Beauty · Health · Life · self-care · skincare · Uncategorized

Clean and Sweet Handcare Kit from LUSH

I was very interested to see that LUSH started to provide some new offerings. Now, it’s been quite a while since I’ve ordered from LUSH as their prices keep increasing and I can’t justify it, especially when I have all manner of lotions and potions to use up, but I thought that I’d treat myself. They released three handcare kit boxes that are small enough to fit through your letterbox, though I also ordered a Comforter bubble bar and body spray so I got mine delivered as usual rather than through the letterbox.

I opted for the Clean and Sweet Handcare Kit which contains four items and is the cheapest of the three boxes at £22. They also have Clean and Calm at £27 as well as Clean and Fresh As at £25.

The Clean and Sweet Handcare kit contains:-

  • Honey I Washed the Kids Soap (100g) (Currently £5)
  • Milky Bar Soap (120g) (Currently £5)
  • Helping Hands Hand Cream (45g) (Currently £9 per 100g)
  • Tiny Hands Solid Hand Cream (60g) (Currently unavailable outside of set)

The Honey I Washed the Kids Soap was one of my first forays into LUSH. It smells AMAZING and I actually have a cut block of it in my soap stash. Now, it’s shaped in to these individual bars which looks a little more presentable but I found the cut slices more presentable. Also, it was a lot cheaper… One reason I have so much of a soap stash is it was more like £3.40 a bar when I purchased them. I’m glad I wrapped them up in polypropylene and preserved them… I recently got a bar out from several Christmases ago and it smells as fresh as the day I got it.. but I digress!

This is a really nice little set. I won’t write a long review of the individual products. They’re as you’d expect from LUSH. The fragrances are mild and inoffensive, sweet and clean smelling – It feels like a nice treat and indulgent to use the products from the set. The serum can leave your hands feeling a bit greasy and it doesn’t sink in like the hand cream so that’s worth noting. Tiny Hands and Milky Bar are Vegan but the other two products contain Honey and are therefore not vegan.

A lot of people are struggling with hand care in this pandemic, especially with further hand washing or drying out of hands from alcohol gel so this might be a nice gift for a loved one or yourself if your hands are going through the ringer. If you’re getting it for yourself and aren’t bothered about the hand serum, I’d just get the products individually and save a couple of quid. Because the box is small and thin, it fits through the letterbox which means you don’t have to worry about waiting in for the postie. The card box can be recycled and the packing peanuts dissolve in water. LUSH will also recycle the black pot – take back 5 when this pandemic is over and you can get a free fresh face mask!

Wash your hands with one of the soaps, use the moisturising cream afterwards and massage the solid serum in to your hands when they need some extra TLC.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a beauty post and I figured it was long overdue. I don’t often buy beauty products anymore but I have missed posting about them and a little TLC is good for us all!

I hope you are all safe and well!

body · book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister (Review)

Greetings and salutations! Yesterday was valentines and we all know adults tend to bonk, but what’s it like now compared in history? Well, I was curious to read about it, and so I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour! A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister was released on February 6th 2020 in Hardback and will be available on February 20th 2020 in eBook format. I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes.

I used to always think history was boring. Friends from other cultures helped me realise maybe that wasn’t the case. A friend with a pretty great history podcast made me realise one of the reasons I thought it was boring in the past was because of the way it was presented to me. Now, I’ve enjoyed the tid-bits from the Whores of Yore twitter account for a while. Witty yet informative, so I figured, without the character limit, in a book? That should be very interesting indeed. Plus it’s sex. The topic of sex always manages to induce some winks and giggles so I was pretty confident that this book would entertain, inform and be enjoyable.

Fannies, weenies, butts, boobies, a really dodgy looking oyster and some torturous looking objects, A Curious History of Sex comes with many historical photographs and illustrations to have a giggle at. I find myself feeling thankful for modern technology, but ultimately, our ancestors were just like we are currently in modern society. One thing hasn’t changed though it seems – people STILL shove random phallic shaped objects in places they’re not meant to go in search of the big O.

Yet, there were condom-type devices found, spanning back through history, even one in Tutankhamun’s tomb. It’s surprising that these very obvious and uncomfortable looking devices were used and yet people today seem reluctant to use them as they “affect sex” when they’re thinner than ever and made of much better materials. If men in history could wear sheaths made of intestines and other things, I can’t fathom why someone can’t cope with a condom that has been specifically design for the phallus. Just one of the many thought provoking things I came across while reading this book! Don’t get me started on their “pleasure devices”.. some look entirely terrifying!

