Cardiff Half Marathon

29 September 2015



As some of you may know my lil brother (He's not that little hes actually part gorilla) randomly lost the use of his legs over 2 years ago and they never came back. Along with this he also gained muscle spasms (sometimes make it look like he twerking, however this is no laughing matter, okay maybe a little bit funny). Anyway he now uses a wheelchair full time and I'm a little bit jealous that his wheelchair is cooler than mine and he can do wheelies and I'm too scared but that's not the point.


The Doctors still have no idea what caused his legs to suddenly not work and no one really seems to be bothered about finding an answer. He is in huge amounts of pain daily with his EDS and whatever else is going on and the constant spasms are exhausting (I now call him Thumper because he foot goes just like thumpers. In other news I am a terrible sister. I also shout earthquake). He has also recently lost his core muscle which means he's a tad on the floppy side and literally has to be tied to his basketball chair (with a luggage strap because very technical). 

The point is Ollie is doing the Cardiff Half Marathon in his wheelchair on Sunday and yes I agree he is probably a little bit crazy. This is made even more incredible by the fact that he only came out of hospital after a week long stay on Friday due to horrific full body spasms (he looked possessed & I was going to rent him out to horror films). I don't think he has a brain but he is extremely determined. He is so excited and is attempting to finish the whole thing. I however will be on the sideline, possibly with pom poms if I can find any (where can a girl get some green pom poms?), cheering everyone on and enjoying the feeling of actually being able to get oxygen into my lungs.

I would also like to point out that my dad who tries to do the bare minimum of exercise also signed up in a moment of weakness. I'm a little bit concerned as the word lycra has been thrown around a bit which may be a tad traumatic.

They are raising money for Whizz Kidz as they are an amazing charity that support young people in wheelchairs providing them with the skills and confidence needed to navigate life on four wheels. They also provide vital equipment to make living life possible.  

So if you could donate even 50p I know it would make my brothers day as well as a lot of other disabled young people that the money would go to help. You can find the just giving page here and it would be awesome if you could leave an encouraging note for Ollie and my dad Dave on there to let them know you donated and spur them on that little bit more.

Also if you're in cardiff look out for the girl with bright pink hair rocking a neon green top. Colour clashing at it's finest.

Anyone else running?

Beth...x

p.s if you wanna know more about whizz kidz you can read my other posts on them here

Books// The Watched by Casey Hill

27 September 2015

I've been waiting for The Watched by Casey Hill to come down in price for ages because I am a poor unemployed graduate (anyone want to give me a job?). I absolutely love the Reilly Steel series and am so pleased I discovered the first book in a Charity shop. I think it may be one of my favourite crime series and I have read a lot of them. 


"Quantico-trained forensic investigator Reilly Steel is back in the country of her birth. Unsure about both her future and her position within the Dublin police force, Reilly hopes that a relaxing stay at the Florida beach home of her old FBI mentor Daniel Forrest will help get her thoughts together. 

When Daniel's son, policeman Todd Forrest, is called to the scene of a gruesome murder where the body of a beautiful woman has literally been torn in two, he is stopped in his tracks. Not just because of the grotesque and theatrical nature of the crime but because he recognizes the victim as Daniel's goddaughter. 

In an attempt to find swift resolution on her old friend's behalf, Reilly finds herself drawn into the investigation. And when another disturbing murder occurs soon after, Reilly can't help but feel that she has come across something like this before. But where? The answer becomes apparent at a third crime scene - the killer is visually reenacting some of the most famous murder scenes in screen history and posting his 'work' online for his followers and the whole world to see. 

Will the investigative team be able to find the murderer before his thirst for 'screen immortality' drives him to kill again? And will Reilly's brief hiatus in the US force her into a decision about her future in Dublin, and the unfinished business she has there?"

The murders in this book are pretty gross especially the first one which is beyond disturbing. There is also a very large body count but this book keeps you gripped until the end. 

A series of disturbing murders occurs but apart from their disturbingness (not a word) nothing seems to link them together until recordings of the murders are found online. 

There are some new characters to fall in love with and there are also some tear inducing moments. Why would they do that to me? I was not prepared. Certain characters don't seem to have a brain and you wonder how they are still alive but it keeps you reading. The story line keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. It seems like they are never going to find evidence or work out who it is. I read this book in a day and a half because I could not put it down much to my dads annoyance. Sorry finding out who the bad guy is is much more important than clearing the table for dinner.  

I also really really want to know if Reilly is going to move back to America or head back to rainy Dublin (whyyy would you do that?) 


