Monday, 22 May 2017

Primark Brush Review

When it comes to my makeup addiction – yes addiction ;) - I am ALWAYS drawn to two things.
Eyeshadow palettes and... Brushes ♡
As you can see...
So when watching a couple of YouTube video's from Samantha mentioning a Primark brush I felt the need to test it out myself.
Off I toddled to my local Primark and picked one up.
After it had been washed and dried I gave it a go and... Oh boy!
I am super impressed!!
I don't have any other brushes in my collection that are this shape and it fits perfectly in my socket providing me with
the perfect application through the crease/transition area.
The tip of the brush can be used quite precisely which I was surprised with as it isn't the smallest brush ever, but I have found
that with a steady hand and time it can be used quite easily.
I was so impressed with my first brush that I picked up two more... See? Addicted 😜
The fibres are synthetic which makes them really easy to clean and so far I haven't had any shedding :O
I really love the rose gold detailing on the ferrel, I think that it spruces it up a bit and makes it look slightly higher up the price range than it is.
Which brings me to my favourite part about this brush. The price.
It will set you back £1...!!!
Unbelievable :')
- size comparison with a MAC 217 -
I am absolutely in love with these brushes.
I love it when a product shocks me (in a good way) and this one has knocked me off my feet!
I'm constantly reaching for it. I used it for my crease/transition work in the look below and it just works perfectly.
- look created using the Morphe 35O palette -
Cannot recommend this brush enough so please do yourself a favour and pick one (or three ;P) up and enjoy! :D
I have a video up about this brush if you'd like to check it out here's the *link* 😊
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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My Lumbar Puncture Experience

Today I am sharing my experience of having a lumbar puncture.
Please bare in mind that I am not a professional and that this post is only me sharing my thoughts and feelings on the procedure.

In January I was made aware by my neurologist that I would need to go for a lumbar puncture at some point in the next few months.
At this point in my life my only knowledge of a lumbar puncture was what I had seen on House.
You know, people wincing and crying. GREEEEEEEAT -__-

After a short-ish wait, I got my appointment through.
It was about two-three weeks before the actual day of - which was enough time for me to contact anyone to ask any questions or to re-arrange it.
In the appointment letter I received a leaflet of what to expect and what was going to happen.
I had been advised by my neurologist that I may need to travel home by car as I may need to lay down.
I sorted out my transport and decided to get a lift home from the hospital.

My appointment was for 9am *crying inside* so I was up bright and early for a shower and planned enough time for me to have something small to eat and try to chill out before having to leave.
I had to take my letter(s) along with me and I decided to take a bottle of water as I had heard that I would need to make sure I was hydrated afterwards.

I had to have other tests on the day before my lumbar puncture,
but I'll leave those out of this post as I'd like to try to be as concise as I can about the lumbar puncture itself.

Before I knew it, it was time to have the lumbar puncture.
I was shown to a bed on the ward and only had to wait a very short time for the doctor to come.
She introduced herself and then began to ask me some questions regarding any medication I was on etc.
She asked me if anyone had spoken to me about the procedure to which I said no, so she then began to discuss it with me.
The steps of what was going to happen were explained to me and I felt in really good hands.
The doctor then went to get the equipment.

I was asked to lay down on my side, she helped me to make myself comfortable and got me in the correct position for her to perform it.
Obviously I couldn't see anything that was happening so I can only talk about what I felt.
I was asked to bring my knees up towards my chest and then she lifted the back of my top.
She then wiped my back – with whatever they use, like I said, I couldn't see it  xD
The doctor had to feel where my hips are
to which I obviously responded with “good luck with that!” x'D
she said that helps her find the correct area of my back.
I could feel as she was pushing against my vertebrae, again I assume to find the correct spot.
It felt uncomfortable, it didn't hurt, just a bit uncomfy.

Once she had done this several times she then said that she was going to start injecting the local anaesthetic, some more closer to the surface and some deeper inside so that I couldn't feel the procedure being done.
It felt like the sensation of a blood test – in my back though :/ - so I felt the sharp sting and it going inside.
I know that when I have a blood test, after the needle has settled in the vein I can't really feel it anymore, well that sensation lasted a little longer because I guess the needle had a little further to go.

