Anxiety and I – AND and a bit of a relapse

Hi all,

This is something of an explanation. This is probably something of an excuse. This is something I wasn’t sure would ever make it to the publish button.

Last December, after feeling really rather rotten, I found myself in my bathroom peeing on a pregnancy test. Before I had even had chance to consider my feelings, there was the little pink plus sign which confirmed something I had been told may not even be possible. My partner did all of the things that you’re supposed to – including the exciting things you are always supposed to say – while I just stood there with my mouth open and tried to figure out what I felt. I waited for the warm rush of love that meant ‘I loved you from the second I saw the lines on the test,’ and I waited for excitement to pool in the pit of my stomach so I too could jump around and be happy.

Because I was happy. I was thrilled. I just didn’t know how to express it aloud because I was also fricking terrified. Within minutes I felt an overwhelming rush of guilt that I hadn’t jumped around squealing like women do in the movies. I hugged my partner and said, very honestly, ‘I don’t know what to say!’

‘That’s normal,’ he replied, beaming from ear to ear, and I smiled back, determined my fears were not taking this moment from me.

‘That’s normal,’ is a phrase that over the next few months would become poison to my ears.

When people talk about depression and anxiety in relation to pregnancy, it’s always Post Natal that comes up – or the ‘baby blues’ if you REALLY want to belittle it. However no one warned me about Ante Natal depression – the one that comes before you even get that bundle handed to you. In fact, the literature that I was supplied with after my first midwife visit contained one paragraph about this condition, and cited hormones as the cause. Because ‘it’s normal.’

I knew the way I felt was not normal. Whilst most people in their first trimester were running to the bathroom to chuck up their breakfast, I was running to the bathroom to panic silently and cry my eyes out – and debating over whether or not to put my name on the 5th cubicle on the left. Sometime during my 9th week I began to bleed, and dashed off to hospital to see my tiny kidney bean with a heartbeat, which was the first moment I actually felt something about the situation. It still wasn’t the movie moment I was anticipating, and there certainly were no fireworks, but I felt flutters of excitement [or maybe it was wind]. Then the same thing happened 2 weeks later, and I was told something that brought it all home… that we should prepare for the worst as I may have lost the baby. We stayed awake all night, while I cried on and off, blaming myself because I hadn’t had the fireworks, I hadn’t immediately started going gooey over baby grows and I certainly hadn’t got the nursery planned.

The next day, we went for another scan and saw the heartbeat again, along with some stubby little arms and legs, and I vowed that this was it, I was going to full on embrace the motherhood gene as hard as possible. However my mind spiralled in total the opposite direction – I became afraid that any negative thought would send the baby away, so I was forcing a smile on my face in public constantly, and even when I was afraid I’d puke on someone’s shoes, I would not admit that I felt ill. This made me more and more exhausted until one day I couldn’t take it anymore, and stormed out of work. As I sat in my car having panic attack after panic attack, I sobbed to my partner that I couldn’t do it. He is totally laid back about everything so calmly suggested I go to the doctor and explain that I wasn’t coping too well. Thankfully the doctor was understanding and signed me off work; he explained that the pressure I was putting myself and my body under could have been what caused the bleeding in the early days – which sent me even further into despair. What kind of mother was I if I was putting my baby in danger because I couldn’t get my thoughts under control? But of course, I was advised that ‘some anxiety was normal.’

After I tried [and failed] to return to work, my confidence took even more of a knock and I found myself trying to reach out to people… only to be told that ‘nerves were normal.’ This was not just nerves, I was so afraid of something happening to the baby, of something happening to me, how would we cope with money, how could we manage with childcare, how, what, when where, why… The consultant suggested I adjust my medication but that it might be dangerous for the baby; I felt as though I had no control over my life or even my own body. I trawled the net for support and found so much for post natal depression but very little for antenatal, and so made the request to return to therapy so that I had someone to talk to – someone who wouldn’t just tell me my overwhelming feelings were ‘normal.’ When I spoke to my therapist and started talking through my feelings, it became obvious that I was on a slippery slope to a relapse. Determined that I was not putting my body or my mind through that dangerous cycle again, I threw myself into finding motivation and trying to build myself back up – which works sometimes, and sometimes I just have to sit in bed with the covers over my head.

Some days are so precious. Some days I am beyond happy and excited about my little man [yes it is a boy] joining the world, and some days I feel like my unborn son deserves so much better – that he deserves someone ‘normal’ for his mother. I have been so lucky to have a supportive partner who never judges me for anything that I say or feel, but I can’t imagine that I am alone in feeling this way. However we feel might be ‘normal’ but it can be awfully lonely, so I have decided to open my own blog dedicated to mummy type things, which can also be a forum for people to chat and open up about their own stories. I will keep this blog – it’s something I am really proud of and would love to get back into when the time is right, however I want to keep it just for beauty and lifestyle and my other site mymisadventureintomotherhood.wordpress.com will become a place for parent type posts.

