10 Positive Things My Dyspraxia Has Given Me

I know posting a diagram showing the problems which dyspraxia can cause might seem counter intuitive to the tittle of this post but I think it’s the easiest way to show you what dyspraxia actually is. Personally I have less problems with fine motor skills and more severe problems with attention and memory (which is also linked to ADD) so my Neurologist tells me.

dyspraxia infographic

Before I knew what was going on with me I felt like a big dumb freak but my school friends always said “We love you because of the that you are, not despite it.” My boyfriend says the exact same thing to me. I’ve got much more confidence now and because I’ve been diagnosed later in life it’s meant I’ve had to develop my own coping strategies and I’ve started to realise that dyspraxia has shaped me these in positive ways.

Creativity and a random jukebox in my mind

As my brain is always whirring around with random thoughts – especially at night – I can get really creative ideas and little revelations about life. If you follow me on Twitter you will be able to attest to this! It has also meant that I’ve never run out blog post ideas once, in the 2 and a half years that I’ve been blogging. Everyday I have a line or the chorus of a song going around my head in a loop for frequent periods. I’m reminded of some great songs from passed decades I’d forgotten about or had no idea I even knew the words to!

Determination

‘If you fail try, try and try again’ or in my case ‘and again and again…..’ this can be seriously tedious but having to persevere has made me really tenacious. Even as a child I was a really determined little thing who wasn’t easily defeated… or stubborn at all ;o)

Humour in the face of adversity

If I’m in a shitty situation I will some how manage to find humour in it. Failing at hundreds of little things everyday since childhood I’ve experienced a lot of flippant negativity. This could have made me an overly defensive, bitter bitch but I chose to have fun with a self-effacing sense of humour instead. I don’t mean I’m putting myself down constantly to get laughs, I just manage to find humour in dodgy situations. Rather than getting embarrassed after opening a packet of M&M’s in such a way they fly all over the place, I’ll make a joke like “I just thought I’d share them with EVERYONE.” Having an unrestrained imagination helps to turn the mundane into the ridiculous and therefor amusing very quickly. Anyone else made themselves laugh out loud at their own thoughts, when on a crowded bus?

I can be surprisingly focussed

I’m used to coping with difficult situations. Having dyspraxia means that I need to pause before steaming into something and instead I need to figure out a way to do it, that works for me. I’m constantly accessing situations. I’ve realised this has made me a lot more ‘on the ball’ over the years. For instance travelling to London and finding my connecting train to Cornwall in an incredibly busy station didn’t phase me. Wandering around a maze like hospital didn’t phase me. I got utterly lost like, and went around in a circle – twice – but I didn’t get stressed. Being in situations where things aren’t instantly and entirely evident to me is pretty normal. Confusing yes, but somehow reassuringly normal and not as stressful as it might be to someone who isn’t used to feeling this way. Also if someone has an accident I can suddenly become detached enough to think practically rather than panic, which is always good.

Breath and relax…

I’ve learned a level of patience I never thought possible. Loosing my train of thought right near the end of a sentence or a sum, tripping up over nothing, spending ages making a simple but perfect meal only to drop the plate face down on the floor, all of these things have and continue to test my patience but my gosh, have I developed A LOT of it! When spoilt princesses (the grown up kind) are having a full on diva fit because they didn’t get served at warp speed, I just roll my eyes. When someone is running late and everything seems to be going wrong I can calm them down, offer them a cuppa or a cocktail and say something daft to make them laugh because I understand exactly how that feels. I’ll admit sometimes you might here me yell “For f#c% sake” and launch an object across the room but then I’m usually calm straight after my therapeutic mini meltdown, ha!

I have a plan – always

I rule at being organised. Ok so I’ve missed many appointments because I’ve got the order of the numbers in the date mixed up or lost all track of time because I’ve been trying to complete a really difficult mission in Grand Theft Auto, even though I’ve had a vague notion I’m meant to be meeting my mate soon. These experiences and many more have taught me that post it notes, reminder alarms (on my laptop, phone, iPod and paper calendar), nagging reminders from my boyfriend and Mum, simple but detailed filing systems and adorable stationary are essential.

Lateral thinking

I tend to think differently than others and sometimes I can easily solve a problem which others have been struggling with, because it just seems obvious to me. Kind of like when an adult is over complicating something and being governed by the rules of how something is meant to be done, then their child looks rather non-plussed and amused suggests “Why don’t you just do it like this?” I’m sorry I can’t think of any specific examples here, every time I try to think of any, they opaquely half form and then float out of my head! That’s the nature of dyspraxia and I don’t mind.

