Tag Archives: Helpful

Blind Girl Hacks: Top 10 Uses For Vaseline

Blind Girl Hacks; 10 Fab Uses of Vaseline.

There are some things in life which I believe every girl needs,; yes you’ve guessed it Vaseline! Not only is it cheap but vaseline is multi-purpose! here are just a few ideas that I’ve found Vaseline to be fantastic for! And as a blind girl, it’s a double positive!

Primer

This may not be an original thought for those of you who are into beauty and make up, but as an emergency Vaseline can be used as a primer! It gives your face the smooth and glossy look, while also moisturising your skin!

Fix Eyeliner

Whether you’r a pro at putting on eyeliner, or you are just starting out with experimenting Vaseline is a handy way of removing excess eyeliner. Simply uses a cotton bud with a small amount on the end and rub the thickest part of the eyeliner.It will remove it, without messing up the rest of your make up!

Teeth

Sounds a bit strange right? But applying a little amount on your top 6 teeth before applying lipstick will make sure that not only will your lips not stick to your teeth, but if you do have a lipstick stain it can be quickly removed!

 




Lipstick

Applying a thin layer of Vaseline on your lips a minute or so before applying lipstick will give your lipstick extra hold and extra shine.

Lipstick II

Not a big fan of lipstick, or just forgotten it?
Use a cotton bud or lipstick brush and add about a pea-sized amount of Vaseline to the tip.
Using your finger add some eyeshadow to the brush/bud, and gently mix the two. You can now apply your new lipstick shade to your lips.

Highlight/Shine

Add Vaseline to your brow line, cheekbone and cupids bow to give that highlighted/shimmer effect.

Makeup Remover

If your make up isn’t budging with soap and warm water, apply Vaseline to the area and gently wipe with a cotton pad. Be careful around your eye area!
Applying Vaseline to your eyelashes helps give a glossier shine as well as helps the lashes to grow!

Nails

Applying nail polish can be a pain, especially with limited or no vision. Make sure to put a healthy amount around each nail before painting them, it stops the nail polish from staining the finger, and makes the excess easy to remove with a cotton pad.

NailsII

Gently massaging Vaseline into your nails is a great way of keeping your cuticles soft and healthy! If you’re lucky enough to not get varnish on your fingers, use the excess to rub into your cuticles, instead of removing it!
Make sure your nails are dry first! 🙂

Perfume

Applying Vaseline on your sweet spots beforehand, such as wrists, inner elbow and collarbone, keeps the fragrance lasting longer throughout the day.
Don’t rub your perfume, dab it!

I really hope these tips were useful, they certainly make my life easier 🙂

Much love,
Sassy x




20 Ways To Save Money on Your Wedding

With the average cost of a British wedding measuring a whopping £25,000 it’s no wonder people are searching for cheaper alternatives or budget tips.

For those savvy savers, or just looking for ideas to help cut costs i’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stretch your money a little further.

Get married on a different time of the week/ year.

If you get married on a weekday, or in Winter you can save anything from 1/3 to 1/2 off your bill.

Create a wedding website.

There are so many great wedding websites out there, which you can completely customise to suit your theme and personality.
This can save you a ton of money as well as being good for the environment.

Don’t get married in the traditional places.

Unless your heart is set on a church or hotel wedding, opt for local places you can hire and make your own.
Hire a farmers field and have an outdoor wedding.

Hold the ceremony and reception in the same place.

This can save you money on transport as well as stress.
Hosting the big day at a hotel or country house means you don’t have to organise transport and sleeping arrangements could also be included in the price.

Ask a friend/ family to be master of ceremonies.

If you want to make your ceremony more unique, ask a person you care for who is not shy with public speaking to say a few words.
This would not make the marriage legal, so you would have to get legally married either before or after your big day, this again could save you money because your are not paying extra for registry / minister fees.



 

Don’t mention the W word.

Whether you are doing your research online, on the phone or in person, do not mention to vendors that it is for a wedding when you are seeking a cost analysis.
Tell them it’s for a celebration or party, and once a price has been given, explain that it is for a wedding,

Only invite immediate family and friends.

This is definitely a tough one, especially if you both have large families,but weddings are expensive and the food per head is usually a large chunk of your budget.
Don’t invite colleagues, neighbours and distant relatives, this can definitely help trim the guest list down.

Ask wedding guests for their time/ talents as wedding gifts.

Does your nan fancy herself as a florist? Ask her to do your centrepieces.
Is your best friend a keen baker? Ask her to make your wedding cake.
A cousin who can keep a crowd laughing? Ask him to do a 15 minute set to entertain your guests?
There are so many possibilities if you tap into a persons’ creative side, plus, more often than not, people love to be involved and help in any way they can.

Use a credit card for payments.

There are plenty of credit cards out there that can give you up to 5% cash back on purchases You need to pay it off in full every month or you’ll get charged massive interest.
Credit cards are also great because under section 75 of the consumers act, if you pay for an item on your credit card and the item is damaged or faulty, the credit card company is jointly liable and protects you as a consumer.

Buy from the high street or rent.

These days there are some beautiful wedding dresses, morning suits and accessories for a fraction a the price.
High streets realised there is a market for good quality but affordable wedding wear, such as  Debenhams and Asos so you will be sure to find something for a fraction of the wedding industry price.

You can choose to hire suits and this can definitely slash the cost instead of buying outright.

There are also great second hand alternatives such as, Preloved and Sell my Dress and in a lot of cases the dress was purchased but never worn.