Also send me book recommendations I want to try something other than crime but am not a massive chick flick fan.

Have you read any Casey Hill?


Beth...x


Jewllerybox Jewellery

25 September 2015

If you have never heard of Jewellerybox where have you been? Also get yourself over to their site pronto. They have so many gorgeous items. They also just happen to be the loveliest company ever. I've been having a pretty rough few months with the last few weeks being the worst. I just happened to tweet saying I was going to treat myself to something from them to cheer me up and to see if anyone had any recommendations. The super lovely Gemma then sent me these two gorgeous pieces, I am so in love with, just to make me smile. They honestly made my week so much better and I cant thank them enough.

jewellerybox.co.uk

First of all, how cute is their packaging. The simple brown boxes are just too cute. Jewellerybox have something for everyone with a huge range of prices and gorgeous affordable gold and silver items. I  have to have good quality jewellery as cheaper costume jewellery irritates my skin but this usually means my purse suffers. Not any more. I can see myself buying a lot more from this site.

The first item I was sent was this absolutely stunning Sterling Silver Clear CZ Open Heart Necklace*. It is the most delicate and beautiful necklace I think I own. I'm a little bit scared of breaking it because super clumsy but I'm in love. Also how adorable are the lil pegs.

Jewellerybox Sterling Silver Clear CZ Open Heart Necklace



jewellery box open heart necklace

The second item was this Sterling Silver 2mm Stacking Twisted Rope Ring*. I am a huge huge huge ring addict. Seriously I wear at least 7 rings a day and I can't stop buying them. I went for a bigger size in this one so that I could wear it as a thumb ring and it looks awesome. My hands look so pretty right now. I am definitely going to be buying some smaller sizes in this ring so I can wear it on other fingers as well. They come it sizes I-U and I went for S because I have huge knuckles and sausage fingers.

Jewellery box Sterling Silver 2mm Stacking Twisted Rope Ring

Jewellerybox twisted rop stacking ring

So if you want to treat yourself or if you are stuck for gift ideas (they also do mens jewellery) I highly recommend them. They even offer free shipping on orders over £10 and postage is super quick.

Have you got anything from jewellerybox?
What are your favourite pieces?

Beth...x 

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

Lil Life Update

23 September 2015

You can have 2 posts today to explain why you may have noticed that posts have been seriously lacking recently. Sorry about that. My life has just been crazy hectic recently. I actually have so many posts to write up but zero time. I ended up going on holiday to different places 3 weeks in a row which although amazing took its toll on my body and I'm not even sure if I'm still alive any more. I need a holiday from my body to recover.


 I had the best time in Barcelona with my friends which actually seems like forever ago now. I then was home for one day before I went away in the caravan with my family and we stayed in Pembrey. I managed to carry on working on my tan and work my way through some of my to read list and it was nice to actually get to spend time with my family. We were then home for one more night before we rushed off to Manchester for my brother to compete for Wales in the Sainsbury's school games Wheelchair Basketball (Proud sister alert).

I've now been home for 2 weeks but I've been volunteering with Whizz Kidz, attended a blogger event (which I will get around to posting about), went to the rubgy and tried to rest so that my body didn't die on me. Then Friday we had to get an ambulance for my lil brother and I have spent every day since then in the hospital rotating with my parents so someone is always with him. He's still not out and we still have no idea what's wrong with him but fingers crossed we can get some answers soon.

Sooo that is my hectic life and why I haven't been around as much as I would like. Once everything get's back to normal (well as normal as my family can be) hopefully I can start posting more regularly. Buuut my body may crash and burn for a bit first because the queen of over doing it is struggling on.

Hope you are all fabulous 

Beth...x 

Manchester Zizzi (Corn Exchange)

When in Manchester a few weeks ago we went for food in Zizzi Italian and oh my it is good. We went to the one located in the old Corn Exchange opposite the Arndale centre. It is actually downstairs but there is a super cool lift for wheelchair users and the whole of the downstairs is accessible and their is a spacious disabled toilet complete with amazing smelling soap. None of us could stop smelling our hands. I also absolutely adore the paintings on the wall. (Sorry for the poor quality photos, the lighting wasnt great and I only had my crappy iphone 4S)

Manchester Zizzi

Our waitress was so lovely and friendly and equally as bonkers as us and she was faultless even though she was only a trainee. Now onto the food which was all to die for.

For Starter we had the Cicchetti Sharing Plater and extra garlic bread (not pictured due to being inhaled too quickly) because you can't go to an Italian and not have garlic bread.

