Finished Products: January plus Month Life Update 

Starting today and posting on the last day of every month, I’m going to do a blog post series with life and finished product updates for that month. 

This month’s finished products are: 

Babaria Olive Oil Body Lotion 

Byphasse Toner with Witch Hazel and Orange Blossom for Oily Skin. You can see my review here. I’m amazed how long it lasted but I did alternate between it and another toner, the Garnier Pure Sensitive Gel Toner which I used for my Garnier 28 Day Challenge last year but I found the toner, being a gel texture, contributed to that as the product went further than a standard liquid- based toner. 

Lidl Cien BB Cream in Light Tones

Lidl Cien Volume Mascara in Black 

This month has been a month of shopping, with the January sales and then my surprise when my fabric samples from JJ’s House came in the post after just 3 days, I am still admiring the swatches and will definitely do a post about my experience with the website when I have my dress. 
I have managed to do 2800 words of my 8333 word goal for the month for Write Year (WriYe) which really isn’t as much as I thought I would do but I have realistically done more because of some blog posts but blog posts unfortunately don’t count towards the challenge .
 I also got through 12 books for my Goodreads Challenge.
There were some sad stories on the news that took my attention away from my writing projects and also some personal health issues and I’m feeling a bit drained so am resting up but in general I feel like January has been quite a productive month. I wonder what February will bring?

International Day of People with Disabilities 2018

I was doing some critiques for my online critique group when I realised that today is the 3rd of December and that means one thing- International Day of People with Disabilities. So, that was the logical choice for today’s post.

As we are in the last month of the year, it seems a good time to look back on what I have achieved this year that was more of a challenge than for most because of my disabilities.

Back in January, I pledged to get through 200 books this year. I finally achieved my goal a few days ago. Reading is a difficult task because of my eyesight and also the fact that many books are too heavy or cumbersome to use. With the help of VoiceOver on my iPad and iPhone, I was able to make all the books accessible.

Also in January, I made a revision promise to revise my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel. I have revised some, and finished two more (one from 2015 and also this year’s project).

March onwards saw me turning my mind to wedding plans. I had always wanted to meet and marry someone who saw me for me and Alfredo and I have been planning that this year. Today, we got the wedding favours in the post. Still need to get our outfits sorted but that will be done soon I hope.

Mobility equipment-wise, I bought a new  cushion in May. I have loved it since I got it.  The recent wheelchair problems I told you about on this blog were solved by a new battery, no visits from wheelchair technicians needed. So, long may this chair last. I am really liking the TDXSP2NB compared to my old Rumba.

On and off this year, I have been working on a memoir and am enjoying being admin for a short story and memoir group. The people in  the group have great stories to tell. Dragon Dictation has been a great help with that and all my computer- based tasks.

My aim, before the year is out, is to get more done on my writing projects and hopefully submit something to a publisher. The theme this year is “Equality and Inclusion.” Do I feel included? Yes, but not always. Do I feel equal? My answer to that is the same. There’s more to be done.

Happy International Day of People with Disabilities 2018! How are you spending it? With every December 3rd I hope the world is a better place for people with disabilities. 

Wheelchair Control problems……Again. (Invacare G90A joystick)

Today, I was on my iPad listening to a book. We were ready to eat and  on trying  to move the chair, we noticed that the control was doing the same as earlier in the month- red LEDs flashing as well as the green key icon. We have been charging it every night like always but still the same problem.

 

The video was really short last time See it HERE so I decided to make this other one for the people at Invacare with me explaining what happens and when.

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So from this, we don’t know if it’s a control problem or battery problem. 

Control Problems on  Invare G90A Joystick

This weekend has been good but also frustrating because from yesterday afternoon my powerchair has been out of action. The chair is an Invacare TDXSP2 NB (Narrow Base) chair. 

I’ve contacted the technician and am hoping he can help. After 2 years 5 months with the chair, I love it. Except now I can’t use it. 

I made this video to illustrate what’s wrong.The control is a G90A joystick. 

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This is the first control I’ve had on the chair and it is controlled by others much of the time because I don’t have much strength in my hands arms and fingers. I’m looking at alternate controls but what’s going on with it  is still annoying. 

NaNoWriMo Closing Post and Progress Summary 2016

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is known by those of us who take part in it for the 4th year running this year. Back in April and July I took part in the Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, as I have been doing since 2014. I reached my goal of 50,000 words on November 11 and pased it so that by the end of the month I had 50,926 words. I did not post here every day about that but wanted to let you know why I did not post in November. If you did NaNoWriMo, how  did you do?  Here is what my graph looked like before I reached my final word count and this was the moment I “hit green.” The status bar goes from pale blue to green when you reach or go over 50K. 

