Sunday, 18 March 2018

Endometriosis Awareness Month 2018

Hello Everyone and thanks for coming back to my blog

Todays post is all about Endometriosis. Last week was Endometriosis Awareness Week 2018 and I thought I would write a little post about Endometriosis and its symptoms. I also have a few stories from ladies who suffer from the disease also. 

Endometriosis or as its known Endo is an invisible illness as the symptoms are not always visible from the outside.The symptoms of Endo can be said to be other illnesses such as IBS or other digestive conditions as the symptoms are so similar. Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body.It can appear in numerous places such as the bladder, fallopian tubes and on the bowel.
 Here is a list of symptoms:
  • pain in your lower tummy or back which is usually worse during your period
  • Period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
  • pain during or after sex
  • pain when peeing or pooing during your period
  • feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
  • difficulty getting pregnant

Endo can only be truly diagnosed after a diagnostic laparoscopy as it does not always show up on a CT or MRI scan. 

There is no cure for Endometriosis just treatments to help manage the symptoms and suppress the lining from growing outside the womb.
These treatments can include simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, hormonal treatments such as the mini pill, the combined pill or the Mirena Coil.  More drastic treatments can include surgery to remove the Endometriosis but this does not stop it growing back again the future.

There is no known cause of Endometriosis some say it can be genetic. 

Here are some stories of ladies that suffer from Endometriosis including starting with my own.

I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in June 2016 aged 22 after an emergency laparoscopy while an inpatient at my local hospital, I was suffering from a kidney infection but having horrendous pain in my tummy so after a CT scan showing I had a bulky uterus I was seen by the gynaecologist that day who decided it would be beneficial to have the laparoscopy done urgently the next day, so on a Saturday morning I was prepped for surgery and taken to theatre. When I got back to the ward I was told I had stage 3 almost stage 4 Endo with it sticking my ovaries to the back of my uterus and to part of my bowel. They were able to free up my ovaries slightly so they were not so pulled back and was told this could be the reason that I was struggling to get pregnant. I was definitely feeling like someone had been moving my organs around as I was so uncomfortable, while under the general I had the Mirena coil inserted to see if this could help with my symptoms I was suffering from. I did have symptoms beforehand but it was put down to having ibs such as heavy painful periods, having bad diarrhoea, really bad pain when having sex and bleeding after sex. I managed to put up with having the coil until the September when the pain and the bleeding became too much and had it removed. now fast forward 18 months later I've been put on numerous pain medications to see if this helps while waiting for another operation to see why i am not getting pregnant. Having Endo also discovered i have a problem with my kidneys not working properly so I am also recieving treatment for that. The Endo has caused me to develop Depression and Anxiety which I take medication daily for. Without this medication, I would not get out of bed and try to tackle daily life like any normal 24-year-old lady would. I will keep fighting this Endo and not let it stop my life dreams of becoming a midwife. 

The next two stories are from two ladies I have met on an Endometriosis support group,

The first story is from a 39-year-old lady called Mrs R:
"Diagnosed in July 2017 and still waiting for an operation which possibly maybe June time to remove severe endo from bowel and rectum. Some superficial endo was removed during my lap in July when they called the endo specialist in to diagnose (lap was a fast track one as had huge cysts) but the worst of it is on the bowel. Symptoms worsening all the time. Major bloating meaning I can’t eat much at a time and back pains that are horrendous"

The Second story is from 34 year old lady called Mrs G:
"My endo story... I'm.34 and was diagnosed properly in 2009. Had heavy painful periods since 16 but got to the point where i was collapsing and vomiting with the pain. I've had two operations and was found to have deep infiltrating Endo in the Bladder and pelvic area mainly. I've had 5 rounds of ivf in 2 years and still no baby. My endo symptoms are horrendous again and docs want me to try the coil but I can't because I haven't given up on having a baby. I'm in pain 2 weeks out of 4. And I lose 2 days a month to it basically bed bound, They won't operate again yet either as worried about scar tissue if I'm trying more IVF and Painkillers aren't doing anything."

As you can see all 3 stories are different but all have the same condition. Every day 1 in 10 women suffer from the debilitating Endo symptoms and it takes on average 7.5 years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis. Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological problem in the UK and costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of earnings and healthcare costs.

You can find more information about Endometriosis here at Endometriosis UK
You may also find it helpful to join these support groups on facebook:

A local group to me on facebook for if you are in Devon Devon Endometriosis UK Support

I really hope that you all find this post interesting and will share it so Everyone can see that Endo is real and not all made up in our heads.

