9 December 2015

The process of an Amniocentesis - Part 2

Following on from my Part 1 post - 

I've still got what feels like an eternity until this test. It doesn't get easier. I've leaned on so many of my friends with them taking it in shifts to come visit me. I've went shopping and had many days out, getting on a plane to visit my best friend all things you would think could take your mind off things. Nothing works. I can feel myself wanting to cry but nothing comes out. It's such a rollercoaster of emotions.

For all I know the baby could be totally healthy and I'm under this crazy amount of stress. Or am I thinking about the sadness I have for the baby I'm carrying who might not have any quality of life. Since theres literally nothing I can do until I have the results, it really does feel like a black hole. You can't be positive and you can't grieve you just have to wait. Wait whilst this tiny little baby is growing everyday inside you. Wait every week whilst I see the changes happening to my body and wait until the baby is that little bit stronger. 

Week 16 came along and I'm so proud of myself for getting this far. I became emotionless and I felt like I was prepared for the Amniocentesis. At this point I had read everything I possibly could and I just wanted to get it done and over with. 

The morning of the test came and I was ready hours before I needed to actually leave for the hospital. I arrived nearly 2 hours early to my appointment but I was glad to just be sat there knowing it wasn't much longer. At 2pm a senior consultant called my name, I of course took my mum in with me as I needed as much support as I could get. She sat me down and asked if a student doctor could join us along with a senior midwife. She went on to explain what was about to happen and if I was happy to sign some documents. She also asked if I wanted to have some other test which I had never heard of and I can't even remember the name of it. 

The extra test was basically to find out if there was any other problems but she said if anything did come back they couldn't tell me what was wrong. After the stress they past few weeks had caused I couldn't do that to myself and I refused any extra tests. By this point I think I kept it together quite well but when I was signing that bit of paper I could feel myself getting upset. It was so incredibly raw and emotional. 

The consultant asked me to lie on the bed whilst they scanned my belly to see how the baby was lying and if it was possible to do the test that day. At this point she told me to look at the screen as my little baby waved but I couldn't even bring myself to smile because I was so scared. I knew at this point everyone in the room could feel my nerves and just carried on quickly with the next step. 

She then explained they were going to cover my tummy in iodine and switch the lights off. They went on to scan me again to make sure they had the perfect position to put the needle. For whatever reason I didn't expect them to do it so soon and she literally said right thats us and proceeded to stab my stomach with a needle that was at least 6 inches long. I had in my mind it would have been like a blood test but it was the complete opposite, more like an adrenaline shot. Which of course took me by complete surprise and the pain at the point was quite bad. There was an intense cramping sensation as I could feel the needle pass through my muscle and womb. They proceeded to take 2 vials of amniotic fluid from around the baby which looked like a acid it was that bright. This whole process lasted no longer than a minute. 

At this point I couldn't control my emotions and I just cried my little heart out. The student doctor then took a blood test and then the midwife went on to give me an Anti - D which is incase I reject the baby as my blood type is negative and they won't know if the baby's blood type is positive. 

I sat at the end of the bed feeling so lifeless and so sick of being jabbed by needles. The consultant gave me some new scan pictures and said I could go on my way. I was to go home and rest as the chance of miscarriage is highest for the following 72 hours.  That's exactly what I did and for the next 4 days I never left my bed. Some blogs online say you can carry on with normal things the next day but I genuinely don't know how thats possible. For the first 24 hours I had a lot of cramping which was kind of like bad period pains but this was normal. Every day that went by I got a bit stronger and by the end of the 4 days I could get to the toilet by myself which was a complete achievement!

Only 2 days later which took me by surprise again I received a call from the senior midwife. She was delighted to tell me that our little baby was totally fine and had no irregular chromosomes. She then asked if I wanted to know if it was a boy or girl which I needed to know as I couldn't cope with anymore surprises! 

The sheer relief and weight of our shoulders was truly immense. We could finally get on with our lives and begin to look forward to meeting our incredible baby boy. If anything changes you as a person it's certainly becoming a parent and it's truly made me realise that your health and the health of a baby is the single most important thing in this crazy world that we live in. 

I'm now keeping really well at 24 weeks and it's only 3 and half months until my due date which is insane. Thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes and love! xox

12 November 2015

The process of an Amniocentesis - Part 1

(This was written not long after my 12 week scan and is just Part 1 of the very long process) 

Pregnancy is something that is pretty hard to put into words. Everyone has an idea of what it means, how your life will change and how this is a miracle. After all, it's new life. 

I'm your average 23 year old, healthy, positive and with absolute no doubt in my mind that I will be the best mum I possibly can be. What happens when you get the devastating call that your little baby you've been carrying for so far 12 weeks has potentially a life threatening or life debilitating disability? Your heart and soul literally sinks at the thought. I'm healthy and I'm YOUNG. Nothing prepares you for the pain the next few weeks bring..

Like many women in the 1st trimester we burst with excitement at the thought of going to our 12 week scan. If you find out early like I did then it can be a very very long wait to the 12 week mark. 12 weeks means its near the end of the 1st trimester and your chances of miscarriage significantly drop. Which means for a lot of mums and dads to be, they can finally announce this to the world. That means family, friends, everyone at work and of course Facebook. 