Alternatively ask for your party to buy/ wear their own.This may make you feel uncomfortable but if you are trying to save money that can be a great option.
Giving your wedding party an outline of what colour scheme you are going for and giving them free reign to choose their own outfit can make the wedding more personal and relaxed.



Use a courier service to transport your goods.

Whether it’s UK based or even further afield, you may not have the time or budget to collect a bespoke ornament or wooden decorations.This is where Shipley comes in handy, they safely deliver your purchase, using already loaded but not full cargo. They use all available space and resources instead of sending drivers to do one drop off.
This saves the environment and can save you a lot of money too!

Buy your own alcohol.

Depending on where you choose to get married, there may be a corkage fee on your venue.
However if you are staying away from traditional norms and holding your wedding in a village hall, alcohol will be up to you to provide.
A booze run to France can certainly save you some pennies.

Make DIY bunting/ confetti/favours.

If you and your significant other are crafty and also wanting to cut costs, creating your own bunting, confetti and favours can save you a lot of money.
Places such as hobby craft are great for inspiration as well as getting all the materials you could need to create your own special touch to the day.

Don’t hire a photographer/ videographer.

If you have a budding photographer in the family, ask them to take snapshots of your special day.
Likewise ask friends and family who are attending the wedding to take photos and upload them to your wedding website after the big day.
Not only will you have a keepsake but you’ll probably have some candid shots that a professional may not catch.

Don’t hire a DJ or a band.

The price of music/ entertainment for a wedding can be enormous, remember the W word?
If you have musically talented friends or family, ask them to perform, it will make the day more intimate and save your bank balance.

Create your own playlists.

If you want to go super savvy, but not lose out on keeping the party going. Creating a playlist on Spotify can get you and your significant other to put together a list of your favourite songs, again making the day become personal and intimate.
Likewise, if you don’t want to do the legwork, or you and your S.O, have different tastes in music ask your guest to pick a song they like, that everyone can dance to.
This will make your guest feel more involved and take some of the strain off of the two of you.

Don’t hire transport.

If you are holding your ceremony and reception in the same place, that alone can save you money, because you don’t have to pay for transport for you and your guests.
If your ceremony and reception are within walking distance, why not take that stroll with your guests to the venue, it’ll give them a chance to mingle and get to know one another, and give you and your other half time to soak up the atmosphere.
Another option is car sharing, if the reception is close by, you could have a bunch of designated drivers to take your wedding party, just make sure to stick some pretty ribbon to the cars so your guests know it’s the right car.

Buy flowers at local markets.

If you want to save money on a florist, and don’t have any green fingered relatives or friends, going to your local flower market a day or 2 before your big day can be a way to give something back to your local community, as well as getting some gorgeous flowers at a very reasonable price.
The only drawbacks would be, needing to arrange the flowers for your party and reception yourself. as well as getting flowers that are in season and at the market at the time.

Serve wedding cake as pudding.

This is a brilliant idea. By the time you have eaten your share of food, guests are generally too full to eat any cake.
Even if you wrap it up, guests can still leave it behind in their tired or drunken state.
Serving it to your guests as pudding ensures it gets eaten and the bakers hard work has not gone to waste.

Create a honeymoon fund and ask guests to donate instead of giving presents.

As we are in the 21st century and most couples live together before they get married, the traditional registry list can be null in void.
Guests want to gift you with something, and if you have everything you need, asking for donations to your honeymoon fund, will mean less for you to save, and your guests feeling happy that they have contributed to something you truly want!



***
Remember your day is about you and your partner joining together in front of your nearest and dearest. Ultimately the decisions are up to you as a couple. Don’t let others influence you or make you feel bad for including, or not including specific things to your day.

Make sure to ask vendors upfront that if the price they are giving you includes VAT, otherwise this can come as a nasty shock looking at your bill.

Always get EVERYTHING in writing. This means you and your vendors have physical evidence of communication and can stop any disputes in their track.

And most importantly remember, have fun! It’s one day, and it’ll only be you that notices the little things.

*This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sensse hot and cool toner and massage bar

If you are a beauty lover, are into your skincare and enjoy learning about new gadgets or techniques that can improve your routine, then I think you’ll like this product! Welcome to the sensse hot and cool facial bar! 🙂

It is a light weight, handheld facial massager and toner. It is white, thin and sleek, it actually reminds me of a microphone! It has three settings; hot, cold and vibration mode. You can use the vibration mode for both hot and cold settings.

What Amazon says:

Hot Mode – Relax and Soften Your Skin

The 42°C temperature in hot mode is optimal for increasing blood circulation and relaxing facial muscles. The increase in blood circulation and muscle relaxation from hot mode smoothes out wrinkles, softens your skin and activates cell re-growth.

Hot Mode with Ultrasonic Massage – Increase Moisturizer Absorption

The gentle ultrasonic vibrations combined with the 42°C hot mode massage your favorite moisturizer into your skin. The hot temperature and ultrasonic vibrations increase absorption to help you get the most from your products.

Cool Mode – Soothes Sore Facial Muscles and Reduce Redness

Uses optimal 6°C temperature to soothe sore facial muscles and relieve skin fatigue. The cool temperature reduces redness and stiffness making your skin look bright and beautiful. Also closes your pores to enhance moisturizer absorption and prevent dirt and grime buildup.

Cool Mode with Ultrasonic Massage – The Relaxing Wrinkle Reducer

Optimal 6°C temperature combined with ultrasonic vibrations tones and firms your skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

What does the sensse hot and cold bar do?