Zizzi Cicchetti Sharing Plater

King Prawn Linguine - What is my family's obsession with fish eugh. Didn't try this one but apparently it has a kick to it. King prawns & courgette ribbons in a hot roquito chilli, tomato & lobster sauce.

Zizzi King Prawn Linguine

Strozzapretti Pesto Rosso - Oh my, this was so delicious and I could totally demolish a bowl of this right now. Damn living in the middle of nowhere. The portion is so big that I couldn't even finish it which was pretty sad. Its so creamy and yummy and the chicken was so tender and I think I might dribble soon. It is Spicy piccante chicken, red pesto, crème fraîche & spring onions (and a sprinkle of magic I assume). Its not spicy at all though if anyone is worried. 

Zizzi Strozzapretti Pesto Rosso

Wild Boar Ragu Pappardelle - I did try this one and although delicious it was a bit rich. I could taste too much wine for my liking. I do love wine I think I just preferred my dish. This dish is Rich wild boar ragu with red wine, garlic & tomatoes, pappardelle pasta & Grana Padano. If you love meaty dishes then this one is probably for you

Zizzi Wild Boar Ragu Pappardelle

Chocolate & Toffee Nut Sundae - Chocolate & crema gelato, banana, whipped mascarpone cream, toffee sauce & caramelised peanuts with a dash of magic I assume. This is heaven in a glass. I was a bit worried because I don't always like banana in my pudding but this was a magical combination. The chocolate and vanilla gelato was so creamy. The caramelised peanuts were so good I had to result to stabbing to prevent my family stealing them. I would kill for this right now. Damn living in the middle of nowhere.

Zizzi Chocolate & Toffee Nut Sundae

Lemon Meringue Sundae - Lemon sorbet, crema gelato, crumbled meringue, whipped mascarpone cream, lemon curd & mint. I was torn between this and the chocolate one. I'm glad I went for mine as I was craving some sweetness. This one was a tad sour but still so good.

Zizzi Lemon Meringue Sundae

Tiramisu - As usual my dad was predictable. 

Zizzi Tiramisu

Cappuccino - How cool is this glass. Its so light and doesnt get hot and I'll take 10 please. This was our waitresses first attempt at a cappuccino and she nailed it. This was actually my dads but I am a pre coffee thief so sorry about that. 

Zizzi  Cappuccino

If you're ever passing Zizzi and have a craving for the best pasta or pizza ever followed by some delicious gelato then I would definitely recommend popping in.

Beth...x

Manchester Sportcity Travelodge

20 September 2015

A couple of weeks ago (Maybe, I dont even know what day it is anymore) my brother was competing for Wales in the Sainsburys school games Wheelchair Basketball (They came 4th, GO WALES). As this was held over 4 days we had to find somewhere to stay. 

We booked the Sportcity travelodge as it was the cheapest option and close to where we needed to be. If you are booking the travelodge you need to be aware that it DOES NOT have a lift. If you need a ground floor room you have to phone up after you've made the booking and they will allocate you one. 


Some of the staff were super lovely and some were not so helpful. Shout out to the guy who did not judge me for going to ask for help with the wifi at 11pm in my pjs and a full face of makeup still and also no shoes. I looked fabulous. To pay for the wifi it takes you to a paypal page that looks a bit weird but he phoned the company and said if anything went wrong he would take responsibility and reassured me that he has used it and it was fine. No one stole my money so thats good. You do get 30 mins free wifi every 24hours but that just isn't enough for me. It cost me £12 for a week and I could use it on 2 devices. 

They also don't seem to have specific disabled rooms. We had 2 rooms with an interconnecting door so that my mum could come and jump on me in the morning to wake me up (true story) and my dad could bring me coffee to stop me being grumpy (he's a good egg). However, the bathroom was a tad on the small side and you could only just get a wheelchair in and shut the door. There was also no grab handles around the toilet and I had to use the sink. We also had a bath which was a bit tricky to get in and out of a required parental guidance (Thanks mum). On the plus side the bed was huge and super comfy and once my brother went to stay with all the athletes I got the whole thing to myself so I could starfish all night long.


Please excuse all my crap in the doorway 

Even though this travelodge was near a main road I wasn't kept awake and actually slept pretty good for me. This one also does food including buffet breakfast in the morning with unlimited fancy coffee (heart eyes). They also serve food till 10pm I think and then they do a snack menu with jacket potatoes, burgers & chips on it 24 hours. They also do the most amazing warm brownie sundae and I want one so bad like right now.