My scan approached and I was really excited. I had already seen the baby on a private scan at 7 weeks and there was a very clear heartbeat which was good news. The 12 week scan went totally fine and the ultrasound consultant was pleased to show us the baby was super active and it was so incredible to see. After the scan I went to the nurse for a blood test which I agreed to. The blood test was to rule out any abnormalities in the babies chromosomes. To be honest I didn't pay much attention to what she was saying but she did say when the results are back from the test I should receive a letter within 3 weeks and if any problems a phone call after a week. No worries and off I went to properly get excited about the baby. It didn't even cross my mind that something could be wrong.

3 days went by and I think everyone had started to get excited. My nearest and dearest knew and that's all that mattered at this point. It was mid afternoon and I was half way through doing a set of nails at work when my phone rang. It just so happened to be sitting on my desk because I was trying to win some stupid radio competition and actually thought it might have been them phoning. It was a colleagues nails so she didn't mind I took the call and ran into the kitchen. I didn't recognise the voice..

It was a senior midwife calling from a specialist centre at the Royal infirmary in Edinburgh. She asked if I was aware of the test I had carried out 3 days previous and if I understood what those tests meant. I said yes because I had agreed to them through my midwife.. but my heart sunk like nothing I have ever felt before. The sudden realisation of why she was calling was too much for me to handle. She explained that I had been put into a High Risk category for having a baby with a chromosomal abnormalitie.

The 20 minute phone conversation to follow was nothing but a blur to me. I had no idea what she was talking about, what it meant to me or what this meant going forward for the baby. She explained all my options but I just couldn't take it in. I was crying so much at this point I know it was the shock that started to take over. I scribbled down some key words she was telling me like her name and number. Depending on what I wanted to do I was given the option to phone them back in 4 days time when they re opened to discuss further. In a panic I phoned my mum and my boyfriend and I knew I wasn't making any sense. I left work shortly after and just went into a complete state of numbness. 

The really strange thing was I just didn't feel pregnant anymore, not even one single bit. In fact I didn't feel anything and over the next four days was a process of trying to understand what I had just been asked to face. For some people being told your baby might have Downs Syndrome (a chromosone disorder you might be more fimiliar with) this wouldn't matter and choose not to have any further testing but this is also a risk for Edwards Syndrome (babies who survive birth around half will die within 2 weeks) and Pateu's Syndrome (babies don't survive for more than a few days). Also if the test came back positive for any of the above they couldn't tell me how severe it would be so theres a chance they would have 0 quality of life. Once I had let the information sink in - I knew I had to get the further testing. The longest 4 days of my life went by and I finally had a chance to phone them back. After researching for days what my options were and reading other stories about people in my position I had made a decision. 

I had decided to go with the Amniocentesis. This involves a large needle being put into your stomach to take a sample of amniotic fluid from around the baby. The process is done whilst being guided by an ultrasound to make sure the baby doesn't come too close to the needle. You can have this test starting at 16 weeks and it seemed like a no brainer. There was another test called CVS that can be done earlier but I want my baby to have a chance and with being a few weeks bigger might be all it takes. The problem I have is this testing is invasive and carries a risk of miscarriage. Even if the baby is healthy you can still end up going into early labour which is horrendous of course because if the baby arrived at 17 weeks they wouldn't survive. I could loose the baby as a result of me going ahead with the test. The news, the test, the wait on the results and the never ending fear of miscarriage. There was no doubt though. I needed to do the test. I had to find out for myself, my partner and our baby. 

The test was booked for 3 weeks time and it was then 3-5 working days from then to find out the results. From reports and blogs I studied online, I knew I was in for a rough few weeks. Your life literally goes on hold. All your worries about finding the perfect place to live, saving money, making sure everyones ok with the news, will it be a boy or a girl, can I cope with all these changes - suddenly don't matter. I couldn't care less about any of the above other than our baby being healthy. After talks with my doctor I decided to take some time off until after the test and results. I didn't want to be speaking to people day in day out, I didn't want people to ask me how I was, I didn't want to have to smile at anyone when all I wanted to do was sit. I wanted to sit and let myself feel what I was feeling.

If I have learned anything from my therapist is don't run away from what you feel or what your dealing with. If that means drowning in your feelings until the next day then so be it but it will allow you to handle things going forward.

I'm 10 days into these 4 weeks and it's been the longest 10 days of my life. I wasn't sure if I was ready or able to write anything but I knew I didn't need to post anything straight away. I know theres so many more people going through the same thing and there's defiantly a comfort in reading other people's stories when your faced with the scary weeks to come. I know for some people going ahead with an Amniocentesis is a no brainer and if anything it's a normal part of going through pregnancy. Some other people I've spoken to have said their would be no way they would go for a test like that. 

In my eyes I had to make a pretty quick decision which could have changed the coming months forever. I done what was right for us and thats the most important thing. Others might ask why share something so personal online? Well as soon as I found out I went online to read other peoples stories to help me understand what was happening and what I was faced with. To be honest reading other peoples stories was the only thing that helped and knowing that someone else was saying it was tough did make me feel better. 

In part 2 I'll talk about going through the actual Amniocentesis and coming out the other end which will be posted soon..


9 November 2015

I'm growing a human..


I know it's not too much of a surprise now especially if you have me on social media. I've just hit the 20 week mark which means I'm officially half way. Which is a whole mixture of craziness to me!

I have been extra quiet on my blog as these past few months have been filled with so many ups and downs. It became impossible for me to write when I had so many things on my plate. I've decided to write now because I'm FINALLY at a stage where I can start to enjoy and share my experiences which for a blogger has been quite difficult when I'm forever sharing my thoughts.

Other than my nearest and dearest there was quite a few people who were surprised at how long I kept it off social media for but I had my reasons. One of the main reasons there was such a delay was I was given some scary news which meant I didn't actually know the outcome for either or us. I had to hold off and be sure we would all be ok before I was ready to let everyone in.

I ended up writing an extremely personal blog post about the difficult time I had just incase I ever wanted to share it with everyone. I wrote it whilst I was in a storm of emotions but I'm so happy to say I can share it now I've came out the other side which I will do in a few days time.

Now that I'm writing again it means I can talk about all the fun stuff. As you can imagine I am up to my ears in ideas and Pinterest has became my new best friend. We're having a little baby boy so his wardrobe is obviously well thought out already lol. I'm afraid to say I'm 1 million % against baby blue so it's all white, creams, greys, black, khaki and camo of course! On top of you know the important stuff like planning for a baby we are also planning on where we are going to live which is a whole other level of stress. Everyone else seems to work it out so I'm sure we will too but you know what that means? INTERIOR which has also became my new love so prepare yourselves for the posts. I'm already getting excited about new light shades, sofas and have you heard you can now buy chicken in a bag and you just put it straight in the oven!!? like a whole chicken. Chicken dinners on me. I sound like a mum already!!..

Now that I'm pregnant and I'm still getting used to the whole idea but I'm going to be sharing all the ins and outs of the baby in the belly chat. Theres so much that people don't tell you and once theres baby in there it's quite difficult to have a normal conversation again. Chatting to me kinda goes like this..

Me - "So how was your weekend?"
Person - "Yeah really good we went and done bla bla bla bla millions of exciting stuff, you?" (in lots of detail)
Me - "Yeah so back to the baby did you know he's the size of a banana?"

I'm excited to be back on the old blog I've for sure missed it and it's good to have an outlet to chat nonsense again. My due date is 27th of March 2016 which is Easter Sunday incase ya'll are wondering so send the baby lamb outfits my way!

Does that mean I'm officially a mum blogger? just kidding although.. I am intrigued. Keep an eye out for my next post in a few days..

Bye for now xox

17 August 2015

GANT in Barcelona

'Established in 1949, GANT is a lifestyle brand with an American Sportswear Heritage. They offer premium luxury clothing for men and women across our mainline range and GANT Rugger. Their range for men includes classic oxford shirts, casual knitwear, chinos, tailored blazers and jeans. For women a collection of fitted shirts and blouses, lambswool knitwear and accessories.'

Shirt - GANT * / Shorts - Primark / Sandals - EGO, on sale */ Top - RiverIsland

I don't know about you but how good does a new shirt feel? Especially when it's like the best shirt you've ever received. I was really surprised at how lovely Gant had packaged this shirt as it arrived in a lovely box with ribbons and tissue paper, all the fancy stuff. It beats buying any high street shirt that has been shoved into the 5p bag you just bought. The feeling I get from Gant is they are classic yet modern and like any good blogger will tell you - getting a good classic for your wardrobe is a must. 

What's at the top of your essential (classic) wardrobe list? It's got to be the white shirt. The one I'm wearing is the classic GANT Oxford shirt. Now as you can imagine there is a million ways we could style this shirt and I don't doubt for a minute theres better ways of styling this beauty (I'm thinking with some leather and what not) but I'll give you an idea of when this shirt became perfect in the above pictures. 

Strolling the streets of Barcelona, mid July and in the middle of a Spanish heat wave. It was pretty hot. Almost too hot, yeah probably too hot. I was on a city break so there was no sunbathing for me, just lots of walking and hiding in the shadows. It got to the point you didn't want to wear anything never mind that beautiful outfit you had planned. What happens when all your styling plans go out the window and your left with practicality? I'm thinking cool yet effortless and this is when I wore my classic Gant shirt. Numerous stops at tapas bars meant there was times I wanted to be a little covered and this made me feel super comfortable. 

Sometimes it's good to see such a classic piece of clothing been worn in a relatively real and normal way. Our life's are so hectic, what with work and trying to balance everything. We need good, reliable and something thats going to stand the test of time and Gant's classic shirt's are going to do all of that and more.


29 July 2015

My neck, my back, my shoulders and.. yeah a massage by Bonnie Quines.

I've said in previous blog posts that I've not experienced the spa life before; so I'm always jumping at the chance to try anything spa related. 

Hidden away in a little place in Broxburn is a salon called Bonnie Quines. This salon is very deceiving from its exterior as it looks just like a normal office building. However, in the warmth of the individual rooms screams out experience, talent and a fecking good massage therapist. 

I was booked in for a back, neck and shoulder Swedish massage with the massage therapist Nicola. I don't think I've had a proper one before other than that one time on holiday but that was all a bit weird (they started rubbing my belly which was the most bizarre thing I've ever felt).  Nicola was very professional but with such a warm welcome she made me feel at ease straight away. She asked if I had any health problems or if I was on any medication before we started and after that we were good to go. 

You know the drill. The relaxing music starts with all sorts of noises from the ocean, the rooms so cosy that your already nodding off and before you know it your face is so far in that wee hole thing in the bed that you almost feel like this is you at your most natural state. 

Hats off to Nicola though, the girl knows how to move pressure through out your body and there was a fair few instances where my toosties were moving at the sheer feeling of being that relaxed. She surprised me because I didn't have any problems with my back at all and thought it would be quite straight forward however, we soon realised my back was full of really complicated knots and the pressure needed to get them out was quite intense. She totally worked them out and it was such a fab feeling.

Who wants a massage that's nice and cute and bang average? nah not me. The pressure was good and again I was surprised at how even she could distribute it along my back. If your going for a massage, you want to feel a step above deep relaxation, and Nicola defiantly achieved that with me. Also a huge congratulations to Nicola for making it as a finalist for the Scottish Hair and Beauty awards 2015. She's in the running to win 'Best Massage Therapist' and she better bloody win it!.

If you would like to book in with Nicola, she's based in Bonnie Quines in Broxburn. You can email reception@bonniequines.com or call 01506 858896 to book. You can also get the girls on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/bonniequines

8 July 2015

Instantly Ageless - Jeunesse review

The Jeunesse website claims: 'Meticulously developed, our formula is lightweight and contains a skin-conditioning complex of minerals that evens skin tone. The revolutionary ingredient is argireline: a peptide that works like Botox. It’s specifically designed to target areas which have lost elasticity - revealing visibly toned, lifted skin.'

I've known about this product for a few months now and today was the first day I tried it. I can only say I am in total shock. When the product first arrived a couple of months ago I was taken back at how quickly it was flying off the shelfs. I work in a nail bar which means I'm around women of all ages all the time. As soon as one person started talking about it, everyone did. 

I had seen countless videos of this (what seemed like) magic cream. Although I still wasn't phased. Until one day in the salon I tried it on a client myself. I took a before and after picture and I was quite shocked at the results. Within a minute I could see this ladies face changing in front of my eyes which being really honest was quite bizarre. I had never seen anything like it and I couldn't get over the fact it happened so quickly. 

As the beauty industry grows from one extreme to another we are constantly been sold various lotions and potions, it's hard knowing what products are best. If you want something quick then this is the stuff you need. 

Why am I writing about this now?
Well, before now I didn't feel the urge to try the cream at all. Not even slightly curious and it was probably because I was quite arrogant about it. I'm 22 (23 next week eeek) and I don't realllllly have wrinkles or lines. There's a few right under my eyes but I think it's just the shape of them. Pfffffft why would I need to use it? 

Today I was cleaning out my handbag (y'all know how messy and full of shite it gets) and out pops a little sample of Instantly Ageless. I had no makeup on and I was about to leave for work and thought 'MEH... may as well give it a try it'. Now I have really REALLY bad dark circles under my eyes and I've defiantly had them since like 2K4 so they aren't budging at all. I pops a tiny amount on my finger and dab all around and under my eyes. From watching the videos online I knew to stay still for a few minutes until it dries. As the minutes tick by I can feel it getting tighter and tighter. 

I only go and look in the mirror and I'm a little scared at how good this is. WAIT A FECKING MINUTE - I thought I never had wrinkles!!!? and why is it so smooth under my eyes. I'm now trying to remember what they were like before. I must have tiny little bumps under my eyes because this is as smooth as my cheek and we all know I have cute,  big, chubby cheeks. 

Anyway, this product is unreal and I'm now pretty annoyed because that's just another thing I NEED on the list to buy. It lasts for like over 6 hours if you don't sweat too much and can be applied under makeup if you do it right so it's all good. I didn't get any before & after pictures of me I'm afraid because I wasn't that switched on when I was doing it soz. 

If y'all want some let me know as my salon has loads xox

18 June 2015

The dangers of MMA

Remember I was in Australia in January and I was talking about how I wasn't sure about what direction I was going on in terms on my career. Well in the past 6 months I got off my bum and went and changed my life which is why I've been a bit quiet. I'm super creative so I decided to become a nail technician. Now that all my exams have been passed and I work every day with nails, I decided to write a little blog about The dangers of MMA.

I'm not going to sit and tell you all the technical stuff of why this is so bad but I will be a blunt as possible.

What is MMA? (Methyl methacrylate)
MMA is an acrylic that gets put on your nails when you go to certain salons. It's a type of acrylic that is used in hip replacements, knee replacements and used in the grout that dentists use for sticking teeth in. After googling how long this stuff lasts it said 20 years lololol. Can I just remind you that were talking about nails and salons actually put this stuff onto peoples fingers.

Warning signs of typical salons that use this product are as follows..
  • Wearing face masks (you don't want to breathe this shit in)
  • Don't speak English
  • Unbranded bottles
  • Extremely unbearable smells
  • Cheap nails £30 and below
How do I get this horrible stuff off my nails?
In these salons there isn't usually a soak off process for this because it doesn't work! Remember its basically like crazy strong glue so not even acetone will budge it. What you find is these salons use a drill to get it off. Drills should NOT be used on your natural nail unless a band is used. Which of course leads to even more problems because they will drill it straight to your natural nail so you can imagine! It's pretty bad. Most reputable salons don't remove MMA because under this type of nail could be all sorts of gross stuff like fungus etc. If you realise you have these on then I would just remove them yourself.

WHY do people do it?
  • Folk go because it's cheap but you are paying for what you get and that's nails that are never coming off.
  • The staff in these salon work very very quickly.
  • The nails last - lol
If these nails break there's a good chance your own nail is going with it. When they use the drill on your natural nail they are destroying your nail plate and the damage most of the time is irreversible. Good quality nails that are safe will cost you but to be honest I would like to have nice pretty fingers my whole like. I don't fancy having a few fingers falling off.

nice ae :)

10 June 2015

Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards 2015

Hello my lovelies..

Ok I need everyone's help. I have been entered into the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards 2015 for 'Best Beauty Blogger' which I'm super excited about. 

From their website -
"Glasgow the fashion Capital of Scotland loves awards ceremonies. So if you are a lover of style and fashion be sure to join us for this years Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards.
The Awards celebrate the talent, passion and innovation of these dedicated hard working professionals who contribute greatly to the social fabric and economy of Scotland. They are the people who devote their time to making us feel and look good. From Hair Stylists to Beauty Therapists to Makeup Artists, each with their own uniqueness and skill set.
Now in its 5th year the Awards attract top notch celebrities who come along to support their achievement. The gongs will be given out at a glittering Masquerade Ball being held at the Crown Plaza, Glasgow on Sunday 23rd of August 2015, where guests will enjoy an evening filled with excitement and delight. Host for this year is the fabulous Denise Van Outen."

All you need to do is go to this link HERE

  • Enter your name, postcode & email address.
  • Name the Salon or Business you are voting for? Bonnie Quines
  • Salon location? Broxburn
  • Name the 1st person you are voting for? Nicole Findlay
  • Select the appropriate Title - Best Beauty Blogger
  • Why should this person/business win? Enter a comment as this counts as 2 votes
Please let me know if you have taken the time to vote. (It's a daily vote)

Thanks dolls x

2 June 2015

10 ways to use Coconut Oil

It's not often I feel like I have discovered the most amazing product ever to grace my presence. Today I am writing to y'all about my recent discovery. Now to everyone that will mutter "I've known about that for ages" WHY DID YOU NO TELL ME?

About a month ago I was chilling with one of my boos and she let me use some of her coconut oil. I literally had never heard about it so I was intrigued to find out more. I started googling it and found there was so many ways you could use it and I was quite overwhelmed yet excited to try it on everything! 

Since then I use it several times a day, every day and now I am well and truly addicted. I love coconuts what do oil and I cannot lie. soz.

Here's some ways that I have used it (TO BE CONTINUED as I have yet to make it with my omelet)

I use Lucy Bee which is unrefined, extra virgin, organic, raw coconut oil and Fair Trade. This is by far the best value oil I have found since I have started using it. 

1. Face Moisturiser
By far my favourite way to use it is a facial moisturiser. From my last blog post you would have seen that my skin was a riot with breakouts. I was really scared to use it on my face because you know it's oil and well I thought it would make my spots worse. It has done the complete opposite, my skin hasn't been this clear in months and it's defiantly down to this. 

2. Shower Thing 
I have no idea what to call it but you will thank me after. Once you have done your shower gel etc in the shower put some of the hard coconut oil and melt it in your hands and rub everywhere. Legs, bum tum EVERYWHERE. Rub gently under the water and your skin looks like it becomes waterproof. Once your out the shower and dried you will feel the difference straight away - it's so good. 

3. Cuticle Oil 
Since becoming a qualified nail technician this year (YAY to me, that's why I've hardly been blogging - busy werking on my shit) I've realised how important it is to keep your fingers and cuticles nice and pretty. If you don't put anything on guaranteed your cuticles become dry and yucky. Putting this on before bed works a treat.

4. Cooking 
This is one thing that I need to explore more as I see loads of stuff online about how you can incorporate this into your diet and how good it is for you. So far I have put it in my green tea and it was terrible - don't do it. Although I did put some in my porridge and this was decent. 

5. Shaving
If your lacking on the old shaving foam then this is so good. Coconut oil is solid until it melts with the heat of your hand it feels weird when your shaving because you can't really see it, however the results after are so worth it. 

6. Thrush 
Even the thought makes us girls feel sick - I can confirm coconut oil is a quick fix! I read about this online and thought it sounded really funny but it said you can use it like a cream which is amazing and an instant help. You can also cover a tampax in it and it helps internally too. I'm sorry but I had to share the wonders, I promise it works. 

7. Hair Treatment
My hair has been in a sorry state since I dyed it grey last year and I'm always looking for tips to get it back to full health. After I have conditioned my hair I put some in before I come out the shower and again when I have towel dried my hair and I feel like it makes it thicker! 

8. Body Moisturiser 
If you don't use it in the shower then it's also good on it's own as a body moisturiser. I usually put it on before bed but I also use it before work and nights out etc. It makes your legs super shiny! 

9. Makeup Remover
If I'm not using mercilor water then I use this. I put loads on my face and lashes and then use a cotton pad to take it all off. I tend to get a lot in my eyes and then every thing's fuzzy for a while but it's worth it .

10. Oil Pulling 
I've only done this a handful of times but I feel like it really helps. Put a teaspoon of it in your mouth and swish about like mouthwash, it says online you should do this for 20 mins a day, twice daily. It becomes really watery and as long as you spit it out after your good to go. Brush your teeth after though as it feels weird afterwards. Your mouth is full of toxins and bad stuff so the old school method is meant to draw out all the bad yucky stuff. 

Let me know if you try any of these or if you have any tips yourself. I have my family and friends hooked - soz.



5 May 2015

ESTÉE LAUDER ft Lisa Perry

Hello my lovelies,

I've been a fan of Estee Lauder for as long as I can remember and have always loved when they have gifts on the go. They are always packed full of little goodies and it's a great opportunity to try some new products out.

I was full of smiles when the counter manager of Estee Lauder in Boots, Fort Kinnaird - Rona asked if I would try the products in the gift before the big release (obvs would). They are also having an event in store which everyone is invited to!

On Thursday 7th May from 6.00pm until 8.30pm @ Boots, Fort Kinnaird

Complimentary 3 minute beauty treat of your choice 
Preview of the Lisa Perry gift bag
All the chat on the designer & contents (bag worth $80 on designers website, contents worth 70 quid)
Drinks flowing
Guaranteed your gift with any 2 purchases (one being foundation or skincare) 
If you purchase 3 products you also get a free full size cleanser as well as gift bag (usually 22 quid)

*Every customer also gets a free 10 day supply of the UK's NO 1 foundation - Doublewear which comes in 4 formula's. The one I'm trying on my blog is the original one. 

*All bloggers welcome!

Included in the Estee Lauder - Lisa Perry gift bag

30ml Take it away (Makeup Remover Lotion)
15ml DayWear (Advanced multi-protection anti-oxidant creme)
7ml DayWear BB Shade 01 light (Anti-oxidant beauty benefit creme)
7ml Advanced Night Repair
2.8ml Sumptuous Extreme (Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara)
Normal sized creme lipstick in Pink berry
Shimmer lip gloss in 06 Magnificent Mauve (other colour available)

We all love a new makeup bag and I'm liking how summery this one is!

Take It Away
Makeup Remover Lotion
To use: Apply to dry skin, rinse of tissue off.
I am a nightmare when it comes to taking my makeup off. I don't think I've ever explored all my options as to developing some sort of routine to this daily ritual. Not that I don't want to have a lovely 500 step process of making my face nice and fresh again, it's just that I'm really lazy. Finding this little treat in the gift bag is perfect as I want new and exciting products to fall onto my lap so I can give them a go. The back of the tube says it's for all skin types (win) and I applied all over my face and my eyes.

Applying the makeup remover lotion..
I used 4 cotton pads to remove the excess and it was pretty amazing at taking my eye makeup off. I applied a couple of times more and to my surprise it didn't leave my skin looking red at all which a lot of other products usually do. It was really quite wet which is good as you don't need much of the product to get a good result. Even though this has been the best product I've ever used to remove eye makeup it did feel a little too powerful for my skin. Overall happy with this product.

Advanced multi-protection anti-oxidant creme
I LOVE this cream. I've been using this on/off for a few years and I always find I always go back to it. It lasts for ages and I really like the smell of this cream. It smells expensive and makes your face feel well good after it. Highly recommend giving this a go.

Advanced Night Repair
I've never used this serum or any serum so I was excited to try this. This is good for any sort of skin problems because it purifies the skin cells and gets rid of any past of current damage. It works from the bottom layer of your skin and helps the moisturiser absorb 50% better into the skin. All I know is when I woke up in the morning my face felt totally different, it was just really clear and was so much newer feeling, it's amazing and can't wait to see more results.

DayWear BB cream
I wasn't sure what to expect with this as I haven't had to much experience using different BB creams. For a 01 Light shade I found it a bit too dark for my skin. I liked how thick this product was as some products are really runny and too watery. I found this wasn't great for my skin as it was a bit too dry but overall as you can see by the photos it has a good coverage. I never applied anything on top of the BB cream as I wanted to see how it felt, after it dried it felt lovely and soft.

***All pictures have no airbrushing or filters so you can see the products***

Before DayWear BB cream..

After DayWear BB cream..

Double Wear
Long-Wear Makeup - The UK's No.1 foundation 
This wasn't included in the gift bag but I did get a sample of this to take away. After using Double wear for a good few years now, it's without a doubt my favourite foundation. When I use foundation I want the best kind of coverage otherwise what's the point? Applied correctly it can last all day and night. With the various shades to choose from I always find I have a couple of bottles to hand, just in case I'm a little more tanned today than I was yesterday.

Sumptuous Extreme
Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara
Another one of my faves. The comb/brush is great and as you can see lots of lashes!!

Lipstick in Pinkberry
I always find Lauder Lipsticks are really creamy and they feel really nice on. It's a nice change to the cheapo ones I usually buy. This one is nice and pigmented and of course in my fave colour!

Shimmer lipgloss
06 Magnificent Mauve
I must admit I never buy or use gloss. My inner 90's child was very excited to use this as it has been so long. I'm totally loving a little bit of shine and because its in this little mirror lip thing it's so perfect for in your bag.

After using Daywear BB cream, Doublewear foundation, Lipgloss, Lipstick and Mascara all by Estee Lauder.

Thanks again to the lovely Rona @ Estee Lauder, Boots - Fort Kinnaird

6 April 2015

My blogs anniversary story..

Last April I was having a really big situation in my personal life which made me take a step back from everything. As a result of this, I felt like I had lost every sort of real connection with myself and I was in a sea of confusion. Dealing with tough life stuff whilst suffering from at the time an unknown (to me) mental health illness was really difficult. I felt like no one was on my side, no one wanted to treat me like how I should be treated and it got me angry.

I'm quite a stubborn person as it is but last year I finally sat up and listened, listened to myself for the first time. Theres plenty people in my life who make sure their happiness is put forward, but I never seemed to be apart of that crowd. Putting myself first was never an option until last April.

April came and I realised I had so many things swimming about in my head, I needed to get them out. I am super creative so it was almost fate that I started a blog (even though I can't write for shit).  Blogging wasn't completely a foreign subject to me as back in the day I used to think it was cool to write big rants online about the latest gossip. It was pretty horrendous but I couldn't shift that feeling of wanting to give it a proper go.

Starting my blog was really all about giving myself a creative platform to get me through a tough time. Focusing my time onto something that was important to me and giving me a different tool in my life to allow my creative mind to play. After a few months (to my surprise) people wanted to read my little ramblings and see my outfits online. This made my confidence grow and I felt I could discuss other things on my blog, after all it is my little space online.

My most popular post to date is '41 things that happen when dealing with a mental health illness' This created the most amazing buzz online and I had the most incredible messages from people showing their support. To date I have never confirmed what mental health illness I struggle with but that's not to say I never will. I know when I finally have the confidence to say I will be able to relate to so many people.

As months flew by I soon realised I was interested in writing about different things. I was no longer just a 'Fashion blogger' I loved talking all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle and every now and again - mental health. It opened up so many amazing opportunities. Working with so many wonderful people in PR & media. Working along side brands such as Ghost, Duo, Buchanan Gallery's, Clarins, The body shop, Lush and Dr. Martens to name a few. Meeting so many lovely bloggers and being genuinely flattered and taken back at how many people have read and praised my blog. It really has become so much more than I had ever imagined. The events throughout this year have been incredible and I feel so lucky to be involved with many other creative individuals across Scotland.

It's given me that drive in life that I needed at such a crucial time and continues to do so. For as long as I can remember I had always stopped and started different things but within this past year it has been my one constant through out everything. I was thinking about doing a post on things I have learned throughout this year which might help new bloggers. It can be quite daunting when you first start especially as there are so many things that worry you but it really shouldn't.

Thank you again to everyone who supported me through the year, it's all noted and I couldn't be more thankful.

If I can start a blog, so can you.

22 March 2015

Shop in colour with Buchanan Galleries

Bonjour everyone!

I know I haven't been doing much in the way of my blog which I feel a little bad about. However, I have been a busy little bee as I'm now a trainee nail technician (more on that another day). It doesn't matter how busy any of us get, we always allow ourselves some time to shop. To be honest I actually couldn't remember the last time I went shopping for even something small never mind a full outfit. 

You could imagine my delight when Buchanan Galleries shopping centre got in touch about their up coming in store promotion. From the 23rd - 27th of March if you spend £50 or more you receive a £5 gift card from Buchanan Galleries. No bad ae? The Shop in Colour promotion is all about trying to introduce some colour back into your wardrobe. It's been a long winter and I think we are all ready for Spring/Summer. By bringing some colour back into your life means you are well on your way to embracing the current and next season trends. 

The dolls over at Buchanan Galleries wanted me to give everyone a little inspiration on how easy it is to introduce colour. I was a bit stuck because like most people in winter, I like to live in black clothes. Black skinny jeans, black T-shirts and black Dr Martens. It's hard to get out that rut. After a little thinking I came to the conclusion that colour doesn't need to be about bright yellows and pink jackets. Choosing something with different tones and textures can really make all the difference. 