I like to think I’m pretty “woke” on things these days, (woke, that’s the word the kids are using, right?) but looking back to how they were for our ancestors is amusing, entertaining and informative and gives me gratitude and insight for the modern day.

I’m pleased to say, A Curious History of Sex ticked all the right boxes. Innuendo unintended. Or was it? Engaging, witty and not a droll moment throughout. Of course, some parts interested me more than others, but it’s been a wholly fascinating experience. I think there is something that will interest anyone in this book, while also amusing. This is probably my favourite non-fiction read. Or it’s very high up there to say the least. I’ve read some great non-fiction books but I don’t think any top the balance of this one.

I absolutely love the way the information is put across and I wish all books on historical topics could be this entertaining. I mean, the topic being a (curious) history of sex can be considered entertaining in itself because “lols sex” but I think the author could make any topic as equally entertaining and interesting with her engaging writing and witty way of framing the content.

A fascinating read for sure, one that I would highly recommend.

About the Book

This is not a comprehensive study of every sexual quirk, kink and ritual across all
cultures throughout time, as that would entail writing an encyclopaedia.
Rather, this is a drop in the ocean, a paddle in the shallow end of sex
history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless.

The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the
ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed
have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that
stigmatise particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue
around the world. Attitudes will change and grow – hopefully for the better –
but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it
has come from.

Drawing upon extensive research from Dr Kate Lister’s Whores
of Yore website and written with her distinctive humour and wit, A Curious
History of Sex
covers topics ranging from twentieth-century testicle thefts
to Victorian doctors massaging the pelvises of their female patients, from smutty
bread innuendos dating back to AD 79, to the new and controversial sex doll
brothels. It is peppered with surprising and informative historical slang and
illustrated by eye-opening, toe-curling and hilarious images.

In this fascinating book, Lister deftly debunks myths and stereotypes and gives unusual
sexual practices an historical framework, as she provides valuable context for
issues facing people today, including gender, sexual shame, beauty and
language.

About the Author

Dr Kate Lister is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, where she researches the history of sexuality and curates the online research project Whores of Yore. Kate is also a columnist for iNews, Vice and the Wellcome Trust where she writes about the history of sex. Kate won a Sexual Freedom Award for Publicist of the Year in 2017. She runs the popular @WhoresOfYore twitter account.

disability · home · Life · Recipies · Uncategorized

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese – No Chopping!*

Spaghetti Bolognese or… spag bol as we affectionately call it in the UK, is a classic dish. If you somehow don’t know what this is, it’s spaghetti with minced meat in a tomato sauce, with herbs and such. A lot of people throw in other things like onion, red wine, peppers, garlic or mushroom.

Because of my poor health and dexterity, cooking can be a challenge and the fewer ingredients I have to contend with, the better, but that comes at the sacrifice of flavour… or does it? It doesn’t have to, thanks to Schwartz seasoning mix. They have a bunch of different seasoning mixes as well as the herbs and spices and other seasonings they’re known for. I always have a bunch in my cupboard. So with the help of the Spaghetti Bolognese Seasoning Mix, I decided to try making spag bol with minimal ingredients and report back with how it went!

Ingredients (serves up to four persons)

Brown the mince in a frying pan for a few minutes. The great thing about mince is it’s really easy to see when it’s cooked!

Add the Schwartz sachet contents as well as the tomatoes and give it a good stir.

Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for around 15 minutes.

…Now, there are two ways you can serve up spag bol – all of it all mixed together, or a neat pile of saucy mince on top of your spaghetti. I used to prefer the latter; not sure why! I was a strange child. My partner prefers it all mixed in, which is apparently normal, so that’s what I opted for, it also means no cold spaghetti or portion measuring. So, add the spaghetti into the pan and stir it all together.

Dish up and serve, topped with parmesan cheese if you’d like! Yummy. 😀 As this recipe serves up to four, there were leftovers that I put into a container. Once it cooled, I put it in the freezer for another day. Perfect! I love it when I can make my meals go further.

I was really impressed by how much flavour the Schwartz Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Mix added to the tomato, without the need for extra ingredients. Of course, you can add more in if you’d like to, but I’m all about that easy life, and chopping food is a hazard! So, I would definitely recommend giving it a go for a delicious, home-cooked meal. Both myself and my fussy partner really enjoyed it. I’ll be trying out their other mixes for sure! With supervision from my partner (because of using the stove), this was a nice and easy make, with plenty of flavour!

Schwartz have gifted me (this product), but all views are my own.

book reviews · Bookish · mental health · Uncategorized

Start by Graham Morgan (Review)

Today, I am on the Love Groups Tour for Start by Graham Morgan, available now in both Kindle and Paperback editions. This is a non-fiction read about Mental Health, so I’m really pleased to have been given the opportunity to share this with you. Having poor mental health myself, I leapt at the chance to be a part of this tour.

