This month I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to try out some incredible products. I am on their PR list and I do have an affiliate code.
However I’m under no obligation to post and share my love for them. I choose to do this on my own, as they are incredible products and very affordable too.
Yes I have an affiliate code, (SIRENMOONBEE) Which ive yiu 30% sitewide, however if you are in the UK like me, I suggest to you via BeautyBay my code only works on the official Gerard Cosmetics but I understand my UK readers will find it cheaper and easier to order inside the UK.
As you can see I’m getting a fairly large and well used items. Some are new to try out, such as the highlighter which I know already I’m definitely buying again and again!! I got Grace star powder available here a beautiful golden glow, subtle but there, my new found LOVE.
I also made sure I tried the much raved about lip pencils. And I’m so glad I did. I chose #Cher #SugarAndSpice #Ecstasy #MelrosePlace all various pinky nudes and perfectly me, no matter the occasion. I do prefer subtle make up, muted even as mostly it’s day wear. Buy them here Cher is here
For lipsticks I decided against another Hydra Matte as I know I love them, and will return to them once mine are all gone, instead I bought a #LyricaCollab James Gloss which is deliciously dark and seductive. You can buy here
I love the light and mirror that comes with these glosses, so I had to get another gloss but in pink, to occasionally brush over the lip pencil colours. I got #PinkFrosting you can buy Here
And because I LOVE liquid lipsticks I had to try the #RoseGold Metallic liquid lipstick, and it’s even better than I imagined. Buy it Here
To finish off I bought the Stastruck Palette, I believe it’s for highlighting, but I’m going to use mine as eyeshadow, as they shimmer and shine so beautiful. When used wet with Mac primer the copper shade is breathtakingly beautiful. You can can one Here
As it’s June and #HipDysplasia awareness month, I thought I’d share some of Linda Bleck illustration to help describe and raise some awareness to such a debilitating mobility issue.
And I share them because as soon as I saw them, I realised someone other than my husband, ‘got’ me, really understood what I felt, physically, emotionally and mentally.
This is so true, they wait until you’ve created so much damage inside that it’s almost impossible to fully recover from.
So with this in mind, my physio appointment today was easier than last week’s, I explained that it took 4 complete days to ease the pains and stiffness. So we cut the amount of exercises done, and only did the operated leg this time.
Stationary bike level 3 5mins
Clam drop knees to sides green banded 25reps
Single leg hip bridges 15reps (somehow managed them but barely)
Ball between knees bridges 25reps
Prone lying Knee raise ankle weighted 15reps
Kettle bell sit to stand glute squeezes 25reps
Duck walking green banded 50reps
Lung walking (using 1 parallel bar) 25reps
This time we didn’t do the ankle weight leg raise, or the leg press. And we only did one leg instead of both. Hopefully I will recover a bit faster this time. Though I sure felt weak and sore coming out of that appointment.
My aim this week, and weekend is to try and do some exercises at home, but I won’t beat myself up over it if I don’t. As I realise it’s daft doing too much then I can’t move for days.
How wonderful was that weekend? though we were prepared for grey skies and rain, we actually managed to have a glorious sunny Sunday, and warm Monday (just as we were leaving) only the arrival day Saturday was it wet and miserable looking, but even that didn’t stay long luckily.
It felt good to be back to Wales, first Welsh trip since surgery, and though not totally perfect, it was nice to walk around with less hip pain. Only marred that knees and lower back have somehow replaced the hip pain.
Tucked into the heart of Barmouth we had a 300yr old cottage to share with family members, and there’s something comforting about greeting each other in the mornings, chatting over tea times, that it’s sad when it’s all over.
Cosy and quirky, the cottage is a family favourite. And comfortable for all 8 of us. Plenty of beds and rooms to relax in, so your not on top of each other at all.
Absolutely full of character, charm and nooks and crannies!! Imagine the history and stories this cottage could tell.
Did a fair bit of practice walking, which is probably why the knees hurt so much. And some of the inclines have made me rely on my walking stick heavily, so my hand has flared up. Sand is ok when it’s more packed down, as it still feels like walking in treacle when it’s not hard packed.
Felt some improvement in the hip, but the physio appointment from last week, really really took it out of me, and caused pains for 4 days, so I was careful, and mindful of the hip. Naturally just any slight activity has caused it to swell up once more and be painful, so it’s back to resting for a few days again.
