#Blogmas 2018 The Winter Mystery by Faith Martin #BlogBookTour

Archive, blog book tour, blogmas 2018

Here I am back on it again with another terrific murder mystery book. Earlier this month I’d done The Birthday Mystery. Now there’s another one to enjoy.

So kick off your shoes and let’s begin.

FAITH MARTIN

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening

My Review

Oh dear Jenny has got herself in a pickle at first. So much to do and all the while not treading on the nieces toes. And it’s Christmas as well. I felt for her in the snow, I could recall the snow drifts we had in March this year, ridiculous heights it got too.

She is such a warm character, and I think she would be a hoot to know in real life too. And the scents I could smell off the pages describing the food, I was in heaven!!

Picturesque village life, busy bodies and murder, what more could I ask for? A full cast of characters with wit, and intelligence to boot, it’s a good read. I was kept guessing right until the end, which thrilled me no end. I love it when I don’t know how it’s going to end.

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#Blogmas 2018 Packing my bag

Archive, blogmas 2018, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, SURGERY

While most are gearing up for exciting New Year’s Eve, I’m prepping for Pre op tomorrow morning.

And in the spirit of that, I’ve been packing my bag ready for hospital. Though I’ve been many times, I still forget some of the tried and tested things that all patients want. So I asked on various hip groups and forums.

The general consensus is

  • Bigger underwear (we often underestimate how much swelling there is, and it’s more comfortable in boy short style too)
  • Slippers they are fussy on our slippers, so think sturdy non slip ones. I’m using Flossy Kung Fu shoes. They don’t allow my new backless ones. So saving for home.
  • Easy to wear clothing to travel too and from hospital, I usually wear trackies, hoody, and flossy shoes again.
  • Ear Plugs,Eye Masks remember that hospitals are noisy and bright, so blocking the senses helps in sleep time.
  • Nighties,PJ’s I have personally packed nighties this time, as I’m not sure I’m allowed to bend the leg. Dressing gown as well.
  • Essentials like squash, as water is often hard water and warm, so I flavour mine. Drinking water aids healing greatly too. Lip balm, as nose and lips get chapped and feel dry. Sweets, boiled ones and snacks. I find I can’t eat that well at first, but light snacks help.
  • Phone, with extra long charger or power bank, headphones. These are a godsend for me, I watch true crime podcasts, TV shows or read a book all off my phone.
  • Toiletries, such as dry shampoo and shower gel, flannel and towel. You may bathe in the bed instead of shower, so a flannel really helps. I take baby wipes as well, and for indulgence I’m taking a body mist, so I can smell nice.
  • Small mirror, hair brush and bobbles. I’m even taking a moisturizer. Toothbrush and toothpaste.

I’m packing two bags, sounds excessive but really it’s a way of having everything I need for 1-2 nights in the smallest bag, and packing a larger bag for my husband to bring should I need to stay longer.

  • I haven’t packed a Grabber, or Sock Aid, or Long Handled Shoe Horn, or Long Handled Sponge.

Simply because I don’t have any, I may not need them, as I can always duck tape my razor to a ruler, or do that with a sponge. I have my own Mini moon and Mr moon to put socks on 😘

With that, I think I’m ready? As ready as I will ever be.

#Blogmas 2018 getting closer

Archive, blogmas 2018, Health, Hips, Hypermobility, Hip Arthroscopy, SURGERY, Triple Pelvic Ost, Femoral Ost, PAO

So I’m all set and ready to go in 11 days. But I clearly need to return to better eating, and taking on more fluids too, to help with better healing post op.

I’ve hopefully avoided illness and sickness so fingers and toes crossed nothing stops it going ahead now.

I don’t mind admitting I’m terrified even though I’ve had many surgeries already. Mainly because once you remove bone, there’s no going back. But I’m a member of many groups and they often say it was the best decision they made.

But we all have that niggle that unrests our minds, and worries us with what ifs. I have also had these worries before the previous surgeries too, so knowing they were unfounded helps me a lot.

So today it’s been time to tidy the house, getting into a routine, putting things away (though not our tree or decorations yet) and having set meals again. I even did some physio on shoulders and hands too.

I need to find a decent packing list as well. Eek so much to do and fit in before the op!!

