Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Tonsillectomy In Adults

I have recently undergone a tonsillectomy after suffering with recurrent tonsillitis for the past 18 months. I was at the point where I had tonsillitis that often, antibiotics were no longer working for me and my GP simply refused to give me any more as they were not doing anything to shift it. The pain was pretty bad almost constantly and I was suffering with terrible headaches as a result of septic tonsillitis, so my GP suggested referring me to a consultant at the hospital to consider what my options were.

After a few days my NHS Choose & Book referral came though and I was very surprised to see that the first appointment at both of my local hospitals was almost three months away. There was an option to see a consultant at the local BUPA hospital as a NHS patient with only a two week wait - it was a no brainer for me! When I considered waiting for an appointment at the NHS hospital, my first thoughts were "How many more times during that period am I going to get tonsillitis and how much more time will that mean off work?” That was my main concern, my constant absence from work. Fortunately for me, I have very good employers who totally understood the situation I was in and saw me unwell on a regular basis, but even still, there is only so much any employer will tolerate, after all, they need to think of their own business needs and a member of staff who is regular absent is no use to anyone.

I attended my appointment with the consultant and after a brief look at my throat - which as usual was septic at the time, he decided that the best way forward was for a tonsillectomy. He explained to me that they only performed this procedure in adults in extreme cases of 6-8 episodes of tonsillitis in one year, but agreed that it was important for me to undergo surgery to prevent further illness. I agreed, signed the necessary paperwork and was book in for the procedure six weeks later.

I was booked in for evening surgery and was nil by mouth from 11.30am on the day of my operation. I had to check in at the hospital at 16:00 and the consultants surgery started at 18:00. I was a little nervous, as at almost 30 years of age I have been fortunate to never need an operation or a hospital stay in my life. Thankfully, I did not have to wait too long and was taken for anaesthetic at 18:40. The rest is a mystery!

The next thing I knew I was in recovery, freezing cold and shaking with nurses putting lots of blankets and heaters on me to warm me. I was asked if I was in pain, to which I replied no, clearly in a daze from the anaesthetic. It did not take long for that woozy feeling to wear off and suddenly I realised how much pain I was actually in!

I was taken back to my room and helped into bed. The nurses were lovely and brought me oral morphine (which made me feel so sick the nurse then had to administer anti-sickness drugs) and water. That was when it first hit me how much agony it was to swallow! I cannot describe how much pain those sips of medicine and water caused me! I felt like I had something lodged in the back of my throat combined with the most horrendous stinging feeling I have ever felt! I would not consider myself a wimp normally (a Drama Queen as anyone who knows me will tell you, but when it comes to actual pain, I really am not a whinger) but it was the worst pain I have felt in my life. 

Through out the night the nurse came in to check my blood pressure and to see if I needed pain killers on an almost hourly basis - I thought that was her lovely bedside manner, but I have since learnt from reading articles online, that this was because you are most likely to haemorrhage in the first 24 hours and they need to keep a close eye on you to ensure you do not need to go back to theatre to stop the bleeding. That would be my worst fear, my throat bleeding!

I did not manage to get any sleep that first night as I was in a lot of pain. Every hour seemed like a drag and I was wishing the night away so that I could just be discharged and get home to snuggle up in my own bed. Not before I had eaten though! The nurse kindly brought me two pieces of toast and a bowl a porridge and told me that I had to eat it all before the would discharge me. I dipped one piece of toast in my cup of tea and tried to eat it but the pain was horrendous! Not only was my throat sore, my lip was cut, my tongue was swollen to around three times its normal size, my face ached terribly and my teeth were SO sensitive from where my mouth had been clamped open during surgery so half of the battle was not being able to chew my food in the first place. I managed a few spoons of porridge and that one bite of toast and could not bear to eat any more. I kept being told "you must eat, the more you eat the easier it becomes and the scabs will fall off if you eat normally" - YUK! The thought was making me feel pretty queasy!