Start by Graham Morgan is compelling read. It’s honest and brave but it doesn’t beg for sympathy or attention. You’ll be taken through a spectrum of feelings as Graham discusses his current life, his past and his journey with his mental health.

Life is messy as it is, life is extra messy when you’ve got mental illness in the mix and Graham does an excellent job at portraying this. Sometimes it’ll make you laugh and sometimes it will absolutely wrench at your heart. At one point, he talks about how some people are also suffering, and how it is horrific and unacceptable and why are we so suspicious of medication that helps?  “..so glazed and consumed that they cannot muster the energy to step foot outside the door, so lacking in confidence that they are unable to take the decision to make a cup of tea, then I think, ‘this is horrific’.” this in particular really hit me, because it resonates so strongly with myself; I felt awful for the people he was talking about, but at the same time, realised I was one of them, I just didn’t recognise it a lot of the time and then I realised Graham does this himself at points through the book too. It made me feel a little vulnerable but also I felt like I got some additional insight to myself, if that makes sense.

What is the “self”? What is “reality” and “truth”? What is “mental illness”? These questions spring to mind when Graham talks about how he is sick, but also, he talks about an “evil” inside of him and how he wants to keep it there and not spread it to others or unleash it on the world. He talks about talking about this to the people who would decide that he needs to remain detained. He talks about life, relationships, how mental illness can effect them, cause havoc and mayhem and how his life was effected all interwoven with being compelled to receive treatment for his struggles.

Graham puts an emphasis on the people around him, other people in his life and how he affects them – or thinks he affects them. It’s very personal and intimate but he is also very candid about his tale which is something I found quite comforting in itself. Mental illness can make you feel so alone; even in a room full of people – even those you love dearly, you can feel more alone than you could ever imagine and I found this book to be an excellent companion during that time.

Alongside all the struggles of life, Graham also talks about some of the absolute glories of life. Some things that many people don’t think about or take for granted. Every day things that are absolutely blissful. “It is lovely to be caught unawares by cliches and to feel that joy with which they can inspire you.” Reading a book and listening to the rain. The less extraordinary things of daily life can in fact be extraordinary if you just notice them and appreciate them.

I feel like I both understand Graham more, myself and other people with mental health struggles. It’s that extra perspective and insight. Mental illness is hard to accept, it’s another thing Graham talks about (alongside basically anything you may be wondering, I found), how basically it means accepting your reality is not quite true and these other people are right, that you are wrong, and how that is a horrible feeling. This really struck me as I found it the hardest struggle for myself when I first sought treatment for my poor mental health and I know it’s a common difficulty. The fear. The accepting that there is something wrong and that you’re not okay.

The book ends on the note that he is lucky for what he has and how so many people don’t have the support system that he has and that he would like that to change. Above everything, his concern for others shines through the darkness of his own struggles and to me that’s commendable but also inspiring.

This book is a must-read. It’s inspiring, it’ll make you giggle, it’ll make you wince and it will make you appreciate things you didn’t previously pay much mind to.

About the Book

Graham Morgan has an MBE for services to mental health, and helped to write the Scottish Mental Health (2003) Care and Treatment Act. This is the Act under which he is now detained.

Graham’s story addresses key issues around mental illness, a topic which is very much in the public sphere at the moment. However, it addresses mental illness from a perspective that is not heard frequently: that of those whose illness is so severe that they are subject to the Mental Health Act.

Graham’s is a positive story rooted in the natural world that Graham values greatly, which shows that, even with considerable barriers, people can work and lead responsible and independent lives; albeit with support from friends and mental health professionals. Graham does not gloss over or glamorise mental illness, instead he tries to show, despite the devastating impact mental illness can have both on those with the illness and those that are close to them, that people can live full and positive lives. A final chapter, bringing the reader up to date some years after Graham has been detained again, shows him living a fulfilling and productive life with his new family, coping with the symptoms that he still struggles to accept are an illness, and preparing to address the United Nations later in the year in his new role working with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.

About the Author

Graham was born in 1963 in York. He went to university as an angst- ridden student and was quickly admitted to one of the old mental asylums, prompting the work he has done for most of his life: helping people with mental illness speak up about their lives and their rights. He has mainly worked in Scotland, where he has lived for the last thirty years, twenty of them in the Highlands. In the course of this work he has been awarded an MBE, made Joint Service User Contributor of the Year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and, lately, has spoken at the UN about his and other peoples’ experiences of detention. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and has been compulsorily treated under a CTO for the last ten years. He currently lives in Argyll with his partner and her young twins. Start is his first book.

