Chronic Illness gift guide

18 December 2015

I've been having a pretty rough few days with my EDS recently and narrowly avoided A&E the other night. So I thought I'd do a gift guide for things my body would love to receive apart from a lorry load of painkillers or a new set of joints. Obviously these would be great for anyone that likes to be warm and cosy but if you're struggling for ideas of what to buy for any of your friends/family with a chronic illness have a read.

chronic illness gift guideHot Water Bottle - I don't know how I would live without my hot water bottle. Especially in winter. I literally take it with me wherever I go. Ever see a girl in a wheelchair clutching a polar bear to her ribs come say hi because it'll probably be me. 

Unicorn Heat Bag - Unicorns I love them. Hot unicorns that ease your aches are even better. 

Bedding - As we spend so much time in bed cute bedding makes the bed bound days that little bit better. Being wrapped in a nice bedding makes me smile through the pain and you can never have too much bedding.

Pyjamas - I would say 90% of my wardrobe is made up of pyjamas. If you ever stop by my house unless I am just about to leave there is a 99.9% chance I will be in my pyjamas. They are just so comfy. The best thing about Christmas? New pyjamas to add to the collection.

Aloe Heat Lotion - I did a full review on this here but in short I love this stuff. Last night when I couldn't breathe because of pain I smothered myself in it. I use it for all my aches and I permanently smell of deep heat

Blanket Wrap - Blanket Wraps are a girls best friends. Blankets that are acceptable to wear outside. Is there anything better in life? These are great to wear in wheelchairs to keep toasty (if you aren't manually propelling yourself otherwise it gets stuck in the wheels). Also great to wear to lectures, events etc because you can just huddle up in it and try not to fall asleep.  

Fluffy Socks - You can never have enough pairs of fluffy socks FACT. I can never find normal socks to wear but I have fluffy socks everywhere. They're cosy and warm and heaven for my ice block feet. 

Blanket Scarf - I am obsessed with my blanket scarf at the moment especially since I had my hair cut off because I get a chilly neck. This is another item of clothing that can be used as a socially acceptable blanket. I take mine to my brothers basketball training every week and then wrap myself up in it and become a cosy burrito 

Also if you want to check out some appliances that can help around the kitchen that I'm sure any spoonie would be happy to receive you can check out my Kitchen Essentials Post

Hope everyones bodies are behaving better than mine. 

Is everyone ready for Christmas?

Beth...x



Forever Living Aloe Heat Lotion

16 December 2015

Aka heaven in a tube. No seriously I am so in love with this magical lotion. I was given a sample of the Forever Living Aloe Heat Lotion and instantly fell in love. It's very similar to deep heat but kinder to your skin. I react really badly to deep heat. It brings me out in a horrific itchy red rash and feels like my skin is actually burning so I could never use it. Such dark times.

When I realised the Aloe Heat Lotion smelt of deep heat I was a bit nervous about putting it on my skin. I used the majority of the sample on my brothers back when he was in hospital. For once I was sensible and tested a tiny patch on my arm and hoped for the best. The whole ward smelt of deep heat and my brother said it really helped and massive bonus points NO REACTION so we ordered a tube pronto.

forever living aloe heat lotion

If you suffer from aches and pains in any part of your body then I highly recommend this. Its a bit pricey at £12.73 but it is so worth it. I put it on most nights before I attempt to sleep and my brother has it massaged into his back every night. My poor mum has to go round the house massaging us before bed (Thanks mum you're a star). I use it on my knees, hips, wrists, back, shoulder, elbow, neck. The list goes on. I also tried it for headaches but I prefer my 4Head stick for that as it feels cool on your skin.

The heat lotion does make your skin tingle but in a nice way not a I want to rip my skin off because its burning way like Deep heat did. It's also makes your skin feel pretty soft. Luckily I love the scent as well because that's pretty much my signature scent at the moment. Who needs perfume anyway?

We've had to buy another tube because my brother and I were constantly fighting over it and I now carry one with me wherever I go to help ease any pain when I'm trying to have a life. I'm quite often whacking out my legs to rub some of this in. Perfectly normal behaviour.

So if you're struggling with this crappy weather as much as I am then I definitely recommend a tube of this and a hot water bottle.

Have you tried it?

Beth....x

p.s What do you think of my new design from Minty Fox Designs. I am so in love with it

Review// Last Stop: Paris Blog Tour

8 December 2015

This book is not usually one I would have picked up but I was kindly sent Last Stop: Paris* by John Pearce and I did really enjoy it and couldn't put it down.


"When readers last saw Eddie Grant in Treasure of Saint-Lazare (2012), he was hot on the trail of Nazi war loot in the company of his on-again, off-again lover, Jen. As readers return to Eddie’s shadowy world of undercover deals and thugs in the employ of crime bosses, they find a quieter, more mature Eddie, now married to AurĂ©lie, a scholar of some note, and living in pleasant domestic bliss. Onto this romantic scene come several of Eddie’s friends, who alert him to suspicious activity within his social circle, involving a man with criminal intentions and an interest in gold. Shortly afterward, a mysterious murder implicates another character from Eddie’s past. As he looks into the matter, AurĂ©lie soon finds herself in danger; at the same time, Jen reappears in Eddie’s life, and he’s simultaneously drawn to her and eager to avoid falling into bed with her again. Soon, he and his comrades must track down another ring of criminals and protect themselves from fatal retribution"

I struggled to keep up with who was who at some points during this book but that's only because I've been suffering with really bad brain fog at the moment so it probably isn't normally a problem. 

This book is the sequel to Treasure of Saint Lazare but you can read it as a stand alone which I did as I didn't have enough time to read the other one first. Everything that you need to know from the first book is clearly explained to you so you don't miss out. However I will definitely be reading the first one now that I've finished this one.

The characters were amazing and the "villains" of the story were pretty intimidating. I loved the fact that the plot involved several countries and they were all described beautifully so it felt like you were there with them. I really need to visit Paris now.

The plot is complex but you get immersed into it which makes it impossible to put down. There's the Russian Mafia, gold smuggling, weapons dealing and kidnapping to get your teeth into as well as some romance. You get to experience the underworld of Paris and it's very exciting.