I was due to be discharged around 10:00 and my Mum came to collect me but it was decided that because I had not eaten enough, I then had to eat a ham salad sandwich before they allowed me to go. I literally cried with that bite of sandwich! I had to beg my Mum to eat half of the sandwich for me so that I could be discharged, on the promise to her I would eat later in the day and at my own pace when I was at home. I agreed - anything to get back to my own bed! I was sent on my way with Codeine and soluble Nurofen, 

The rest of the first day passed in a blur and I hoped waking up the following day would be much better. I was mistaken! By the second day, I literally could not speak so I had to write notes for my boyfriend to tell him what I wanted. My Mum and Brother came to visit me and if I am honest, it was pretty much pointless, as I couldn't speak to them. They just sat on the end of my bed giving sympathetic glances and the odd "oooh" and "ahhh" here and there! What more could they do really?!

As the days passed, I slowly tried to eat a little more, but Ready Brek, ice pops, lolly ices and ice cream was my best friend in the first few days. By day 4 I was ready to be a little more adventurous so tried a boiled egg and soldiers - over an hour it took me to eat it! By the time I had almost eaten it, boredom had taken over rather than hunger!

By days 5 & 6 eating and drinking was becoming easier, although it was still stinging a lot and my speech was slowly getting back to normal.

As I write this post, today is day 12 and I woke this morning with a terrible sore throat after a few days of just starting to slowly feel normal again. I made an appointment with my GP who said that it looks as if I have a throat infection so gave me a course of antibiotics. I am signed off work for another six days so hopefully that will be plenty of time for me to get myself back to full health again.

Overall, the experience has been pretty bad. My advice to anyone would be to really consider if you need this operation doing. I can only assume that is why tonsillectomy's are not routinely performed in adults, because it is quite bad. I can only hope now that it will be worth the pain of the past two weeks in the long run and it will prevent me from being ill with sore throats in the future. Here's hoping! 

Friday, 13 March 2015

My Blog Has Been A Little Quiet...

I felt like I should drop you all a little line to apologise for my blog being so quiet lately - not great for a relatively new blog, I know!

I have been feeling a little under the weather recently as I have not long since undergone an adult tonsillectomy. Let me tell you, it was probably the worst thing I have ever had to go through in my life. I am still recovering now, but only 8 days after surgery do I even feel well enough to put my laptop on and give something a little concentration. I have not been able to eat, I have been in complete agony and even sipping water has stung like hell! 

As I say, I am slowly on the road to recovery now and I am starting to feel a little better with each day that comes so please bare with me and I promise to get my blog back in to full swing with regular posts again just as soon as I can. 

Much love x 

Made With Love Designs Ltd - Mothers Day Cards

I was sent a selection of Mother's Day cards to review from Made With Love Designs. Just as the Valentines Day card I was asked to review, I can safely say that I was not left disappointed. 

I was asked to review the below Opulence card which retails from £9.95. Initially, my first thoughts were "that is a little steep for a card". But, the truth is, once you receive the card it is clear that it is most definitely worth the money. The quality is beautiful and it really does look like an elegant card. After all, the card is for your Mum, surely she is worth every penny?


The second card that I was sent was the Bedazzled Boxed Mother's Day Card, again, retailing from £9.95 depending on the size options. The card is really simple, but so pretty at the same time. I was most impressed with the little card inserted in the box alongside the card with a tied ribbon with a note saying "To slip onto the box before giving to the recipient for the finishing touch. Box bow ties are pre-tied so that you can just slip onto the box without the need to tie yourself...". It really does give that 'finishing touch'.



The third card that I was sent was the Lace & Rose Boxed Mother's Day Card retailing from £11.95 dependant upon the size of the card that you choose. The was my favourite of them all.

As with all cards from Made With Love Designs, there is an option of size of card, wording and personalisation, ribbon colour and the option of a personalised message printed inside the card. As with all products, there is also the option of the card being sent directly to the recipient. 

