A stack of £20 english bank notes

My Top tips for ebay Selling

My Top Tips for selling on eBay

It’s been over a month since i published my blog post about how great decluttering is for generating cash as well as clearing your house!  I did promise a follow-up about how I made the most of my out of my junk so I though I would start with a post about eBay listings.  Ebay is where I sell most of my unwanted items!

Over the past 2 months I have managed to make (after fees) £763 just from selling off my old junk on eBay.  Research suggests the average person has around £1000 worth of junk and clutter around the house to sell.

So why eBay?  I personally prefer eBay over other methods of selling for most of my decluttering because;

The audience

It reaches a massive audience.  With the introduction of the global shipping programme it’s even become easy to sell your items abroad to.  I can’t think of any where i else I would get an international audience to sell my unwanted junk.

Paypal

So yes PayPal fees are expensive and they do eat into profit.  However this is highly convenient for anyone wanting to buy something from you.  It also gives the buyers protection which makes them feel safe when doing an online transaction from a stranger.  PayPal is also super quick and will instantly send money to your bank account when you withdraw.

convenience

No fielding calls from people saying they want the item, staying in all day and then finding they don’t turn up – yep Gumtree Continue reading

Hip Spica removal – what to expect 2 weeks on

What to expect in the first few weeks after hip spica removal

The start of this week marked Harper’s 2 weekhip spica removal.  In just two weeks Harper’s physical development has come in leaps and bounds.  It’s not all been plain sailing though.  A little background first of all.  Before Harper had her hips spica on she was able to sit, crawl and pull to stand.  You can read more about Harper’s initial spica journey here.

Initial Problems post hip spica

As expected Harper’s legs and tendons were all pretty stiff after being encased in hip spica for almost 4 months.  Harper immediately after removal was pretty cranky about moving her legs. Within 2 hours my happy smily Harper was fully back and she was happy to kick her legs about.  She was particularly happy to be able to touch her legs, she wasn’t even bothered by other people touching them.  I decided to give Harper a dose of regular paracetamol for the first day out of her cast.  This helped with the initial aches and pains of getting all her joints and tendons moving again.  Regular warm baths also helped to make her joints feel soothed and supported.

Skin Issues

As previously mentioned Harper was happy to have her skin touched, but her skin didn’t feel the same way!  The day after removal Harper came up in an allergic rash ALL over her body where the cast had previously been.  The rash was mild on the stomach area but her legs were red raw.  Harper was scratching it so much that I knew it must be itchy.  We had to keep her legs fully covered to ensure she didn’t scratch herself to the point of bleeding.  Out came the faithful bottle of Piriton for children!  This helped enormously with the itching and kept her calm.  Looking back I don’t think dressing her in shorts was such a good idea – despite how cute she looked!

It took almost the whole 2 weeks for the rash to disappear.  I failed to realise just how sensitive her skin would be after her treatment and hadn’t even considered this to be a problem.

Physical Issues – Sitting

I’m. It sure why but I had this strange idea that after the cast was removed Harper would at least be able to sit unaided.  Harper had lost a lot of muscle tone from her stomach and back and wasn’t able to sit very well at all.


A breastfeeding cushion tucked up behind Harper kept her propped up but even then her balance still wasn’t very good.  It took a good three days for Harper’s core muscle tone to return.  Once that happened though she was able to sit well unaided.  This meant Harper could start work on learning how to crawl again.

Crawling

Harper had no problems crawling in a hip spica so I expected again (incorrectly) that she’d be able to crawl straight away.  Once Harper had learned to sit unaided I would say it took another 2 days to lean how to crawl again.  Her preferred method of crawling though is still commando crawling with that all familiar frog leg position that she was in for so long.


Prior to the hip spica cast Harper was able to crawl on her hands and knees.  I wonder if she will ever re-learn crawling on her hands and knees at all.  Even if she doesn’t though it’s not a massive problem, as hopefully she will soon be moving on to….

Standing

Before cast removal Harper was already pulling to stand.  Her technique was a little on the floppy side though.  After a week of cast removal Harper has started to pull to stand again.


At the 2 week point Harper can easily pull to stand on almost any surface and has even started crusing the furniture.  Then earlier today she took her first ever steps using her V-Tech First Steps baby walker!

Looking Foward

I had no idea that Harper  would progress so quickly.  As a Mum I’m thrilled and so proud that she’s pushed through all the discomfort.  I cant wait to see how she will be doing in the next 2 weeks time.  Let’s just hope that all the weight she’s now bearing on her hips means that she’s going to carve out some nice deep hip sockets to avoid any further surgery!

 

Guest Posting about Chase’s disability

A different kind of guest post

I was very flattered a month or so ago to be asked to write a piece for another blog about Chase’s disability.  Being such a small blog I wasn’t sure if my views would even be appreciated but to my amazement they were!

