Skincare is something that I’ve become a lot more interested over the past few months. I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was the only one of my friends who wasn’t breaking out in spots growing up. Turns out, I wasn’t as lucky as I thought and the buggers have started showing up over the past year. So, in an attempt to combat the spots and to also try and look after my skin now so that my 50 year old self will thank my young self, I’ve been showing my skin some love.

As part of my skincare journey I’ve been discovering new brands including Tri-Dosha and its facial oil, happiness in a bottle. If I’m honest, the name of the oil itself was enough to win me over, it’s so cute and just makes me instantly have a feeling that it’s going to brighten my skin, which it has! I’ve never used facial oils before, I’ve always worried that I’m going to be left with an oily gross feeling on my skin that won’t budge. However, I’ve been proven wrong. Once massaged in, the oil sinks straight in and instead of a greasy feeling, leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling amazing…result!

Happiness in a bottle is made up of essential oils including evening primrose, frankincense and rose geranium and smells insane. The smell instantly makes me think of a cottage type garden full of flowers so the name happiness in a bottle is very apt. I’ve been cleansing every night and morning, applying this facial oil and then using Clinique’s moisture surge and I think I’ve finally cracked the routine that my skin needs.

This facial oil costs £39 for 30ml which might seem like a lot but you literally need a maximum of three drops to cover your neck and face and trust me, I have a big face so if that’s enough for me I’m sure it’ll be enough for everyone else!

Happiness in a bottle facial oil

*This post is in partnership with Tri-Dosha.

Since I’ve turned into someone who seems to enjoy cooking and baking, I thought it was only right to step up and help with cooking the Christmas dinner this year. My family goes all out with celebrating at Christmas and over the holidays I’m sure I’ll have plenty of Christmas dinners so if I mess anything up, I’m sure everyone will forgive me…I hope. Although, saying that thanks to Hello Fresh and its handy Christmas dinner guide I think I may have it all under control *fingers crossed*.

Hello Fresh has put together this handy step by step guide to show you how to perfectly cook every item of the meal. I always say that a Christmas dinner is pretty much a glorified Sunday roast. Personally, I don’t think that making a roast is hard. The difficult part is the timings and making sure that everything is ready at the same time. That’s where this guide comes in. Not only has Hello Fresh provided recipes to make the dinner taste the best is ever has but the guide also includes timings too. Based on serving the meal at 4pm, the guide includes the exact timings to start preparing, and cooking, dishes so that everything is ready to go at one time. If you don’t plan on eating at 4pm then fear not, just move the timings accordingly.

So, that’s the prep, cooking and serving sorted but of course, one thing you do need is the ingredients. Again, thanks to Hello Fresh, this can all done be done with ease, with a click of a button…literally. The Christmas box has every ingredient needed to make this year a festive foodie success!

Hello Fresh

Download the Christmas dinner guide here.

*This post is in partnership with Hello Fresh

Recently I was invited along by the lovely team at The Tanning Shop to go along and try one of their sunbeds. When it comes to sunbathing, I am a pro. Sunbathing is my favourite part of a holiday, heat really helps with my condition so not only do I travel home feeling like a different woman than I did travelling out but I also come home with a tan which is always a bonus.

Sunbeds aren’t something that I’ve used in the past. I think this is mainly because all that you ever hear about them is the dangers. However, when used in moderation and sensibly, they can actually be extremely beneficial, especially for those with chronic pain and conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Studies have shown that UV light can help people who suffer from high levels of pain to cope better and to give them better mobility.

In addition to helping physically, UV light is reported to also help with moods and mental health. Particularly during the winter time when over here in England, we don’t have much access to sunlight throughout the winter…or any time of the year.

In addition to helping with all of the above, the sunbeds are of course good for tanning too.  The tanning process begins from your first exposure to UV light and dependant on skin type and tanning history, you can see the beginning of a base tan from your second or third session. Fairer skin types respond much more quickly and as such, the session length is much lower. People with medium and darker skin types are more resistant to the tanning process and thus need more sessions to develop a base tan at a longer session length. Of course being fair, and it being my first experience on a sunbed, I was advised to go for a shorter session of six minutes and used a UV-specific lotion that is designed to replace moisture that could be lost during the session.

To make the most of a sunbed, for tanning purposes, it’s always best to ensure that your skin is fully exfoliated and is moisturised well which is something that is also relevant for sunbathing in natural sunlight too.

Whatever reason you decide to have a sunbed for, whether this be to reduce pain, improve your mental health or to develop a tan then it’s really important to make sure that you are using the sunbeds properly and safely. The Tanning Shop team are brilliant at what they do and can recommend how best to use the sunbeds to achieve your desired results so don’t be afraid to ask.

The Tanning Shop has over 70 stores across the UK. To find your nearest one, just click here.

The Tanning Shop logo

*This post has been sponsored by The Tanning Shop.

 

 

Yes, Black Friday may not be for a few days but we’re already well in the midst of the offers and shopping madness. With just over a month to go until Christmas day, Black Friday is a better day than any to crack on with your Christmas shopping. So, being the lovely person that I am, I’ve collated the best of the Black Friday deals so that you can find your way straight to the best offers.

The Bodyshop Bundle of dreams – From Monday 20 November at 9am, The Body Shop is offering the most amazing Black Friday bundle for only £35. The products individually would normally cost a total of £92 and their amazing. A list of what’s included is below. Oh, and delivery is free!