Overall, the cards are a little pricey, but definitely worth it. I really would not hesitate at buying a card for a special occasion from this shop in the future.

If you are looking for something special this Mother's Day, why don't you check out Made With Love Designs on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to let them know that I sent you their way!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Blending vs. Juicing

So, my latest little health kick is smoothies for breakfast and lunch. I am not sure how long this will last, as anybody who knows me will tell you - I am the kind of person where nothing seems to last for long! I get an idea in my head, it is the best thing since sliced bread for a short period of time, and then it is all over just as quick! For many years this made me feel like I was a failure as I never seemed to see things through to the end, but as I have got older I have come to the conclusion that that is just me. I am an indecisive and impulsive person.

Back to the topic of conversation! (As you will also have seen from my posts, I also tend to go off on little random rants - just another of my many personality traits!).

After hearing colleagues at work talk religiously about juicing, it got my wondering what is the difference between juicing and blending and what are the health benefits of both. It got me doing a little research and these are my findings that I thought I would share with you.


When juicing a machine extracts the juice - the nutrients contained in the product and water. leaving behind the pulp. 


When blending there is no left over pulp, the blender pulverizes the whole product to make a smoothie.

It got me wanting to know which is better for you, to have just the juice or to have the whole product including the pulp. Both allow a higher intake of fresh produce in our diet, a lot more than we would ever normally consume on a daily basis. 

Juicing discards the indigestible fibre in the produce meaning that the digestive system does not have to work as hard to absorb nutrients and break down the food. The nutrients in the produce are more readily available to the body and in larger quantities than if you were to eat whole foods. Fibre in produce slows the digestive process and gives a steady release of nutrients in the body.

Whilst getting a high intake of nutrients, removing the fibre from the produce may mean that you become hungrier quicker. 

Blending/smoothies consist of the whole product - skin and all. The blending process breaks down the fibre in the produce making it much easier to digest than in normal daily consumption. It also gives a slow release of nutrients leaving you feeling much fuller than if you were having a juice only diet. The disadvantage of a smoothie compared to juicing is that you cannot pack as many servings f fruit and veg in as the volume increases significantly. 

For me, blending is the best option. The main reason being that I do not have a juicing machine and I already own a blender. Also because I think that it is the quickest method. However, my recent blending has not proved quite as successful as I would have liked it to be as I have discovered that juice or smoothies should be consumed within fifteen minutes as the air and light damages the nutrients in the produce. I have been making smoothies in the morning and having one for breakfast and taking one in an airtight container to work with me for my lunch. 

The one thing that I am struggling with is a green smoothie. There are so many recipes online containing many weird and wonderful produce (some I might add that I have never even heard of!) that I do not know what to opt for, partly in fear of not knowing what I will and won't like and not wanting to spend a fortune on fresh produce that will end up in the bin. 

Have any of you lovely lot got any healthy smoothies recipes that you would recommend? I would be most grateful if you would be kind enough to share any tips/advice that you may have. I would like to make this a permanent lifestyle change as opposed to another "fad" diet and would really appreciate any pointers.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Liebster Award

After just over a month of blogging, I have been kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by newbie blogger Jo over at Say Cheesy Cake. I would like to thank her for the nomination! 

For those of you who are unaware, the Liebster Award is a blogging award that has been going around the blogging world for some time now basically designed to get to know newbie bloggers a little better. Being the nosey person I am, I am always keen to learn more about others and share some info about myself at the same time. Please feel free to take a look at some of my answers below.

The rules are simple:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.
4. Create 10 questions (or less) for your nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

So here go my answers:

1. What made you start your blog?

My best friend Jo has been blogging for some time now. I have watched as she started her blog with little knowledge of the blogging world slowly build it in to the rather successful blog that it is today. I was keen to start my own blog for some time but I never quite got around to it. If the truth be known, I did not have a clue what I was doing just never did anything about it. After a few helpful hints and tips from Jo, I started my blog and it is currently a "work in progress".