* Stimulates Blood Circulation
* Aids in Lymphatic Drainage
* Increases Cell Metabolism
* Cleanses Away Toxins
* Enhances Skin Care Product Performance
* Tightens and Tones Neck and Facial Skin
* Diminishes Wrinkles and Fine Lines
* Reduces The Appearance of Congested, Puffy Eyes
* Refines Large Pores
* Improves Skin Texture and Tone
* Clarifies Acne and Blemishes
* Lightens Dark Under Eye
* Fades Scars, Freckles, Age Spots and Redness

sensse hot and cold facial bar in its white box

How do I use the sensse hot and cold facial bar?

After Reading the instructions I put the bar on charge for the recommended six hours. There is a light to indicate the bar is charging. Once it is fully charged both the stand and and bar will go the same colour.
Scrape hair back and wash face and hands with hot soapy water.
Towel dry your face and apply moisturiser.
Put a P sized amount of your moisturiser onto the round metal slate at the top of the bar.
There is only one button on the device, press and hold force three seconds, this will activate the hot mode.
Press the bar with the moisturiser on the metal plate to your face.
Gently run it around your entire face, and under your chin. Be careful and sensitive when applying it to your eyesockets, if you have sensitive eyes do not use.
You should only use for two minutes at a time.

Press the button once and this will activate the vibration mode. This opens up your paws and helps your moisturiser sink deep into your skin.
Press the button again to activate the cold mode. This will change very quickly.
Continue the motions all over your face, the cold will close your pours.
Press the button once more, this activates the vibration mode. This cools and tightens the facial muscles, and brings blood to the surface to reduce Red/puffy skin.
Hold the button for three seconds, this will turn off the device. If you forget, it will automatically turn off after two minutes.
Clean the metal plate with a damp clean cloth.

Pros:

I love the whole design and packaging of it, it’s very sleek and stylish which makes it look expensive! I am a massive fan of the white and rose gold combo and it looks great on display!
I’m really impressed with just how quickly it can heat up and cool down. Within a few seconds it’s ready and it’s also a really good temperature on both ends.
the hot is very relaxing and definitely helps release any tension in my face.
The cold Setting is really refreshing and helps close up your pores.
I like how there’s a vibration mode for each to really get deeper into your skin.

sensse in a white box next to a mac book

The charging stand is also really handy, it’s very easy to just pop the device on top and it begins charging away.
Being rechargeable is great as it means theres no added expense of batteries to buy.
Instead you simply plug the base unit in with the usb charging cable attached
It goes from hot to cold in 6 seconds.

It automatically shuts off after 2 minutes to save battery life.
You have a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your purchase.

Cons:

the only thing i would say is that the pad where the gadget stands in is not very deep at all so it balances on it. This means it can get knocked off very easily, and it has to be on a flat stable service when charging.
This is the era of technology with most gadgets having a USB port/charger… However it would have been good if the company included a plug for the USB.

I really enjoy using my facial bar, it’s great for a good morning and night routine. A fab way to look after your skin and give yourself a little pampering too!
If you enjoy a good skin routine, this is a perfect added bonus. I would highly recommend. 🙂

Do you have a sense hot and cool facial bar? Would you consider buying one after this review? I would love to know in the comments 🙂

Access ability: 5/5
It’s lightweight and fits perfectly within the groove of your hand, no long set up process to endure, once it is fully charged you are good to go!
If you are visually in paired, with each mode change the button lights up on the bar.
I’ve used it for a few weeks now, and the charge still hasn’t died!

Quality of service: 5/5
It arrived quicker than the time I was initially given, it was packaged safely, and beautifully presented.

 

*I was gifted this product for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blind Girl Hacks: organising your Bedroom

Blind Girl Hacks: Bedroom Tips and Tricks.

I believe the bedroom should be a sanctuary, somewhere you can relax, wind down and move around with ease.
A messy bedroom = a messy mind.. If you can’t find where anything is within your room you are not setting yourself up for a smooth/positive day.

Gary and I share a double wardrobe and chest of drawers, so it is vital I can find my things amongst the chaos 😉 You will soon come to realise I have OCD, because everything has a place. Here are my tips and tricks about how I keep my bedroom organised.

 

Clothes

Everything is in seasonal order. I keep my jumpers and pyjamas together on a shelf in my wardrobe.

My clothing rail from left to right;
Gary’s shirts/suits, jumper dresses, cardigans, Summer shirts/ going out tops,, Summer dresses, going out dresses,
smart skirts and trousers.

I also try and keep these clothes in colour coordination from white to black, but living with a boy who doesn’t pay attention to such things, doesn’t always happen! 😉
Ideas.
There are things such as RNIB’s Talking Colour Detector that can help visually impaired people distinguish colours from one another.
It looks slightly like a torch and works by turning it on and holding the item against the end of the Colour Detector, it will then read out basic colours such as; light blue, dark red and white.

There are much cheaper and less bulky alternatives for example apps that you can get on your mobile phone. Again this works in the same way as the RNIB’s colour detector.

Chest of Drawers

We have a separate drawer for underwear, tops and trousers/ shorts. I keep my belongings on the lefthand side of the drawers, Gary’s belongings stay on the right .
Ideas.

You can get drawer dividers to make sure your things stay separate. You can buy these from places such as IKEA, or a cheaper alternative would be to use a cereal box(only one side) to partition your belongings, great if you are thrifty and enjoy DIY projects. 🙂

Labelling.