 

  • Coconut body butter (200ml), normally £15
  • Vitamin E night cream (50ml), normally £14
  • Vitamin E moisture cream (50ml), normally £13
  • Hemp hand protector (100ml), normally £12
  • Smoky Eye definer (1g), normally £9
  • White Musk body mist (100ml), normally £8.50
  • Coconut body scrub (50ml), normally £6
  • Coconut shower cream (250ml), normally £5
  • Coconut lip butter (10ml), normally £4.50
  • The Body Shop ‘bag for life’, normally £5

The Amazon sale of everything-ness – Running from now until midnight on 26 November, Amazon is well and truly embracing Black Friday. With everything from discounted Ted Baker shoes for men and women to pine furniture and pet accessories, as cliche as it sounds, there really is something for everybody.

Let’s not forget about Argos too – Is it just me or has Argos become a bit of a forgotten retailer? With so many department stores, toy stores and homeware stores popping up, have we all forgotten about the trust Argos store and it’s hefty catalogue of delights. This Black Friday, similarly to Amazon, Argos has Black Friday deals for everybody. These offers run for 14 full days so for the early birds, start shopping now!

The good stuff from Debenhams – I love Debenhams at Christmas time and I can spend hours in there finding the perfect presents. In fact, I did exactly that this weekend. Although Debenhams hasn’t released its Black Friday offers just yet, the brand has hinted that the offers are set to be good’ns. Don’t let us down Debenhams. Offers start on Monday 20 November and you can sign up online to receive email updates ahead of the launch.

Look Fantastic this festive season – This is another brand that have got us all on the edge of our seats waiting to find out what offers and discounts they’re going to spoil us with. Keeping us in the dark (get it? Black Friday? in the dark?), all that we know about the Look Fantastic discount day is that it’s on 24 November and offers will include products from brands including FOREO, ghd, Eve Lom, ELEMIS, Caudalie and Kérastase. Join the waiting list to be the first in the know!

All things beautiful with Amara – To celebrate Black Friday, Amara is offering up to 50% off from now on everything from homeware to clothing and gifts. After a quick peek at the offers page, there’s some amazing offers taking place including some perfect bits for Christmas including dining sets for the Christmas table and watches for your loved ones.

Half price happiness with Matalan – Another retailer that has started the celebrations early is Matalan. With up to half price off everything including clothing and homeware there’s some fab deals to be had.

Keep checking back over the next few days to stay up to date with the best Black Friday offers.

As part of Blogtober, I wanted to take the opportunity to raise awareness of those suffering from a chronic illness. If you didn’t know, I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3 (EDS). Let’s start with a bit of background – I’ve had EDS since I was born however it wasn’t until I was 17 after numerous broken bones, three operations and lots of medical mysteries that I finally got diagnosed.

As part of my EDS, I suffer from chronic fatigue as well as pain. If you met me on a good day, you’d not even tell. That’s one of my strongest skills, disguising my EDS. In fact, I’ve spent years trying to disguise my EDS in the worry that I would be admitting defeat to the condition or that people would see me differently. In reality, by being open about my disability, I am doing neither of those things. I am just being realistic and authentic.

1 – One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned about having a chronic illness is that sometimes, it’s totally okay to be selfish. I’ve never been someone to cancel plans or ask for them to be changed because of me but recently, I’ve come to accept that sometimes, that has to be the case. Sometimes, I’m so tired or in so much pain that all I want to do is snuggle up in bed with a hot water bottle and not move. I understand how annoying it is for someone when a plan is changed last minute but if it is going to help my health then this is what I need to prioritise.

2 – You never truly know what is going on in somebody else’s life. There are so many people, like me, who try to disguise their disability or chronic illness. So next time you call somebody ‘lazy’ or ‘moody’ please just take the time to think about what could be going on for them. For all you know, they could have spent the night awake from the excruciating pain – Trust me this a very regular occurrence unfortunately. Looks can be very deceiving and with a full face of makeup, you’d sometimes struggle to know I was running on two hours sleep.

3 – Accepting help is okay. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak or incapable. It just means that you’re lucky enough to have somebody that loves you and cares about you and wants to make your life a little easier whenever possible.

4 – Mixed emotions are totally normal. Since my diagnosis I’m pretty sure I’ve felt very emotion. I’ve felt angry and questioned “why me?”. I’ve grieved for the future that I thought I had which has suddenly changed. I’ve felt grateful that compared to others, I am so lucky. I’ve felt determined that I would not let EDS define me. I’ve felt intense sadness. This rollercoaster of emotions is completely normal and is something that so many people go through when suffering with a disability or chronic illness.

5 – *Cringe alert* My friends and family are amazing. This one is the most important – I truly believe that if it wasn’t for my amazing friends and family, my condition would be so much worse. I have already overcome so many hurdles and continue to impress doctors with my progress. But, if I didn’t have such a supportive network around me, none of this would have been possible and I dread to think how different my life would be.

EDS

 

As part of my condition I have broken a number of bones which can have a huge impact on my daily life if I am unable to carry out my usual activities such as work. If, like me, this is a problem in your life then find out what help you could receive here. 

*This post is sponsored by Accident Advice Helpline