2. What is your favourite makeup brand and why?

I am a fully qualified VTCT Level 3 Make Up Artist and have a HUGE range of make up in my kit. I think that over the years I have pretty much tried most brands in various products. It is my honest opinion that I do not have a favourite brand as such. I like certain items by certain brands but I would never just stick to one brand. For example, I have clients who tell me that they only want MAC make up, but I rarely end up only using MAC products. In terms of my item I could not live without, it would have to be Maybelline Volum Express mascara. I have tried so many different mascara's over the year but I always end up going back to that one. It does not clump or run and makes your lashes look great.

3. What is your favourite cosmetic shop and why?

Again, as above, I do not have a favourite. Some of the cheaper brands sell brilliant products, as do some of the more expensive brands. I am always willing to give anything a go. I have pencils in my kit that cost £1 from Superdrug and they are brilliant - the are so easy to apply and the colour is great. They are also suitable for both eyes and lips. The most expensive does not always equal the best.

4. What is your favourite sandwich?

My absolute favourite sandwich is tuna melt. The sandwich shop local to my place of work sells these and it is tuna with Cajun spice, red onion, three cheese and mayo. Okay, not so great for the waistline but most definitely tasty!

5. What is your dream vacation destination?

Having not been on holiday abroad for a few years now, I would quite happily go anywhere that offers a bit of sun right now! I would love to go to Egypt and visit the pyramids, I would also love to go to India and see the Taj Mahal. My ideal holiday would be relaxing on a Caribbean island doing nothing but watching the world go by.

6. Do you bake and if yes, what do you bake?

I do not bake very often but after my Mum buying me a Grandma's Best Recipes book one Christmas I did bake a coffee cake and a carrot cake and they were delicious. The book was great as it had all tradition recipes in it. I always intend to spend more time in the kitchen baking and trying out new things but I never seem to get round to it with one thing or another.

7. Who is your role model?

Most people say celebrities, but I say my Mum. She really is an inspiration to me and I will always be thankful to her for the sacrifices she made in her life to give my brother and I a brilliant childhood and upbringing.

8. What's in your makeup bag?

I recently wrote a post-titled Handbag Essentials, I think that answers this question pretty well.

9. What apps are on your phone?

The current apps on my phone are Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Whatsapp, Timehop, Blogger, Bloglovin, EBay, Amazon, YouTube, InstaCollage, PicassaUp, PS Express, MoreBeaute2, Candy Crush, Farm Heros Saga, Emoji Free, BBC News, Liverpool Echo, Natwest, Scottish Power Your Energy, My EE, Arriva Ticket, Allpay, Avon, Detox Guru, Driving Test Theory, and the Highway Code.

10. What's your secret volumizing hair product?

I love the VO5 plumping powder, but I also could not live without my back comb brush. I am forever backcombing my roots!

11. What's your favourite snack?

I think that I may well be addicted to crisps! I cannot help but eat them. Give me crisps over chocolate any day!

Now that I have answered my questions from Jo, I now nominate the following bloggers to answer my questions as below:

  • Yetti Coker 
  • Katy 
  • Caroline Farmer 
  • Christina Hughes 
  • Prashin Unadkat 
  • Laura Chambers 
  • Give It A Go Mum 
  • Taylor Russell 
  • FitnessWithU 
  • Sarah Howe 
My questions to you are:

1. If I were going to buy you a present for £10, what would be the greatest thing I could get you?

2. If you could buy anyone lunch, who would it be and why?

3. Which film do you wish you were the main character in?

4. If you had to run a business, what would it do?

5. When you are eighty, what do you want to be able to say that you have achieved?

6. Where do you feel most at home?

7. What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

8. If you could hug anyone right now, who would it be?

9. What is the best thing about you?

10. What possession means the most to you?

I look forward to reading your answers fellow newbies x

Made With Love Valentines Day Card Review

Made With Love is a beautiful boutique for designer furniture, personalised greetings cards, weddings & events stationery.