#Blogmas 2018 Seeing the kids for Christmas

Archive, blogmas 2018, Family Adventures

I’m lucky that I have grown up daughter’s, each forging their own lives and families. But we still find time to get together over special occasions. But best laid plans always go awry. And sadly one daughter and her son are sick, so unfortunately I can’t see them. I’m sure to catch up with them soon. It’s better for them not to pass it to me as surgery is so soon.

All live miles apart, so it’s no easy feat to get us all in one place.

From my eldest daughter, I got Snowmen Jelly Babies, My own Christmas Cake (as everyone but me hates it) some lovelies for the bath, and an Initial Necklace with all the Girls initials.

Sam my second eldest, she lives the furthest from us all, so it’s a rare treat to see her. From the second eldest I got.

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Cute Hedwig lip balm, as I love owls, and Harry Potter.

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Then I got some cute Wands, so this witch can do spells with her make up routine too!! Then spoiled by her boyfriend Rhys too, Thank you so much.

These Wetherspoons vouchers will be put to good use. We are often in a spoons!! Her dad and I also got some baileys with orange, tastes like a Terrys chocolate orange! And some prosecco too.

Third daughter is poorly, so I will have a Christmas day once everyone is better. I can’t wait to give our grandson Leonardo his presents.

Then as seen in previous post. My youngest got me Moschino perfume, Flamingo PJ’s for hospital, and Paddington calendar to put all my appointments in one place.

We all ate too much cheese, crackers and bread rolls, but boy oh boy it was tasty. Then off to play games that they had bought.

Cue hilarious fun, blowing kazoos and being pretty stupid at times, and me becoming family quiz champion!!

#Blogmas 2018 2 weeks until #HipReplacement

Archive, blogmas 2018, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures

Christmas has come this week, and boxing day is my 2 week mark until surgery.

And a mere 5 days until my pre op. Because surgery originally was cancelled, nearly all my Christmas presents can and will be enjoyed after surgery.

Such as these cosy socks and awesome book to occupy me

Then these sweet PJ’s

And these cosy slippers

I enjoyed a stress free Christmas day, we visited our eldest daughter and her husband who cooked for us.

I have some lovely bath products from the body shop as well.

Moschino perfume, as my youngest knows I love Moschino and Flamingo pjs. Other presents to follow, from my other daughter’s that don’t live with me anymore, as they’ve flown the nest.

Have a lovely boxing day, it’s calm here as just us three today, before the chaos of tomorrow seeing all the children together.

#Blogmas 2018 week 4 of #No7AdventCalendar

Archive, Beauty Boxes, Blogger Reviews, Events, blogmas 2018

Can you believe it, it’s the last few days of the countdown and calendar. Each day it’s been a joy to open, not one dud item, or one item I can’t use, which has happened with subscription boxes often, and beauty calendars too.

So here’s the last 4 days worth.

Day 22

It’s a Skin Illuminator, I can’t wait to use this when my skin needs that extra glowly help over harsh wintery Jan and Feb.
Multi-faceted light reflectors instantly enhance your complexion, for a natual looking radiance. Use this lightweight illuminator in one of three ways to enhance your natural radiance and to immediately give gorgeous, luminous skin.
As a primer before applying your foundation: Mixed in with your regular foundation for added luminosity; Lightly applied as a highlighter to your cheek and brow bones.
buy here

Day 23

And it is a much needed Protect & Perfect Lip Care 10ml protects your skin to delay ageing, smoothes & conditions lips.
Powerful Prevention. This rich, conditioning balm boosts moisture for 24 hours, leaving you with softer, healthier looking lips.
Contains Lipopeptides to help smooth away lip roughness and our patent pending antioxidant complex to help protect your lips from the enviroment. Also containing Matrixyl.
buy here

Day 24

And it’s a party season favourite colour Gel finish polish. 4ml and in Golden Sands. The patented technology makes the polish tough and flexible to help prevent chipping and improve ease of application to help achieve a streak free finish.
Complete coverage in just one stroke, with outstanding and durable gel finish. Helps to smooth and plump nails so natural ridges can’t be seen, for best results use in combination with the top coat.
Rich Colour, pay off in one coat. Plumps and volumises in 2 coats
buy here

Day 25

Woohoo it’s completed and today I was treated with a Mascara, intense volume one.