Thank you for reading
Lauren XoX

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Skin Republic- Bubble Purifying & Charcoal Face mask Sheet

Happy Sunday

 Today I am reviewing The Skin Republic Bubble Purifying & Charcoal Face Mask Sheet which I got free from Superdrug when I purchased 3 qualifying skin care products last week, ( i bought 3 99p face masks which were also on 3 for 2 also so only paid £1.98 for 4 face masks worth around £9.00)

I decided that on Thursday evening that i was going to have a mini chillout evening with a nice bath with some Lush products in followed by a facemask. I chose the Bubble mask as I wanted to do a review post on it, so here it is.

So it comes in a box with a £2 off voucher when you next buy a Skin republic mask in Superdrug valid until the 27th March 2018. The actual mask comes in the foil packaging like the rest of the masks. Both the box and foil packet gives some information about the mask and here is some information:
" This charcoal infused sheet mask turns into a dense, oxygen rich foam when exposed to the air.Millions of micro-bubbles work deep within your skin's pores to clean out dirt and impurities, while fruit acids gently exfoliate dead skin cells helping even out skin tone for a fresh and luminous complexion."
The mask is applied to clean skin and worn for around 10-15 minutes. During this time the mask begins to bubble which means it has started to develop. It has a tingling effect which is the micro-bubbles working to increase the bloodflow to the skin which help remove the toxins and improves the absorption of the serum from the mask. 

The two above photos show the mask just after i put it on my face and just before i took it off which was about 15 minutes after, through out wearing the mask I felt the tingling feeling that the box said I would. I wouldn't say it was uncomfortable it was just a strange feeling, I did enjoy the bubbling though and the feeling of my skin when i removed the mask. Ill insert a photo of after the removal below.

The mask left my skin feeling so soft and clean, It felt like my skin had been through a full beauty salon cleanse. 
My overall thoughts of the mask is that It is worth the £5.49 which is the RRP. I will be purchasing this again in the future as I already have one for this week and I can't wait to use it again this week and purchase some more of the range which i have had my eye on for a while.

You can purchase this mask at many different places including Superdrug and Tesco and online shops such as Look Fantastic, Amazon, Birchbox and Superdrug online. The Full list can be found Here

Information about Skin Republic and their products can be found Here

I really hope you enjoyed reading this review and I can't wait for the next one.

Lauren xox

Friday, 2 March 2018

Blogger Tag Post

Happy Weekend everyone!

Today I am doing a blogger tagged post that was tagged to me last year by my Blogger Ball friend Chloe from The Northern Girl's Guide To Living In London - find Chloe's Blog here. She's given me 11 questions to answer for you all. So here goes:

  1. What’s your ultimate pet hate?
    My Ultimate pet hate has to be when your waiting for an appointment somewhere for example the Dr's surgery or at the nail place and there is so many seats that are empty yet people still come and still next to you, I absolutely cannot stand this and it really does wind me up. 
  2. What’s your favourite animal ?
    My favourite animal is a cat, I had a cat when i was younger she was called fly and she was my baby even though she was older than me when she died.
  3. What would be your death row meal?
    My death row meal is a tough one, i would be stuck between a rare steak with all the trimmings and a massive beef and pork carvery with pigs in blankets and lots of crackling, it would have to be worth it after all?
  4. Where’s your favourite city ?
    My favourite city is again a tough one, I love London but its really too busy for my liking so i would have to say either Cardiff or Bristol, more so cardiff as they have a Disney store. 
  5. If you could choose only one to use what would it be? Twitter/Instagram/Facebook?
    It would have to be Instagram, I love sharing photos of my day or slimming world meals and I love finding inspiration from other peoples profiles, especially meal ideas for slimming world.
  6. What’s your favourite cuisine?
    My favourite food has to be a decent Chinese meal, Me and Karl have been to Sizzall in Plymouth a few times they have amazing food there and at a decent price, Also I love Honeymoons in Barnstaple, they do the best crispy lamb with plum sauce. I really want to take to Karl to Zaa Zaa Bazar in Bristol habour, they do food from all over the world and it tastes absolutley amazing.
  7. Least favourite household chore?
    My least favourite job is the vacuuming, not because i have a massive great house to hoover but because its so heavy to lug about the place.
  8. If you’ve ever been to London what’s your favourite thing about it?
    My favourite thing about London has to be the museums, especially the Science museum and the cabinet war rooms. I love history and war time history in particular. The war rooms remind me of the Victorian and Blitz village in Flambards down in Cornwall.
  9. What’s your ultimate blogging tip?
  10. My best blogging tip is to always plan what you are going to be posting, this is the ultimate thing between a successful post and an unsuccessful post and how many people you influence from it. 
  11. Who’s your favourite blogger (big or small)?
    My favourite blogger is Kelly from You, Me And The 6 C's you can find her blog here. Its all about her 5 kids, the dog and all things planning, dancing and cooking. I love watching her Youtube videos as well makes my day waiting for her daily vlog and planner videos. Find her channel here.
  12. And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
    My Pappy always told me to " Make hay while the sun shines" about the hours at work, if they are there take them and make the most of them. He passed away in january and he will always be my hero and nobody can take that away from me. 