I was asked to review the Made With Love Valentines Day card range. I was sent the below Lunar Moon card for review.

Cards are 140x140mm and come with recycled kraft envelope, so they are environmentally friendly or a white card presentation box upon request with three lines of text.

Valentines Cards can be personalised on the front & inside too. I opted to not have my card personalised and for it to be left blank


The card retails at just £3.50 with the kraft envelope option and £6.00 with a box bow tie and can be purchased on the stores website. You can follow Made With Love Designs on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and also on Instagram.

Tan Eraser Mitt

I was delighted to be sent the Tan Eraser Mitt to review – removing false tan after that big night out has been the bane of my life now for many years. You plan your big night out, spend the few evenings prior to the big event applying your tan in stages – and then spend the few after trying to get it off without looking like a streaky, Tango’d mess for days!

The Tan Eraser Mitt is an exfoliating mitt designed to remove existing fake tan and in the process prepare your skin for your next application of fake tan by removing dead skin cells and leaving your skin lovely and soft. The pink side of the mitt is for softer exfoliation and the black side is to be used for areas such as knees and elbows that can be stubborn. For me, one of my problem areas is my shin, just above my ankles. No matter how much I exfoliate and moisturise, it seems to be a problem area in both applying and removing tan. With the Tan Eraser Mitt, the tan came off almost instantly which was a pleasant surprise for me.

The instructions that came with the mitt were as follows:

1. Shower/bathe and cleanse your body as normal ensuring you rinse soap away thoroughly.
2. Wet the Tan Eraser mitt under the shower and squeeze out any excess water.
3. Standing away from the shower, or outside of the bath water, use the pink side to rub the skin to gently exfoliate and remove the old spray tan. Apply extra pressure or use the black side for stronger exfoliation.
4. Rinse your body and the Tan Eraser making sure all remaining tan has been removed.

So straightforward and simple to use and can be used in conjunction with your regular showering products. 

The Tan Eraser Mitt can be used for self tanning products and for professional spray tans, so it really is suitable for all and at a bargain retail price of just £6.00 this is an item every tan obsessed girl should have in their bathroom cupboard! Even if you are not an avid fake tan fan, I would still recommend this product as a brilliant all-round exfoliating mitt. The mitt can be purchased as single unit or if you are a beauty professional offering tanning services you can purchase the product on a wholesale basis. Additional details can be found at www.taneraser.com.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Microbiome Plus+ GI Giveaway

I have 3x one month supplies of Microbiome Plus+ GI to give away to my followers!

What are the benefits of taking Microbiome Plus+ GI?

  • SUPPORT MOOD & BOOST ENERGY - Poor nutrient absorption can leave you short on essential vitamins and minerals. Fatigue, irritability, and a lack of motivation are signs of nutrient deficiency. Probiotics develop a healthy microenvironment in the digestive system and gastrointestinal tract that optimizes nutrient absorption, giving you the positive energy and happy feelings to be your vibrant self.
  • LOSE WEIGHT - Weight-loss research suggests that healthy microflora in the gut can speed your metabolism and support fat loss. Fatburning is more than just an exercise routine. For healthy weight loss, give your body the probiotic support it needs.
  • Maintains balance of healthy bacteria
  • IMPROVE & MAINTAIN HEALTH - Your gut is home to 80% of your immune system, where good bacteria (probiotics) battle with bad bacteria to prevent disease and relieve allergies, bloating, gas, and constipation. Probiotics replenish disease-fighting bacteria and help maintain digestive functions and immune health by controlling candida and yeast overgrowth.