I also love the fact that you get to learn some interesting History along the way

If you love TV shows such as NCIS then you should definitely give this book a go. 





Beth...x

The Kylie Jenner Wheelchair Shoot

2 December 2015

If you didn't go near the internet yesterday you might not have heard about Kylie Jenners latest cover for Interview magazine with her in a gold wheelchair. There are so many reasons that I am not okay with this. I tweeted about it and my phone has not stopped since and I woke up to about a billion (slight exaggeration) notifications so I thought I'd expand for you here.


As my tweet mentioned it angers me that there are so many disabled models out there who cannot get work modelling or in the fashion industry because of their disability and the fact that they use a wheelchair. Models of Diversity are trying to change this and are doing amazing work. However it is seen as perfectly okay for Kylie to just casually use one as a prop by the same people that are turning away actual disabled people. Wheelchairs are not props. 

Someone on twitter said that people are getting angry over Kylie but it's seen as fine to use able bodied actors to play disabled characters. I would just like to point out that this is also not okay and is one of my massive pet peeves. There are so many disabled actors out there. Use them to accurately portray disabled characters. Its insulting not to. 

 I know many people who are too self conscious to go out in public in their chairs because of people staring and even shouting abuse. Wheelchair users get treated as children or not even as people. I've been patted on the head and talked down to. People aim any questions at my mum or friends because they automatically assume they are my carers, because what disabled person actually has friends? I've been quizzed on my disability and even spat at by kids. Kylie doesn't have that to contend with when she decided to use one as a photo prop.

I also hate how sexualised the shoot was as the disabled community already struggles with being fetishised. It would seem that disabled bodies are only okay as long as they can be seen as sexual and something to be fetishised. The general public already seem to be obsessed with disabled people and if we can have sex. 

 I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that the wheelchair was supposed to symbolise the limitations Kylie faces due to her fame. Seriously there are no words. First off the limitations you face due to fame are nothing compared to the limitations disabled people face daily due to accessibility issues, pain, lack of understanding, discrimination etc. And secondly my wheelchair gave me my freedom back and has opened up the door for so many more opportunities. Yes okay I am limited due to the lack of accessibility in certain places but my chair has changed my life for the better. I have been able to go on holidays with friends, complete a degree, volunteer and actually leave the house. Before my chair I was stuck in bed because life just hurt too much and was too exhausting.

So in short, Disability is not a fashion statement you can just pick and choose when it suits you. This is not to say that wheelchair users aren't fashionable because we are so damn fabulous. A wheelchair is essential in many peoples lives and is not just a prop. Wheelchairs are not a symbol of limitations. If you want a wheelchair on the cover of your magazine use one of the many gorgeous disabled models out there. 

Beth...x

Christmas Lust List

30 November 2015

In case you hadn't noticed, its the 1st of December. I woke up this morning to my twitter timeline full of christmas. There was just Christmas everywhere. The excitement is real. So I thought today would be a good day to put up what I'm lusting after at the moment.



Untitled #21


F&F Patchwork Boucle Scarf - I am obsessed with scarves at the moment and never leave the house without one. I love the bigger scarves as they are just blankets that are acceptable to wear. This one is just such a gorgeous colour.

Red, Navy & Grey Patchwork Multi Purpose Wrap - This one is really similar to the 1st one but can be a wrap or a scarf and I cant decide which one I prefer. My style this winter is just gonna be thick socks, thick leggings, hoodies and massive scarves. I just want to be warm and cosy okay. I was not made to be cold. 

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot - I've heard some good things about this primer and I'm still desperate to try some of the Soap & Glory makeup range. 

Frozen Elsa Sketch Mug - I am obsessed with cute mugs and this would go very well with my Little Mermaid one. Also Elsa's eyeliner is on point 

Big Hero 6 DVD - I love Disney and have nearly all of the films. Seriously my DVD shelf is soo full but I need to add this one to my collection. It's an amazing film and I totally cried when I watched it.

Lovespoon affinity stacking ring - Slightly pricey item. I am so in love with Clogau. I have the charm bracelet and a locket and they are just so gorgeous. I never take my charm bracelet off and as I'm addicted to rings I want a clogau one to add to my collection. 

Microwave Heat Unicorn - Warm huggable Unicorn. What more could you ask for? Perfect for winter.

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter - My skincare routine is pretty much non existent. I take my makeup off with micellar water and occasionally use a cheap clean & clear cleanser in the shower if I remember. I've read so many good reviews on this though and I really want to give it a go.

What are you lusting after this year?

Beth...x

N:rem Foam Tablet Trial

27 November 2015

I don't sleep well at all. In fact I'm pretty sure sleep hates me. I take forever to get to sleep and wake up a billion times during the night. Any sleep I do get is poor quality and not in the slightest restorative. Just one of the beautiful side effects of my chronic illness. For those of you who don't know I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and my body is just a bundle of pain (with a hint of glitter).

I was contacted by N:rem asking if I wanted to give their 10 day foam tablet trial a go. As my sleep is so awful and I have tried every mattress in our house (we have a lot) and still can't get comfy there wasn't much to lose giving this a whirl.

The N:rem comfort trial* is for 10 days and consists of 5 tablets of different densities which include Firm, medium, soft & super soft. You then arrange these under your sheet depending on your needs.



NRem comfort topper


I'll be honest and say the first night I tried these I did not get on with them at all. My back hurt and it resulted in me taking them off my bed at 4am because I could not get comfortable. However I had napped from 6-7.30pm so sleep wasn't gonna happen anyway.

Turns out my body defies rules and recommendations. It is suggested that you put the softer tablets under the areas of most pain which is what I tried the first night. Unfortunately because my body is so bendy my back and hips ended up bending weird without the support. I tried all 3 suggested arrangements but there just wasn't enough support for my back/hips. 

nrem sleep better trial

(L-R For hip pain, lower back pain & back pain)

In the end I opted for Super Soft, Medium, Firm, Soft, Super Soft and this was perfect. The Firm tablet was in the perfect position to support my lower back and hips and the softer tablets could cradle my legs. It was like lying on a cloud and oh so comfy. 