Weeding out the dickheads

When you are a bit of a weirdo as I am – and I mean that affectionately – it doesn’t take long to realise who your friends are. They are the ones who don’t judge, who try to help without being patronising and don’t try to finish your sentences for you when you get stuck half way and then proceed to talk over you. I hate that, even though my mind races to the end of what someone is saying and try to finish their sentence….But I’m usually right and then I shut up – hmm.

I’m tidier than a maid

Everything I own has it’s own place where it lives and it always gets but back there almost as soon as I’ve used it. When you put something down and forget why it’s not in your hand 30 seconds later, things need to be ordered so you can find it again. When you can scan a room four or five times for something that’s in plain site and still not see it, things need to be kept tidy. Floor space needs to be free from clutter so that I don’t trip over the stuff I’ve left there. I do hate homes that are so sparse and neat they don’t feel homely and I don’t have a compulsion to tidy, I’ve just learned how to make my space work for me.

People know where they stand with me

I’m honest to a fault. In my twenties as a temp I was so terrified of offending candidates for the position of ‘new BFF’ I (over)thought before I said anything and I mean ANYTHING. It was exhausting and when the words did finally come out they sounded awkward and rehearsed. Nowadays I trust I’m not a total idiot or a big ol’ bitch and I just go with my instincts and “blah blah blah” away freely to everyone. Sometimes I sound a bit dumb, sometimes I’m really quick and witty, sometimes I’m a little tactless but it’s better than being anxious and paranoid. Plus 70% of people I’ve met tend to really respect my honesty.

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I hope this gives people an insight into this condition in general (recognised in the 1990’s) or that it helps anyone who recognises some of the symptoms, diagnosed or otherwise.

Your comments welcome as always :o)

Chrissie xx

Good News – New Zealand Bans Cosmetics Animal Testing!

New Zealand has taken a major step toward joining the growing list of progressive nations to ban cruel animal testing of cosmetics, thanks to the two year #BeCrueltyFree campaign by Humane Society Internationa.l  An amendment to the Animal Welfare Act similar to that proposed by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers was voted through today — a decision that reflects the desire of New Zealand’s consumers and cosmetics industry to ensure that animal testing of cosmetics can never take place in the country.

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Me is so happy!

 

 

The #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand campaign led by Humane Society International, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) has been instrumental in achieving this animal welfare milestone. #BeCrueltyFree worked closely with MP Mathers, and has gathered support from a large number of cosmetics companies such as LUSH, Antipodes, Wendyl’s and Kester Black as well as celebrities including Michelle Langstone (The Almighty Johnsons), Sam Bunkall (Shortland Street), netball champion Irene van Dyke, and a host of music stars such as Anna Coddington, MC Tali, Tiki Taane, Flip Grater, Rosa Dub, Brockaflower, and legendary Queen guitarist Brian May. In opinion polls more than 89 per cent of Kiwi consumers backed the ban, and more than 100,000 people signed #BeCrueltyFree petitions and e-cards.

Claire Mansfield, HSI’s Global #BeCrueltyFree Campaigns Director, said: “We are thrilled that New Zealand’s politicians have taken this important step to vote out cosmetics cruelty. This is a moment to be celebrated for animal welfare and compassionate consumers, and yet another achievement for the #BeCrueltyFree campaign.”

The #BeCrueltyFree campaign also has legislative bans being considered in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States, as part of its global efforts to eradicate animal testing from the cosmetics industry. In such tests, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals can have chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or fore fed to them in massive doses without pain relief. Under the revised Animal Welfare Act, animal testing of finished cosmetics and ingredients intended exclusively for use in a cosmetic will be illegal anywhere in New Zealand. The current testing ban does not apply to so-called “dual use” ingredients — substances that may be co-regulated under chemicals law or other regulatory regimes — nor can the AWA impose restrictions on the import and sale of cosmetics animal tested abroad, so closing these gaps is #BeCrueltyFree’s next goal.

Stephen Manson for #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand said “This is a positive step for New Zealand and brings us closer into line with the growing international move away from animal testing of cosmetics. We hope that the next move by the government will be to end the import and sale of animal tested cosmetics. We can then play our full role in ending this practice globally.”

Chrissie xx

70’s Boho Chic

70's Boho
Combining 70’s chic, relaxed boho style and tribal prints for a classic yet individual look which takes you from day to evening.
Which items would you add to your wardrobe to get the 70’s boho chic vibe?
Chrissie xx

Tisserand Aromatherapy Sweet Dreams Roller Ball and Badger Sleep Balm Review

It’s not because I’m stressed that I can’t sleep sometimes, it’s that my mind won’t shut up! It has totally random thoughts flying around it all day and then creates really busy detailed dreams for me all night, you’d think there would be a period in between where it would slow down so I can actually get to sleep but no. You can see why I tried both of these now, right?