Please enter below for your chance to WIN!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am not the manufacturer of this product. Product packaging and materials may contain more or different information than what is shown in this post. I recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented on this post. Please always read labels, warnings, and directions provided with the product before using or consuming the product. If in doubt, always check with your GP before consuming.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cherry Diva Store

I have followed Cherry Diva on Twitter for some time now and have always LOVED their products! They sell such pretty items for girls and at ridiculously cheap prices!

Their website boasts every accessory a girl needs, such as necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, bags, purses, phone cases, novelty gifts - the list goes on!

I was so excited to return home from a busy day at the office to find my Cherry Diva parcel sat waiting for me!

One of the items that i received were these pretty Pewter Oval Earrings. I loved them as soon as i saw them and could not wait to wear them!

Cherry Diva Pewter Oval Earrings £3.50

I cannot believe that they are only £3.50 - what a bargain they are. It goes without saying, they were my earring of choice the following day for work! I was thrilled when my Manager even passed comment and said how pretty they were. A little bit of bling in the office clearly does get noticed!

Wearing my Cherry Diva Pewter Oval Earrings  

I also recieved the Inked Princess iPhone 4/4s Case. I was in desperate need of a new phone case after having my old one on for almost six months - it is safe to say that it had been well and truly battered in my handbag! The Inked Princess Case is a hard case and fitted my phone perfectly. The only thing stopping my phone from looking brand new now is the scratched screen protector - i must invest in a new one. It would have been great to have got one with the cases as some sellers do as standard, but it really wasn't an issue as they are so cheap to pick up.

I love the variety of cases that Cherry Diva sell. There are so many that i have never even come across before. One of my other favourites is the Snow White case that is sold on the website. Anything Disney and i am in love! I am such a child at heart!

 Inked Princess iPhone 4/4s Case £4.00

The third item that was delivered from Cherry Diva was the Khloe Silver Screw Cuff Bracelet retailing at £7.00. The bangle is so elegant and it looks so much more expensive than it actually is. The bracelet is sold as a "one size fits most". Unfortunately for me, I think I must have quite big wrists as it fitted but I would be too scared to wear it in case it fell off and I lost it. This is no reflection on Cherry Diva though as it is a problem I have encountered in the past.
Khloe Silver Screw Cuff Bangle £7.00

One of the things i love about the Cherry Diva website is the £1 Pick 'N' Mix section.  There are so many bargains listed there.  £1 for a piece of fashion jewellery - you really cannot complain.  This section is ideal for bargain gifts for friends or family.  My teenage cousin was looking at the site with me one evening and "needed" everything on there so this has given me a thought for her birthday.  I will buy her a few items and make a little gift box for her containing the items that she liked.  

UK shipping is between 3-5 working days and costs 99p.  99p!  I have not seen delivery so cheap in a long time!  Delivery is free if you spend £20 or more.  First class and next day options are also available.

Cherry Diva ship internationally too at a bargain cost of only £4.95.  Again, this is offered free if you spend over £30 on the site. 

Check them out today and remember to 'Like' them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, Pintrest and Instagram to receive your 10% discount code.  

Handbag Essentials

As I was leaving the house this morning, I picked my handbag up and it felt like it had bricks in it with the weight of it! I decided that I needed to take a quick look through and take out the things in there that I did not need. Except I came across a slight problem, I need everything that is in my bag! 

My question to you is this "What Is In Your Handbag?” Do you need everything that is in your bag? Do you carry anything slightly obscure in your bag 'just in case'? 

A friend of mine once told me that she always keeps a spare pair of knickers in her back in case she ever has an accident! I thought that this was quite funny because the thought had never crossed my mind, but I guess in a funny way, there is an element of common sense in it!

 So, here goes, these are the contents of my bag that I carry round with my religiously, and of course not forgetting my mobile phone (not in the pic as I used it to take the photograph!) that I do not leave the house without!