After a short while, (with more feeling of my hips and vertebrae) she began with the lumbar puncture.
I felt a short shooting kind of pain in my left leg.
I had been aware that this may happen by the information leaflet and the doctor had informed me of this before we started.
I let her know, she asked which leg and said that it was good as it meant we were in the right place.
After a number of times of this happening I felt the pain stronger and for longer in my leg, I told her and she said that the fluid had begun to drain.
I found myself concentrating on my breathing as a distraction.
The pain didn't last very long after that, it became more of a dull ache.
She let me know when we were half way through which was nice to know.
I was only laying there like that for a further minute or two and then she said that we were finished.
Throughout I didn't feel pain in my back, it was only in my leg that I felt discomfort.
I was surprised by this as I had imagined that lumbar puncture is in the back = my back will hurt during.

I had to stay laying like that for a little while as she checked the area, she said that I wasn't bleeding so a plaster was applied.
I then had to lie down flat on my back for 30-45 minutes as it can help to lower the chance of a headache.
I actually saw the viles with the spinal fluid in which was pretty rad :)

I could feel the slightest ache in my back but nothing too bad at all.
After about 30 minutes another doctor came to give me a blood test and said that after another 10-15 minutes I could make my way home.
It was stressed to me before I left how important it was for me to drink water and to keep hydrated.
Fortunately for me I'm pretty good with my water intake so this wasn't a huge ask.
So then we headed home :)

I had been concerned about being able to shower the following morning and the doctor told me that that wouldn't be a problem and that
as I hadn't had any bleeding I would be able to remove the dressing and have a shower
woop woop
The rest of the day my back felt tender so I didn't sit back fully in the car on the way home I just sat to the side a bit and
the same for when I got home when sat on the sofa etc.
I didn't have any headache or backache bad enough for me to have to take any paracetamol.
I drank quite a lot of water as I had been advised, so I feel that that may have contributed to the lack of headache.
When I went to bed that night I slept on my side as my back was tender but I noticed that towards the wee hours of the morning
I was able to sleep on my back quite comfortably.

I got up the next day with a similar feeling in my back, mostly noticeable when bending etc. so I kept that to a minimum... bend with your knees xD
I took off the plaster and could only see a little red dot with a small amount of redness around it, no bruising 👍
The following day I continued to stay as hydrated as I humanly could.
I had the most wonderful shower, washed and dried the area carefully and was at home in my pjs for the day so I took it nice and easy.
The days after were continued improvements with the backache
(I wouldn't call it that is it wasn't enough to take anything for it, but I cant think of a better word for it).
At the time of writing this post I am 5 days post lumbar puncture and basically feel as though I never even had it.

The experience on the whole was much easier, straight forward and much less scary than I thought it was going to be.
Every doctor and nurse I came into contact with on that day were absolutely fantastic, warm and helpful and
they truly made me feel like I was in amazing hands... and I was :)
If I knew someone who was going to be having a lumbar puncture tomorrow, I would say that in my experience, yes it wasn't the nicest thing in the world but it was nowhere near as bad as I had convinced myself it would be.

On the whole it will be something I remember forever and if I ever have to have another one,
I wont be any where near as apprehensive or scared as I was this time :)

At the time of posting this, my lumbar puncture was almost 4 weeks ago and it's as if I never had it :)
I hope that someone, somewhere finds this helpful :D
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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Off Balance

So due to my current situation, you know, having a number of tests to see if I may have MS, I am having 'strange' things happening.
At the moment I am experiencing balance issues.
I can't say that I've ever experienced anything like this before.
I'm having to look at the ground while walking. If I look around I tend to veer off.
And I have a slight feeling of un-steadiness about me.
I feel fortunate that I don't have to do much walking around in my life currently as it feels rather frustrating and
is a reminder that there may be something wrong with me.

Having this happening at the moment has also made me reflect on the feeling of being off balance internally.
I don't feel in-tune with myself.
There are things that I want to do, things I want to stop doing but don't feel enough of a connection with myself to accomplish them.

I feel as though I am mentally walking around staring at the floor so that I don't wander off too far from the path I'm currently on.
Which would be fine if that meant that I were pursuing my dreams, achieving the things I want to and cracking on with goals that I have.
But alas, that isn't my existence.
My inner self-saboteur has continually stood in my own way for as long as I can remember.
Never letting me see what I can achieve or what life has to offer.