After all the excitement of orbital on Friday 31st may, I’ve done little in moving, due to massive increase of pains. So much so I’d had to take tramadol on that Friday.
So the whole weekend was catching up with #Terminator 1 and 2 movies, and various TV shows too. It was a tad boring, but very very necessary to allow pains to subside.
This week has seen me go back to basics, more to train the mind to muscle memory, so no weights, no resistance. Just purely focusing the mind on the muscle and contracting it, ensuring they are engaging properly, and not having other muscles (stronger ones from taking over the job) I find my quads do this over my glutes.
Glute squeezes 20reps
Quad (pull knee caps up) 20reps
Heel Slide 20reps
Short Arc quad 20reps
Hip abduction 20reps
Clam side drop downs 20reps
Clam side raise 20reps (finally I’m ok ish lying on operated side)
Hip bridge (really squeezing glutes, so quads don’t take over) 20reps
Dead bugs 20reps
Long arc quad 20reps
Ball squeezes between ankles 20reps
Ball squeezes between knees 20reps
Felt good to get thing moving and lubricated. I’m seeing improvements on the operated leg, though the weakness the opposite hip has is apparent!! So is that bone or muscle? Not sure, there’s no pain just utter weakness and limitations.
Really focusing on each muscle during the exercise, made it easier to contract the muscle, and hold for longer, tighter. So this week I’m definitely putting this into practice more. Even going to try it with the upper body too.
Had a physio appointment this week which was in a previous post here. It was a pure killer one too. The ache and stiffness afterwards was no joke!!
So Wednesday my official 21 weeks post op day is rest day. And that means #terminator3 never seen before. I know it’s pants, but I don’t care I’m watching it. Awful wet weather outside, so no walking planned either. It’s hot water bottles and rest rest rest.
Thursday I’m still aching a fair bit (groin and lower back especially), so resting the lower half and just doing exercises for the upper body. No weights just contracting the muscle and moving them in isolation. Or use a towel to grip and tighten (really helps) I use a towel, as it makes me focus easier on contracting the muscles.
Tricep overhead 20 reps
Tricep kickback 20 reps
Bicep curl 20 reps
Lateral raise 20 reps
Shoulder press 20 reps
Slow and steady wins the race at this point, keeping it simple and small for now. Not using weights helps with the thumbs and fingers at the moment, which are predictably flaring up.
I’m resorting to using ibuprofen gel 4 times a day, using compression gloves nightly, and splints during the day. ( Night time is when it’s horrendously bad, like being in a vice grips!!) But I have rung the GP so I’m going to enquire on regular blood tests, and better medication too.
Friday it’s my Wedding Anniversary 18yrs married, 20years together. I can honestly say it’s flown by so fast, it’s scary. There’s not a day he hasn’t made me giggle. I would not be without my biggest champion.
And we are off on Saturday to hopefully sunny Barmouth, probably will rain. But no matter, a night away with family to bond, relax and change of scenery too. So Friday was prepping our clothes, packing essentials, and doing good to take for the journey. Sadly tramadol will be also coming along with me too.
So it’s physio time, and I’ve been looking forward to asking about the weakness I’m experiencing in the opposite hip. It’s something ive noticed ove the last few weeks. I do work both legs at home whereas at the official appointments we only do the operated leg.
Also I’m officially 21 weeks post op tomorrow. So it’s nice to show her how far I’ve come, as suddenly I feel like this leg has really turned a corner. Yes I’ve ached (well deserved aches, from pushing it hard) but rest, medication and time have stopped the aches, and I feel stronger than ever.
After a brief discussion of what I’ve been experiencing, such as weakness in the left hip, but with no pain. We decided it could simply be from muscle wastage and weakness, so the plan from now is to work on targeted areas (glutes and abductors) on both legs.
So we started with a Stationary bike for 5mins at resistance level 3
Then onto the leg press machine 25reps with 40lbs (I felt operated leg taking over though)
Onto a fave, duck walking with a green resistance band. Feet outwards, bend a bit, then walk sideways. 50 reps.
Onto other butt burners, walking lunges (so as deep) between parallel bars for stability. 30 reps.
Hip abduction with resistance band around knees 25 reps.
Onto hip bridges, where I know quads dominate. So adding a ball to squeeze between knee, engages the glutes. 25 reps.