Health · mental health · Uncategorized

Being Fat and Having an Eating Disorder

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(If it’s not obvious, this post contains details of having an eating disorder. It includes mentions of vomit and poop. You’ve been warned.) It’s taken me a long time to write this post. I began it back in March. It’s not because I’ve been avoiding sharing my story. Those who follow me on twitter know I always share and will always try to help – it’s just this has been very difficult for me and sometimes, it’s hard to put feelings in to words.

 

Being fat with an Eating Disorder. You heard me. Yeah, that’s a thing. There seems to be a sort of perpetual notion that only skinny young girls can have eating disorders and that. Wrong. Anyone can have an eating disorder. Let’s talk about that.

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Like many people, I’ve been struggling with my weight for quite a long time. I hit a point once we moved in to the house I previously lived in, that my weight just kept climbing. I felt out of control. I found myself going to the shop to stock up on junk food. Sometimes I’d hide the rubbish from the food or hide food away because I was ashamed by how much crap I was eating. I knew it was messed up. I kept eating till I felt sick, then I would make myself sick – it wasn’t difficult, my body was already threatening to upchuck it. I didn’t care. I’d keep throwing up until it hurt and I was sure it was all gone. Over time, I learned various “tricks” that made the entire process easier which was a double edged sword because while it made the individual “session” less painful, it meant vomiting was easier and it only encouraged me to do it more. I wont share those “tricks” here for some obvious reasons… You get the idea. It was pretty grim.

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I knew I needed help. I realised I had a serious problem and if I didn’t do something, it would kill me in one way or another, be it from my rapid weight gain itself, choking on my own vomit, having a heart attack or organ failure. Something was going to go wrong. So, I decided to ask for help. I thought at this point it would get easier. I mean, I knew recovery would be hard work for sure, but I’d have medical professionals supporting me. Oh, my poor misguided soul.

I went and saw my GP and while I wasn’t 100% truthful as I was ashamed of my purging, she listened and then she did something I know realise is awful. She prescribed me diet pills. Those things that stop your body from absorbing fat and make you shit it out. Spoiler alert, they’re not as magic as they sound. They have you crapping out orange oil – if you’re lucky. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll have you leaking orange oil stuff out of your arse. I was not so lucky. As if I didn’t feel awkward enough in public at the time. Oh boy. And farting in the bath? Yeah. That happened. Exactly what you think. She said that it should persuade me to consume less fat. What it ACTUALLY did was have me crying and vomiting harder.

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I stopped taking those damn pills and was grateful for my arse no longer feeling like a slip and slide, but I still needed HELP. I was referred to a dietician and the lady was very nice and said that it wasn’t right for me right now and agreed I needed help beyond her scope of expertise. So, I looked up about eating disorder care in my area as my GP was adamant that there wasn’t any and it wasn’t suitable for me. I was determined to get the help I needed. I saw her, armed with the information I had at my disposal and finally got her to refer me after months of her basically insisting I was just being a normal greedy person. FINALLY! I would have a professional to help me take that first step towards recovery.

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Blue Morpho butterflies symbolise a change in fortune and the spirit seeking transformation in change. Very apt imagery, I thought.

So, after a little while, I got my first appointment through which was an assessment with a Nurse Therapist – I forget her exact title and a dietician at the local Mental Health hospital. I went in via the inpatient area without realising there was a different entrance. It was a pretty harrowing experience and confirmed my resolve, but added to my fear. I didn’t want to have to be there with them. I didn’t want to end up like that.

They were very kind to me, though the appointment was very tough. They actually had me come back a second time to finish it, which is apparently normal. They were appalled at the way my GP had handled my situation and were confident they could help me. On the second appointment, they told me my diagnosis (officially, an EDNOS/OSFED – Binge Eating Disorder with a bulimia sub-type) and the course of treatment. 20 sessions they said. I kind of snuffed at it. People don’t fit in to neat little boxes like that. I thought “there is no way I’ll be better after 20 sessions.” I had so little understanding back then. I was fairly sure they wouldn’t be able to help me but I hoped so much that they could.