Now it didn't magically cure my lack of sleep and I still struggled to get to sleep & woke up during the night but I was much comfier and may have even woken up less. I also spend a lot of time sat in my bed watching Netflix or blogging and I can safely say it is extremely comfy to sit on as well. I did find though that I got really warm as my temperature regulation is completely non-existent. I also move so much in my sleep that the tablets shifted on my bed quite a lot and I had to re-position them every night which was a bit of a pain.

That being said having to hand them back was pretty sad as they were so comfy and I loved the fact that they had different tablets for different needs. 

The topper is pretty pricey and I'm not sure I could commit to spending that much on a topper but if you are struggling with pain and comfort it is definitely something you should look into. 

You can get a 30 day free trial after purchasing with a full refund if you are not satisfied and find N:rem on Twitter

Beth...x

* I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of reviewing however it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own


Film Review // Hotel Transylvania 2

24 November 2015

If you read my Spectre review you will know that part of my disappointment was that I had really wanted to see Hotel Transylvania instead but it was sold out. Then Spectre let me down and my day was ruined (slight exaggeration).

Well you will be pleased to hear I finally got to see Hotel Transylvania 2 and it was soo much better than Spectre.

Hotel Transylvania 2 review


"Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel."


Hotel Transylvania is one of my favourite films and even made it onto my Top 10 non Disney animated films

I was so excited for this one to come out and like the child I am I stropped when I didn't get to go. Luckily my brother is just as much of a child as me so we had a cinema day last weekend.

This definitely lived up to expectations and I laughed so much. Dennis is such an adorable half human half vampire child and him & Winnie are too cute. Seeing how far Dracula will go to bring out the fangs in Dennis is hilarious and I loved the adapted version of twinkle twinkle little star. 

Drac also busts out some epic moves again and Dennis may actually top him in dance ability. 

Getting to see Mavis in the human world is also so funny. Although to be fair, I get that excited about different flavour slush puppies too. 


Have you seen it yet?
What did you think?


Beth...x

Welsh Girl Problems

20 November 2015

First of if you're welsh (and even if your not) you need to be following Welsh Girl Problems on Twitter. Seriously she is a babe and so funny. Also if you ever need to keep up with the Rugby she's your girl. 


I was lucky enough to meet the babe behind Welsh Girl Problems at the #PartyAtTheAngel blogger meet a few months ago. So obviously I had to treat myself to some of her lush products. I mean how awesome are these.

This mug may be my favourite ever mug and I love getting this mirror out to check my lippie. YOu need these in your life and you can get them all in the fab welsh girl problems shop.

Beth...x

Kitchen Essentials

18 November 2015

I'm not allowed in the kitchen very often because that place is dangerous. So many things to injure myself on. Way too clumsy to be allowed in there. Buut there are a few things that I can use safely and mean I can actually eat if I'm ever left alone (not very often. I might starve to death or fall & die).

So I thought I'd share some extremely helpful kictchen stuff which is soo helpful for my fellow chronic illness warriors but also great for healthy people who just want an easier life.


kitchen aids



Microwave Rice Cooker - Who can cook rice perfectly in a pan? Like is that actually a thing? I cant lift pans so thats my excuse for not being able to use them. Cook too much? Get stodgy rice? Cannot get it perfect? (Do I sound like a commercial yet?) This little pot of magic will save your life. It telss you how much rice and water to add & how long to microwave it for perfect rice. Its sooo easy even I can do it (although my flatmate did get it wrong once & we have no idea how). Now even if I've been abandoned and am too low on energy to life I can at least bung some rice in the microwave. 

Electric Tin Opener - If you don't have one of these in your life WHY NOT. Who has time to wrestle with manual tin openers. Do people still buy them? Is having enough grip to be able to use them humanly possible or just for gorillas? I took mine to uni & everyone used it, even the weird guy that never spoke to us. It took a while for them to understand it & trying to teach them was hilarious. It's not even difficult. Anyway I digress. Just get one. Change your life. 

Smoothie Maker - I go through periods of time where eating just doesn't happen. My stomach kicks up a fuss and refuses food because it's an angry lil shit. I'm pretty sure everyone & their gran has one of these now but they are so easy. Just whack in some frozen fruit & some liquid, blitz & then you have a kinda meal for when your stomach hates life. 

Microwave Egg Poacher - I've only recently started eating eggs in any way other than scrambled (and in cake obvs). But I am now in love with poached eggs and this little contraption means I don't have to stand by a pan and by me I mean my mum (love you mum). Just crack some eggs into it, microwave and ding poached eggs with zero hassle.

Soup Maker - If you saw my beautifully written Butternut squash soup recipe the other day you will know how much I love this machine. Seriously the best present I have ever got my mum. I am obsessed with soup at the moment. I have it nearly every day and I am still so in love with it. With this magical machine you just chop up your veg, chuck it in with stock & turn it on. Then 21 mins later you have hot and smooth soupy goodness that is just delicious. Seriously I cannot big this machine up enough. My mum chucks it on when she's getting ready for work & then she takes hot soup with her for lunch (and puts mine aside for when Im actually wake isnt she a star). My only issue with it is its quite heavy but no ones perfect.

Helen also has a chronic pain cookbook which has so much helpful information  as well as easy things to prepare on bad days so you should definitely go and check that out.  

What are your must haves in the Kitchen?

Beth...x


Aloha Lola Cards

16 November 2015

If you haven't see Aloha Lola Cards on Twitter have you been living under a rock? The adorable caricatures of bloggers have taken over twitter and such a lovely person behind the twitter account. She understood my despair over the lack of unicorn emojis when my phone wouldn't update and we had an in depth conversation about our love for Dominos. Mmm pizza

I am so in love with my caricature. Like seriously, how awesome is this?

aloha lola caricatures

You can check them out on Etsy where you can buy personalised cards for every occasion and your own caricature. If you are looking for a unique card for a friend then you need to check them out. Also treat yourself to a caricature. You know you want to. Buy yourself a card. Treat yourself

Ohhh and you can also follow Aloha Lola on Instagram to see all the adorable creations.

Beth...x

Butternut squash Soup

15 November 2015

I am seriously addicted to home made soup at the moment. Like a little bit obsessed. I think I've had it for lunch almost every day for the last 2 weeks. It is so easy and tastes so good and soup and Autumn are such a beautiful pairing. Butternut squash soup has to be one of my favourites. It's just so good and you can add so many things to it.