Laundrapp (the UK’s most popular dry cleaning and laundry service) asked if I could share my experience of difficulties faced in the home with housework relating to disability.  I’ve never really considered before using my blogging skills to educate others about the challenges having a disabled family member would have.   You can read my post over on the Laundrapp blog here.  Please do have a read a leave a comment on their page if you enjoyed reading it. Having now written a post about the struggles of day-to-day living with disabilities I think it’s something I would like to do more of, especially when there is a positive tone to the article.

Wouldn’t it be great to have someone else do your washing?!

Laundrapp have also been super generous and offered a special discount code to readers of my blog.  Using the code LAUNDRAPPNIKKI (code is case-sensitive) you can get £15 off your first order.  They operate in several areas and are expanding all the time.  Feel free to share the code with your friends and family who might find this off use  (who doesn’t want a break from doing their own Laundry!)

What I won – Check out my May 2017 Wins

WHAT I WON – ANOTHER MONTH OF COMPING

It’s the start of another month, which means yet another review of another month of comping!   For those of you that are new to the blog I’m a comper.  You can read more about my comping and why I do it here.  But the short story is that after having to quit work due to keep up with my sons additional needs I needed to find something that meant we could still afford the nicer things in life!

A BUNDLE OF CHROMA STATIONERY

Well technically I won this lovely bundle in April.  But as the bundle was won on the 30th of April after I had published my last blog post it’s made its way here instead!  This was a simple RT to win on twitter ran by Chroma stationery as part of National Stationery week.

GLITTER LIPS MAKEUP BUNDLE

A quick and easy RT to win ran by Glitter Lips on Twitter.  I am in love with how sparkly the glitter lips kit leaves my lips!  This was a really generous prize filled with lots of goodies

STAR WARS MINI TEA CADDY AND TEA

I entered so many Star Wars day Continue reading

MCM ComicCon and kids – our review

visiting MCM ComicCon with kids

On the same weekend of the Emirates FA Cup Final there was another important event taking place in London – MCM ComicCon!  I’ve never attended MCM ComicCon but it has been on my to do list for years.  I’ve procrastinated going the last few years.  My main reasons for not attending sooner have been a worry of getting a pushchair or wheelchair around ComicCon. I’ve also previously been worried that the kids wouldn’t enjoy being dragged round all the stalls that Mum and Dad want to look at!.  This year now Harper was finally out her massive plaster cast we decided to just go for it.

What is MCM ComicCon

If you’ve never heard of ComicCon (seriously some people haven’t); it’s a convention that covers anime, cosplay, video-games, sci-fi, popular media and manga.  It’s held twice yearly in London but also hosts events across the UK as well.  The event runs across 3 days from Friday to Sunday.

Tickets and kids

Dan and I both had weekend priority passes which means we could attend all three days of ComicCon with early entry.  MCM ComicCon are really generous and allow children under 5 to go free with priority tickets (weekend or single day).  Children 10 and under are allowed free entry after general admission time too.  Each paying adult is allowed 2 children free of charge.  This means even taking a large family is really good value for money!  We decided we would attend on Friday with the two youngest children ( ages 1 and 3).  On the Saturday Continue reading

Chase’s FA Cup Final Mascot experience 

 

If you follow me on my social media channels you won’t have missed one or two posts about Chase at the FA Cup Final this weekend!

How did chase get to be a mascot?

Chase entered a competition ran by Emirates airlines.  I first noticed this competition on fellow blogger and comper Di Coke’s Superlucky blog page on Facebook.  To enter the competition you had to send a video of your child aged between 7-11. During the video the entrant had to give a half time pep talk to their team.

Giving a half time pep talk is quite difficult however when you don’t have your own voice! Luckily Chase has a VOCA which he’s getting better with every day.  We sat down together and went through what he would like to say.  It was a very slow process typing it on to his VOCA.  Chase was a complete superstar though and patiently sat through 20 minutes of typing to get his message ready and on the VOCA

Chase got the perfect video in just two takes! I loved how he cheered when he shouted GOAL!!! You can watch Chase’s winning entry here.

Arranging the Prize

When I first received the details through of Chase’s prize I was slightly alarmed that we would be leaving him in the hands of the FA with no parents fror 3 hours before kick off.  I need not have worried at all.  Emirates and the FA were both amazing in adjusting the prize to fit round Chase’s needs.  Part of Chase’s prize includes two nights stay in a posh Mayfair hotel.  Emirates made sure that he had an accessible room and also offered to arrange alternative transport to and from Wembley if we wanted to bring Chase’s electric wheelchair.  The FA also were so accommodating allowing Chase to have a carer with him at all times to meet his care needs (apart from on the pitch of course!)

Who got to go with Chase

For the actual mascot experience I felt it was only right for Chase’s Granddad to take him to the game.  The only reason Chase is a football fan is because of his Granddad and when they spend time together it’s usually to tune into whatever match is on that day! Chase wanted to go to the mascot experience wearing his Arsenal kit

The mascot experince

As I didn’t actually get to go to the mascot experience myself I can only tell you what I’ve been told from Chase’s Granddad about the experience so far!  All the mascots got a tour around Continue reading

Hip Spica removal – cast off day!