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I have a little ritual in the evening which involves changing into my jammy’s, making the bed, filling a bottle with filtered water to take to bed, removing my makeup and then massaging in moisturiser. I have to do all of this before I’m tired or I will just drop, spill and miss-place everything.

Tisserand Remedy (Sweet Dreams) Roller Ball $12.73 for 10ml

I put a little bit of this behind my ears and a big streak across my pillow around an hour before going to bed. It took this huge amount of time for me to forget that I’d applied it to my pillow, so when I lay down I started to wonder what the lovely flowery fresh scent was which me feel calm and happy. Every time my thoughts wandered I brought them back to the scent and my breathing. I drifted off to sleep fairly quickly and had some really lovely creative dreams. I don’t think I’ll use this every night as I’ll get too used to the scent and stop recognising it. I’ll save it for those nights when my body is really tired and I have to get up early in the morning but my mind isn’t as convinced. I’ll also take it with me if I’m staying over at friends or when I’m on holiday and I’m sleeping in a bed I’m not used to.

Badger Sleep Balm $5.99 for .75oz

How adorable is this fat little tin! The Bloke asked “Can I have that tin when you’re done for screws and stuff” “No I have to keep it.” “Why?” “Because it has a cute sleepy badger on it” Duh!

This balm has a much subtler scent of lavender and bergamot than I was expecting. My sense of smell isn’t the best I’ll admit but it was barley detectable, which is possibly a good thing if you are sharing a bed with someone who (rather annoyingly) has a super sense of smell. I applied a little bit of balm behind my ears, to the nape of my neck and to the middle of my collar bone about 20 minutes before going to bed. I did have quite a few things on my mind such as upcoming appointments and unresolved issues but I was quite surprised at how relaxed my body felt. I wasn’t wriggling around and I felt perfectly comfy, so I did fall asleep quicker than I normally would when my mind is busy.

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In my opinion if a persons mind is really stressed and their muscles are tense I think it will take more than aromatherapy to knock them out. An Indian head massage maybe, seeing as we’re being holistic here. However, if you simply need a little help relaxing and getting into sleep mode then I recommend both of these.

Chrissie xx

Insta Naturals Review: Eye serum, Skin Clearing serum and Age Serum

I’m a frequent user of moisturiser, pore refining fluid and beauty oils but serums? Not so much. So when Insta Naturals invited me to trial three of their serums I enthusiastically agreed because it’s always a leap of faith to buy a new product – that will hopefully become part of your skin care regime – without knowing if it will work.

Age-defying Skin Clearing Serum

Skin Clearing Serum

I’m in my early thirties, that age where skin gets rather confused. Yes, it’s starting to show signs of ageing such as uneven texture but it’s still prone to some spots and an oily T-zone. C’mon face, make up your mind already!

Active Ingredients

20% Vitamin C, 3.5%Niacinamide, 2.5% Retinol, 2%Salicylic Acid

Application

As recommended I’ve been using this serum in the morning (using a sun cream if leaving the house because retinol can make skin sun sensitive) and at night (only once a day for sensitive skin), before applying my usual basic moisturiser. I used the handy pipette to disperse a very small amount onto my palms and fingers and gently pressed the serum onto my face as it’s difficult to massage serum into skin.

Result

I’ve only been using this product for 7 days but my skin has CLEARED UP COMPLETELY! My skin is balanced, no more oily T-zone. My skin appears a little plumper but it doesn’t look particularly radiant. If I hadn’t have used plenty of my daily moisturiser over the top of the serum my skin would have become very dry and applying foundation would have been pretty impossible. However, all serums are meant to be used in conjunction with moisturiser so this didn’t surprise me.

Rating 4/5

Youth Express Eye Serum

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Active Ingredients

Vitamin C, Plant stem cells, Astaxanthin, Kojic Acid, Passionflower, Caffeine, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide

Application

I used a small amount around my eyes morning and night. I put a small drop onto my ring finger and gently patted around my eye area. This is the best finger to use as it applies the least pressure but with good accuracy. Don’t let the unusual orange colour put you off!

age defying eye serum

Result

I used to have permanent bags, which were so big they came down to the top of my cheekbones and they were really puffy but now they are ALMOST GONE, after using this for a mere 7 days! Wow! In the past I’ve tried cutting down on salt, different eye creams and gels, drinking green tea and plenty of water with zero results. This product is amazing! Ok so the gentle tapping helped morning and night but I had tried this before with other products, with only minimal results.

Before

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After

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Rating 5/5

After incorporating these two serums into my skincare regime, it looks like I won’t be using the ‘retouch’ function on my photo editor much anymore ^_^

Age-defying Retinol Serum

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Three serums is a lot to try in the space of two weeks and a lot to ask from someone’s skin to adapt to different products, so I passed this one on to my Mum who’s in her early 70’s to test instead.