If you want something more concrete/ sturdy when determining your clothes a labelling system may be of good use to you.

You can buy things such as Tactile markers from the internet,. These are tactile shapes that you can glue to your clothes. for example use squares for any of your jumpers that have to be on a woollen/ 30 degree wash.

buttons can be sewn onto your white clothes for example. A good place to sew these buttons would be on the washing instruction label that you get on the inside of your clothes.

Iron patches are another labelling system you can use. As it suggests you use the iron to transfer the label. They are usually robust and do not come off in the washing machine.

 




Jewellery

I have lots of jewellery, ranging from bulky necklaces to delicate earrings and bracelets.

My delicate jewellery that also came as part of a set stay in their specific boxes in a drawer in my bedroom the others are kept in several different sized jewellery boxes.

I have a necklace stand where all different types of necklaces hang from, I tend to use one side for bulky necklaces and the other side for thinner ones. for I also keep my thinner necklaces on the cardboard hook that it came on. That way it keeps the thinner necklaces from tangling and makes it easy for me to differentiate which one is which.

I have a box full of bulky bracelets and earrings, the earrings also stay on the cardboard sleeve they came with. Again it makes it easier for me to know which pair of earrings i’m looking for, but it also helps to keep the box tidy.

I have another box full of smaller earrings, and I also keep them paired, that way i will never have odd earrings.

Ideas:

Buy a jewellery box that has lots of compartments/ partitions, that way you can keep necklaces separate from rings etc.
Another idea could be to have a deep box, it could be a jewellery one or just a pretty box you’ve DIY made. Setting up a layering system in the form of cardboard/tissue paper to keep each individual item or each collection of items separate from one another.
depending on how you layer the box you could attach braille/ tactile labels to each section so you can make finding your things a much smoother experience.
If you have the space have a separate jewellery box for each of your collections. That way you shouldn’t mix up your jewellery. 🙂

Accessories.

I have a specific storage box that i keep belts, scarfs and hats in. I fold each item and pile them on top of one another, I keep one side for scarves and the other for belts. I then place the hats on top.
I keep all my handbags together in one big bag (a very old school bag, i’m not fancy!).It sits on the shelf of my wardrobe on the left hand side.
Having all my bags together in a big bag is not only convenient for storage space but it is something completely separate from the rest of my accessories so if i’m directing someone else, they can find the bag straight away rather than guessing which one of my many boxes it could potentially be in. 🙂
Because all of my accessories are different in style, texture and shape I can differentiate easily between all my clothes and accessories.

 




Ideas:

If you don’t have the storage space for boxes, but would like to keep your accessories organised? Using plastic shower curtain ring hangers are a good idea, and a way of containing space. This can also be used for keeping jewellery from tangling, if you so wish.
Hanging baskets, or, plastic baskets under your bed is another great way to keep your specific accessories in one place, but allowing them to stay segregated from the others.

As you can tell i’m an organised person, I always have been, even before I had any sight issues, but being that way definitely made my life smoother after going blind. I had a system in place that was fool proof for me, and because of that it makes finding things easy.
Everything I own has a home.
Personally I do have a labelling system, when I first went blind my Mum sewed buttons onto my whites (as I didn’t have that many white items apart from underwear) and she sewed tiny ribbons onto my coloured clothes/ underwear. For the most part I don’t tactilely use the system because I know what all my clothes are, but it is a great way of allowing myself piece of mind that I won’t mix colours when doing my washing.

I suggest that if you are visually impaired and do not have a system in place, it could be a good idea to start 🙂 Find a system that works for you; labelling, separating smart/casual clothes, use compartment segregators, or even just making sure everything has a home.

I hope this post was useful for you, if you have questions for me or suggestions for posts please leave a comment below, or contact me via social media! 🙂

Much love,
Sassy x

 

 




Celebrating National Parks Week With NRS Healthcare

Celebrating National Parks week with NRS Healthcare.

Summer is here and one of my favourite ways to spend it is putting on my walking boots and to go exploring around various nature trails with Gary.
This summer we are making a concerted effort to travel the UK to walk, picnic and even hike through some of the National Parks ,breathing in the fresh air and enjoying nature at it’s finest.

Having Arthritis as well as a visual impairment can make walking, and especially hiking pretty difficult and Gary and I have been looking at accessible trails online
Picture my happiness when I was contacted by the lovely folks at NRS Healthcare who informed me of their free and accessible guide to venturing the National Parks with a disability!

I got so excited reading through the guide, this was exactly what I had been looking for, a place where all the information is presented in one place.

The guide talks about empowering those with disabilities to go outdoors no matter what reservations you may have about restrictions to access.
Wheelchair user that fancies electric boating?on the Lake District?
Visually impaired and fancy hiking in Snowdonia?
It’s all possible if you know where to look, and now we do!

A visually impaired person being guided along a dirt path in the national park with a tree and moss covered boulder on the left.

It’s National Parks Week here in the UK, 24th-30thJuly and to celebrate the beauty and accessibility of our 15 National Parks, NRS Healthcare have written a free accessibility guide for people like you and me who love to be outdoors, but find it a chore researching where is and isn’t accessible!

An extra added bonus is the equipment and products listed in the guide you may consider taking when you are on your adventure, to make your experience more relaxing and enjoyable.

A wide richer with a stone arc bridge in the background. The river is flanked by green and browning trees

The best thing about the guide is that the activities listed are not just Summer activities, most of the excursions and trails are available year round, so if you fancy skiing in winter or surfing in Spring, it is all doable. 🙂

Are you an outdoorsy type?
Would you consider trekking the national parks with a disability?