Butternut squash soup

To make this an even easier meal I got my mum a soup maker for Christmas last year because I am a top daughter. You need one in your life (a soup maker not a daughter)

Serves 4

1 Butternut Squash
Carrot
Red Onion
500ml vegetable Stock
Garlic
smoked paprika
chilli powder

Now me and my mum are not great at measuring as you can see by my ingredients list. We just whack it all in and hope for the best. So far so good though. With the handy soup maker, which I recommend for all of my fellow sick people - it is soo easy, you just chuck everything in put the lid on & turn it on. Then in 21mins you have delicious hot soup. Magic.

However you can make it the good old fashioned way and just cook your veg & then add the stock and bring to the boil and simmer for a bit. Then you just blend it all up to delicious soupy goodness. Seriously does it get any easier

Then you can add whatever seasoning takes your fancy. I am obsessed with Smoked Paprika at the moment. I use so much of this stuff and it is soooo good in this soup. Heaven in a bowl. I also like to add some chilli powder for a bit of a kick. I only add it to my bowl though because my family are such babies (soz mum).

And that is the end of the least detailed and probably least helpful recipe you have ever read. Seriously just bung it all in, blend and season. Make it up as you go along. You can also add celery (vom), potato, pepper. The choices are endless.

Go make all the soups. 

Beth...x

Milestone Giveaway

13 November 2015

I've been meaning to put this up for a while but life just got a bit hectic. I recently reached 200 followers on Bloglovin which means the world to me. Then in the same week I hit 1,500 Twitter followers and 550 instagram followers which was clearly a sign I needed to do a milestone giveaway. My first ever give away. Im excited.


So I decided to do a random bundle of goodies of things I've been loving at the moment.

Whats in the Bundle

  • Unicorn Ring Holder - I am obsessed with unicorns and this is so cute and looks great on my dressing table so I had to get one for this
  • I Wish This Was Wine Mason Jar - If you read my cute cups post you'll know I have a lot of these kind of glasses and they're so handy
  • Yankee Candle Cassis Votive - I mean who doesn't love candles
  • Gold Star Midi Ring - I am in love with midi rings and wear 2 constantly
  • Prairie Charms Hair Bands & Unicorn Bow 
  • Gold Notebook - Every bloggers essential and instagram worthy
  • Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Rhythm & Blues - I am addicted to dark nails now that its colder
  • Collection 2000 Nail Polish in Bongo Beat  - Everyone needs mermaid nails in their lives.
  • Colourpop Matte Liquid Lipstick in Midi - I made a colourpop order using a mail forwarding service and couldn't not get something for this so I went for a nude.
  • DorkFace Customised Card - I am so in love with Jemma and her art and wanted to make sure someone else got to experience her amazingness. I am still so obsessed with my mermaid in disguise card (Not Pictured).
Terms & Conditions
  • UK Only (sorry postage)
  • The giveaway will run for 3 weeks starting 13/11/15 12am - 4/12/15 12am
  • The winner will be contacted through Twitter & if there is no reply in 48hours another winner will be drawn


Good Luck 
And Thank You so much for following my ramblings and sporadic blogging
You guys mean the world to me

Beth...x

Film// Spectre Review

10 November 2015

I went to see Spectre last week and I was so disappointed. I love a good action film and even though Im not Daniel Craigs biggest fan James Bond usually delivers.

It doesn’t help that I was all psyched up to see Hotel Transylvania 2 but I forgot it was half term. There were screaming children everywhere and the next 3 screenings were sold out *sob*. Damn children ruining my life. So spectre it was.

spectre review

The main thing I can say about this film was it was just Boring. Like fighting to stay awake boring. There were 3 maybe 4 main scenes which had a load of action and then I can’t really tell you what happened in the in between bits because I honestly can’t remember. Maybe my expectations were just too high. 

It seems like they didn't really think through the whole story line. 

I hated the fact that the Bond girl went from hating Bonds guts and being all feisty to being head over heels declaring her love for him in about 2 secs. I mean really? They'd only known each other for a day if that. She did rock a red lip though.

Also what the hell was that helicopter scene at the beginning? Thaat was just ridiculous. And Daniel Craig Im sorry but you are looking olllld. Also that girl was young enough to be your daughter. You should be ashamed. 

Maybe I need to watch it again with lowered expectations. 


What did you think?

Beth...x

The Dead Letter Review

8 November 2015

I had never heard of Finley Martin before receiving The Dead Letter* to review but its safe to say I will definitely be checking out more of his work. I really enjoyed this book and if you are a fan of the crime/detective genre then I definitely recommend it.  




"It is 2001 and the police constable's girlfriend is murdered in a fit of jealous rage. When the constable realizes what he has done, he manages an elaborate cover-up. Only one person knows the truth. 

Flash forward to 2012. Anne Brown is still running her late uncle, Bill Darby's, detective agency after spending four or five years as his assistant. One day, the postman delivers an eleven year-old letter. The letter is addressed to her uncle from a woman named Carolyn Jollimore. She says she has evidence about a murder and begs for help from Darby. But Bill Darby is dead. And when Anne looks up the letter's author, she finds that Jollimare too is now dead.

Troubled with the evidence at hand, Anne must decide if she should investigate this eleven-year old murder."

This book jumps straight into the nitty gritty storyline which I love. It is different to most other crime books in that it tells you who the murderer is in the first chapter but you are the only one that knows. You get to follow the journey to see if & when anyone else works it out with a few twists along the way. 

There is still some mystery though. The first chapter also starts with an affair and a pregnancy and we don't know who she had an affair with and who the father is. So there is still the mystery of who else could be involved in the drama. 

Anne is an awesome main character who is dedicated to finding the truth no matter who/what stands in her way. The storyline does go off on a few tangents relating to Annes life that don't really have a huge importance to the storyline but it makes you get to know her character more. She's only human.

 I'm a huge lover of the crime genre and thoroughly enjoyed this book.




Have you read any of Finley Martins books?