Key ingredients

2.5 Retinol
20% Vitamin C
10% Hyaluronic Acid
Fruit & Plant Acids

Application

A small amount of this serum should be applied to skin night and day (using sun cream as retinol can make skin sun sensitive) but only once per day for sensitive skin.

Result

After two weeks of applying the serum I asked Mum if she had seen any difference. “It makes my skin appear slightly plumper and tighter. My face feels too tight though, which I’m not a fan of. I feel like I need to use a much thicker moisturiser than my normal one, afterwards. It does have a slight superficial temporary effect, so If I was one of these women that’s so desperate to look young they get covered in mud then wrapped in cling film so they can be a few centimetres slimmer for an evening, then I might be impressed with it. Anyway a fortnight is too short amount of time to test if there are any long lasting results, to be fair.” Gotta love my Mum!

Rating 2/4

Above products gifted to me for review purposes. This does not bias my opinion of them in anyway

Chrissie xx

Avalanche Restaurant Review Manchester

I was invited to the re-opening of Avalanche, the contemporary Italian restaurant and bar recently so I brought The Bloke as my plus1 for a treat. The decor has some modern features especially the lighting design but the art has much more of a classic feel. I hate restaurants where you are crammed in like cattle but here the tables are widely spaced and the chairs are incredibly comfortable. The restaurant has three bars in total so it’s a place where people can pop into for lunch and drinks a well as a meal in the evening.

Avalanche restaurant manchesterI also loved the open kitchen as I’m nosey but mostly because it shows their food prep is spot on.

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As soon as we arrived someone offered to take my coat (amazing how many restaurants don’t do this) and we were asked if we had any allergies or specific food requirements. That was the first time we stated we are vegetarian. We were given a bottle of Prosecco and a chiller for the table and our glasses were topped up by the wait staff frequently. We were told our food would arrive shortly and I asked “Just checking, you know we are both vegetarian don’t you?”. Somehow this hadn’t been convayed but I was told it would be sorted out. Another waiter came over to us in due course and asked “You are the vegetarians?” At this point we were starting to feel like an alien species, only recently discovered by mankind. After a long wait and being presented with a dirty serving plate which was immediately returned to the waiter, our food arrived. I’m actually glad there was a prawn staring up at The Bloke. If it hadn’t have been so evident he would have enthusiastically tucked in, only to be disgusted that he was eating flesh after being veggie for 17 years. According to the press release we were expecting a main course each and desert each so it was a nice surprise we got to sample a starter of tasty vegetarian bruschetta between us.

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Avalanche are bucking the tradition of only stocking Italian wine and instead offer a selection of the best wines from around Europe. I was asked which type of wine I like and I asked to sample an Italian red which had rich and spicy (rather than fruity) characteristics. I was poured several glasses of wine which I really enjoyed (unfortunately I can’t find the wine on their menu and I only know how to pronounce it, rather than spell it).

When the main arrived I had such an appetite I dived straight in and forgot to take a photograph! Bad blogger! We had a dish of ale dente vegetables with thinly sliced perfectly cooked potatoes to share and a dish of roasted aubergine topped with mozzarella each, served in hot bowls on little smooth wooden palettes. The mozzarella was really baked and rather chewy, which is how I prefer cheese to be cooked (some might say means it’s actually over done). The aubergines were baked so that they were soft in the middle but still had a bit of crunch on the outside, again exactly the way that I prefer my food.

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For desert we were given a selection of three mini deserts to share between us. Cheese cake which was perfectly balanced, tiramisu which was luxuriously rich and creamy and chocolate cake which I found to be quite dry. As I was still a little hungry at this point (it was late in the evening and I’d not eaten since lunch) I rather cheekily asked if I could have a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Both of us were served with two big scoops of ice cream each!

The atmosphere on the night was very relaxed with a blues singer performing classics such as ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’ and more contemporary Amy Winehouse songs (live performances are every Friday) and the lighting was low creating an intimate atmosphere. We’ve been to quite a few restaurants over the years but it’s been a long while since we’ve been to one with a classic romantic feel. I’d really like to give Avalanche the benefit of the doubt and assume that on a normal night – possibly with less wait staff and less people all arriving at once – there wouldn’t be so many communication problems and misunderstandings. Having looked at the menu on Avalanche’s website I am really impressed with the amount and the quality of the vegetarian options which they offer.

I was invited to this event as a guest and was not charged for food or drink.

Chrissie xx

 

 

Here’s Some Tom Hidleston To Brighten Your Monday

He could simply feel relieved. He may be surprised he’s forgotten something simple. Or maybe he’s surprised at how much he feels relieved ;0)

I’m starting to like how a giff can take a moment totally out of context lol

Chrissie xx