*Information from a press release by NRS Healthcare, But all thoughts and opinions are my own




Adventures at Butlin’s Bognor Regis

Butlin’s

Billy Butlin’s was an entrepreneur who created the British iconic holiday parks for family’s to have an affordable UK break, now commonly known as a staycation .
Butlin’s Skegness opened on the 11th April 1936 and was officially opened by Amy Johnson; the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.
Billy’s dream was to create a place for family’s to eat, sleep and be entertained which was also situated close to a beach.
There are now 3 sites: Skegness, Bognor Regis and Minehead, welcoming millions of families each year.
Some of the most widely known comedians, actors, singers, dancers and double acts have found fame because of Butlin’s.
Laurel and Hardy, The Drifters, The Foundations,Dez o’Connor, Cliff Richard and Ringo Star to name but a few!

A group of us had booked our 4 night stay months in advance, and having never been to Butlin’s before I was really keen to go.

A few days before we left I went on the website to see what we could do when we were there.
Clearly geared towards family I was blown over by the sheer amount of activities there were to do, which were all included as part of your holiday costs!
I was also happy with the accessibility of the website. The mobile version is not very compatible with screen readers, but after switching to desktop mode, I had no further issues. I flicked through page after page with ease and eager anticipation for the Butlin’s holiday ahead!

Our destination was Bognor Regis in West Sussex, situated between Brighton and Portsmouth. This was ideal for us as it was only a 2 and 1/2 hour drive.

Arrival.

The first thing Gary noticed was the giant millennium dome, meaning everything was under cover. Perfect for the unpredictable British weather!
The majority of our friends were there already and had checked in, so we headed to the Oyster Bay reception to ask for directions.
The staff were friendly and extremely helpful, and ended up giving us verbal directions to our chalet as they had run out of maps.

Our Chalet.

Being visually impaired and having a Guide Dog, we were given a ground floor chalet which conveniently had a large grass area, and bins right outside our door.
The chalet itself had a living room area complete with two sofas, a television and coffee table.
A dinning table and chairs were immediately on our right as we entered.

4 person table, two leather two seater sofas and a small tv

The kitchen was fitted with a fridge freezer, cooker, microwave and kettle.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that tea, coffee and sugar had been provided along with cutlery and crockery; perfect for a group who wanted to self cater.

Kitchen with microwave, kettle, toaster and cooker

Our bedroom was a decent size; homing a double bed, 2 bedside tables, a set of drawers, wardrobe and a desk and chair with a mirror above it.
The only criticism i would have would be for the bathroom, the toilet cistern took about 10 minutes to fill up, the shower cubicle was quite small, and didn’t drain quick enough so your feet would be in a bath of water, and having no window meant that the bathroom would be completely steamed up. On day 3 Gary found an extractor fan but it didn’t really live up to it’s name.
Possibly the most annoying of all was that there was no bathmat, meaning that the floor became soaked as you exited the shower or you had to use your own towel to mop up the mess.

A double Bed with white bed sheets and green feature wall

Wardrobe and window with the bed at the bottom

Dressing table and the door

Food.

As we wanted our holiday to be as easy-going as possible we paid for breakfast and dinner buffet style as part of our package.

After dropping our bags off we headed down to dinner to meet up with the rest of the party.
Not before going to the wrong restaurant and getting turned away because we hadn’t paid for that meal package!

We opted for the cheap and cheerful option and we dinned in the Coral Beach restaurant for the entirety of our stay.

As it is a buffet style food court you can go up as many times as you wanted.
I was very happy to find out that hot and cold drinks were part of the package and unlimited, the only drinks you would have to pay for would be fizzy drinks or alcohol.
Because the food court was so busy Gary offered to go up and get me an assortment of foods : chicken, new potatoes, veg, gammon and minted beef, not forgetting the lovely slice of cake for pudding.

Entertainment.

There are 2 main stages at Bognor Regis Butlin’s:Reds and Center Stage.
On our first evening the entertainment on the center stage would be Whitney Houston in concert, Ive always loved Whitney Houston so I was keen to go along. According to our brochure we got with our check n details it said that the performer would not be on stage until 21:45 meaning we had plenty of time to have a wander around.

We went into the local shop which was full of everything you could need for a self catered holiday.
However having the luxury of Gary driving we decided to head off to the local supermarket, less than a mile away.
We stocked up on the essentials; alcohol and coconut scented toilet roll!

Arriving back on to the parks premises Gary noticed that there was a closer entrance to our chalet, so we politely asked if he could drop myself, Ida, Lenny and Dillon off and then park the car back in the Oyster Bay car park.
The man on the gate was very accommodating, letting us through and saying he would give the heads up to his colleague on the other gate.

2 blind people, 2 Guide Dogs, a crate of beer, box of wine and a carrier bag full of other things made the much shorter walk a whole lot easier… See having a disability has it’s perks! 😉




By the time we got back to the chalet it was time to head off for the evening entertainment.
By this point neither Gary nor Lenny fancied it, so we headed next door to Lenny’s chalet for a quiet night.
Phyllis, Lenny’s chalet mate had returned from the entertainment saying she wasn’t in the mood.
The 4 of us stayed in chatting, drinking and laughing until 2Am in the morning!

You can find part 2 here.

Is Your Tiredness A Sign Of Something Serious?