My Experience of Black Friday Weekend 2016

This weekend my parents were visiting. Despite the cold and rain, we decided to go to the Black Friday sales that were on. I have never been to any Black Friday events before and was excited. I love a bargain! Finances have always been difficult for me, but I really wanted to buy something for Christmas for my sister and nephew. I also wanted an early birthday celebration as my birthday is near Christmas. 
 I wanted to show my parents the Primark flagship store and so we went there. The store was full of people and the lifts were really busy but we made it. On the way, we stopped for a hot chocolate at a café which surprisingly had really good wheelchair access. 


My Primark purchases were a really soft short fleecy dressing gown in dove grey and a pack of really thick black tights to go with a black and white wool skirt I bought earlier in the autumn.
 I looked for another skirt in Primark as well as in Zara and Mango, but they were all pencil skirts which I find uncomfortable or skirts in designs I would never wear. The best surprise I got in Mango was the fact that they had redone the store and put a lift into it. The lift went down to the Mango Outlet which was great because I had never been able to go to that floor before . Mum bought me a really nice terracotta/rust colour tunic blouse which was €17 down from €30.  
 I saw online that Kiko Makeup Milano had a 3 for 3 sale on. Those of you who follow my blog will know that I am a complete Kiko addict and have taken advantage of this offer every time it has been on this year which is so far a couple of times. The other times I used it were online so I wanted to go to the store this time.
 One of the smaller stores was very full of people but luckily there was another one nearby. It was also really busy but the sales assistants were really helpful and got the products that I needed from the display stands. I was really disappointed that the two water shadows that I wanted (205 Chocolate and 223 Eggplant Purple ) were completely out of stock. So were the 3D lip glosses in shades 18, 22 and 21. 
 I ended up buying the lipgloss in shade 20 (Chestnut) and the sales assistant also checked that I liked the colour before I bought it, which I thought was good customer service. Usually, I find that if I need assistance in shops, the shop workers can be quite unhelpful at times.

This goes for any shop. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Kiko had bought out a range of eyeshadows for just €2.50. This is called the Smart Eyeshadow range. I looked through the colours online before going to the store, and automatically loved shade number 23, Metallic Jeans Blue. 


I am always in need of really dark deep chocolate browns, so I found shade number 4 Metallic Cocoa was just what I was looking for. 


My fingernails seem pretty weak so I was looking for a strengthener and bought the Longer and Stronger Base Coat. 


I also finally bought the water shadows in shade 203 (Burgundy) and 204 (Plum) that I wanted!


 

At the drugstore, I bought the Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray by Makeup Revolution and Wet and Wild’s glitter eyeshadows in Brass and. I am really glad that we went to the shops despite the rain and cold and I’m especially happy with the fact that I was able to buy the gifts I wanted as well as everything else I bought.
 On Saturday, we ate at Gino’s, my favourite Italian restaurant which is part of a chain. I decided to have the pizza bread and lasagne. 


We went to the cinema afterwards to see Fantastic Animals and Where to Find them. All through November, the Harry Potter films had been on TV at the weekends and I was really wanting to see the new J.K. Rowling Film. I will review it on this blog soon. The cinema had really great wheelchair spaces with a lot of room. It was mum and dad’s first time watching a film in Spanish. Alfredo and I had been to the same cinema on August 23 2016 to see Star Trek Beyond. 
Sunday was a relaxing day in our apartment. We took some photographs (see below) 


 and had pizza and salad before mum and dad flew home in the evening.
All in all, I really enjoyed my Black Friday weekend ( apart from the weather of course!) Here we are braving the rain and cold. We even saw a Christmas tree and decorations. 


I am really looking forward to swatching and reviewing  my new products for you which I will do very soon.

At the time this post was written, some of the products I mentioned were  and others were not stocked online. To guarantee that you can get them, first check the website in your country before going to the store.
  

My Thoughts after World Cerebral Palsy Day 2016 and Changing My Focus

Yesterday was World Cerebral Palsy Day. I have lived with this and hydrocephalus all my life, and have had so many different experiences throughout my life so far. 4 years ago, I decided to start a YouTube  channel called cpchick  about my experiences and as a way to raise some disability awareness. I knew I was not the first person  to do this. My videos started  off short and got longer, and cover a variety of topics, from awareness videos, to my experiences and also makeup and beauty product reviews.  Aside from this, around the same time, I created a Facebook page, Katherine Hayward my Life with Cerebral Palsy, and an equivalent page in Spanish, a language  I am fluent in.  (Katherine Hayward mi vida con Parálisis Cerebral). The views on my videos vary, and making videos is enjoyable. I sterted a blog with the same name as my Facebook page in English. I worked on the page as much as I could despite other commitments (books, reading and life). 