No7 Intense Volume Mascara provides fantastic volume with perfect separation for lusher lashes.

Picking your Perfect Mascara
Wand Style – Traditional bristle style
Finished Look – Volumising

How to use

Step One – Begin by massaging the brush at the roots of your lashes.

Step Two – Zig zag up to the tips to achieve maximum length and definition

buy here

#Blogmas 2018 Manchester uni and Christmas market part 2

Archive, blogmas 2018, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures

Rain rain rain, certainly has dampened our spirits, soaked us through to the bone, and boots leaked so we had wet soggy feet too.

But nevertheless we braved the weather to hunt down our now favourite tea hotspot, Maccies of course. And if we are doing that, we may as well visit Zippy too.

After McDonald’s we walked to the Albert square to find Zippy and found him in all his glory. Lit up and sparkly, overlooking all the festivities. Scents of hot dogs and mulled wine is wafting through the wooden cabins.

Rain and lights interfered with my photos, so excuse the blurry pics, I was shaking with cold.

Much of the stalls are the same as Birmingham, though clearly more choice on food, with their being Greek, Chinese,Indian food on offer. But NO singer, this really let’s the place down, get a radio station down there, or local singer. It really makes a difference to the atmosphere. Everyone joins in, young and old. Makes the whole market much more alive and festive.

Heading to the shops we barely saw any big shops with lights and themed window displays, which is sad. London is amazing for window displays, and we usually go down this time of year for them alone.

House of Fraser looked good though, so I’m glad I saw that.

Probably the prettiest Indian restaurant wall ever!! How instagramable is this?

With all this cold and rain, it wasn’t long before we decided to call it a day, we’d been out since 11am and we were shattered. Finally got in for 8pm and managed to catch #WorldsStrongestMan on channel 5+1 again, our tradition lives on xx

*Update* she has been accepted by Manchester too. So that’s all three so far!! Woohoo xx

#Blogmas 2018 Manchester Uni and Xmas market part 1

Archive, blogmas 2018, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures

The last leg of our pre Christmas chores. All the interviews have been done now, 1 is booked after Christmas and 1 yet to hear from. But in honesty I think she’s chosen from the 3 already. Chester has always been her number 1.

However we needed a good second choice, so that’s where Birmingham and Manchester come into play. Rather than banking everything on one university.

Its a weird building, has no soul feeling. Way too modern for me. Inside it carries on, yet somehow looks quite 70’s as well. With striking wooden walls and rectangle rooms, it’s modern but old styling to me.

The usual introduction for around 20 mins is first, and parents or friends can join for that part. Afterwards they are asked to leave, while written tasks and group work is done.

All passed pretty quickly, and out of the 3 the least formal of them all. While she was doing this, we should of been in town enjoying the shopping.

However my hip had a whole other idea, it’s a freezing cold day, and extremely wet. So there wasn’t an option for me to do it both day time and after their interviews had finished.

So we stayed in the car, ate a packed lunch, had our own drinks and listened to Christmas tunes on radio one, and time went so fast. Soon we had a message to go and pick her up.

Walking through the student accommodation area, we are more familiar than when we first walked there. Learnt to dodge the lorries on the road ahead,as you get soaked as the puddles have build up and lorries career through them, soaking anyone in their path.

Hard to enjoy this weather, or feel christmassy in it. This time last year we had snow, and though it comes with its own issues, it does instantly make the whole place feel that extra special.

#Blogmas 2018 week 3 #No7adventcalendar

Archive, Beauty Boxes, Blogger Reviews, Events, blogmas 2018, Make Up, Beauty, Skincare

Just how fast this month has gone has shocked me, on week 3 before I know it. And not long until the big day itself.

Day 15

I believe it’s a travel size foundation brush. Super soft and sturdy, I’m glad i got this.
This versatile brush can be used with powders of any kind: it’s your make up bag multi-tasker. Perfect for use with powders, bronzers or blush, the smaller head of this brush makes it easy to control the amount of powder you are applying, for buildable coverage.
Dip in your favourite No7 powder, tap the handle to remove any excess, and apply.
Spot clean your brush regularly with No7 Make-Up Brush Cleanser. Deep clean your brush monthly with warm soapy water. Rinse well, reshape and leave flat to dry.
buy here

Day 16

I have a blusher in honey, nice cool toned shade, should suit my skin tone.