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The world got a little brighter. It took 6 months before I had my actual first appointment to start therapy as part of my treatment. They had directed me to a book called Overcoming Binge Eating which turned out to be basically like the actual treatment program.. But by the time I had that first actual treatment appointment, I’d managed to basically stop purging. I’d still do it on an odd occasion but it was no longer ritualistic. It was significant. I thought maybe it meant I was basically better and no longer needed the therapy. I was wrong. So wrong. I learned so much during my treatment and just how messed up things were but with the understanding came the ability to make changes and get better.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It was tough. SO tough. I even gained more weight which really freaked me the hickedy heck out, but she explained that my body was levelling itself back out again after the abuse and sure enough, the weight I’d gained during that period dropped back off as I kept up my treatment and the things we had implemented. One thing was making me eat every 3-4 hours. I struggled so much with that. I also learned that binging means different things to different people. To some, two biscuits is a binge. It was wholly about my mental state, not what I was actually consuming. I learned to stop considering some things as acceptable and others as unacceptable. I stopped seeing my binges as binges and my entire mindset changed.

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I found peace and acceptance within myself. I finished my treatment – which in all honesty, was terrifying. I’d have only myself to hold me accountable. To point out when my thinking was going down the wrong path. I had a “check in” after completing treatment to see how I was getting on and if there was anything I needed to ask etc before they discharged me. That was a year and a half ago now. I’m in recovery. A place I wasn’t sure I’d ever make it to – but I did.

It’s still tough, sometimes it’s really damn hard and those invasive thoughts do pop up; but they’re just thoughts. It’s up to me what I do with them. My eating disorder gave me the illusion of control, when really, it controlled me. It dictated my actions. What I ate. When I starved myself. When I made myself vomit. What I did. Now, that little “voice” pipes up sometimes, but I choose what I do and how I react to it. Sometimes it makes really convincing arguments and on some rare days it even manages to convince me, but it’s no longer dictating my entire life. I remember what I learned and implement some of the things I’d done in therapy if need be.

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I’m in a far better place now. It’s a weight off my shoulders. It’s liberating. I didn’t magically lose weight. I also didn’t gain weight (beyond the aforementioned part of my treatment). I’m fat. I’m 280lbs. Give or take. Weight fluctuates based on hormones, water retention, whether you had a shit today or not. It’s important to remember that and not obsess over the scales like I used to. Weighing myself several times a day. I was 296lbs at my heaviest) Now I’m in a better mindset, weigh myself much less often – rarely, in fact, have better tools to deal with my thoughts, have a deeper understanding of myself and a more significant respect and feelings of love for my body. With that love and acceptance, more positive changes can be made. Am I still vulnerable? Yes. Am I going to fight it anyway? Hell yes. I’m Liz, I’m fat, and I’m in recovery from an eating disorder.

I debated whether or not to go in to more detail or not in this post, but it’s already 1,500 words long apparently, so I’ll leave it on that note; but know that you’re not alone and it’s okay to seek help. Even healthy weight people can struggle to get treatment for eating disorders as it’s something still so misunderstood – but know that you ARE worth it. If you are ready to heal, seek recovery. Keep pushing. I’m so glad I kept pushing and got help. It changed my life for the better.

Stay safe. All my love x

body · disability · Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

Have you heard of Flotation?

Have you heard of flotation? I don’t mean those big inflatable pool-floaty things or those foam pool noodles or rectangles you use to help you to learn how to swim. Turns out, floatation actually has nothing to do with swimming at all. Shows like Stranger Things brought a little more attention to floatation, but many people still haven’t heard of it or know what it does, so I had a chat with Mark Smethurst – The owner of a flotation therapy center in my little town of Stafford (the first one that opened in the West Midlands, actually!) to find out about the center and what flotation is actually all about. Spoiler alert: It’s fascinating, and I think everyone should give it a go!

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Time to Float‘s location was a little bit surreal to me, as it turns out, it’s actually in the building of an old radio station that I used to volunteer for. I’m good at getting lost, so thankfully, it means I know exactly where the place is! (Which is at 146 Marston Road, Stafford, ST16 3BT, if you decide you'[d like to give it a go!)

So what actually is flotation? It’s basically a less scary way of talking about a sensory deprivation pod. It doesn’t make you awaken latent crazy powers like TV may have you believe, but it can do a lot of other things for you; but I’ll go in to that shortly. First I’m going to tell you a little about this particular flotation center.

As I mentioned, Time to Float was the first flotation therapy location to open in the West Midlands. Flotation is gaining more traction in the world and when you understand what it can do, it’s easy to see why! The location is a small one in the Northern Quarter of Stafford county town (which has some lovely places to visit in general) and delightfully cosy with warm and welcome staff who are happy to have a good natter with you or just let you do your thing.

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So, what do you do, and what can it do for you?

Well, I won’t go in to too many details of what happens when you get there, but basically you fill out a health form, have a little tour and have the place explained to you and this introduction is tailored to you based on your responses to the health form if you have certain medical issues.