If you feel that any of these things apply to you, I urge you to talk to your GP, or self refer to your local NHS Mental Health service for additional help and support. May 1-8 is Maternity Mental Health Week and May is Mental Health Awareness Month so if any time is best to speak out, it is now. Please don’t suffer in silence.

We are all enough.

 

Until next time,

B xoxo

Coffee Coconut Pud – Or The World’s Worst Come Back!

Hi all,

I’m going to be honest, this was not the great come back that I had planned! I’m aware that I have been gone for around 4 months and I will address this at a later date but basically what made me sit down, open my snazzy little Chromebook [new] and start typing again was that I posted this photo on Instagram:

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And got a comment from camoandcrunches [follow her for a tonne of fitness motivation!] asking how I made it. It wasn’t going to be easy to type it all in a little comment so I thought I would just make a post about it.

These are what my dad called Coffee Coconut Pud the first time he tried them, they were inspired by a post I saw on Pintrest from a site called Eat Good 4 Life but I had to make adaptations because I did not like the flavours that were actually used.

So, for the base I used 1 cup dates and 1 cup ground almonds, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla bean paste and honey, plus 2 tablespoons of water. Now for coffee it was suggested to use instant but I literally cannot abide instant coffee, so what I used instead was the contents of a capsule from my Nespresso machine. If you do not like coffee then you can omit this and it still makes a yummy base. I whacked all of this in a food processor and just whizzed it together, before packing it into a square baking tin which I greased with coconut oil, and left in the fridge whilst I did the cream.

For the cream I used a container of coconut cream [I just got mine from Sainsburys, I think it was around 300ml], a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, 3 tablespoons of honey and another container of coffee. Again I just whipped it all together in the food processor and poured it on top of the base, before leaving the whole lot in the fridge for around 45 minutes whilst I did bits and pieces.

I will confess, my mum made the chocolate top as I had totally lost my mojo by this point but I did measure out 3 tablespoons each of pure cocoa powder, coconut oil and honey which she melted together over a very low heat and poured over the top. We then put the whole lot in the fridge overnight and tucked in the next day with spoons as it was far too gooey to eat with fingers. Because there are no nasties in this, I will confess to eating this for breakfast. It’s totally clean, totally vegan and absolutely delicious. You can omit the coffee if you wish or maybe experiment by popping even more chocolate in the cream!

Hope you guys enjoy the recipe and I will be back soon with a bit more in depth post.

B xoxo

 

 

 

What’s On My Face- Spring 2016 Edit

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Hi all,

Wow it feels like it has been a while since I did anything beauty related… But here I am with a sort of ‘everyday make up’ look that I have been wearing so far since the weather has become more ‘Spring-like’. I put that in quotes because I live in the North East of England so the weather is much nicer but not what some people consider Spring. Frankly as long as there are daffodils I don’t care.

I am not a makeup artist but I know what I like, and as my skin is doing loads better lately, I have been embracing a more glowing look than the super-matte look I have been rocking over the winter. I finally found my ‘perfect’ highlighter for my paler skin as well.

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I always start with my eyes first and this is the palette I have been grabbing lately- the special edition Soap and Glory palette for Christmas. It’s a mixture of colours that I personally think are perfect for my green eyes. I adore all of the shades in it and the eyeshadows have an amazing consistency. The only criticism I will make is that they don’t last as well as my Naked palette or my Tanya Burr ones, however the colour payoff is great and there’s very little fall out. Before putting my eye colour on I prime my eyes with my favourite ‘Lizzie’ cream eyeshadow from the B Collection at Superdrug, which I ramble on about all the time so I’m sure you know which one it is 🙂 my three favourite ‘every day’ eyeshadow colours are marked on the picture but I do also use the others on a weekend or if I feel like a change. I will also tightline my top lashes with Soap and Glory’s Supercat Liquid eyeliner, and smudge their brown Smoulder Kohl over the top and along my lower lash line.

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Next I prime my face with the Body Shop’s Instablur, I’ve not found anything that does the job under foundation half as well – although I have heard some great stuff about Smashbox primer, if anyone has any opinions? Then it’s onto foundation and this Younique foundation is officially the greatest thing in the history of foundation, and totally worth the £30 price tag. It is however, not the easiest thing to apply. First you need to squeeze everything out of the dropper and give the bottle a bloody good shake. Then put just one drop onto the top of my Real Techniques Perfect Face brush, dab it all over my face and blend. Sometimes I will then do a second drop if I need it, but actually one is usually enough. Apart from the bags under my eyes is generally covers everything, but if I do need a bit more coverage I will use Soap and Glory’s Kick Ass concealer on blemishes, and their Trick and Treatment under my eyes.