Match Made Powder Blushers contain a unique blend of micro-powders for a velvety smooth application, as well as Vitamin E to care and condition.

How to use

For Best Results:

Sweep on to the cheeks using a blusher brush for an even, buildable colour.

buy here

Day 17

It’s a Stay Perfect Eye Pencil in gold, I’m sure to get lots of use out of this one. Especially during Christmas.

No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eye Pencils glide on easily and give intense colour that stays put all day.

The silky smooth texture gives long lasting colour that stays put for up to 12 hours, eyes look wider, brighter and impactful.

Hypo-allergenic. Waterproof.

How to use

Glide No7 Stay Perfect Amazing Eyes Pencils on to top and bottom lids for defined eyes.

buy here

Day 18

Sees another pencil but one for the lips instead, in the prettiest nude shade. I’m new to lip pencils but I’m loving them.
No7 Precision Lips Pencil is a soft and smooth moisturising pencil for ultimate lip definition. Sharpener included to help maintain a perfect point
Hypo-allergenic

buy here

Day 19

And it’s a deep wine Gel finish nail varnish 4ml
Our patented technology makes the polish tough and flexible to help prevent chipping and improve ease of application to help acheive a streak free finish.
Complete coverage in just one stroke, with outstanding and durable gel finish. Helps to smooth and plump nails so natural ridges can’t be seen, for best results use in combination with the top coat.
Rich Colour, pay off in one coat. Plumps and volumises in 2 coats.

buy here

Day 20

It’s a Protect and Perfect Intense Night cream 25ml and this I’m really looking forward to using over winter.

Advanced protection & perfection for visibly younger looking skin.
Smooth the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles and help your skin recover from the day.
Created to work in harmony with your skin’s natural night time repair processes, it’s the perfect partner to our Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Serum. They have been formulated to be used together to deliver even better anti-ageing results. Supercharged by Matrixyl 3000 Plus. Our unique and most concentrated peptide technology to target deep lines and wrinkles with more power.
Contains Double Defence Technology, No7’s most advanced night time protection against the damaging effects of free radicals generated from sun and environmental stress during the day.
Retinyl palmitate is No7’s age-defying pro-retinol ingredient of choice. It supports the skin renewal process to reduce the key visible signs of ageing, while being mild enough to be suitable for sensitive skin.

buy here

Day 21

It’s a lipstick, not in the lip pencil shade though. This is Autumn Whisper 505.

No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick gives intensely pigmented colour that lasts for up to 8 hours, while leaving your lips feeling comfortable and hydrated

Picking your Perfect Lip Colour

Colour effect – Intense Colour

Benefits – Long Lasting & Hypo-allergenic.

Finish – Matte/Semi-Satin

buy here

#Blogmas 2018 Yule tide Blessings

Archive, blogmas 2018, Family Adventures, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

You know the year has gone fast when the Solstice is here, seems barely five minutes since the Summer Solstice 21st June.

Some believe that the Winter Solstice is a day celebration, but in reality they had no clocks or calenders, so Yule lasted over a period of days. Yule 2018 will begin on Friday

21

th December and ends on

Tuesday

1st January 2019.
And is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. It’s also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving during the holidays.

You can as a pagan hold rituals, both with a circle or as a solitary. But as we are a family, we choose to do this in a far more understated way. Instead I rather have a good meal, where we save some as an offering to the spirits, light candles to honour the ancestors. And have a Yule log, we’ve had both a chocolate log very nice, but also one to light our candles on too.

Everything we do as a Christmas celebration is really a Yule celebration, from the feast to the tree, wreaths and gift giving. So they are already hand in hand. But on this day especially it is nice to take a reflection over the year that has passed, and of time yet to happen. Because the returning Sun is the promise of things to come.

Like at Samhain, you can burn wishes wrote down, if you choose to have a bonfire outside. But weather being awful this month, and myself not doing well health-wise, it’s not likely for us this year. But not all is lost, you can make those wishes as you blow out the candles after your feast?! Like a birthday wish. Or burn them in your real fire or log burner if you have one.

So eat up and drink and be merry, it’s time to give thanks for all that you have. Feel blessed, it’s been an eventful year.

Our plan is a full on Roast, and Christmas movies galore, probably Arthur Christmas, and Home Alone.