There is a car park which blue badge holders can use for free and all other cars have to pay £3 for 24 hours which is still pretty good. It is about a 10-15 minute drive into the city centre and turns out blue badge holders can park on any of the street parking for FREE ALL DAY. How amazing is that. We had to ask a traffic warden because we didn't believe the internet. 

I really enjoyed my stay in Manchester and would definitely love to visit again

Beth...x


Food// Red Lion in Llangadog

10 September 2015

As you can see by my blog recently I have moved to the more lifestyle side of blogging, which seems to involve a lot of food. I also have some epic outfit posts featuring my mum that should be coming soon.

Anyway back to the Red Lion. The Red Lion is a Hotel that has opened up in a Village near mine, Llangadog. The new owners have gone with a Medieval Wales theme for the whole place including the bedrooms. There are fabulous chandeliers, coats of armour and the rooms have massive four poster beds. A lot of thought has been put into all the little details including slate coasters and wooden covers for the menus.

Now onto the food. The food is pretty damn gorgeous and the portion sizes are huge. The second time we went I had the meatballs and pasta as a main and I had to ask for a takeaway pot (which I filled). Wasn't gonna waste it though.

Everyone wanted in on the food picture action though so you get to see what everyone in my family ate. Picture heavy and it will make you hungry #SorryNotSorry (I'm a little bit sorry for that hashtag though)

Starters

Sweet Chilli Chicken Skewers - These are absolutely amazing. Im addicted to sweet chilli sauce anyway but mmmm.

red lion sweet chilli chicken

Mussels - I hate fish (except tuna mayo and fish fingers but they don't really count) but the rest of my family love mussels. Apparently these were pretty good and they get served in a pot with a lid that you can use to put your shells in (I found that pretty cool)

red lion mussels

Scallops - Another dish I did not try. My dad said it was good though so we'll go with that

red lion scallops

Spaghetti & Meatballs - This was my starter. Yup this portion is a starter. And let me tell you, this is the best spaghetti & meatballs I have had. It was soo good. The meatballs are amazing and the sauce is delicious. I did not, however, enjoy trying to eat the spaghetti like a lady. It's not possible. I had to slurp and I got it all over my face. Worth it though

red lion spaghetti and meatballs

Mains

Steak - My family loves our meat and you cant beat a good steak so we all went for that. I opted for BBQ sauce because BBQ sauce is life. I also opted for spring onion mashed potato because I didn't fancy chips. It was the best mash potato in the world. I honestly would have been happy to just sit and eat a vat of it. Carbs are also life. The steak just melted in your mouth and was amazing. We also got onion rings because you cant have steak without them. Fighting over the last one ensued. I won.

red lion steak

Red lion onion rings

red lion spring onion mash

Dessert - The best course of all

Lemon Cheesecake  - As you may have noticed from my last food post, I am a huge huge huge cheesecake fan. This lemon cheesecake was amazzzzing. It was actually the one that made my mum actually like cheesecake. It was so lemony but not too sour but delicious and mmm. Also very artistically presented. And now I want cheesecake

Red lion lemon cheesecake

Pavlova - This picture came out blurry in all the excitement *cries*. My mum is obsessed with meringue and I may have stolen some. It was pretty damn good. It was the chewy kind of meringue and it was heaven. Although she did have to ask for a knife and fork to eat it as the spoon just wasn't working for her. So much cream and fruit and deliciousness

Red lion pavlova

Tiramasu - Im not a massive fan of tiramasu (Its a texture thing - soggy sponge weirds me out) but I did try it and it was okay. My dad loved it though and that's what counts.

Red-Lion-Tiramasu

All there food is home made and delicious. It also really reasonably priced and I've heard amazing things about their carvery which I'm hoping to get to soon.

The food area of this hotel is wheelchair accessible and the staff are very accommodating. There's a spacious disabled toilet and ramp access via the carpark. The bedrooms however are located upstairs.

You had any good food recently?

Beth...x

Whizz Kidz Sailability

8 September 2015

As some of you may know I have been doing a work placement and volunteering with Whizz Kidz. Two weeks ago we had a massive day out to Staylittle Outdoor centre for a Sailability event. After copious amounts of coffee (I dont get along with early mornings) and getting lost once *cough a few times* we made it to the gorgeous Clywedog reservoir. It was an eventful but stunning journey. I would also like to thank my taxi driver (my lil brother) for getting me there in one piece whilst I sat clutching my coffee and grunting in response.

whizz kidz sailability

Sail ability provides the opportunity for disabled people to have a go at sailing and canoeing. They have accessible boats and hoists and an amazing attitude. The staff are so lovely and extremely helpful, making the day that little bit more enjoyable. You are provided with all the equipment you need including very fetching wetsuits and life jackets. I looked fabulous but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures. Such a shame. They also have an accessible toilet and shower.