Beth...x

* I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of reviewing however it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own

Kiss Cosmetics Colour Switch

2 November 2015

Kiss Cosmetics is relatively new to the scene of makeup but they are doing great things.  One of their most innovative products is the Colour Switch*. The aim of the Colour switch is to at least double your lipstick collection if not more depending how much white is used. You can have all the colours. It would also be good for minimising how many lippies you need to take whilst travelling (No Beth you do not need 10 lipsticks for a weekend away). 

kiss cosmetics colour switch

kiss cosmetics colour switch

The colour switch is a white opaque lipstick which can be used to change the colour of any other lipstick. How magical is that? 

All you have to do is apply the colour switch then add your chosen lipstick over the top and blend. Ta-da new lip colour. 

This is perfect for if you have spontaneously purchased a colour which you later found too dark. Just use the colour switch to lighten it up a bit and now you can rock it all the time. Don't have the perfect shade of pink just lighten up one you already have. The possibilities are endless

It can also be used to perfect the ombre lip. Just use the colour switch in the centre of your lips. Magic. 

The swatch below uses the gorgeous berry red Lady In Red Kisstick* which I am now obsessed with. It is such a gorgeous shade. You can see how dramatically the shade can change though with Colour switch. The last swatch is about 4 swipes of the colour switch and one of the Lady in red.

Kiss cosmetics lady in red

What do you think of the colour switch?

Beth...x

* I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of reviewing however it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own

Disabled Parking Anxiety

22 October 2015

Story time, this is gonna be a long one. Once upon a time, when I was in the sixth form I used to drive to school because we live in the middle of nowhere and I was too classy to take the bus (never ready on time). This meant that I could drive my crappy body to the shop to grab some lunch because it was too far for me to walk. One miserable day me and a friend headed to co-op to grab a sandwich and probably some doughnuts because who doesn't love a good doughnut? As I am a disabled girl who is a blue badge holder I parked in a disabled space. Makes sense right? When I got out I noticed a guy giving me evils but I ignored him and went and got my foods.

Clearly too fabulous to be disabled.

When I came out the same guy was waiting for me by my car. He told me that I needed my disabled family member with me to park in that space and I couldn't just use my Grans badge because I felt like it. I politely told him I was the disabled member and tried to get to my car. He kept shouting at me, demanding to see my blue badge. It was raining, I was getting cold and wet and he let his giant boxer jump all over me. Now I'm a huge fan of dogs but it is extremely intimidating of a stranger to let his giant dog jump on a teenage girl let alone one who has said she is disabled. It nearly knocked me on my ass. He kept saying there was nothing wrong with me until I gave in a showed him that the photo on my disabled badge was in fact my face *Shock horror*. He had no right to pressure me into showing him personal information but it was the only way I could get him out of the way so I could actually get into my car. The police were contacted and he was found and cautioned and I'm pretty sure he wont do it again.

Since then I've had to start using my chair a lot more so it is very rare that I walk into a shop now. However, if I'm on my own and am walking a short distance I freak out that it'll happen again. I don't have the energy to fight my corner. Not that I should have to. I know I don't have to explain myself to anyone but when people are getting arsey and judging you you kinda feel like you have to defend yourself. Its human nature.

The other day I went shopping and took Wilfred, my electric wheelchair, because I wasn't feeling well enough to manually propel myself. I pulled into the disabled parking space singing loudly to Spice Girls. The guy in the car next to me was blatantly staring at me. Like not even trying to hide it. I mean I know I'm fabulous and my singing is top notch but really? I put my badge in the window and got out the car with him still watching my every move. Even when I made eye contact and smiled he still stared. Didn't even smile back. RUDE.

Annnnd then I killed poor Wilfred. I caught one of the wires trying to get him out the car and ripped it out. I then had to wrestle to get a broken electric wheelchair back into the car which was exhausting. The whole time this guy was watching me. I then felt like I was doing some sort of walk of shame when I walked away from my car without my chair. I spent the whole shop paranoid that I was being judged regardless of the fact that I was relying heavily on the trolley to support me. A trolley which only actually had two things in it.

Then came time to leave the shop and I realised I was panicking. I was actually freaking out that the weird staring guy was still going to be there and question me and I really wasn't in the mood to explain myself to ignorant strangers. Plus I'm one of those people that bursts into tears when they get angry which would just be totes awks. For a few seconds I was actually scared to return to my car because my disability is always questioned, even by medical professionals.


I have also been in a shop where I have almost asked the security guy if he would walk me out to my car because an angry looking guy had watched me walk into the shop and hovered around my car checking my badge.

I should not have to be walked to my car because people feel entitled to know what is wrong with me and know my full medical history. Chances are even if I told them what was wrong they wouldn't believe me because they've never heard of it and I'm "Too young" to be disabled.

NOT ALL DISABLED PEOPLE USE A WHEELCHAIR. It's not that difficult to get your head around. There are many reasons people need a disabled space which don't involve a wheelchair.

It is none of your business what is wrong with them and what makes them require that space. None, zip, nada. There is literally no reason you need to know why they get a badge. 

Also whilst we're on the subject YOUNG PEOPLE CAN BE DISABLED TOO. Not that difficult to get your head around either. To pretty simple concepts. If you wouldn't ask a walking old lady why she was parked in a disabled space dont ask a walking young girl. Simple. And personally, I have seen more old people parking in spaces when they are not entitled to than young people. Some Older people class it as their right as an older person. I've even had one man tell me that. 

So next time you see someone who doesn't fit your idea of disabled parking in a disabled space Please don't stare and make them feel so uncomfortable they are scared to return to their car.

If you got to the end thank you so much for reading and give yourself a gold star.

Beth...x

Spoonie Survival Kits

21 October 2015

As usual I had so many plans to have this written and published this morning at an acceptable time. Then my body decided that it wanted to have a hissy fit. Soo I had to doze in the morning to catch up on some zzz's and try and escape epic knee pain. All fun stuff and now I'm awake when most people are heading to bed and still no sign of sleep.

Anyways this post is all about one of my first chronic illness friends I made way back when I joined Twitter looking for support. Pippa is honestly one of the nicest, most supportive and caring girls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and one day I will meet her and give her the biggest hug.