In the room is a flotation pod (it’s actually about the size of a Mercedes A Class) and a shower and a few other bits and bobs that will be explained to you before you start, and they’ll only leave you once you’re comfortable! You have a shower and get in this big-ass pod of water and literally sit back and float, thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt! Now, its advised you close the pod and turn off the light but you can have the light on if you want or prop the pod open or whatever you like.

The water in the pod is heated to body temperature, as is the air, which is circulated to keep the flow of oxygen. Thanks to the 800lbs of epsom salt (which leave your skin feeling so soft, and you don’t look like a prune when you get out either!), you just float in the water effortlessly. (The pod water is filtered four times after each use and the room cleaned, plus the salts are a natural disinfectant too, if that concerns you at all!) Apparently, it’s so relaxing, many people simply fall asleep half way through, which is totally okay! In fact, sleeping for a short while in the pod can have the effect of several hours of really blissful sleep. The salt has a sort of anti-gravity effect, resulting in a feeling of weightlessness; this also helps muscles to get complete rest (and breakdown lactic acid) and for your skeleton to re-align in its natural position. This effect, combined with the high levels of magnesium thanks to the salt (which is also anti-inflammatory) mean floatation can actually help a huge variety of ailments and chronic illnesses, including chronic pain, sleep disorders, mental health issues, or even just being sore from a workout.

Music lulls you away and will also slowly bring you back to reality after your hour is up. You get out, shower to wash all the salt away and get changed and then there is a little recovery room with a hair dryer and mirrors and some skincare products if you wish to use them. Then it’s back through to the main area where they will give you all the water you can drink and let you chill for as long as you like. They’re happy to talk about your float or just leave you to it. Whatever you’d prefer to do basically.

Flotation

There’s way more I could go in to, but this post is already getting a little lengthy. However, chances are, if you suffer from any ailment, floatation can probably help as an alternative therapy – keep in mind though, it’s not a magic cure, nor does it claim to be! However, as someone with chronic illnesses, I couldn’t resist looking in to it and the science checks out. Though you’re welcome to do your own research or contact the center for a chat if you want to learn more. If you choose to book, they have a Float More program they can tell you about too. (that link will take you to referral by me, but if you go in person or talk on the phone or social media, be sure to give me a cheeky little mention)

Even if you feel pretty well in yourself, floatation can really have a great effect as it helps encourage production of endorphins and a reduction of cortisol, so it may just be good for some self-care or a slice of zen. I think that it’s certainly worth a go. If anything can help my pain without having to dose up on medication, that’s always good.

You can find out more via the Time to Float website or catch them on twitter @timetofloatuk. Have you ever tried floatation? Or do you want to give it a go now? I’m interested to hear what you think!

 

Health · Life · self-care · Uncategorized

6 tips for Self-Care

Self-care is SUCH an important thing, yet many of us fail to do it on a regular basis. Life is hectic and often, we are too busy trying to be kind and help other people that we forget to do it for ourselves. So, today, I thought I’d share some of my self-care tips/activities outside of basic human functioning (maybe I’ll do another post on that?)

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Read a book – Maybe even go and read outside if the weather is nice. Your body would benefit from the dose of vitamin D. Books allow us to escape in to an entirely different world and escape from our own heads for a little while. This is one of my favourite hobbies and it benefits my mental health greatly.

Spend 20 minutes outside – As I mentioned in my previous point, the body benefits greatly from Vitamin D. Living in England, it’s so easy to be deficient in vitamin D, so it’s good to take some time and sit outside, even if you just sit there texting, have your lunch, make a phone call or whatever. It’ll give you a nice little boost.

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Drink more water – An obvious one yet so many of us don’t do it. We can often be so busy that we forget to sip water here and there. You can add fruits or cucumber or mint leaves or whatever to have infused water for a refreshing twist. Our bodies have a high percentage of water and while you may not feel particularly thirsty, even slight dehydration can have a negative effect on the body. Keep your brain-sponge full of water and you will be more prepared for dealing with your day.

Use a facemask – It’s good to stop and have a little pamper. You don’t even have to stop now with a lot of facemasks. Throw one on while you’re in the bath, reading, playing games, cleaning the kitchen; or actually lie back and just take the time to rest. Your skin will be happy for the care and it’s good to look after yourself.

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Get off social media – We’re all guilty of being a little addicted to social media. Have you ever thought about how much time you waste passively using social media; such as just scrolling through facebook and not really doing anything? There have actually been studies that show this can have a negative impact on mental health. (Sorry, if you wanna see the studies, you’ll have to google them yourself! The youtuber Boyinaband summarised my point in his video about internet addiction really well though.)