Being tired is perfectly normal in some situations. For example, if you’ve been burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline at work and stay up way past your bedtime, it is a given that you will wake up feeling very sleepy the next morning. And you might have to deal with that tiredness throughout the whole day! Similarly, if you are particularly busy or take part in some very strenuous exercise in the morning, then your energy levels will probably drop, and you will feel quite lethargic in the afternoon.

However, if you are constantly tired without any real reason for feeling that way, it could be a sign or symptom of a much more serious condition. Worried that your lethargy and sleepiness could mean you are ill? Read on to find out more!

Young lady lying in bed with white sheets and bedding

Picture Credit

Depression

Tiredness is a symptom of regular depression, and bipolar depression. But what is bipolar depression exactly? It is similar to regular depression and most patients feel the same feelings of sadness and uninterest in the world. However, there are some other symptoms that can help differentiate between these two depressions. For instance, those who are bipolar suffer from mood swings and sometimes even psychosis. If this sounds like you, it is important you see a medical professional very soon.




Anemia

If you feel run down and generally under the weather alongside your tiredness, then the most probable explanation is that you are suffering from anemia. This is when you haven’t been getting enough iron in your diet and end up with a deficiency. It is most common in women, especially those who have been through the menopause. It is easily treated with iron tablets.

Diabetes

There are various symptoms of diabetes, and constant tiredness is one of them. Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood or when there is not enough insulin being produced to control blood sugar levels. Other symptoms include a constant feeling of thirst and sudden weight loss.

Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection and most commonly seen in young, teenage girls. The main symptoms include a sore throat, swollen glands, and high fever, but most patients also complain about tiredness as well. Even though most of the symptoms will go after four weeks, the tiredness can often affect the sufferer for at least a couple of months.

Coeliac Disease

Some people are unable to eat any form of gluten as they have coeliac disease. When coeliacs accidentally eat some gluten – found in foods such as bread, cereals, and pasta – then their body reacts badly, much like an allergic reaction. Tiredness is one of the most noticeable symptoms, alongside diarrhea and weight loss. There is also often a feeling of discomfort after eating any ingredients that contain traces of gluten.

As you can see, your body might be trying to tell you that your tiredness is a sign of an underlying condition. Think you are suffering from a serious condition? Then it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible!




The Last Leg

“Sleep is for the weak!” I screamed as the hospital ward lights flickered on.

OK i’m joking. I was extremely tired and the combination of excruciating pain, and the constant need for the bathroom didn’t allow me any quality of sleep.

I was fed, washed and dressed waiting for the Doctor to arrive. He came over and asked all the usual Doctor questions. I explained my blood pressure cuff analogy to him and said that the pain had worsened the longer I had the cast on.
He was very friendly and supportive, even saying he would take my cast off to examine my leg. But as he did not perform the surgery, and wasn’t my Doctor, he had to wait to speak to a Consultant to see what to do.

Not too long after, my nurse came over and said he’d heard I had been uncomfortable all night, and I was complaining about the pain in my leg; to which I agreed.

“It sounds to me like your cast is too tight, let me go get some scissors and i’ll cut it off for you.”

The relief was evident on my now smiling face!

It took Rich, my nurse, a while, but he managed to cut the cast all the way down to the top of my ankle.
The relief was almost instant, my leg was on fire and heavily pulsing, but I actually managed to feel the blood pumping around my leg.

After a serious dose of medication and about half an hour later, I could feel my leg again, and not just agonising pain!

The Doctor came back not too long after and asked how the pain was, he was surprised to hear how drastically my pain scale had reduced.

“My ankle still feels really tight and sore, but it’s like my leg is able to breathe again.”

Rich, my nurse, was with me at this point and the Doctor said there and then to cut the cast off completely, the cast was obviously too tight and I should be fitted with a brace and not another cast.

You would have thought i’d just won the lottery with that comment, I was so ecstatic and relieved at the same time!

Again, as he was cutting the cast off my foot, I could feel the blood beginning to move freely around.

My entire leg was massively swollen, but the tight pain had almost fully disappeared!

Unfortunately it seemed like the surgeon, Doctors and nurses had not taken into consideration my Arthritis.
Whenever I have had a knock or bump to my body in the past, my Arthritis tends to balloon. So the combination of my accident and surgery on my leg, my joints were bound to become inflamed; specifically my knee and ankle.

And that was exactly what happened…

My leg had doubled in size… Couple that with an extremely tight cast and you’ve got a lot of pain through lack of circulation.

First brace given black with foam pads as support and Velcro straps leg is extremely bruised and swollen

I trust Doctors, after all they are the one’s who went to medical school, but i’m an advocate for no-one knows your body better than you do. I’ve lived with chronic pain since the age of 7, so I know the difference between normal pain, and abnormal pain.
*****

Leg with 17 stables closing two long cuts down the right side of the leg

With each day that came and went my leg pain decreased, I owe a special thanks to my friend Oramorph for helping me with my pain relief!

Those first few days on Oramorph were certainly interesting, I was a little woozy, mostly sleepy and my brain felt like it was trudging through sludge… it even got to the point that I declared to the occupational therapist that if nothing was going to happen over the weekend then I was just going to go home and come back Monday – until my friend kindly pointed out that this was a hospital and they weren’t just going to look after my bed for me for the weekend until I decided to return!
When my brain and tongue finally engaged, I realised how ridiculous I sounded, and we had a good laugh at my expense! ;)*****

On a more serious note I did realise just how understaffed, overworked and underpaid the Nurses and Health Care Assistants actually are.