Pippa has started the most adorable project to raise money, awareness and happiness. The Spoonie Survival kits, which you can get on Etsy, are little bags of happiness made by chronic illness sufferers for chronic illness sufferers to show that you are not alone. Everyone who works on the project has a chronic illness and they offer accessible volunteering options for anyone with a disability who wants a chance to do something. Each bag is a surprise with a different range of sizes to suit everyone's budget. 25% of the money goes straight back into the project, funding more bags, and the other 75% goes to a chronic illness charity.

You can find out more about them here and follow them on Twitter.

Spoonie survival kit

Now here's where you come in. Pippa and her spoonie survival kits need your vote for a chance to win £10,000 to further develop the project and reach more people. This money could make a huge difference to the project and help make so many more people smile. All you have to do is click this link and give them a vote by click the thumbs up. Easy peasy. You can also watch Pippas video which explains the project. Voting is open until the 28th and it would mean so much if you could take 5 seconds out of your day to vote and share.

Thank you so much in advance

Beth...x 

Dorkface Shop

19 October 2015

I have wanted a new header for a while now to spruce up the blog and make it more me but I didn't really know what I wanted. When I saw that Jemma had started doing customised headers I knew I wanted her to do it. She is so talented and creative and I knew she would be able to come up with something amazing. All I asked for was a pink haired mermaid and oh my I am so in love. It is everything I wanted and now I just keep going on my blog just so I can see it. It also got my Dads seal of approval as I squealed when I put it up and had to show someone and he was the only one home. He didn't quite match my excitement levels but it was pretty close.



If you're not already following Jemma on Twitter and Instagram what are you doing with your lives? She is one of the nicest girls ever and her instagram feed is just too cute. Also if you want to be inspired to be creative daily you need to follow her blog.

If you don't need a new header but still want some of her art then fear not. She does personalised illustrations and custom work and she also has an Esty Shop where you can get adorable cards like these. How freakin awesome is the Mermaid in Disguise personalised card?

I fell in love with the pink haired girl for obvious reasons and when Jemma put it up on Etsy I have never purchased something so quickly. She also tweeted about needing people to buy stuff so she could buy more art supplies so really I was just helping out a friend. I love it so much and it looks so awesome up on my wall but I couldn't get a picture because the lighting sucks and it kept coming out yellow and gross.





So if you need a new header or just want a custom piece definitely keep Jemma in mind. She's honestly so lovely and talented.

Beth...x


New Animated Films// Home & Penguins of Madagascar

18 October 2015

So I'm a massive kid and a huge fan of animated films. I'm pretty sure the majority of my extremely large film collection is probably animated including nearly all the Disney films. Dreamworks is definitely competing well with Disney for producing some of my favourite animations. The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods to name a few so I was pretty excited to add to new films to my collection. I may however need my dad to build me some more shelves soon. 

Home



Home Review



I've wanted this for ages but as I'm poor I've been waiting for it to come down in price but I just couldn't wait any more. Then the week after I bought it, it dropped by about £3 so you're welcome guys.


At least it was worth a tenner. I've already watched it 3 times so I'm getting my moneys worth. I love it. The way Boovs talk is so damn adorable, everyone should definitely talk like that from now on. It has such a cute story line even though it's about an Alien invasion which separates Mother & Daughter. Tip and Oh become an unlikely pair trying to prevent a second alien invasion whilst finding Tips Mum. Its cute and sad and funny and I love it. 


Penguins of Madagascar



Penguins of Madagascar review

My mum thought I was joking when I said I wanted to watch this film so I had to buy it myself. Shocking behaviour. I decided when I had to stay overnight with my brother in hospital it was the perfect excuse to treat ourselves. I love the Madagascar films (third one not so much) and I saw the advert for it on the Home dvd and it made me actually lol so you know it had to happen.

This film has the most adorable start with cute fluffy baby penguins and it is definitely on a par with Madagascar. The one liners are hilarious and Dave the octopus is such an awesome villain. They storyline is also pretty adorable and I just want to hug Private and tell him he's a valued member of my team. Super spy animals and ninja like penguins going against an evil octopus is a winning combination. 


Have you seen them yet? What did ya think?

Beth...x

Autumn appreciation

16 October 2015

Sorry I disappeared. I've been in  France visiting my Grandparents and then I crashed for a few days because you know Queen of over doing it and all that.

I'm not normally a massive fan of the colder seasons as my body and cold do not get on. I'm a huge sun worshipper and love wearing shorts, getting tanned, going to the beach and being warm. Summer is my favourite. However this year I have found myself getting swept up in the huge love for Autumn minus the being cold bit.


1. Being cosy in big fluffy jumpers and super soft blankets and basically being a burrito of soft things for several months.

2. Sitting in front of the fire for like 5 mins because then I get way too hot and complain that my family is trying to cook me whilst wearing as little clothing as is acceptable.  

3. Drinking all the delicious hot beverages without over heating. All the coffee and all the fancy hot chocolate. 

4. The gorgeous colours and amazing sunsets. 

5. Being inside wrapped up warm listening to the rain and knowing that someone has to actually go out in that whilst you're all cosy.

6. Halloween and scary films. 

7. Boots and fluffy socks. My feet might actually be warm for a little bit. Maybe. Probably not

8. Beanies. I mean no one can tell I haven't washed my hair. What's not to love?

9. The food: soups, stews, casseroles, shepherds pie, custard, rice pudding. Mmmmmmm

10. Going to the Sea. The Sea is so much more exciting in colder windier weather and it is soo refreshing. Definitely need to wrap up and means there's an excuse to eat chips to warm up. 

11. Darker nights mean I can go to bed earlier and not feel guilty about it. Hello Netflix.

What do you love about Autumn?

Beth...x

Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash

6 October 2015

I never thought I would be writing a post about soap but here we are. The Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash has to be the most amazing smelling soap I have ever used so I just had to tell you guys about it. It smells just like rhubarb and custard sweets so it may give you a craving. Its so magical and at the bargain price of 95p.

Wilko Fruits Rhubarb & Vanilla Handwash

I am currently on my second bottle as it smells so good. I nearly cried when we ran out and I had to go back to boring smelling soap. The smell lasts on your hands for ages and you will get caught sniffing them. A friend came round and after they used it I kept catching them with their hands on their face. Its too good to resist. For 95p it lasts really well and bubbles up with only a small amount and then you smell like a magical sweet fairy. They have a huge range of scents if you want something more fruity, less sweet etc and they are all awesome bright colours. There's coconut, lemon, passionfruit, orange, blueberry etc.. There really is something for everyone.