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Next I will very lightly contour my jawline and cheekbones, around my forehead and temples using the bronzer from Tanya Burr’s Peachy Glow Cheek Palette. This is a gorgeous bronzer for yellow toned, pale skin as it warms the skin but doesn’t look too ‘done.’ Also it’s not too glittery. I’ll sweep the blush from this palette quite low on my cheekbones and up to the temples, before using my finger to apply the highlight to the top of my cheekbones, under my eyebrows, tear duct and cupid’s bow. I generally don’t follow the whole YouTube hype but I honestly love Tanya Burr’s make up and this is absolutely no exception. I’ll then use my No7 Translucent powder over my T Zone, chin and down my neck to blend everything together [not pictured as I broke the container so it’s in an old Corn Silk tub!]. If I’m short on time then I will skip ALL of this and just use the Soap and Glory Love at First Blush stick, as it gives a really pretty pink glow with highlighter in.

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Also not pictured is my new favourite brow gel, which is also one of Soap and Glory’s new releases, and I use that in the darkest shade just to tidy up my brows. Then I’ll curl my eyelashes and cocktail my two favourite mascaras- Soap and Glory’s False Lash Extensions and Boot’s 17 Va Va Voom Waterproof Mascara.

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This all may sound pretty longwinded but it only really takes around 10-12 minutes for me to do my whole face, and if I can’t be bothered I will just skip the whole contour/highlight bit, and the eyeliner, and that will take around 6 minutes [yes I timed it for the sake of this post!] for lips I love the Tanya Burr gloss in the shade Picnic in the Park, it is a super pretty pale pink that is gorgeous for spring and summer and would suit most skin tones. But I still hate the packaging and the smell so you can’t have it all!

What looks are you guys rocking for Spring? Any trends I’m missing out on?

Until next time,

B xoxo

 

 

 

 

Letters to Little One- Recovery, Reflections and Relationships

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To my dearest little one,

It’s been so long since I sat down and wrote to you, but I have a few things that I need to get off my chest. I miss sitting down and pouring out everything I feel through the keys- I’d forgotten how therapeutic it can be.

People think that the way recovery works, is that you have the treatment and you get better- like when you have an ear infection and you take antibiotics. Actually it’s more like a tangled ball of string that you’re only aware of one end of. It’s certainly not a linear process and I think that is one of the things that makes it so hard to understand for people. Not to mention that there are set backs- incidents and triggers are everywhere and the only thing between you and that trigger is you- which isn’t always enough.

Recently, I have spent time thinking about what has led me to this point in my life, and although I have said before that it doesn’t do to reflect on things… Sometimes we have to think about what’s gone behind us in order to spring forwards. I have experienced a great deal of bullying- in various forms- over both my teenage and adult life, which has eventually given a voice to the horrible noise inside my own head. Because THAT is the thing that no one tells you about being bullied. It isn’t the isolation that goes with it or the fact that you will eventually lose most of your faith in people, it’s the fact that the voice in your head- the one that people always tell you is just your own insecurities- well now that insecurity has a voice, a genuine real life voice, and other people agree with it. Undoing years of having those words spoken aloud to you is not as easy as saying mantras and positive thinking- it means you literally have to reprogram your brain for happiness and positive thought. And quite frankly some days it’s like trying to sleep through a fire alarm.

On other days- well… some people make it worth it. Recovery means reforming relationships with people- and occasionally forming new ones. I have been trying to spend a bit more time with the people closest to me- going out for coffee or dinner with people, having friends to stay and even the occasional night out. Over the last few weeks I have even met some new people. Some of which I’m hoping hang around for a little while- and some whom I am hoping will lose my number in a PLL style phone-pocalypse because quite frankly, we’re far too old to be playing games anymore. When everyday life becomes a challenge, then sharing that experience with other people becomes a veritable minefield, and after 45 minutes of waiting on a text back [convincing yourself in the process that you are entirely unlovable and you WILL wake up in 20 years to discover you have 5 cats with human names] – you realise you never text them in the first place. SIGH. This can make relationships of any description tricky but I think we both know I’m talking about romance here. And let me tell you that romance isn’t just dead- it never existed in the first place; trust me I have done the leg work.

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I feel like this has been a bit of a negative note, so I want to end on this. In the darkest of nights you learn which stars shine brightest- and you are automatically drawn to those lights. Similarly, when going through a dark period in your life you are SO drawn to the people who glow- who emit a positive, warm energy so strong that you simply cannot deny them anymore. And do you know what sometimes- just sometimes, you see a star that you’ve never seen before… and they turn out to be a god damn planet.

Until next time,

B xoxo

What’s In My Bag 2016 [Connie Rose Day Bag]

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Hi all!

Hope you guys have all had a nice Easter/long weekend. I have unfortunately been at work for part of it and will be back in work tomorrow, so I am not going to go so far as to say that I am relaxed… but my friend has been to stay and that has been lovely, just to get back to me and do some of the things I have enjoyed. I also managed to go round the shops and to the cinema with only two anxiety ‘incidents’ so I am feeling kind of proud of myself. Plus, it has given me the chance to prepare a post that I have really wanted to do, the ‘What’s In My Bag’ post.  A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the gorgeous Connie Rose Collection Day Bags for a fraction of the price. These handy bags have phone pockets inside as well as other compartments and are also surprisingly roomy. I adore it, and I am so pleased that I finally got my hands on one.