Some patients needed more support due to their age, physical restrictions and sometimes a combination of the two. It was eye opening to watch just how demanding some patients can be, and how in turn that has a domino effect on the rest of the ward and staff.
I also noticed the lack of financial funds that the NHS have on the ground and how that is impacting on patient care.
One particular lady was brought in because she had a fall and had broken her foot… She was also very elderly and suffered with Alzheimer’s

It was heartbreaking to watch her in such distress asking where she was, what had happened, where her parents were as they would be getting worried about her and the why couldn’t she go home?
When she first arrived she had one on one support from a nurse, but that didn’t last very long as the nurse had other patients and duties to attend.
It was awful to bare witness to her on a continuous loop, that turned into hysteria when nurses couldn’t be present to talk to her and soothe her.

When the nurses weren’t around I tried to engage her in conversation as best I could, going through the motions of answering her questions. At some points she and I had conversations about her life and the odd time she was even lucid for a few minutes, so it was lovely.

However being witness to this happening over a few days on one ward I am saddened that there not are specific wards for such patients who need that extra care, support and attention.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the only patient I saw this happening with. I moved wards on Saturday around midnight and there was a similar case with another elderly lady.
Thankfully this ward was much smaller and quieter so nurses and HCA’s could give more attention to her. However, other patients such as my neighbour and myself were forgotten on several occasions.
I blame the Government for these situations, not the Doctor’s,Nurses and HCA’s on the ground. But it’s plain to see that even being in a first world country, patients still aren’t getting the full care and attention they truly need.

*****

New black brace with soft padded supports and clear plastic dial.

Leg without staples or brace on, 2 long cuts with visible staple holes and scabbing

I’m grateful to both hospitals for the care and treatment I received because without them I wouldn’t be at home recovering, trying to live a normal a life as possible as a one legged, blind short arse can 🙂

It’s not been plain sailing; lack of medication, supportive equipment, medical appointments and staples being in my leg 3 weeks longer than they should have been haven’t made my recovery easy but it’s been just over a month since my operation, so i’ve only got 8 weeks left to go!! 🙂
****
It was lovely to bump into you Becca, and meet you Eileen, i’m just sorry it was in such crappy circumstances!
I hope your recovery is going well and you’re kicking butt 😉

Much love,
Sassy x




Are Mobile Phones A Luxury Or A Necessity??

A little while ago I was given the opportunity to guest post on the fabulous Lolly’s blog.
I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it 🙂

Are mobile phones materialistic, or an necessity?

With the boom of technology in the last 10 years alone, and smart phones becoming the number one product to get, if you haven’t already that is.
Smart phones although still seen as a luxury by some, have now become a necessity, especially for people such as myself.

For those who don’t know, i’m totally blind. I use an iPhone, MacBook, iPad and iPod. I’m not trying to show off or seem flash, I can assure you, it took a long time to save for such items!
But the reason I am mentioning my clear love for Apple products, is not because it’s seen as the coolest gadget, or more expensive luxury, it’s because it enables me to live my life with as much ease and normality as a blind person can manage.

All of the Apple products listed above have specific built in software called Voice-Over. An Apple built-in screen reader that allows me to use technology the way you do.

A screen reader is a text to speech output which speaks the content of a computer display. In Apple’s case it is in-built within every Apple product they sell.. This enables me to navigate my way around my MacBook (what I am using to write this post). I use shortcut keys to navigate, as it would be pretty tricky for a blind person to use a mouse, when they cannot see where it is upon the screen.

My iPad is essentially a larger version of my iPhone, so when I talk about my iPhone, it has all the same functions without being able to call like a phone.
My iPhone; being touch screen will read out wherever my finger lands/ touches on the screen. In order for me to interact with my iPhone, and give it commands, I have to use specific gestures.
For example, if I wanted to call my Mum, I would touch the top right-hand corner of my iPhone, and Voice-Over will say contacts (I have my phone set out in a specific way, so this would not be the case for everyone using an iPhone, even if they too are blind).
I would then double tap with 1 finger,or thumb, to be able to open the Contacts app.
I would then touch the very right hand side of the iPhone screen again, where it will announce “Table Index” the A-Z of the phone book.
I have to hold my thumb down for a second or so before the phone announces “Swipe up or down with one finger to adjust the value” And from there I would continuously flick my thumb up towards the top of the iPhone for it to scroll down.

When I reach the correct letter I would then flick right with my thumb to find the contact i’m looking for. I would have to double tap again with one finger, or thumb, to open it.
I would also have to double tap on the number itself to activate the call button.

So why the double tap gesture?
Imagine running your thumb or finger around a touch screen and having your eyes closed whilst doing so, you would potentially open a dozen apps, send a gobbledegook email to your boss. and a smily face to your brother who is sitting right next to you!
Double tapping is so the blind user can navigate around the screen/ phone itself without any worry of doing these things constantly.

So how do I use social media?

If I am on my iPhone, and using the FaceBook App, I use much the same gestures as I mentioned above with a few added extras.

The FaceBook App in my personal opinion is far better, than using the website,
What I mean by this is: screen readers are programmed to read all text aloud to the person navigating. Imagine how long and arduous a process it is to flick constantly for everything a FaceBook status has:
The persons name
Who their audience is
the location it was published
the time it was published
The status itself
If there are any images
reactions to the status; Like, Comment, Share, Announcing one at at a time.

However there are shortcuts to speed this interaction up a little quicker

Thankfully the app cuts out a lot of the waffle and will only read out:
The persons name
The status
If there is an image
Reactions to the status; Like. Comment, Share. And
This will be read all at once, and in order.