The hand lotion also smells amazing but it is not the best hand lotion I've ever tried. It does sink in to your skin really fast and doesn't leave them slimey. However it doesn't really feel like it adds any moisture to dry skin. If anything my skin felt drier after use. I would just stick to the soap for gorgeous smelling skin.

Cute Cups for Crappy Hands

5 October 2015

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I am super clumsy and always spilling drinks. In fact I wear a bib when I eat dinner most nights because I'm so damn messy (True story. My Grandma gave it to me as a joke and I love it). This is mainly due to my chronic illness affecting the grip in my hands and causing spasms etc and also because I'm just a clumsy person.

Anyway I've been on a few shopping sprees recently and spent way too much money but I kept getting sucked in by adorable cups that are perfect for my sucky hands. They all have lids and/or straws and they are all adorable. One is even mermaid print (I squealed when I saw it in the shop). They are all pretty purse friendly as well (It may have been the 2 pairs of shoes I got that my bank account was not impressed with).

So I thought I would do a post on all the cute cups (for hot & cold drinks) I have that keep my clothes spillage free and are also great for travelling even if you are blessed with sturdy hands. Spoiler alert: I have A LOT.

Hot Drinks


These two are my absolute favourites and I take them with me whenever I'm travelling. I cannot leave to get in the car without one of these bad boys. I love the But First Coffee one and tend to use it around the house as well but man the Bodum one is amazing.

The only downside to this mug is that it is so damn good at its job that you have to wait at least an hour and a half for your beverage to cool down enough to enjoy. Plus side you can make 2 drinks at the same time and then by the time you're ready for your second one it's perfect drinking temperature. Win win.

Cold Drinks



Cups with lids and straws make the world a better less sticky place. I absolutley adore the cute mason jars with lids. The two smaller one are from B&M and only a pound. There were loads of designs to choose from as well. Matalan also do some for £3. The bigger one is from New Look but I cannot find it on the website.


When I saw the mermaid cup in New Look I may have squealed a bit. It is perfect. Also the Unicorn bottle was too damn hard to resist. Unicorns and mermaids are life and I just couldn't ignore them. These are my main drinking vessels at the moment.


 I also have Penny the Penguin from the West Midlands Safari Park (my brother calls everyone clever/silly little penguins for some strange reason so we are obsessed with penguin themed stuff now). Its so damn cute and even has a carry strap so I can look super cool.


I also have a childs sippy cup for really bad days as its non spill and light enough for me to pick up. I can also have my coffee in it and drink lying down. This is the Tommee Tippee Easy Drink Beaker but I just went into Asda and picked one that was a nice size (and colour - very important). These are a life saver for bad days.

Helen has also done a post on helpful drinking aids for anyone who struggles. Its amazing and I've already added some of the things she suggested to my to buy list so go check it out

What cute cups do you use?

Beth...x

11 Thoughts I Had As A Graduate At Freshers

3 October 2015

Last saturday I headed back to Bangor to meet up with my old flatmates and pretend that we were still students for one night. We stayed in an adorable hotel, watched the rugby and reverted back to drinking sourz out of the bottle and playing drinking games. Sourz was spilt, awesome selfies were taken and a lot of laughing occurred. However once we got to the club I felt sooo old.


Here are some of the thoughts that went through my mind in between drinking, dancing like a pro and belting out R. Kelly Ignition.

1. Why is it so expensive to get in the club? Back in my day...

2. Why does everyone look about 12? Am I really that old? Like seriously how did they get in?

3. Why is everything so sticky? Do I even want to know?

4. What is this music? Do I know this? Is this even classed as music?

5. I may have done a lot of embarrassing things but at least I never had to be carried out of the club by a bouncer or puked on the middle of the dance floor at 11pm.

6. Why are guys so creepy? Do they think this is actually gonna work. No one wants to sleep with you. Please leave

7. I really want a cuppa, is it bed time yet?

8. Whyy do I always get a drink spilt on me? I dont understand. Am I a drink magnet?

9. Yesss Chips time.

10. Thank you kind taxi driver for not being creepy but do you really have to charge so much?

11. Oh my god a bed has never felt this comfy. I never want to move who even cares about the massive patch of spilt sourz.

It was an epic night and the hangover was worth it. Massive shout out to spoons for their unlimited coffee and their epic breakfast. Also Lucozade you are my number one.

Beth...x

Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2015

2 October 2015

This week is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and my body sure as hell knows it. If you read my blog or follow me on the Twitter then you will know that I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome as well as fibromyalgia, raynauds, chronic costochondritits and a few other issues. I also currently have a cold which has sent my pain into over drive. We should be exempt from getting normal people sick on top of chronic illness. It's not fair.

So here's a little insight into being as awesome as me.

These photos are still not me on a really bad day and I still have the remnants of the days makeup on so I look even worse in person. I must remember to get some actual bad day photos. Not that that is high on my priorities when I feel like death,

Yesterday morning I dislocated my hip getting off of the toilet which is an excellent way to start your day. Luckily I didn't have to get my dad to come help me because that would have been awks but he totally would have done because he's awesome. I was then awake for the grand total of an hour before I had to go back to bed for a nap because being awake is exhausting. Seriously all I did was drink a cup of coffee and browse Twitter. That should not be nap worthy. I then woke up from my nap with a beautifully dislocated shoulder which is always a fun way to wake up.

The other day I also somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back getting into the car (clearly didnt warm up properly before doing vigorous exercise). This then sent all of my back into an angry muscle spasm making moving and even breathing horrific. Soo I had to spend the rest of the day horizontal which caused my hips to drop out of place. Why is my body so damn complicated. I've been too exhausted to do anything but also in too much pain to sleep.

Today my muscle relaxants and pain killers seem to be finally working and my back is less angry and I can move without groaning and swearing. However, one of my ribs has decided it doesn't like living where it does any more and has decided to move in with its next door neighbour which is really really uncomfortable. Soo still no breathing for me. Who needs to breathe any way?