Colour in a colouring book page – You’re a grown adult. So what? Nothing compares to going back to child-like roots where you colour in or scribble with reckless abandon. The image in a colouring book is already there so there is no pressure to get something drawn; you don’t have to really think about it. It’s a good escape and it makes your brain happy. If you’re like me and still feel a bit like you need to colour perfectly and use the right shades or whatever, there’s a book called Colour Quest which is basically like a colour by numbers but they’re all tessellating shapes – you won’t figure out the image until you’ve coloured a lot of it in!

That’s it for this post. I may do another one soon if people enjoyed this. I have quite a few more ideas! If you have any fun or unusual tips for self-care, I’d love to hear them.

Remember to be kind to yourself!

body · Health · Life · Uncategorized

I’m allergic to grass!

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Allergic rhinitis. The condition when you’re allergic to Rhinos. I jest. I’m talking about Hayfever. 1 in 5 people get it and I know many joke about it when asked why they’re all nasally and blowing their nose in decent weather, they respond “I’m allergic to grass”! Though sometimes, it’s really not that funny! Severity varies person to person, and then on the current pollen count. The higher the pollen count, the more severe the symptoms – higher exposure to the allergen. It also depends on the type of pollen the person is allergic to. This is also referred to as pollinosis.

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Symptoms include; the sniffles, runny nose, sore throat, swelling, itchy eyes and more. A lot of people get it to a mild degree, getting “sneeze and sniffles” as I like to call it. This is also the way I suffer with Hayfever. I also get itchy eyes that just water and a scratchy sore throat sometimes when it’s quite bad, though I also spend a lot of time indoors with my current health so I’m not as affected as much as I would be if I were to be outside often. When I was in secondary school, I witnessed the worst hayfever sufferer I’d ever seen. Everyone seems to have hayfever to some degree but boy, this was bad! His face had swollen, his eyes had swollen in to little more than slits, his voice was croaky. He had it bad! I remember thinking how insane it was that someone could react so badly to nature.

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Tissues! One of my best friends in my handbag. Okay, so I’m the type that has the kitchen sink in her handbag, but truly, one thing I can not go without, is tissues. I try and have a little pack of wet wipes in there too. Always very useful! I’m prone to sniffles in winter and Hayfever in the summer, so I always need my tissues. If you end up having to blow/wipe your nose a lot, you can rub some Vaseline or a crappy lip balm on to the side of your nostrils before you go to blow it, then instead of rubbing the skin more and making it dry and crack, you will rub the Vaseline off; so you don’t have such a sore nose! In winter, I’m permanently applying Vaseline to my nose, though if you do it and leave it in the spring/summer, you’re inviting pollen to the end of your honker; so apply it,  then blow! These have been crucial things for me with suffering from hayfever. They may or may not work for you, but it’s nice to share. I also have a nasal spray that squirts up my nose which helps too. Do you have any tips for coping with allergies?

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If you check the forecast and a high pollen count is predicted, you can nip symptoms in the bud by taking an antihistamine before leaving the house. It doesn’t work for everyone, some people are still symptomatic but less severe, others, it completely knocks them out of the ball park. Though it’s also worth keeping in mind that they can make you rather drowsy.  If you suffer severely and antihistamines don’t help, your GP will be able to help you out. So don’t be afraid to ask just because “everyone” has it. We’re all affected differently by different things and there is no shame in asking for something to relieve your symptoms! And remember, cover your nose when you sneeze!

Beauty · body · Health · self-care · Uncategorized

A Busty Girls Guide to Boobs – Fitting

As a very busty (42K) lady, I know the importance of a good bra. It’s important to strap the girls in to a bra that fits properly. So many people wear the wrong size bra, which not only affects the appearance of your breasts (quad boobs??) but it can also cause real issues. If your bra hurts, digs in, pulls on your shoulders, tries to impale your tits with its underwire, causes bulging or gapes etc, then your current bra is not for you.

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Wearing a poor fitting bra can cause a number of issues. Backache, sore shoulders, neck pain, headache, trouble breathing, skin conditions (man, fungal infections on your underboobs are a thing and they are NOT FUN), circulation problems, stress on muscles and bones, and probably some other stuff too.

Health issues aren’t the only problems a poorly fitting bra can cause. A rubbish bra can throw off your posture, but also make you look a bit… weird. Quad boob, saggy boobs, looking bulky, broader or just strange. A well fitting bra can change your entire silhouette, as well as ease any discomfort and pain.