I hold my hands up and say that I am terrible for having 45 million things I do not need in my bag, and I normally have a massive bag as well. This has led to a lot of unnecessary neck and shoulder problems for me! These gorgeous little bags appeared to be the solution to all my problems, so when they had an offer on their Instagram I absolutely jumped at the chance. I just thought I’d share with you a few bits and pieces that I simply cannot live without in my handbag!

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Full list of contents:

*iPhone and headphones [mine are Skull Candy noise cancelling- aka the best headphones ever]- I removed the case for the picture but the pocket does allow for a case.

*Spare phone- no I am not the ultimate player! Promise! I have a real concern about my phone going flat and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere so I always carry this spare phone, it’s an old Samsung flip phone which has the most unreal battery life. I stuck around £5 on it and just do that every 6-12 months to ensure I can call for help if I ever need to.

*Work pass- I don’t think I need to explain why that’s a thing. I need it to get into my office and I just leave it in my bag all of the time.

*Diary and pen- I try to make sure I have this with me at all times so I know my schedule and there’s also room in the back for making lists and things.

*Purse- self explanatory

*Hair tie and bobby pins- I hate having my hair in my face so I always have a few of these floating around.

*Plasters and painkillers- Again I think this is self explanatory!

*Heat rub- Due to my anxiety I get a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and I don’t always like to take painkillers so I have this which is great for popping on, however I should point out that not everyone I work with likes the smell!

*Chewing gum- I chew gum pretty much all the time so I always have about three packets on my person at any given moment. It’s probably destroying my insides, but it prevents me from biting my nails and the skin around them so I’m okay with it. Plus it means I am always minty fresh.

*Tissues and Tampons- Do I really need to go into that?

*Nail file in a case- Apparently you know you’re a real grown up once you have one of these but honestly, it just means if I have bitten one of my nails I can tidy it up and it looks presentable again.

*Hand sanitiser and hand cream- One is for the germs, the other is to prevent me from getting sore hands due to my tiny little hand washing problem.

*Lip oil [not seen], lipgloss and lipstick- If you ever emptied my handbags you would find SO many lip products but I have narrowed it down for the sake of this photograph [discarding another lipbalm and two lipsticks in the process…] Of course two of these are my favourite Tanya Burr shades and then I have two Barry M lipsticks which are so lovely that I almost don’t need lipbalm.

*Inhaler [Not pictured]- One of the main reasons I do not own one of the Connie Rose Clutch bags is because there is no room in them for my Ventolin, and I always need to have one of those on hand!

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As you can see the bag is not overfilled even with all this stuff in. Sometimes if I want to carry my Kindle or a book then I need to take out my diary but there’s still a lot of room and I am so happy with it. It sits neatly on my shoulder as well, leaving my hands free, and because the clasp automatically locks when you close it, you never need to worry about your things falling out of the bag.

I hope that you all enjoyed this ‘What’s In My Bag’- if any of you guys have done this then let me know so I can check it out.

Until next time!

B xoxo

 

 

 

Anxiety & I- The Real Reason I Haven’t Been Blogging

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My name is Rebecca… you may know me as B. I am 26 and I suffer from anxiety.

I have avoided doing this post for so long because I didn’t want to slap this on the internet but I’ve got to a point where I can’t pretend it’s not a part of my life any more.

The reason I am so pants at blogging is not because I do not want to do it. It’s because every time I sit down and try to do something I want to do, I feel like I should be doing something more productive. The huge issue with this is that I become overwhelmed with the simplest of tasks. My house is full of piles of washing because I found the motivation to wash and dry those things but then I haven’t managed to put them away. I clean my kitchen every day yet it never feels clean or tidy, and sometimes I just sit at the table and stare at it because the thought of trying to clean it is too overwhelming. For two weeks all I ate was porridge and beans on toast because it was too difficult to try and choose something else to eat. Everyday situations can be so overwhelming that I go shopping at stupid times to avoid crowds, I don’t eat solid food at work because I’m usually so stressed that I can’t bear the thought of having to chew anything.

This is the real price of anxiety.

My life appears glamorous. I live alone, I have a wonderful group of family and friends, I can often be found dressed in nice clothes perfectly made up, hair blow dried. I am not in a position where I can afford to stay at home all day, so I get up and I go to work in a fairly new car. I understand the importance of trying to continue as normal, even though I can sometimes feel as though I’m falling apart. I don’t have hobbies because ordinary life is enough of a challenge. Some days, I wake up and I am ready to take on anything, other days I get up and the whole world just smacks me in the face.

I have been getting help with this from a wonderful group called Talking Changes and am finding their approach- which doesn’t this time involve chewing over the causes behind my mental health issues but instead focusses on teaching me techniques to move forward with my life, rather than looking back [I already did that]. I’m trying to rebuild from where I am now, rather than dwelling on things that I can’t change- because I can never get back the last few months that I have lost to this all-consuming illness.

Something I want to say is that- I understand why people don’t want to talk about their anxiety, or people only touch upon it. But what I want people to understand that it’s not enough to tell people you suffer from anxiety in a gorgeous room with a perfectly made up face. If I told you about it in my sweatpants, surrounded by three weeks’ worth of laundry and dirty dishes, you would think that I was being overdramatic- except I’m not. I’m telling you that this is the price so you understand it isn’t a glamorous condition to be envied, and that when I joke that I am one of the most inconsistent bloggers it’s actually something that weighs heavily on my mind. I love my blog, I’m so proud of it and I don’t want to stop because I have so many ideas. I want to start putting those ideas into practice when I can- so not when I’m panicking that if I spend a Sunday afternoon making a ‘work clothes look book’ that I won’t have time to do the hoovering.

Or maybe I should just hire a bloody cleaner [although I also have OCD so they’d probably do it wrong!].

I don’t want anyone to worry about me off the back of this post- I just hope if nothing else it prevents you from hitting the unsubscribe button, and that I will see you again soon on this crazy journey.

B xoxoIMG_1842

Beauty Bag Dropouts – Part One

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Hi all,

So this is hopefully the beginning of a new series for me, which will be known as ‘Beauty Bag Dropouts’. Now, I have a lot of make-up, and quite regularly go through my bags to have a little bit of a clear out. Sometimes products get used up and other times they simple get passed on or thrown out- I don’t see the point in hanging on to anything when I’m not going to get the money back! Instead of doing ‘Empties’ posts in specific, I thought that this would be a nice way to see what’s being binned and why. So let’s have a little look shall we at what got turfed out this time!

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation Medium Coverage 001

Rimmel foundations are undeniably awesome. Even the medium coverage foundations give a gorgeous finish, and are suitable for most skin types. Saying goodbye to this foundation felt like removing a best friend from my life, so long has it been a staple for me. So why get rid of it, I hear you cry? Because Rimmel are bad to the bunnies- yes, Rimmel test on animals in China which means that they are not cruelty free and therefore I no longer want to contribute to this company. Until they change their stance on this, I won’t be repurchasing. However if it’s not as much of a concern for you then this is probably the best drugstore foundation that I have ever used.

Corn Silk Powder

[Spoiler alert this box is being reused for my No7 powder because I broke the lid]

Corn Silk powder is still one of the most amazing powders available on the market for oily skins and I am so disappointed at how hard it is to come across these days- I’d have to order it online now as none of my local stores have it. It is the most beautiful powder which gives a doll- like finish to the skin, yet it’s so light and never cakes. The other issue with this is that I am not certain of their cruelty free stance and it’s virtually impossible to get any reports back on them. If anyone knows anything about this then let me know.

Sleek Brow Gel in Dark Brown

I honestly have nothing nice to say about this product, I genuinely don’t. Sleek are by far and large becoming one of my favourite brands but honestly, this was a massive disappointment. The brush is naff and the product ends up all over both above and below my eyebrows. ‘Oh, stop whining and just clean it off,’ you say? Not when I do my eyebrows LAST. So frustrating. Then when you actually get it on your brows, it makes them hard and crispy! I mean, I like my eyebrows to be fixed in place but I would have to scrub them off with a muslin on an evening, which left my eyebrows looking a bit dishevelled. Not sure if I would go back and even attempt to repurchase this in clear, it’s honestly been such a disappointment. I tried to keep using it for around 3-4 weeks and then sent this product to the dustbin [via this photograph].

So what about you guys? What items have you relegated from your make up bag? Are there any products that I should be trying to replace them with? Let me know what you all think in a little comment and talk soon!

B xoxo

January 2016 Favourites

Hi all,

So… This post very nearly did not happen because I genuinely thought that I had deleted it and the photos, but I found it lurking in a draft and thought that I would post it anyway, even if it is a little late…

Beauty

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream for Normal/Oily Skin– If you have followed me for a while I think you might remember that this was my absolutely HOLY GRAIL BB Cream. I stopped using it to explore some other brands, and also because over the summer it didn’t have a great deal of staying power- probably because I was wearing it in 40 degree Spanish heat… Hindsight is 20/20 guys. Anyway, come the beginning of January my skin was looking drained and quite frankly gross. Spotty in places, dry in others, so I made some adjustments to my diet and skincare, but something still wasn’t right. Deciding that it must be the foundation or BB Cream (I alternate between the two), I ditched my old one (which I wasn’t going to repurchase as it was tested on animals) and picked this up again. It’s been such a good call! I also changed my primer recently and my skin has never looked better. I was actually on FaceTime to Mama Bear recently and she said that she couldn’t believe how much nicer my skin was looking both with and without make up. I think this has definitely contributed to it. If you guys want a post on my weekly skincare/ how I deal with breakouts post then let me know J

Leighton Denny Nail Oil– Okay this is a bit vile, but I like to be a real person on here…So I have a condition where I pick/bite the skin around my nails constantly, which leads to a lot of broken skin around my nails and a lot of infections as well. I do this subconsciously when I am nervous or anxious, but it is unsightly and also just a bit gross. In the hope that I can try and help to break this habit I started putting this nail oil around my non-broken skin, also my cuticles [during an episode I have been known to rip them out]. The difference in my nails and the skin has been slow, but noticeable over the last month. I still do these things, but because the skin is softer it’s harder to break. My nails look a lot healthier [funnily enough I actually don’t bite my nails!] and my cuticles no longer look like I stuck my nail beds in a lawnmower.

No7 Airbrush Away Foundation– This is in my favourites slightly dubiously! I absolutely LOVE the formula of this product, it’s beautiful and goes on like an absolute dream, and does genuinely make you look flawless in photos. I have two issues with it however 1. The lady in the shop matched my colour wrong so when I use it, it is too PALE for my skin. Guys I’m actually serious I end up whitewashing my own face. It’s frustrating because it’s not exactly a cheap foundation [£13], and I genuinely just trusted the judgement of the girl in the store. The solution is fairly simple- I mix it with the BB Cream if I want to wear it- but for £13 I would have expected a correct colour match [she used the little scanner thing so make of that what you want]. 2. The bottle has one of those stupid pipette things that I hate- they never work very well for me and I end up just taking it straight out of the bottle. All the others have pumps, No7, what were you thinking?! BUT all that said, the product itself is absolutely gorgeous, non-sticky, non-oily.

Soap and Glory Sexy MotherPucker Lipgloss in Rose and Shine– I love Soap and Glory lipglosses [once you get past the weird tingly thing], and this cute pinky- nude is no exception. Unfortunately as I’m typing this I’ve just remembered it was a limited edition. Sorry.

Books

Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni–  Bern is sick of being the fat twin. It’s the summer before college and she’s had enough of not feeling good enough. With a history of eating disorders behind her, she’s determined that she is going to do this the healthy way, and when high school hottie Warren offers to be her personal trainer, she jumps at the chance. A romance with her First Time Boy [he’s in a band], a desire to find her sperm donor father and a rekindling of her relationship with her sister all ensue as we follow her summer.

In all honesty… I got this book because it was free and didn’t have very high expectations of this book, but one night when I couldn’t sleep I cracked this open and I am SO glad that I did. Bern is so easy to like, and it isn’t your stereotypical fat- girl wanting to lose weight sort of storyline. It’s not that she’s ugly- she’s simply fat, and has used food as a comfort blanket for a really long time, something which I think a lot of people can relate to. There are some atrocious spelling and grammar mistakes [probably due to self- publication], but honestly I really enjoyed the whole experience, because For once I felt as though I was genuinely reading someone’s diary and was excited to see how it was all going to end [totally not how I expected actually!]. It’s the first in a series and I have already pre ordered the second one, which isn’t out until MAY darn it. The only thing I would say is that there are elements of eating disorders and abuse that may be triggering for some people, so be aware of who you recommend this to.

Stuff

Whittard’s Loose Leaf Tea – Afternoon Tea– Anyone who has read my post on the Great Whittard Debacle- aka the time I flirted outrageously with the sales assistant in Whittards until I was interrupted by tourists and then got embarrassed and left- will understand why it has taken me a while to go back there. I love loose leaf tea for an afternoon treat on my days off, and I was excited to try some different ones as I have been drinking the vanilla one for a long time. This is a lovely, fragrant afternoon tea with is a mixture of Earl Grey and Green Tea with Jasmine [‘Lady Grey’ it has been named by Twinings if you wanted a high street version]. If you don’t like perfume-y teas then this won’t float your boat but I think there’s something fairly luxurious about curling up with a mug of this, a cookie and some Sunday afternoon TV.

So a huge thank you for reading everyone, let me know what your favourite things were in January [if you can even remember…] and I shall speak to you soon.

B xoxo

The Best Friend Tag

Hi all,

So I just got back from a little trip to go and visit my best friend in York. We stayed in an absolutely adorable B&B, but I will save all that jazz for another post! Last night whilst we were chilling out I brought up the idea of doing the Best Friend Tag, which I took a lot of inspiration and questions from missamrunaway ‘s post of the same name [huge thank you!]. We had SO much fun answering these questions, which we even did in Nandos surrounded by students, so I hope you enjoy getting a little bit of insight into my life and my friends.

How and when did you meet?
S: Uni!
B: After that presentation!
S: But the first time we properly talked was in the lecture hall. You told me what you were buying El Gringo for Christmas…
B: Why did I even tell you about that?
S: No idea. But shortly after that I told Jade I wasn’t getting my dead Dad anything.
B: That was so awkward.

Favourite memory?
S: No…that’s so hard!
B: Basically the whole of third year.
S: Oh come on there were some aspects of that we didn’t enjoy!
B: I don’t think any of them outweighed the whole experience though.
**A conversation ensues about how to spell potato, which descends into a hilarious conversation about how Sam thought penguin was spelt with a Q until I proof read her dissertation… Because she had deleted the spell checker file from her computer.**

Describe each other in one word?
B: **said with a LOT of sarcasm**Remember that high maintenance is two words!
S: It’s okay bitch is only one!
**Pause**
B: Neurotic is only one word.
S: I’m going to go with loyal.
B: That’s a lovely word. I was going to say dependable and then I remembered the Italy thing… [Sammy ran off to Italy for two years in a huff. Yes, really.]
S: Oh yeah…

Your dream job?
S: Travel writer!
B: Full time writer/blogger

Favourite make up brand?
S: Benefit. Even though they bankrupt me and are bad to the bunnies.
B: Soap and Glory! Not sponsored…

One thing that annoys you about each other?
B: **Starts singing One Direction- One Thing**Other than that?!
S: I feel like this is a big question… Oh no wait, your sense of humour failures!
B: Oh okay to be fair that is annoying. I don’t know what stands out for me?
S: What about the dishes thing when we lived together?
B: Oh my gosh yes, you had one job! I was supposed to cook and you cleaned up.
S: Yeah… Christine had to stage an intervention.
**A LOT of laughter follows where we reminisce on ways I tried to point out that she needed to do the dishes**
B: The thing is that we have a lot of little things, but no massive things! We get on each other’s nerves but there’s no deal breakers.

If you could go to one place in the world together where would it be and why?
S: The Sound of Music tour in Austria!
B: yes which we are going to do for our 30th.

Favourite inside joke?
Both: Why you want to leave me!
S: Shouted every time you went for the bus. Our neighbours must have hated us!
B: Well we had to listen to them bonk, so… Editing B: If you actually want to hear some anecdotes from our year together please let me know- I’ve got loads!

Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?
S: It used to be me, now it’s definitely you!
B: Oh, for sure!

Favourite season?
S: Autumn, definitely.
B: Winter and Christmas.
S: That’s not a season.

Something you hope to do together?
S: Sound of Music tour!
B: we already said that!
S: okay then, more vacays in general.

What’s it like being friends with a blogger?
S: you are basically my own personal make up person. Which is good because I suck at it!

Heels or flats?
Both: FLATS
S: my feet were not designed for those instruments of torture.
B: I used to like them for nights out! No more.

Jeans or dresses?
S: Jeans!
B: why aren’t leggings on here? Although we literally had this conversation earlier and I was saying that I like skirts for work.

Spirit animal?
B: Oh my gosh yours has to be a sloth!
S: Is that because they grab their own arms and plummet to their death?
B: Yes.
Editing B here… just realised that I never answered this… although probably if we’d thought about it we’d have said a retriever. Not too smart and a bit hyper!

If the house was burning down and the family were safe, what one thing would you go back for?
B: All our old photographs, and memory boxes from when we were kids.
S: An old t shirt of my dad’s.

Horror or rom com?
B: I would normally say rom com but then we spent that weekend watching all of the Saw movies
S: Well, 4-7. I went away and watched the one with the insurance guys afterwards. I’m pretty sure that someone needs to have those writers assessed.

Android or iPhone?
S: that one is slightly obvious as you’re sat typing on an iPad…

Favourite movie?
S: Mine changes all the time!
B: Mine depends on who’s asking, if it’s a guy I usually say The Breakfast Club, but if it’s a girl I will usually say Love, Actually!
**changed the question to last 12 months**
S: So over the holidays I was obsessed with Arthur Christmas
B: Oh for me it’s been Zombieland, I love Jesse Eisenburg!
S: Adventureland is also such a good movie.

Weird thing you eat?
B: I honestly don’t think I have anything that weird?
S: I used to make Jam Sandwiches with cheese?
B: Ew.
S: Stop judging me.

Something you do that is the same?
B: well, we have a lot of little similarities because we lived together!
S: but I think it has to be our obsession with speaking in movie quotes.

Favourite TV show right now?
S: SO many! Once Upon a Time (Captain Hook is such a babe), how to get away with murder, Making a Murderer
**Lengthy monologue about my annoyance with this documentary and the justice system in general ensues**
B: I think mine has got to be Call the Midwife! Or the Bake Off.
S: You are so British.

Favourite song right now?
S: Jennifer Page- Crush because it winds you up?
B: I mean right now?
S: Oh, Fifth Harmony – Worth It!
B: Good choice [and I normally hate girl bands!] mine is probably something One Direction **thinks for a bit** oh, Perfect! Or Troye Sivan- Suburbia. Love both of those right now.

Favourite YouTuber?
B: yours has got to be Rose and Rosie!
S: They’re basically the only ones I watch right now, but I am expanding!
B: They are cool.
S: What’s yours? Dan and Phil?
B: Yes! Or NikinSammy or the Mandeville sisters. I will watch those guys none stop!

Favourite photo of the two of you?
So… we couldn’t pick one, we picked three!

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

B xoxo

 

Anxiety Survival Guide [B’s Edit]

Hi all,

So I have never really wanted to discuss my mental health too much- I’m afraid of being pigeon holed into “another blogger with anxiety” but I thought about it a LOT and decided that actually, a lot of people might find this post helpful. Anxiety can be tough and often feels super lonely, so it is nice to know that so many other bloggers do feel the same. I made the conscious decision that I did not want to be medicated for my anxiety because personally I do not feel that this helps me, instead I looked for other ways to help. These are a few things that I personally find helpful- I am not a doctor or in any way an expert, this are my personal findings.

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Mindfulness- Calm App

Hands down this has been the best thing for me by a long shot. There is a lot of talk about meditation and I think a lot of people think it’s absolute nonsense. Hands up, I absolutely thought the same when my Mama started telling me about it. I hate the whole ‘living in the moment’ thing as it sounds far too much like YOLO to me but honestly… it’s so good. You need to do it quite a bit to be able to get the hang of it but once you have done it a few times it does make a difference. I pay for the full version of the Calm app (around £2.00 a month), which has a heap of different options along with various time frames including ones of only 2 minutes or so, which you can fit into most days. Granted, I didn’t see results straight away, however it has taught me that when I get those overwhelming feelings that I have something to tap into- that feeling of calm and serenity that anyone who has anxiety feels a million miles from most of the time.

Aromatherapy

These balms that I use are also really lovely. I use the Sleep Balm on a night before I switch off all my gadgets and grab a book or a magazine. The Cheerful Mind Balm I actually try and use during mindfulness practice so that when I smell it again later in the day- maybe if I have had a really difficult time at work- I can associate that smell with that peaceful time earlier and connect with it easier. Also if I wake up feeling negative or a bit down, I will spritz a little bit of my mum’s perfume on and connect with the comforting feeling of having her around, giving me support. No, I don’t care how mushy that sounds.

My journal

My therapists have always told me to try and keep a diary, however I absolutely HATE keeping one of those every day sort of diaries because I find that I get whiny and annoying and focus more on the negatives about my day. Instead, when I get overwhelmed by things I will write a few things down in my journal. I keep all sorts in there- odd words and phrases that described how I felt about that particular moment. It means that I have a grip on exactly what I am going through but I am also not dwelling on the day. Not to mention that it’s stacked in among random blog ideas and paragraphs for various stories that I’m working on so it doesn’t feel too much like a ‘diary’, or like those feelings are the most important thing in your life right now. Did I just get a bit deep? Maybe…

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Herbal Tea

My name is Rebecca and I am a coffee addict. There I said it. However caffeine is SO bad for people with anxiety as it makes you jittery and nervous anyway- so I limit myself to a double espresso first thing on a morning and then switch to herbal tea for the rest of the day. My favourite is either fruit based or lemon and ginger (so good for energy levels!). What I absolutely love about herbal tea is gently swirling the teabag through the hot water and watching the colour come through into the water- so soothing! Although it does make you look as though you think you’re in a music video. Also chamomile tea is amazing for helping you get to sleep on a night, or if you’re trying to unwind.

Night Night Internet

For the last 15 or so minutes of the day I always turn off the TV, put my phone to one side and grab either a book, or my Kindle, or a magazine, and just try to unwind. I know that loads of people think that scrolling through Tumblr is excellent stress relief but honestly… you’re flipping kidding yourself. Scrolling through anything or watching YouTube videos until stupid AM may seem amusing at the time but you’re not helping anything. You need your sleep, and although you may think that you won’t be able to switch off, you honestly won’t know unless you try. I used to have to sleep with the TV on but now I can’t stand it! And if I can’t sleep I either write fanfiction in my head or do the breathing technique where you breathe in and try take longer over each breath. So the first takes 2 seconds, then 3, 4 etc. I usually find that I don’t even get as far as double figures. Coping with anxiety is so much easier if you are not also battling to keep your eyes open half of the day.

Colouring Books

My gorgeous Mama bought me some adult colouring books and some pens for Christmas and they have honestly been so good for me. I will put on some music and be really delicate and precise with it. There’s a reason it calms kids down I tell you. If you don’t want to buy a specific book, then just do that thing where you take your pencil for a walk across the page until you have lots of empty loops to colour in.

Emergency Dance Party

Yes I totally stole the name of this from Rainbow Rowell, but it’s so appropriate for this situation. Choose the cheesiest, silliest music that you would not normally listen to… Then sing and dance at the top of you voice, as stupid as you like, to Steps, Spice Girl or *cough* One Direction…What do you mean I know all the words to Best Song Ever? I don’t. No, I don’t. Promise. By the time I’ve belted my way through Little White Lies I’ve generally forgotten what it was that I was so wound up again and the intense feelings of panic have passed. (Please don’t do this in public…)

Okay I have been working on this post for a really long time so I should probably head to bed! Thank you if you survived to the end and I hope it helps some of you out. Feel free to share your own hints/tips down below as well as any other posts you would like to see.

Until next time…

B xoxo