Last night, as I uploaded my video for World CP Day 2016, I thought of rebranding my work- of changing focus. Facebook, and YouTube, are full of people spreading awareness in their own ways- of quotes and photos of their lives. I have been closely monitoring my Facebook page stats and video views, but have not been satisfied for quite a while. I felt this way this time last year but thought I’d give it another yeear to see what happens, and to see if my stats improve, but they didn’t. I have expenses in my daily life that mean I have to prioritise. I  have made the decision to take my old pages down, and rebrand the way I show my life online. 

I’m keeping my Youtube channel, because of the time I have spent making videos, and because I know how time consuming (but enjoyable) they were to make. Thanks  to everyone who sent pictures for my video.  I had a few pictures that did well on my page yesterday, but other than that, nothing. I shared it around as I usually do, too. I’m just myself in everything I do, but realise that my definition of awareness has changed:it’s not about just wearing green  for a day or posting quotes. In  the grand scheme of things, for me it’s about  really showing me as I am, and my world as it is, in a way that people identify with, and that gets noticed. It’s also about real changes being made for people with CP  in every area of life- education, health  free time activities and offerings employment and housing . As an adult with CP, those are my real concerns. It is this that would make me happy, and feel the world has changed, for it is about going beyond “awareness.” 

I ended my World CP Day this year feeling disappointed. As with anything in life, I’ll be back, just rebranded.  

Aunty Katherine 

A new baby in the family is a great thing. I have achieved a lot of things in life, and have always wanted to be an aunty. Finally, today my wish was granted when my first nephew Ralph was born at 15:33 in Bath, England. 

Alfredo is really proud to be an uncle again too! Well done to my great sister Nicky Haynes and brother in law David Haynes. I know you will make great parents. 

The Start Of My Weight Loss Challenge 

Weight loss is something I have struggled with my whole life. I was born prematurely and weighed 2lbs 6oz. I had a drastic weight loss up until age 11 because my shunt failed and/ or got blocked, and was just giving me lots of problems. My weight has yo yoed since then, and at my smallest I was a UK size 4-6. At my largest I am a UK size 16-18. I have managed (with my partner’s help) to maintain my weight at around a UK size 16 for the last 6 years, and ideally want to go down to a 14 or less. My ideal size is apparently a size 10-12 for my height. I am about 5 foot 3″. 
 I was weighed today and am at my heaviest ever, so have decided to lose weight this summer. What a good time to start with June being upon us now- new month, new goal. True, it is difficult for me because of my disabilities, but I would like to think it was not impossible.
 I saw some cute clothes when shopping the other day, but haven’t bought clothes since I don’t know when. I have been looking at the denim shirts and skirts in Primark, and will buy them the next time I am there, as I have been promising myself a new outfit since last Christmas. Today started with Alfredo doing my physio stretches on me, and a healthy breakfast of skimmed yogurt with dried cranberries, an apple and banana and wholemeal toast with apricot jam, I was ready to start the day. I do have a weakness for sweet things, and have some caramel flavoured cappuccino which I need to use up. The other day, my mum sent me some fudge, and we just bought some sugar cookies. 
I have decided I will drink a herbal tea or smoothie for breakfast. I always drink herbal tea after lunch. 
There are some plans at least and we will see how it goes. I have a special birthday this year (my 35th) and so would love to be at least a size smaller by then than what I am now. That means 6 months and 21 days to go! 
The challenge is on, and I am up for it! 

Really behind on my audiobooks- I got some new ebooks though 

This week, I am very behind with my audiobooks. I checked into Goodreads and realised that, embarrassingly , I am a whopping 28 books behind schedule. I have been really busy recently, but want to catch up from this week onwards. Now, I’m listening to Gladly Beyond, by Nichole van Clean. I also downloaded to kindle e-book from Amazon:A House For Happy Mothers by Amulya Mallady and When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker. Gladly Beyond is an ARC and the others are down in price on Amazon for the month of May. In terms of what is going on with my life at the monent, I am in the process still of getting more assesment for my new powerchair, and hope to tell you I have it soon. It is amazing how long these things take, especially when you have complex medical conditions like I do. I really do not like waiting games, but I don’t have a choice if I want things to turn out right.