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So? How do you know if your bra would be better off as a bird feeder? Here are some ways to tell if it is too small:

  • Thy cup runneth over/you get quad boob – your cups are too small.
  • The band digs in – you need a larger band size! A bra should be tight but it shouldn’t be digging in like the string on your Sunday pork roast.
  • The wire wants to impale you – usually this is due to cups being too small.
  • The shoulder straps cut in – this can be down to small cups, but sometimes the band can be an issue too.
  • The centre gore doesn’t want to nestle in to your bossom – if the wire is pushed away from your body, the cups are too small. The wire should not be sitting on top of any breast tissue!

What about if it is too big? Well, there are ways to tell that too.

  • It’s riding up – this is pretty common. If the band is riding up your back, then it is too big. The band should stay horizontal the entire way around your body.
  • Your cups have room for snacks – if your cups gape, they are too big. However, most pairs of breasts are asymmetrical; if one is bigger than the other, you should fit to the bigger breast. Doing this can result in one cup gaping, in which case you can try another style bra, or use a fillet to even things out if you’re self-conscious. Generally, nobody else will be able to tell.
  • Your cups dimple or wrinkle – they’re too big!
  • The band is loose enough to use as a slingshot – you should be able to comfortably slide a finger under and around the band. If you can pull it more than 2 inches away from your body, then your band is too big.

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So, if the cups are small, size them up, if they’re big, go down a size. Same with the band, right? Well actually, it’s not quite that simple. Bra sizes are relative! A 40D will have the same cup volume as a 38C. This is called a sister size. If you go up a cup size, go down a band size; if you go up a band size, go down a cup size. So, if you have an issue with your bra fit, but feel it is minor, give your sister sizes a try first or try a different style of bra. Remember, fluctuating hormones can alter breast size, so be mindful of this when fitting. Swollen period boobs, anyone?

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If your bra is miles off, I highly recommend getting fitted by professional.

I hope this helps any tangled titties! This is by no means a professional or comprehensive guide. I’m just sharing my experiences as a plus sized, well endowed woman. If in doubt, go and get fitted.

P.S! If you’re wanting to check out a lingerie blogger who has a wealth of information as well as recommendations, I highly recommend checking out the beautiful George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust.

All images in this post are stock images as I’m not comfortable with sharing my own undercrackers with the world.

Bookish · disability · Health · Life · Uncategorized

Why Kindle is superior to the Paperback

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Ooo, that’s right, I said it, I went there! Kindle > Paperbacks.

For many moons, or well, just the one moon, technically, but, it’s been a while; people have argued that paperbacks are, and will always be superior when compared to the sinful e-book. Okay, so I’ll admit, I hands down prefer having a physical form of book, the delight of a paperback in my hands, over my e-reader. There’s the weight, the feel of the pages, the sound when you turn them, that book smell and just… there’s a beauty to it, I’m sure you know what I mean. However, my Kindle is far superior – for some reasons, you may not have even considered.

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There are some obvious perks to an e-reader. They save space, they allow you to take an entire library while traveling while occupying only a sliver of the space, e-books are often cheaper, have 99p/introductory offers or some are even free. There are also some less obvious perks. After discussing this with numerous friends, they admitted they’d not really thought about them.

One word. Accessibility. Yeah, paperbacks are great. When was the last time you saw a large print version of a new release by your favourite author? That’s right. Large print books are often more expensive and have far less variety and availability compared to a standard print edition. An e-reader eliminates this worry because not only can a kindle books font size be increased, but the font can be changed to one of a variety that a visually impaired person may find easier to view and at no further cost to them.

Speaking of fonts; what about Dyslexia? Some dyslexic people find it very difficult to try and read a book. An e-reader helps in many ways. As well as being able to adjust the font size, margins and line spacing can be adjusted to change the format of a page which someone with dyslexia, cognitive dysfunction, a learning disability or other impairment may find incredibly beneficial. As well as this, I can’t speak for other e-readers, but the newer versions of Kindle have a font available called OpenDyslexic. This is a special font that adds weight to the bottom of lettering in an attempt to help ease some of the difficulties someone with dyslexia may experience while trying to read.

All these options make reading more accessible to those who may not ordinarily be able to read, or experience great difficulty in doing so. I adore reading, there is nothing like diving in to a book and immersing yourself in an entirely different world, but when your brain isn’t keeping up, it can be really difficult. Okay, so it’s not traditional and it doesn’t have the same charm as a paperback, but what’s the point in all that charm if you can’t enjoy it?

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So, reconsider an e-reader. Users of e-readers may love books just as much as you do, maybe even more so. If you love books that much, surely you want as many people as possible to enjoy the books you love. If an e-reader helps them do that, then surely that’s a wonderful thing?

What do you think? Do you use an e-reader? Physical books only? Have I changed how you perceive e-readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts!