits of me being housebound is that I couldn't go out and buy a packet so I instead had to scream in my house with frustration.

But as the days are passing it's getting easier and I have become quite fondly attached to my e cigarette. The vapours from it are water vapours and harmless to anyone around me. They leave no smell in the air and are legal to smoke anywhere. So I don't have to go outside in the cold now to smoke my cigarette. I can sit at my laptop in the comfort of my front room and smoke away feeling my conscience is clear.

Now to see if my lungs are clear and healthier by the end of this month. I will let you know soon.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The drugs don't work

Sooooooo......... It's 3:46am as I start writing this. Yes, you have it, insomnia has struck again. But what is more frustrating today is that I have actually taken a strong sleeping tablet that is prescribed to get me through nights like this. It takes effect within 30 minutes and you don't wake up until morning.

I took that tablet over 2 hours ago..........

Sigh. Maybe I am over stimulated. I have alot going on in my head at the moment and alot of things have been happening. It's only been 6 weeks since I was in hospital myself and then I had to face my brother nearly dying just 3 weeks ago.

Now I am trying to get back to some sense of normality, though I am confused as to what normality is. Is it a perfect little house with a white picket fence, a happily married couple and two perfectly robotic children OR is it a house that is definitely full of love and support but is also probe to stress and upset?

I've realised as an adult that life is not a fairytale. Some people have hidden agendas and think only of themselves. Bodies fall apart on you and all your dreams of being an active mum have to be changed to the cool mummy who does art at the table with you and gives the best cuddles whilst watching Disney movies.

Couples also argue - in fact some arguments make relationships stronger as they clear the air and resolve issues - not forgetting the great makeup sex :D

So this is alot of the thoughts floating around my head at the moment as well as thinking about what I am going to do with an energetic 3 year old tomorrow and do I need my legs shaved.

Pretty random isn't it. Oh, if only the drugs had worked I would be asleep right now and you wouldn't have to sit there scratching your head trying to figure out what the hell this blog post is about.

Don't worry - tomorrow I will take all normality, well my version at least.

Red head to a Blonde Bombshell part 2

Before all the madness of what happened with my family I took the first step on Saturday 14th September and I took my bright red mane of hair to my hairdresser Emily. Now Emily has been my hairdresser for the past 8 years and she is, without a doubt, the best colourist in chippenham and anywhere else I have been to.

Emma had already explained to me that it would take a few sessions in the salon with her before I received the blonde hair that I so desired. Emma knows that I don't do things by halves when it comes to my hair, so if I said that I wanted it blonde then it had to be as standout blonde as she can colour it. If anyone could handle the job then Emma at Salon Secrets could.

All of my hair was first bleached with foils. It took FOREVER!!!!!! I have the longest and thickest hair you can imagine so it took well over an hour to put them all in. I felt like a space cadet film extra by the time all of the foils were applied. They were then pinned onto my head into what I can only describe as a pyramid, and I was left to my own devices whilst they worked their magic.

At this time I will normally indulge in a magazine or new book that I am reading on my kindle with a coffee by my side. I had brought my kindle with me, so I read a part of an intriguing book that I found on the Amazon free book list. It's about a 16 year old girl with ocd and alot of mental issues who is to stand trial for the murder of her step - grandfather. It follows the complexities through the case and has me completely hooked. I don't get time often to read books so this was the perfect opportunity.

When my foils were removed and everything was rinsed out a copper toner was placed over. This was to cover any yellow that the first lot of bleaching might have created. My hair takes to colour very well so I wasn't too surprised really. It was just a shame that I had to go copper as I want to be blonde as quick as possible. Can you see I am not a patient person? Oops.

Anyway, after all this was done Emma gave me a gorgeous choppy haircut with lots of layers to give it more oomph. I am an oomph girl - oh Emma, you know me so well. After a quick blow dry and my hair straightened I was ready to go.

Emma suggested that I washed my hair every night for two weeks using head and shoulders or Tgel as it would strip the copper off and give me a boost of blonde colour. I managed to do this three times in the first week whilst I was with family visiting my brother and it did make a difference. So this week I am attacking my hair with a vengeance. I know that I am not going to be the blonde Bombshell i want just by using head and shoulders but at least I can get highlights in the meanwhile until I go back for my next session just before Christmas.

I don't have a photo to hand at this moment as its half 3 in the morning and I am in bed but tomorrow I will show you the difference in the colour so far and I would love your opinions. My mother in law thinks I should stay this colour but honestly, it's too boring for me. But it's a step forward to my final target so I will embrace it for now. I hope you are enjoying my hair escapades. There's more to come and hopefully it won't turn green!!!!

Hair disasters? Have you had any? Please let me know in comments and I might use it in a future blog article.

I found love in a hopeless place

Hey everyone. First of all I have to apologise as to why I haven't been about the past couple of weeks. I haven't forgotten blogging - in fact it's been on my mind alot. But family circumstances came up and i had to take a step back.

I am not going to go into the details of how and why but 3 weeks ago come Saturday I got a call to say my baby brother was being airlifted to addenbrookes hospital as both of his lungs had collapsed in an incident. I was 4 hours drive away and news was sparse as it took a long time to stabilise my brother at the scene and they nearly ended up operating on him on the ground outside my mums house.

After packing clothes, the essentials and bundling ourselves into the car my amazing husband mike drive me straight to the hospital. The whole car journey i was living in fear believing my brother was in surgery and not knowing if he was alive or dead. When we arrived just before midnight it was hard to locate my brother. Addenbrookes is a huge huge hospital but I found a very helpful nurse who had heard about a patient being flown in by air ambulance so she took me to meet my family. This is when I learnt my brother was on life support as he couldn't breathe for himself. He was fighting for his life and I felt so helpless from the moment I arrived. My mum was refusing to eat (this went on for 5 days), one brother was trying to hold everything together and another was away giving a statement to the police that seemed to take hours when we needed him there in the relatives room with us.
I'm not sure how many of you have seen a loved one on life support but I can safely say that nothing prepares you for it. My 6ft strapping, loud and boisterous 23 year old brother was in a room surrounded by machines and motionless. I soon learnt he had been medically paralysed and sedated to give his body the best chance to heal but he didn't look like the micheal i knew. The life support was a mechanical breathing mechanism that was terrifying to say the least. It seemed inhuman swing a machine breathing for micheal, watching his chest rise and drop in a regular pattern yet knowing that it wasn't him taking those breathes. Modern medical advancements are amazing but they are very scary too. The room was silent barring that mechanical breathing noise and it wasn't comforting at all.

My family and I stayed in the relatives room of the neurocritical ward all night. It was a bleak ward with very ill patients on it but the staff were amazing. Micheal had one on one support from a nurse and he received the best possible care. That night we slept in the relatives room, only popping out to check on him or grab a coffee from the Costa in the main area to keep us going. Nobody slept that night.

Sunday morning my brother deteriorated. His heart rate accelerated and at the same time his blood pressure dropped. We are called into a room by a top consultant who told us he was worse that morning than he had been when they brought him in. Essentially we were to prepare for the worst and take it hour by hour. It was incomprehensible to me - my brother is a strapping, energetic and loud man. He was strong, a fighter and I couldnt and wouldn't accept that he couldn't beat this. If anyone could then he could.

They gave him meds to bring his blood pressure down and we all sat and waited. It was a very long day. But he improved - I told you he was a fighter and fighting he was. He had 2 collapsed lungs but he was young and had his health going for him. After knowing that he was stable we finally went home to my mums so that we could shower and sleep ready for the long days ahead. I made calls to mike to see how he and the kids were as they had all gone back home Saturday night. We thought it was best the children weren't in the hospital and that the less they knew the better. Ibby knew what had happened as he heard the initial phone calls but we minimised information after that other than to say uncle micheal was doing better.

Monday we were hoping that micheal might be brought off life support to see how he would react but drs decided he wasn't well enough and to give him another day with the strong antibiotics they had given him. Unfortunately micheal had a chest infection which is not at all good when you have two collapsed lungs. Micheal had drains in both of his lungs clearing out any blood and fluid and giving his lungs the support they needed. The more rest that he got the better it was for his lungs. So yet again late Monday night we went home to recoup.

Tuesday morning was a magical morning - my brother was taken off life support! Little fighter yes he was. He was very disorientated but then who wouldn't be after waking up in a hospital
Surrounded by all that machinery and being told you missed 4 days of your life and nearly died? The main thing was that micheal was on the mend. He had come as close to death as you could get but he looked death in the face and said hell no. He had far too much going for him to leave us at 23 years of age.

Micheal was moved from neurocritical to an intermediate dependency ward and they are great there. He started taking a few steps, they helped with his pain relief and organised a blood transfusion for him which really helped him as the medication mixed with his body beyond so wrecked was effecting his vision and making him feel anxious and all over the place.

I had to go home late that evening to return to Wiltshire but I left my brother in very capable hands. The nurses and drs at addenbrookes are amazing and we can't praise then enough for all that they did for micheal and us. They were the whole package and they do the nhs proud.

Micheal is now thankfully home and recovering. He is having to get used to the fact that he had to not overdo it and instead ready alot but try telling a 23 year old man to take a nap is a battle before you even say the words. But he is trying his best and treating this as a fresh start for himself and a second chance to do all the things he has always wanted to do. Some people are trying to drag him back and cause trouble but we as a family are stronger than that and we stand together through thick and thin. Micheal is a man to be proud of and he can ignore all that ppl throw at him as he had purpose and strength. Our family went through hell and back that week but we have all come back strong - every single one of us.

So that is why I have been away but I am back now and ready to blog my little heart out. Please keep sharing my blog with your friends and who knows what is next. Thanks for your support X x x