In order to interact with the status you can do one of 2 options:
Flicking your thumb down to choose an option; Like, React, Comment, Share, More.
Or
By double tapping the screen with 2 fingers and it brings up a list with the same options i’ve listed above.
You can choose to flick right to get to the specific action or drag your finger down the list and use the 1 finger double tap gesture to active it.

What about other social media platforms?

With each social media platforms there are slightly different ways to navigate each app, and each website. The single and double tap features are sill optimised but it depends on each app developer if they include extra functions for screen readers. An example of this is Twitter. If you go to the Twitter settings you can customise a two finger double tap to do one of 4 actions. I chose my action to create a new tweet. It means I don’t have to find the top right hand corner of the screen, and double tap with one finger to create a tweet. It’s things like that, that help me navigate quicker as a screen reader user 🙂

There are so many things my iPhone can do that help keep my life running as smoothly as a blind person bumping into walls and getting lost can be 😉

And social media is just the tip of that gigantic iceberg…
Where would I be without it? Probably rocking in a corner somewhere 😉 but seriously, technology today has given me and other blind and disabled people a lifeline to keep in touch with the outside world, interact with friends and family who live in other parts of the country/ world, and helps make new connections and new friends 🙂

I hope this post was informative? If you have any questions or would like me to explain anything else from a blind persons perspective then feel free to contact me on the following:
Twitter
Facebook
Google+
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com




A big thanks to Lolly for allowing me to guest post on her fabulous blog, without my smartphone we wouldn’t have met! 🙂
Please follow her on:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Much love,
Sassy x

Are You Indirectly Discriminating?

Are you being indirectly discriminative?

The Equality Act 2010 says that indirect discrimination is:
“A practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but has a worse effect on some people more than others.”

Without realising it, we are indirectly discriminating…

How am I indirectly discriminating you may ask?

I will get into that very shortly but first I will give a brief explanation of what the Equality Act is.
The Equality Act 2010 was proposed as a way to combine previous legislation together to make a better stronghold on discrimination and support those who may potentially be discriminated against in the future.

There are 9 protective characteristics:
*Age
*Disability
*Gender Reassignment
*Marriage or Civil Partnership in employment only
*Pregnancy and maternity
*Race
*Religion or belief
*Sex
*sexual orientation
But for today we are focusing on disability.

Disability and Access to Websites.

The Equality Act at Section 21 includes the adoption of a single concept of the provision of a service which covers ; goods, services and facilities among other things.

While the Equality Act 2010 doesn’t expressly refer to websites the consensus has been that the reference to the provision of service does apply to commercial web.
You can find more information on the Statutory Code of Practice.
“Websites provide access to services and goods and may in themselves constitute a service; for example, where they are delivering information or entertainment.”

*****

Websites can be a double edged sword for those with disabilities. People with sensory impairments such as blindness may choose to shop online, but much in the same way shops/ buildings can create physical barriers, a website can present the same barriers.

Screen readers are software programs giving blind and visually impaired people a way to navigate computers, tablets and phones through audio feedback.
Problems arise when user interfaces such as buttons are not labeled correctly, tables are not configured properly and images have no alternative text. Also known as Alt text attributes.

Why is this important?

Imagine the frustration of browsing the internet and being denied crucial information, such as buttons with the Twitter logo only saying link, tables reading non stop from left to right and photographs only saying the word image.

So going back to the earlier question: how am I being indirectly discriminating?

By not labelling these interfaces/ attributes correctly, you are denying visually impaired people access to your website. Whether it is intentional or not.

So what can you do?

By adding Alt text! Adding Alt text is simple; when you upload/ edit a picture on your website, you should give a clear description of the image.
Example:
Brighton Beach with a calm sea and the pier in the distance

The Alt text reads “alt=”Brighton Beach with a calm sea and the pier in the distance” which will be read aloud on all screen reader software.

Likewise, if you are adding a text based image to your website, you need to include the original text of the image as screen readers cannot distinguish the writing/text.

Flowers with the caption "Smile, and the world will smile with you!"

The Alt text reads “alt=”Flowers with the caption "Smile, and the world will smile with you” which will be read aloud on all screen reader software.

Blogging and SEO.

so you’re a blogger and you bake a delicious cake, you’ve been told to include Chocolate Cake Recipe , in every image of your tasty treat. In order for SEO to give you better rankings you need to include the Title for every image caption, right?

WRONG!!

The caption/ tag area is for Alt Text descriptions. Blind and visually impaired users need to know what the image is about, and SEO will also penalise you for not doing this.
SEO sees this as spam. In order for you to get good SEO rankings as well as being lawfully abiding, your images/ photos should have a brief description.

Most blogs are being indirectly discriminative, and not just to visually impaired people. People with other sensory impairments, motor skill problems and cognitive issues may also be indirectly discriminated against.

If you are unsure whether or not your website or blog is indirectly discriminating, you can use these free tools below to check.
Please think about your potential audience before you hit publish.
Make sure your user interfaces are labelled correctly, images have Alt text and videos have a written translation of what your video contains, especially if it is a slideshow of images.

http://wave.webaim.org/
https://tenon.io/
https://www.squizlabs.com/general/html-codesniffer




 

References
https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/employment-statutory-code-practice
http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/111218/smile,+and+the+world.html
https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/helping-people-to-use-your-service/making-your-service-accessible-an-introduction
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
https://www.w3.org/WAI/