Today is the first day I haven't had to have a nap in ages but that may be because I didn't actually make it out of bed until 11;45am. I have however managed to get a lot of blogging done which feels amazing buuut has made my back a lil angry again.

I need to shower because I can't actually remember when I washed my hair & wet wipes and flannels have been my bestie recently. You don't understand how exhausting showering is. Some days it feels like running a marathon. There is so much involved in that one small act of getting clean and I don't have any to spare. It's also freakin painful. Some days even the pressure of the water on my skin hurts.

At the moment my illness isn't that invisible because I look like actual death or zombie chic as I like to call it. However most days you can't tell (minus the lil indicator that is my wheelchair). I still look fabulous with killer eyeliner and banging lipstick and (when its washed) freakin awesome hair but my body is still falling apart. When you see me there is a 99.9% chance that I am in pain, sleep deprived and needing coffee.

Just bear that in mind when you judge someone for parking in the disabled spaces and looking fine. They could be in huge amounts of pain, be struggling to breathe, be super dizzy, want to vomit on you and you will have no idea. If one of your friends/family has a chronic illness and cancels on you a lot please remember it is not their fault. They would love to be able to do it. Maybe offer to rearrange days or even change the plans to something they can join in with like a quiet night in with films and food they can eat.

And don't forget if you need anyone to talk to or just want to know you are not alone I am always here. You can tweet me or email me mermaidindisguise@outlook.com or leave a comment.

Beth...x

30 Things About My Invisible Illness


It is invisible illness awareness week and my body is making sure I know it. I wanted to do so many posts but I have been flat on my back with a horrific muscle spasm which has made my back so angry. It's taken me all of this week but I have finally finished the 30 things about my illness.



1. The illness I live with is...
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome but also Fibromyalgia, Raynauds and chronic costochondritis as a result of the EDS

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year...
2001 maybe. I cant remember I was quite young so one of the lucky ones to get a diagnosis that early.

3. But I had symptoms since...
Birth. My mum said she knew there was something wrong with me as a baby (I was always weird) but no one believed here and just thought she was paranoid or making it up.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is...
Accepting that I cant do everything on my own and that I need to ask for help. Im too damn stubborn for my own good.

5. Most people assume...
That Im lazy and don't want a job. The truth is just living is a job for me some days. Not many people understand how painful just existing can be let alone trying to work as well. My concentration is shocking, I get brain fog, I cant sit or stand in the same position for any length of time and I can't do a lot of things on my own. I'm definitely gonna get hired. 

6. The hardest part about mornings are...
The pain and the exhaustion. I have never woken up and felt refreshed and I usually have to wake up at least half an hour before I actually want to get out of bed so I can move my joints slowly and take painkillers before attempting to move

7. My favorite medical TV show is...
Greys Anatomy. Im addicted. Although I cry every damn time. 

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is..
 
My phone. It's how I communicate with friends (twitter) and my family some days. I've totally face timed my dad to bring me up food/drink when Im in too much pain to get out of bed. I also set alarms for meds and stuff like that on it too

9. The hardest part about nights are...
 The pain and the insomnia. Being so exhausted you can't do anything but stare at the ceiling but still not being able to sleep is torture. 

10. Each day I take 15-20 pills

11. Regarding alternative treatments
I tried acupuncture and it was great for relaxation but nothing else helps with my pain. I have to take medication to function.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose...
I use a wheelchair when Im out and about so my illness is kind of visible but I still get questioned. People are more helpful when Im in my wheelchair but I get asked if I really need it or told I'm too young etc. So I dunno.

13. Regarding working and career
I've just finished a 4 year degree in Biomedical science which was a massive struggle and now I know that that field of work is just too intense for me to go into. I'm struggling to find work that I can physically do and at the moment but I've been volunteering with a charity supporting disabled children.

14. People would be surprised to know...
That I am in pain every minute of every day. I cannot remember the last time at least one part of my body didn't hurt.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been...
That I cant follow the plan I had set out for myself. When I manage to move out I will have to have personal assistants come in and help me with my personal care and cooking etc. I have to plan what I can and cant do. I have to say no more than I want to. I have to cancel plans last minute because my body is too broken.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was...
Graduate university with a 2:1 and go on holiday with my friends. 

17. The commercials about my illness..
Don't exist in the UK

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:
As I was diagnosed so young and have always been ill I don't really have a life before illness. My life has always involved pain. But since my health deteriorated I had to get rid of my horse and I miss him every single day. I would love to get back into horse riding. 

19. It was really hard to have to give up...
Horse riding as mentioned above. Also driving a manual car. I know it's only something small but I loved driving manual and having to switch to an automatic was really hard. It was also heart breaking to have to give up my dream of becoming a vet. That is all I ever wanted and still do but Im just not physically capable of doing it.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is...
Blogging. It is something I can do from my bed, I can do on bad days and I have made some amazing friends and had amazing experiences. 

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would... 
Oh my god I dont even know. Go for a super long walk. Climb the stairs as many times as I wanted. Do a load of baking. 

22. My illness has taught me... 
Who my real friends are. Thanks for sticking around. It's also taught me to not take the little things for granted

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is...

"At least you don't look ill"
"I don't think of you as disabled"

24. But I love it when people...

Make accommodations for me when we are going out without me having to constantly ask. Understand that I might have to change plans. 

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is...
"Life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain"

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them...

There is so much support out there. Don't let shitty Doctors get to you. You will make amazing friends and they will help you get through this

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is... 
How many amazing people are out their struggling with their crappy bodies. Also how crap some Drs can be.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was...
Sent me an amazing care package of beautiful things I love to cheer me up. Also someone stayed up really late to keep me company whilst I couldn't sleep due to pain.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because...
There needs to be more awareness with making the invisible visible. If people actually opened their eyes and paid attention they would realise it's not so invisible.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel.. 

So happy and loved and I want to give you a big hug. Thank you <3

If you have any questions you can tweet me, email me at mermaidindisguise@outlook.com or leave a comment and I will get back to you. Im here for all of you if you are ever struggling and if you've just been diagnosed and are scared hit me up.

Beth...x
LAYOUT BY MINTY FOX DESIGNS