Absolutely exhausted, but carrying on, we added an ankle weight and did a front leg raise, with foot out, toes pulled up. To engage abductors. 10 reps. (Left leg would NOT lift up)
Rolling into the front, prone lying Knee bent it was a knee raise with an ankle weight. 15 reps. (Left struggled)
Then to finish up we grabbed a kettle bell to hold. While sitting, going into a standing position, while pushing pelvis forward. 25 reps.
I can honestly say my butt was on FIRE after these. I surely waddled out as well. But I felt productive, and like we had done some good. So now it’s resting up, and nursing that burn.
Never been to this venue so it’s a new exciting experience for me, and I’m hoping it’s going to be an awesome night out.
Been really enjoying concerts lately, as our usual nights out are getting too long and hard for me to deal with, these are a couple of hours of fun, and I’m soon back to resting. So concerts are easier on me bodywise and painwise.
Off to see the Electronic music legends Orbital, hoping for some audio and visual delights!!
Digbeth Arena is the outdoor sister-venue to The Mill – an old builders merchant yard, situated against the backdrop of Birmingham’s Victorian railway arches.
These look amazing as the sun is going down, totally transformed it, truly magickal.
Above is when we first arrived, but later on the sun caught the arches as it was setting at 9.15pm, and it’s so golden, see below.
It is a unique and versatile open-air space in the heart of Birmingham. A 3500 capacity configuration with over 12,000 sq ft extensive outdoor space.
Because it’s outdoor, it has a real festival vibe going on, watching the planes fly over it was like a UK version of Ibiza’s space. It was glorious in weather which was lucky!!
Digbeth Arena offers an array of flexible and impressive infrastructure to producers, agencies and brands & provides the most unique backdrop for conferences, exhibitions, experiential events, live music and more.
Look at these backdrops, just amazing art all around, making it unique and adds to the visual magic.
It was such a breathtaking visual and audio concert, that nothing has ever come close too. It was an experience of a lifetime, and one I will certainly treasure forever too.
Now I’m home my head says I want to do it all again it wasn’t enough, but of course body, mainly operated hip says you ain’t moving ever ever again!! Pain is off the charts
Time to share again what I’ve learnt or experienced over this last week. Well I’ve learnt even with a walking stick I simply can’t stand, it hurts my back, my thigh, ankles and even the ball of my feet swelled up!!
So a day out is still equalling a few days rest, so not where I’d like to be in terms of daily living.
But I did manage to paint my toes for the first time since my op. And finally my big toe nails have grown back, for some reason I lose my big toe nails after surgery?
Ankles are often swollen now, especially after days out, so I need to see the GP again. As even my ball of my foot is swelling up. God knows why.
Scar is looking pretty decent, and I only remember it when it stings, aches after a long day. It’s still so numb around 3inches side to side all down the length of it. But it’s early days yet, it may come back.
In between days of doing things out and about, and rest days, I try to squeeze in at least 2 sessions of physio at home, using my step and ankle weights.
And in doing both legs in my physio, my left leg (non replaced hip) is painfree but so much weaker than the replaced hip. Hoping by regularly doing both legs now it will catch up at bit.
It’s an exciting weekend, this bank holiday for me, first I had Shaggy and Sting concert Friday 24th May, then on the Sunday 26th May we have this gem to go too.
Soapbox Derby Shrewsbury Quarry
Come and join thousands of spectators from across the West Midlands to cheer on our weird, wonderful and wacky soapbox downhill racers at Shrewsbury Wacky Races 2019, the first event of it’s kind to be held in the town.
Watch as our racers hurtle down our custom track in their carefully crafted carts at the Shrewsbury Quarry, tackling our 300m track and it’s chicanes and, hopefully, avoiding the icy waters of the River Severn at the end!
Our competitors will work their way through a knockout style competition with only the fastest 10 cars making it through to the final, where they will battle to take home the winners trophy!
The event will be free to attend, with pop up street food, bars and loads of fun activities for all the family.
Race starts at 10am
Second race 1pm
Final race 4pm top 10 cars
Trophy time, winners 5pm
We have often watched on Dave Chanel the madness of soapbox races, and I was thrilled to see it over here in this country and not far for us either!!
Its been too long since I’ve been to Shrewsbury.
We arrived at 10.20am easy parking for us, quite close as we used street parking. First pit stop to the loo, bit of a queue and already out of loo roll, perfect!!
We headed off to the starting line, managed to watch the last few of this race set off.
Rain was a dampener I will admit. So after watching a few cars, we headed to the Dingle to eat some of our packed sarnies.
Spotted some cars on display too, lots of stalls of food too. But I came prepared. As I always do, so no queuing for me.
Walked around the town to see the old building, haven’t been to Shrewsbury in such a long long time. I love the Tudor buildings
Back to the Quarry ready for the second race. Thinking we were smart we headed to watch at 12.20pm knowing race started at 1pm, only just got a spot!!
There was a screen, but we wanted to be closer to the action.
I absolutely adore this series, and I sorely wish I could watch it on TV, as I feel the characters would translate well on a daytime afternoon series. Think #FatherBrown #ShakespeareAndHathaway kind of vibe.
#AD Gifted, as I’m part of a blog book tour I am given the book to read, in exchange for my opinions and reviews, but all thoughts are my own.
THE TEATIME MYSTERY by Faith Martin
Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is.
Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.
Please note this book was first published as “JUST NOT CRICKET” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling is doing the catering for the village cricket match. But she’s not expecting one of the players to turn up dead.
Everyone from the village has turned out to watch the match, and with this being the club’s centenary, Jenny Starling has been hired specially to provide her stunning food for the event.
Then the next man up to bat, Tristan Jones, is nowhere to be found. He is discovered behind the pavilion, murdered by a blow to the back of the head with an old cricket bat.
The handsome twenty-something had a reputation as a Lothario, with an appetite for married women. Did a scorned woman or a cuckolded husband kill him?
However, he’d annoyed other people too. He was a stockbroker who took big risks with other people’s money and lost their lifesavings.
Soon another body turns up and Jenny Starling is going to need all her cunning to crack this complex case.
This is the sixth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.
Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.
In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.
FAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year.
JENNY STARLING MYSTERIES
Book 1: THE BIRTHDAY MYSTERY
Book 2: THE WINTER MYSTERY
Book 3: THE RIVERBOAT MYSTERY
Book 4: THE CASTLE MYSTERY
Book 5: THE OXFORD MYSTERY
Book 6: THE TEATIME MYSTERY
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.
As I said above I adore this series, it’s just light hearted enough to be enjoyed thoroughly on holiday, while not been too graphic and gruesome, although the mysteries keep you well entertained.
Jenny’s reluctantly to divert her focus off catering to solve murders always makes me giggle, as she’s so good at it. She is a book version of Murder she wrote, trouble always seems to follow her.
Always entertaining and I love the characters, they are so English to me. Another one loved wholeheartedly x
Following their win at the 2019 Grammys for Best Reggae Album, Sting & Shaggy have announced their return to the UK with The 44/876 tour.
A series of intimate and exclusive shows will begin at London’s Camden Roundhouse on 19 May with additional dates in Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester.
2018 saw Sting & Shaggy bring The 44/876 tour to North America, South America and Eastern Europe. Hailed as one of the most anticipated concerts of the year and a “reggae rock dance party that never lets up,” the show sees the pair collaborating on each other’s most celebrated hits such as Every Breath You Take, Englishman In New York, Message In A Bottle, It Wasn’t Me, Mr. Boombastic and Angel as well as new hits from 44/876
In spring 2018, Sting & Shaggy made UK headlines with a memorable performance of Don’t Make Me Wait at the Queen’s 92nd birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall. The pair also performed the track live on BBC’s The One Show, and in the latest series of Mrs. Browns Boys. 2018 also saw the release of Skank Up (Oh Lawd), a further collaboration from Sting & Shaggy that featured dancehall music sensation Ding Dong. 2019 will also soon see the release of the pair’s next single, Just One Lifetime.
Never been to the 02 academy before, and it was a very small intimate venue, easy to get to bar, and toilets, nice staff as well.
The music kicked off at 8.10pm while I was on the loo!! Weird as it said last entry at 8.30pm so I thought I had plenty of time.
Anyways straight into stings classics, with the crowd joining in. I needed a San Miguel, so headed to the bar, which was super efficient, well staffed and I was served pretty quickly.
Had a few tall tall people in front of us, but the odd one made an effort all night to duck and weave so us small ones could see. He was well into it!!
I think the crowd was predominantly for Sting, but behind me and including us (me and Mr moon) we were there for Shaggy, wooping and whistling when his songs came on.
Though admittedly we bopped and sang along to both sets of classic songs, as well as their collective new songs on the album. Some songs were slow at times and I personally would of loved the same reggae energy all he way through, but I had an absolute blast!! What a way to kick start the bank holiday weekend.