Staring at the floor is me standing in my own way. Making sure I'm not looking around getting any ideas of bettering my situation/life.
Don't aim too high on those goals of beating OCD or else you may veer off and get lost... Or heaven forbid, be cured.
Rather than putting 100% into blogging keep watching your feet because that's too much for you to handle... Or I may possibly enjoy it.

Mentally looking down has meant that I have kept myself ill, not lived the best life I possibly can
and not to mention given me a huge mental cramp in the neck!

Now that this has been brought to my attention I cannot comprehend continuing to live this way.
Being unaware of treating myself this way is one thing but by now having the full picture, it has
given me the opportunity to change my behavior and let myself grow.

I will now look up and take in all that is around me.
Stop this self-destructive way of life that I have become so used to.
Look after myself better physically and mentally.
Become more balanced with who I am and what I want and need.

Although this train of thought started by possibly having something else going on, it has made me look closer to home.
It has helped me to see that I have to start with me.

I no longer want to be looking at my feet while the world, and my life, pass on by.
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Friday, 7 April 2017

Pinterest Picks #1

I decided that I would take a look at what I had recently pinned in my Goals board on Pinterest...
i'm addicted, it's hilarious but's not funny xD
I find that motivation slips away from me and thought that by creating a board dedicated to things I can aim for,
encouraging pictures or positive affirmations, I would have a constant source to check when in need.

So with that in mind, I thought I would share with you a few of my latest pins.
Maybe you'll find some inspiration from them too :)

As I mentioned above I struggle with motivation and something that contributes to that is a worry that I'll get it wrong or scared I'll fail.
I've always been a worrier and I am in the process of learning to try and not worry about the things I cannot change.
Worrying or being scared doesn't stop it from happening and doesn't change something that already has.
This post really spoke to me :)

Slowing down has really become something I aspire to do.
Whenever I walk anywhere, you'd think I was taking part in a sprint!!
Over the lest month I have made a conscious effort so walk slower, take in my surroundings and have been feeling much better for it.
I don't want to rush through my life, I want to savor it.

This one really resonates with me.
Ta-rust me when I say that reaching the other side of an unbelievable breakdown is the most tremendous feeling in the whole world... In my world at least.
I pinned this to remind me so that I never lose sight of that feeling :)

 And that's all for now :)
I hope you liked this post, I'm thinking of making this a series on the blog 😏
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Friday, 17 March 2017

Cheering For Myself

I seem to manage to accumulate a certain amount of motivation and then over time it slips away. As if it all gets used up.
It's extremely frustrating and upsets me.
When I am on the ball and motivated to do something (whatever that may be) I do it and I give it 1000% percent.
That's just who I am.
I can blog, clean my room, wash my brushes, catch up with my latest watch on tv and go to bed at a decent hour and it feels amazing!
I feel like I'm king of the world.
And then as quickly as it comes, it goes.
I have recently had about three weeks feeling like I have purpose and things that I want to do,
and in the recent 7 days it feels as though it has 'run out'.

I realize that my mental health plays a large part in this.
I suffer with low mood and when I feel like that, I don't feel like I can do anything.
But I also think that it is caused by me trying to do so much.
Pressuring myself to get so much done.
I don't just say to myself “I want to write a blog post” I think “I need to write three or I'm rubbish”.
Or, “I need to wash my brushes” and then if I don't do them that day I feel like a huge failure.

I'm not a cheerleader for myself, I'm my own nemesis.
I'm there sarcastically clapping when I drop my sandwich,
happens more often than you'd think! 😂
or giving myself the I knew it look when I don't achieve something I said I would.

And these are things that I am determined to work on and change.
I am so tired of being like this.
I should be the one shouting my own name and holding a banner up when I do achieve something.
I know it won't be easy but nothing that's worth it ever is, is it?

You got this girl, let's do it! 😏
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If you enjoyed this post, you may like this one :
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Monday, 13 March 2017

Technic Haul

A few months back, I heard about a brand that I'd never heard of before... Technic.
I saw that the products were good quality for a purse friendly price, so I of course, purchased some items xD

I'm an eye shadow kinda gal, palettes to be precise.
I'm not sure what it is, but I'm drawn to them, almost like the possibilities are endless :)
I chose to purchase the products from Amazon because, well, if Amazon sell it, I'll buy it  xD

I chose three palettes that consist of 12 eye shadows, the more the merrier right? ;D
Mega Mattes £1.50, Mega Nudes 2 £2.33, Mega Nudes 3 £1.50 (all are add on items)
The first palette just contains mattes as the name indicates and the other two are a mixture of mattes and shimmer shades 🙆

And I had seen the bronzing eye shadows swatched so I knew I needed that one 
Bronzing eye shadow palette £3.10

The next palette caught my eye and I think it's understandable why :D
Electric Eyes Metalix Palette £1.99 (add on item)
I love shimmer shades and the yellow and lilac just called out to me 😍

I have used different shades from different palettes and so far I am really pleased with how they apply, wear and last.
Seriously impressed with this brand and will have to venture out into more of their products :)

Have you tried anything from Technic? Any products that you would recommend? 😊
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If you enjoyed this post, you may like this one :

Friday, 10 March 2017

Complete Recovery

I remember when I was first diagnosed with OCD in 2014, I immediately set out to learn as much as I could about the monster that was plaguing my brain.
I saw that with a lot of persistent and hard work, you can in time, learn to manage your OCD and possibly become free of it.
a person with OCD can learn to manage symptoms so that they won’t interfere with daily functioning.“
it is also possible, with the right support and treatment to achieve a complete recovery from OCD.“
Information from ocduk

Within a few months of being diagnosed I received some C.B.T.
I did quite well. My main issues were with checking and I managed in some instances to get them to a more manageable level.
After I had finished C.B.T, I slipped backwards rather quickly and to a far worse degree.
In the years that have followed I have hit rock bottom, resulting in me not wanting to get better or even feeling like I can.

When I had a bit of a breakthrough last year, it provided me with a whole new way of thinking about my situation.
It lead to me accepting that I can get better and more importantly, that I want to.
I have spent a lot of the last 10 months learning to accept my mental health for what it is.
Coming to the conclusion that if this is my life forever, that is okay.
I have a great life and as long as I am trying, I'm happy.
I have settled on this being how I will always live. It's what my life is and I'm alright with that.

Well, I came to a very positive, overwhelming and scary realization last year.
While the above is all still true, it's not enough.
I don't want this to be my life.
Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for everything and everyone that I am blessed to have in it but... I want more.
It's not just about me, I don't think that anyone should have to live like this.

And then I remembered: you can recover completely.
I can recover completely?
Is that an option?
I have been living in a limbo of where I was (not feeling I can get better) and how I am living now (trying to question my OCD)
that I had almost forgotten that there is a third option.
Complete recovery.

I don't do things by halves.
I'm either all in or not at all.
Whether it be cake or a relationship, it's all or nothing. No half measures.
So why have I been treating my mental health any differently?
I don't want to be going through all this effort and hard work to be living this exact life in 20 years.

I am going to aim for full recovery.
I know it can be done.
I have been following Ash on Twitter for years now and his story is truly inspiring.
He is currently 12 years free of OCD :')

I am on the path to believing in myself enough to know that I can beat this.
That this illness will take no more of my life away from me.
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If you enjoyed this post, you may like this one :
Ending my toxic relationship with myself

Monday, 6 March 2017

Looking Back Comparing Old and New Makeup Looks

I recently came across a picture of me from a few years back and was horrified by my make up.
So, I of course then dug into my folders of make up looks that I've done and the horror only got worse and worse and worse 😱😂
So this post is dedicated to taking an in-depth look at how far I have come... I'm scared, are you? 🙈

The picture below is from 2012/13.
Erm, all I have to say is why is the shadow not all the way to my inner corner??
Let's move on xD

I can see what I was trying to do here but it's just not blended right to me.
And for a few years I would always make that 'point' in the outer corner... Don't ask me, how should I know??
I may have to try and recreate this look though :D
Aaaand on to the next...

Here are a few that are from the same time.
I made an audible screech when I saw these 😣
The blending on the middle look seems to be non-existent :/
For the longest time I could not take my eye shadow to the outer corner... I honestly have no idea why.
It was  l i t e r a l l y  impossible for some strange reason.

So I will now share with you a collage of looks from this year...
Ahh, much better! And I must say my eyebrow game has improved a whole lot 😎

I'm not where I want to be but I feel that this post shows just how far I have come and that feels pretty amazing :)
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Friday, 3 March 2017

My MRI Experience

About a week before Christmas 2016 I had a Brain and Cervical Spine MRI.
I had gotten my appointment date through around mid November so I had a while to prepare myself for the big day.
I always need to know the ins and outs of anything that's new to me. Whether it's appointments, meet ups with people or even my feelings...
Yes, you read that right xD
In time leading up to it I had been searching everywhere to find out what the process would be for the cervical spine scan to no avail :/
I was also curious to know what I would be allowed to wear.
My letter said to wear loose fitting clothes such as tracksuit bottoms and a long sleeved tshirt,
but did that mean I would be able to wear those rather than a gown?
In the end I found the whole process to be very straight forward and thought that as I had had questions,
I would share my experience to help anyone out there in the same boat as me :)
Please bear in mind that I am in no way a professional, nor do I know all the lingo! I'm just a gal who had an MRI that one time 😄

So, I had a Brain and Cervical Spine MRI.
A cervical what? I'll get into that in a bit ;)
When I got my appointment letter through, I received a survey to fill in to take along with me on the day.
It asked questions regarding if I have any metal inside my body etc. etc.
If you answered yes to a handful of the questions, you needed to contact them immediately so that they could assess what the next step was.
I didn't answer yes to those so I just took my survey along with me on the day, which they checked before my I went into the machine.

I was asked to arrive 20 minutes before my appointment time.
My mum went with me and we only had to wait a little while before I was seen.
I met one of the people who did the scan, they asked me if I was wearing any metal.
I was wearing a bra with an under-wire and I had metal eyelets on my trainers.
I let them know, they said I would need to remove my bra and told me where the individual changing rooms were to do so in private.
I was fine to leave my trainers on – I assume this was because my legs weren't inside the machine for the scan?

The whole process was then explained to me.
I was told that I was having the brain MRI and Cervical Spine MRI.
It was explained to me that my brain scan would take 20 minutes and my cervical spine scan would also take 20 minutes.
When discussing the cervical spine scan she motioned towards her neck.
Question answered... internal fist bump! xD
Both could be done with me in the same position so I didn't have to reposition after the first set were done.
A grand total of laying in the machine for 40 minutes.

I was weighed before I went into the machine room
tried not to pay attention to this bit ;D
On the 'bed' there was the paper that you see in doctors rooms covering the part you lay on and there was a section built in for your head to go on.
I sat down and they explained that I would need to lay down with my head in the specific part of the bed.
Once I was laying down they placed noise cancelling ear buds in my ears and a foam cushion under my knees to make me comfortable.
Then they added padding between my ears and the sides of the head section.
The top attachment part of it was then clipped on over my head and face.
I could clearly see through, and while I was laying there I kept think about Ripley's loader?
Except hers was way bigger, she had more room and looked 100 times more hard core than me 😒
Thinking of this distracted me for a little while anyway xD

I was handed a button that I could squeeze if I needed any help.
And then in I went.

I knew before hand that you have to lie as still as possible to get clear images so I kept that in mind throughout.
The first 20 minutes of scanning were quick 'clicky' sounds so I found myself counting them to give myself something to do xD
The final 20 minutes were more murmuring noises so there wasn't anything for me to count so I just laid there.
Throughout there were some vibrations through the bed which I had been informed about before it started. To be honest I didn't really notice them.
I must say that it felt like half the time it took.
When I was being brought out I thought “Is that it??”.
I sat up and removed the ear buds.
I was told that my consultant (neurologist) would have my results within 10 days :)

I was told through a family member who knew of people that had had an MRI
 that they experienced headaches for two days after, I was absolutely fine.

All in all it was a very straight forward experience and I would now be more comfortable to have one if need be in the future.

Please be aware that this is just my experience with the whole process.
I know of someone who had an MRI in a different area of their body a few weeks before I had mine and they 
had to wear underwear, socks and a gown.
They also weren't sent the survey, they were asked the questions when they went for the appointment.

Based on our two experiences, it seems that it isn't a blueprinted procedure from hospital to hospital.

I found the whole experience to be straightforward and - minus my contamination OCD - easy.
If I have to have another one in the future I won't be anywhere near as nervous as I was this time around :)

I hope that sharing my experience was helpful in some way :)
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