I would have to say that for an accessible event there are a few things you need to be aware of. The ramp down to the water is extremely steep so power chairs may skid and cause issues. It is also super steep for manual chair users. Even my brother with his massive arms had to be pushed up (seriously I think he might be part gorilla). You have to take a fully accessible power boat to the jetty to then transfer to the sailing boats where they have a hoist to get you in.

Unfortunately for us even though we went in August the weather was not great. It was a tad on the chilly side yet when we got on the sailing boat the wind disappeared and the rain joined us. We still had a good time though. We went on a trip on the power boat and learnt all about the history of the reservoir which was so interesting. Then we went sailing and talked a lot about pizza. After lunch the people with more hardcore bodies (not me and my brother) went out canoeing whilst we huddled around the heater clutching more coffee trying to get our joints to function. Everyone seemed to love the canoeing.

staylittle outdoor centre

satylittle sailability

Despite the beautiful welsh weather and a slightly broken body everyone still had an amazing day. We got to catch up with friends made at other groups and make new ones. The staff made the day go smoothly with no injuries, which is a pretty major achievement with my brother around.

I love that Whizz Kidz makes activities that wouldn't normally be open to disabled young people possible and provide the support needed to have as much fun as possible

Beth...x

p.s you can find all my other posts on Whizz Kidz Activities here and if you want to know more get in touch mermaidindisguise@outlook.com

Books// Cop Town Karin Slaughter

6 September 2015

I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughters books and own pretty much all of them so I was really excited when I saw one I didn't have yet on offer in Asda or Tesco or somewhere like that. Unfortunately I was really disappointed. I really struggled to get into Cop Town.


"Atlanta, 1974. As a brutal killing and furious manhunt rocks the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last.

Kate isn't the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes.

When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city's cop killer, they decide to pursue their own line of investigation. But are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart?"

This book is set when it was super sexist in the police force (more than now). Two women are fighting to work in the male dominated police force with no one taking them seriously. There is a cop killer on the loose and no one will listen to what the women have to say.

I'm not really sure why I found this book so hard going but I probably wouldn't have finished it if it wasn't Karin Slaughter. It seemed to take forever for it to actually go anywhere and I really didn't gel with the characters. I did want to find out who the bad guy was but I got a bit bored until the last chapter where it all finally came together.

This book is no where near as good as the Sara Linton and Will Trent series

Have you read it? What did you think?

Beth...x

The Fforest Inn

1 September 2015

I'm going to start this post by saying The Fforest Inn is honestly my favourite place ever to eat. Seriously, I am in love. I think this place may actually make the best burger I have ever tasted. Its so good that I have eaten here 3 times and I have ordered the burger every time. I don't even bother looking at anything else on the menu. I can't resist a good burger.

The staff at the Fforest Inn are the nicest people you will ever meet. I don't think I've ever had such good service, especially when the first time we went in they had just finished serving and we looked so rough they took pity  on us and let us eat. They are seriously so lovely.

Their food is so reasonably priced and it is all home made and oh so delicious. I've only ever had the home made beef burger with bacon & cheese but my mum loves the Hunters Chicken and my brother inhaled the steak in about 2 minutes.

Fforest inn burger

The burger may be delicious but their puddings are out of this world. I am a huge huge cheesecake fan and this cheesecake is heaven on a plate. I have tried the Lemon and the Vanilla cheesecake so far. I think the lemon may be my favourite but as a scientist I may have to do some repeat tests to get a fair result. I mean its for science. My mum usually hates cheesecake but she cant get enough of this one.

Fforest inn cheesecake

Also sticky toffee pudding *heart eyes emoji* Seriously this is so delicious. The toffee sauce is like heaven in your mouth. I just can't describe how delicious this is. Honestly this is the best sticky toffee pudding I have ever tasted. I would also like to point out that these puddings are actually smaller than what you would normally get because I couldn't choose and they got fed up with waiting for me to make a decision so gave me half and half but shh don't tell anyone.

Fforest Inn sticky toffee pudding

They also introduced us into the world of Panna Cotta as none of us had tried it before. It is amazing. My brother now nags me every day to drive 45mins to pick him one up.

So if you are ever in Llanfihangel Nant Melan stop by and tell them that the crazy panna cotta family sent you. They'll know who you mean

Beth...x
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