Jacket - HM
Boots - HM (I got these half price in store)
Skirt - River Island
Top - River Island
Bag - River Island

I was given a budget of £150 and I quickly decided that I was going to work with cream and khaki. This made it really easy because the shops are screaming out all things neutral. I picked this outfit because I love these colours but I also wanted something that was really adaptable. In the photos above I would be ready for some dinner and drinks in town but as soon as the good weather is here I just need to loose the jacket and shoes and I have a little BBQ outfit. 

All the items I picked can be worn in so many different ways and I'm really excited to style this through out the season!

Find out more about the promotion here

Big thanks to Buchanan Galleries and Yasmin*


6 March 2015

The Clarins Skin Spa: Tri-Active Facial

Hi my name is Nicole and I have never had a facial. I'm unsure wether I've committed a huge beauty crime or like a lot of people, never got round to actually booking one. It's funny because we spend so much money on beauty products, getting our hair and nails done or buying the newest shoes. If we all just stopped for a second and maybe think about putting that money into say booking a 1 hour and 25 minute treatment that will send us into complete relaxation heaven, maybe just maybe we might feel a million times better. 

I was invited along to The Clarins Skin Spa located in the beauty hall of Debenhams, Overgate shopping centre in Dundee. It was surprisingly a good setting which I wasn't expecting as I thought it would be in the middle of all the counters. The Overgate has a carpark attached to Debenhams which meant I didn't feel embarrassed walking far to my car without any makeup on. 

The Spa was situated right behind the Clarins beauty counter and it's really quite hidden away. I felt this was a good thing though, as soon as you walk through the doors you feel a million miles away from a department store. 

Before the facial
I was greeted by the lovely therapists who sat me down with some water in hand. I got to try out some of the samples whilst I waited which is always fun. Once I was assigned my skin therapist she asked me to run through a quick questionnaire which was all the normal medical questions, just so nothing intervenes with the treatments. Once that was out the way I got taken through to the treatment room which was lovely. I think my favourite part is the spa music it always makes you feel like your dreaming! 

I was asked to pop my shoes and socks off along with my top and to lie under the cover of the treatment bed. Straight away I was super impressed as it was all heated and since it was freezing outside it was a nice touch. Once I was settled the therapist went through all my skin concerns and carried out a skin test which consisted of gently touching my face. Checking things like my hydration and circulation levels of my skin. 

After the short discussion the therapist recommended I go for The Detox & Shine Stopper facial
-Intensively purifies skin, rebalances oil production, tightens and refines pores so oily, combination and even shiny complexions becomes clearer, smoother, softer and more matte. A fresh start with a shine free finish. 

Which is perfect for me because I have this really annoying thing where my skin is good for a week then terrible for the next 3 weeks. I was really intrigued as to what was going to happen next. Remembering I've never had a facial so I literally had no idea what to expect.

What my Tri-Active facial included - 
-Professional products used 6x more concentrated than your products at home
-Detox & shine stopper 
-Cleanse & double exfoliate with pro exfoliating cream
-Pro exfoliating lotion
-Drain & detox to remove toxins under the skin and lymphatic drainage
-Face, neck, shoulder & scalp massage using lotus oil and anti stress supplement to soothe redness and even out skin tone
-Pure and radiant mask to deep cleanse and brighten
-Hand & foot massage
-Hydra Quench serum, radiance supplements and hydration matte lotion

During the facial
I know I'm no expert on facials but that list is pretty chunky. The treatment lasted 1hr 25 mins and I can tell you now that I fell asleep twice and potentially snored for a second but that doesn't count. I couldn't quite believe how intensely relaxing the whole process was and how your mind can really just chill out for the whole process. Every stage of the treatment felt incredible and almost like my face was getting a whole new lease of life. I could feel my skin soaking up all the goodness and my muscles were responding to every movement. First your face, then your neck and shoulders and next thing you know your feet are getting involved. There was never a lull or pause. You really are getting your moneys worth, it's fantastic. I was really quite surprised at how much was involved and how talented the therapist was. There was enough pressure in the massage and the whole treatment had a really natural flow to it. 

After the facial
I don't know if this is deliberate (facial newbie) but the facial started with something soothing on the eyes and it also ended like this which I felt was a nice end to the whole process. Once I had sat up the therapist handed me some water and mirror to see my results. My skin looked really bright and glowing. To be honest I was a bit shocked as I had heard they usually make you go really red. I just looked like I had a really good nights sleep and a litre of water! We had a little chat about how I was feeling and if I would like any makeup applied since I was going back out into the shopping centre. 

I wanted my skin to really get the full benefit so decided to go makeup free afterwards. 8 hours later my skin feels incredible! I'm looking forward to seeing the results over the next few days.

Skin hydration increased by 46.2%
Skin firmness increased by 10.3%
*proven results after one Clarins facial treatment

Treatment cost £67
Find your local Clarins Skin Spa here 

Very much a hidden gem in Dundee and couldn't recommend it enough. Had an awesome time and I can't wait to book in my nearest and dearest as I know they will love it too!

Big thanks to Clarins and the Overgate Shopping Centre