    I really hope you've all enjoyed reading a little bit more about me and what I like. 
Many thanks for reading and keep a look out for the upcoming collaborations I have.

Lauren xox 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Stop the stigma of Mental Health in young adults

Today's post is very close to my heart. The stigma of mental health conditions in young adults (aged 18-30). Many people think a mental health condition is just depression or anxiety but there are many more conditions that fall under mental health including: 

  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis 
  • Self harm
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD - (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • OCD - (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • GAD -(Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia 
One in every four people are affected by mental health in any one year according to the charity Mind ( Mental health problems- an introduction,2017) 

In January 2017 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety which i knew I was suffering with for a long time before i addressed the symptoms and went to see my Gp. Everybody's symptoms can be different when diagnosed with a mental health condition. At first, i chose to ignore the symptoms I had an put it down to tiredness and been run down from Christmas and the new year season, also I put it down to an ongoing health condition with my kidneys. It was not until the end of January when I realised that I was feeling worse and not any better, that is when I plucked up the courage to speak to my Dr. She was really helpful and referred me to the local depression and anxiety service who seen me for my initial appointment within a week of referral.At the first appointment, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding my symptoms ( ill put these below), my anxiety level, then some general questions about employment and my living conditions. Even at that first appointment, I was told that medication would be the best step forward alongside some cognitive behaviour therapy ( which again I will talk about below). After the first appointment, the therapist told me she was going to ring my Dr to get a prescription sorted for some anti-depressants. It was decided that the best course of treatment to start on was 75mg of sertraline once a day as this was the safest medication to use with my ongoing kidney problem. My current dose is now 200mg a day and I can definitely tell the difference being on the highest dose.

My Symptoms
When I first went to the Dr's surgery I had a huge list of symptoms and these were some of the following:

  • Feeling anxious all the time
  • Not wanting to be around anybody for social events, nights out, going to work, spending time with my friends, family and boyfriend
  • Having sleep deprivation from having so many thoughts going through my head
  • Being emotional all the time, I could be happy one minute, crying the next, then angry and back to happy
  • feeling like I had the sense of heaviness in my body all the time
  • Worried I was letting down particularly my boyfriend and family
  • Worried that something bad was going to happen if I left the house on my own
  • Pushing people away when i know they were trying to help me. 
Case Studies

My first case study is from a lovely young lady called Miss R- this is her story.
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and moderate depression in 2012. My episodes come and go. I have had two long episodes (over 6 months) since 2012, the second in 2015 in the middle of my second year. I use CBT and talking therapy to help me, and I have never used medication. Firstly, because I am a very forgetful person (lol) and secondly for me personally, I want to fix the problems I have and I know that if I started taking medication I would rely on it too heavily to make me better. That is just my take on my own health, not anyone elses. Medication is right for so many people, not just me.
So, treating myself with CBT, sometimes it took a while before I would get on top of it. Shall I start with the cons of mental health and training? Firstly, it can be exhausting. Doing placements, university, essays, preping for interviews, keeping in touch with family and friends all the while fighting the battle of my head that keeps me up late into the night and sometimes, stops me getting out of bed on my days off. The self doubt became crippling. Although there was no reason to believe it, I constantly worried (during my bad times) that I would fail all the essays I had to write, so much so that I would procrastinate worrying and would go days without writing anything. This then fed back into the anxiety and became a cycle. I often thought about giving up the course, telling myself everything would be easier if I was less tired and stressed. And baring in mind that midwifery is the best thing I have ever done, and my dream job, my head constantly telling me to give up the thing I loved made me feel ever so low. 
There are positives I have found having a mental health illness whilst training. I found I had a new level of empathy for anxious women in labour. I know what a panic attack feels like, I know how your brain can trick you into thinking the most bizzare stupid things about yourself or your wellbeing. I also decided that my university would benefit from more support for students from older students, so I put a structure inplace so that everone on my course (210 student) could connect with one another. 
My advise to people would be: 
Firstly, own it. There is no reason to hide mental health. And the more we try desperately to conceal it, the more it can harm us. A simple “I am feeling a bit anxious today, so I am sorry if I ask questions that we both know I probably know” to your mentor at the beginning of a shift, is not going to result in an alarm going off and everyone chanting “FIRE HER FIRE HER” (yes, this is what I thought would happen). I had some negative comments from some uneducated individuals when I talked about my health, but they were in the minority and their inablility to understand is not a reflection on my honesty, but their ignorance. Next, hold your loved ones near and don’t push them away. My partner and my family got me all the way through. I would not have been a midwife without their support. Suprisingly to me, when I struggled on an assignment or I cried after a hard shift, they didn’t say “well you will be an awful midwife” they cheered me up, hugged me close and told me all the good things I had done. Finally, get help. Anxiety and depression are not indestructable, but nothing will ever change if you do nothing. The mentality “it will always be like this, there is nothing that will change it” is a hard feeling to get away from, and everyone copes with their feelings in different ways. My point is, whether you want to take medication, attend group sessions, go to one to one meetings or complete courses on line, there are so many ways that you can start to challenge your negative thoughts. My moto to myself is that you have ONE LIFE. Only one. Live it to its full. Do everything you want to do and have no regrets. 

My Second case study is from another young lady called Miss S
I am 22,  I suffered with depression while I was at university which was quite bad and I ended up dropping out of uni just 4 months into my course. I tried to contact the uni helpline specially dealing with depression, and my 'emergency' appointment was 4 weeks later. Useless! I found help once I went home. However I am never free from it as people with depression don't just 'lighten up' do they 😊Mental illness runs in my family. My sister 
Miss C who is 24 has bipolar when she's had since she was 19. Her doctor says it was due to severe upset from failing her A levels and not being able to study medicine, and shortly after our grandad, grandma, and cousin dying all within 3 months of each other. It's been a rollercoaster for our family, she's run up thousands of pounds worth of debt because she feels on a high when she spends, she has bought a Rolex on card and let it bounce because she was in her high state. But she has awful lows. Her ex girlfriend has borderline personality disorder, which saw her be sectioned twice this past year, she is also 24.My cousin, Mr J has schizophrenia, he is 23. He has been suicidal many times. 

These two case studies were particularly important to.get into this post. Below is some contact details to agencies who can help.

MIND Helpline 0300 123 3393
Samaritans helpline 116 123
Childline for under 18s 0800 1111

Many thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Lauren xox

Sorry Ive been away

Good Afternoon Friends

Just to start I want to apologise for the lack of content the last few months. Life has been hectic; Ive moved house into 2 bed flat, ive got a new job closer to home and just had alot of family issues happening including my pappy passing away 3 weeks ago.

But im back and have so much content to post about and get out to my readers. I will also be going back to YouTube over the upcoming weeks with slimming world posts, blogger mail posts and many more exciting things.
Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of raffles and giveaways on Youtube and Instagram where i will be doing a range of different giveaways such as slimming world giveaways and beauty giveaways.

Thank you For staying loyal to me and i look forward to coming back to entertain you.

I leave you a photo of my pappy as a remembrance.

Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

How to be more body confident and body happy!

Body Confidence and self-esteem is quite a high thought in my brain right now since I've been poorly my weight has been up and down and recently I have lost 4 stone from being unable to tolerate decent meals without vomiting. This little post is just to show how you can be more body confident about your self and help support your friends to be so as well. 
Spending day and night exercising and dieting is a waste of effort if you haven’t got that initial body confidence. So many people live with the belief that as soon as they ‘fix’ that one thing they find ugly about themselves they’ll suddenly feel beautiful – but this isn’t the case!
  Having this type of mindset can have a serious consequence on the body, both physically and mentally – when people set goals for themselves that are unrealistic, which can only cause more distress and upset. 
Here are some ways you can be more body confident!

Stop comparing

We’ve all been a victim of Instagram searches.You end up following an endless list of accounts from models to celebrities just to scroll through their page with envy when really they do nothing to help so unfollow to get the negativity out of your life.sign out from social media and concentrate on yourself – even if you do this for short periods at a time.
The sooner you stop forcing yourself to compare with others the happier you will be.
Invest in clothes that make you feel beautiful, In the last decades, businesses – especially clothing brands – are moving to social media to advertise their products.It’s easy to get caught up with the latest fashion that your favourite celebrities have inspired, these are usually hideous anyway, set your own style and buy clothes that you actually feel comfortable in!You don’t need to feel pressured to buy that skimpy bra-let if you aren’t going to feel confident wearing it. The results will truly show when you feel like you’re slaying an outfit as you’ll be so much more confident, happy and carefree!

Silence your inner critic

It’s important to acknowledge and stop putting yourself down, especially using fat talk or calling yourself ugly-embrace what others are saying when they say you're beautiful. It’s so easy, especially as girls/women to use our group of friends as outlets to our insecurities. But men/ boys do this also - Body confidence doesn't stop at women and girls.

I recently read an article while doing some research for a university module and it says ‘”If a woman says ‘I’m so fat,’ the other woman might feel like she has to say ‘no, I’m the fat one. Have you seen my thighs?'” when in fact neither woman is fat, they both say it to try and make the other feel less self concious. If you can be more aware of these types of conversations with your friends, you can change the topic to actually EMPOWERING each other – that’s what friends are for after all and it works even better if you twin it with a glass of wine or two. 

Pamper yourself

Make time to treat your body right!
Setting time aside for yourself can be an amazing treat when you’re not feeling your best it can make a massive difference to your mood.Get a massage, get your nails done, or even just have a long relaxing bath with a bath bomb or a candle to set the relaxing scene.Anything that gets you feeling pampered is a must to feel sexy and relaxed – you and your body deserve it. The most important thing is to slow things down – There really is no time to rush and make sure you enjoy every last minute!

It really is mind over matter

Think about the bigger picture.In 30 years time do you wanting to be thinking ‘oh I wish I loved myself more’ or looking back on amazing memories with people you love where you were happy and carefree?
I think we all know the answer to that one.
Many thanks for reading
Lauren xox 

Betty Collective Box September 2017

Good Afternoon and Happy Monday
Welcome back to my blog and happy 1st of October. Hasn't it turned autumnal. I personally love this time of year. Bring on the winter boots and scarves. 

Today's post is all about Betty Collective
 Pink Parcels little sister box. Betty is focused primarily on teenagers with its bright colours and funky shapes on the packaging. The website works just like Pink Parcel where you chose what products you want whether that be tampons by Tampax or u by Kotex, pads by Always or Bodyform or a mixed box of both all in a variety of absorbency depending on your flow. They also asl about your cycle including how many days it is and how many days do you bleed for. The only exception to Betty Collective is that you can chose the exact date you want delievered choosing any date between the 1st ans the 28th of each month where as Pink Parcel gives you a choice of 3 dates a month. 

So in box itself can fit through 92% of uk letterboxes and is packaged discreatly so nobody will know what is inside the packaging. The box inside the packaging is amazing with the bright colours and random shapes such as stripes and circles. 

As you can see the inside of the main box has 3 smaller boxes and a pouch. 
The pouch is handy to keep in your bag for when your out and about or at school as you can easily take it to the toilet without anyone knowing whats inside and contains pads or tampons and 5 light liners. One box says for later which contains either the pads or the tampons you have chosen, another box says for night which contain 5 night pads regardless of if you ordered pads or tampons and the final box says for you which i will go in to more below.
For you Box 
The for you box is the most excited box, it contains a range of beauty and general treats, sweet treats and a lovely drink to help you through the worst time of the month. In the Septembers Betty box the following was received and even though im 23 i was so impressed with what was in the box.
  • Joe and Sephs salted caramel popcorn- sweet and salty
  • 3 MontyBojangles truffles in Butterscotch, choccy and orange flavours
  • Trust Fund Beauty nail polish in OMG! Dying
  • Stablio Boss highlighter in pastel green
  • Unicorn sticky notes by bic
  • The good karma llama iron on badge
  • 2 Tzone charcoal and bamboo nose pore strips
  • Chirp hair mask
  • Bubble T cosmetics Moroccan mint lip balm
I was so amazed with the products that were received in the Betty box and with all of this plus the tampons, pads and liners i got all for £12 including postage and packing. i would spend more than that on just sanitary products alone every month so getting the treats is a gorgeous extra.

You can get more information about the Betty collective and information about periods and general   life advice such as fashion, growing up and joke from the website here Betty Collective .

Be sure to check them out and also check out my Twitter and Instagram accounts where i have an exciting collaboration and give away coming soon. 

Thanks for reading everyone 


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