Cast off day finally came!

So today, after 15 long arse weeks, Harper finally had her hip spica cast removed.  Our appointment was actually quite early in the morning at 10.40 but all the way over at Maidstone hospital.  When we arrived to the clinic we were given two forms, oe for the plaster room and one for X-ray.  Much to my surprise we were sent straight down and into the plaster room to have Harper’s cast removed immediately.

1 year old in pink hip spica cast

Cast Removal

unfortunately I wasn’t able to film Harper’s cast being removed but I was allowed to take some pictures.  First they cut into all the tape and padding around the bottom  of each legs and around the nappy area

hip spica removal - cast being removed
Harper was quite happy and chilled at this point.  After this came the special plaster removal saw!  This was about as noisy as a vacuum cleaner.  Harper is fine with loud noise but she did not like the vibrations is made as they cut down the side of her legs and had a little bit of a moan before realising it wasn’t too bad and then stopping.  The saw somehow cuts through fibreglass plaster cast but doesnt cut skin if it comes into contact with it. Continue reading

hip spica equipment smart trike playing outdorrs

The last Day

The last day

It’s been 15 weeks exactly today since I have seen my baby’s legs.  15 weeks since I last had a proper squishy cuddle with my baby.  And 15 weeks since I’ve been able to watch her having fun splashing about in the bath.  Tomorrow is cast off day!  I’ve just put Harper to sleep in her hip spica cast for the very last time.

The last time I saw Harper’s legs, 15 weeks ago today!

The past 15 weeks haven’t been too difficult, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been a walk in the park either. Continue reading

Chase’s Cerebral Palsy dystonia drug trial

How a bit of drool might be the key to unlocking Chase’s full potential

I’m nervous, excited and apprehensive all at the same time about writing this blog post. Earlier this week after well over a year of attempting to sort out a solution for Chase’s over saliva production he might just have hit a jackpot solution.

Chase’s Cerebral Palsy

Chase has a fairly severe form of Cerebral Palsy. His formal diagnosis depends on which bit of paper you read from which medical professional, but the most common one seen these days is Cerebral Palsy with Dystonia. This means that Chase has two types of Cerebral Palsy, he has some spasticity (tight muscles) but he also has dystonic Cerebral Palsy too. Dystonic Cerebral Palsy is characterised by involuntary muscle spasms and unwanted movement.  Fortunately for Chase we very rarely get involuntary muscle spasms but we do have lots of problem with unwanted movement. Movements can be fast, slow or jerky or sometimes all three.   In some people like Chase the muscles in the face are also affected.  This causes issues with speech, eating, facial expressions and drooling.  Chase has all of these problems!  All these unwanted movements get worse when Chase is excited or under stress, but almost like magic they disappear the minute he falls asleep.

Drooling in Cerebral Palsy

So as stated above Chase has issues with drooling.  This is down to a combination of unwanted or uncontrolled facial movements as well as hypersalivation (an increase in the amount of saliva).  Chase has worked incredibly hard over the past few years to improve his Continue reading

Million Eyez – how to find great photos online

As a blogger and semi enthusiastic photographer I’m always on the look out for great photos to add to my blog posts.  Besides, reading great big chunks of text is boring without having a picture to help convey an article.

As a semi enthusiastic photographer this means I love taking photos but a) don’t have time, and b) I’m a complete noob and most of my photos are rubbish.  Enter Million Eyez, a great new free to use online service that allows you to both quickly find quality pictures for your online article. There’s two sides to Million Eyez, you can find photos to use but you can also submit them and be credited.

Finding photos

This is great and really easy to do.  You can search for a specific photo of what you ware after that’s already been uploaded.  The other alternative is an amazing concept.  You can create your own custom photobox and request photos.  Setting a theme or a feeling for your photobox will give photographers a brief to know what to upload to the photobox .  You can select individual photos or use a whole photobox in any article.  Using a photo or photobox is completely effortless.  You simply click on the code for an individual photo or photobox, copy it, and then paste it into the html or text editor for an online article or blog post.  It automatically credits the photographer too directly on your website!

Setup a photobox

I decided to see how easy it would be to set up a photobox and went straight ahead and set up a few.  Now I have to say I’m not that great with describing pictures as a sentence or an emotion. So I decided to keep things simple using search terms I would use when looking for photos of an article.  I set up three photoboxes for flowers, candles and gaming.  I uploaded some of my own amateur photography to both flowers and candles.  Within a few hours I had contributions to both my candles and flowers photobox.  The quality of photos being added was amazing.  Flowers was very successful with some stunning and beautiful shots.  You can see the photobox below.  As you scroll through you’ll notice that all of the pictures are credited with the photographer. Continue reading