  • Make up bag - contents of which include foundation, foundation brush, pressed powder, mascara x 3, eye liner pencil, liquid eye liner, tweezers, eyebrow powder, eye brow brush, eye brow pencil, blusher, blusher brush and eyelash glue.
  • Soap & Glory Hand Food
  • Nail file 
  • Keys 
  • Lighter (I haven't managed to quit smoking just yet!)
  • Nail polish 
  • Purse 
  • Lipstick
  • Lipgloss x 3 
  • Lip balm x 2 (clear and pearl)
  • Antibiotics (Reccurent tonsillitis - these have been a permanent fixture for almost four months now!)
  • Headphones 
  • Mirror
  • Hair clip 
  • Backcomb brush


The backcomb brush was in the bedroom as I’d just done my hair, but believe me, I feel like I have lost a limb if on the odd occasion I ever leave the house without it! It is the only hairbrush that I carry around with me these days.

My boyfriend thinks I am crazy carrying all of this round with my religiously, but I actually do not think that it is all that much - I could think of so many more things that I could carry around with me.

At the moment my bag is relatively tidy and in order - I decided to have a clear out before going back to work after Christmas. Other things I have been known the lurk in the bottom of my bag include an umbrella (this is a must for any girl but mine has been left in work - typical!), address book, paracetemol, feminine hygiene products, pens, chewing gum/mints, sunglasses (summer months, obviously), deodorant, perfume, ipod, tissues, and of course not forgetting the endless crumpled up receipts that are months old that we keep "just in case".

It got me thinking, is it really necessary that we carry all of these things with us on a daily basis? In short, my answer is YES! For me, there is no worse feeling than going to look for something and suddenly realising you have 'forgotten' it. 

So my male readers, next time you query the contents of your partners handbag, think twice, this 'must' accessory contains are our life tools and yes, the world literally does feel like it is over if it isn't in the handbag!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Maxwell Scott Bags Reveals Exciting Rebrand


Luxury leather goods company Maxwell Scott Bags has recently re-launched its website after an exciting rebrand. An international business based in York, North Yorkshire, Maxwell Scott Bags fuses British design with Italian craftsmanship to create luxury leather products ranging from briefcases and luggage to handbags and accessories.

Founded in 2002 by William Forshaw, Maxwell Scott Bags began life supplying briefcases to corporate clients in London. After noticing that many of his colleagues brought plastic bags to work instead of business cases, William saw a gap in the market for high quality, professional briefcases in the workplace.


After a family trip to Italy sparked an interest in the traditional craftsmanship of Italian leather, William began looking for the highest quality tannery to begin producing the leather for his bags. A highly esteemed factory in Tuscany was chosen, and the business was able to take flight. 

William Forshaw, Founder of Maxwell Scott Bags said, “Back in 2002 I had a tiny vision and a passion for leather, and the business hasn’t stopped growing since! With well over a decade of professional design and craftsmanship experience under our belts, I felt a rebrand was necessary to appeal to a new generation of leather lovers.

“Since 2002, Maxwell Scott Bags has branched out and we now sell our products internationally. Although still a small business with a small staff base, the company is expanding all the time and eventually aims to be the most-loved luxury British bag maker in the world.”


The British company stands out from the crowd by using only the finest, premium Italian leather which adds to the longevity of the product. The leather produced in the tannery comes from premium quality full grain hides that are tanned using completely natural processes, reducing the impact on the environment and giving the leather unique qualities. Marks and scratches can be buffed out and the leather develops a beautiful patina over time, meaning that products from Maxwell Scott Bags only improve with age.

After spending the past year rebranding, the company is now ready to show off its brand new image. With a sleek new website, a newly launched informative blog and a range of upcoming products in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time for the British company.


The Yorkshire-based brand has one mission: To become the most loved British bag company in the world. We believe that by sharing this vision with our customers, collaborators and friends that we will become closer to achieving it.

To find out more about the Maxwell Scott Bags story 
or to browse the extensive luxury collection, visit the new website: 

Phone: 08702 424 684

Sleep Apnoea

Whilst I have never been officially diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea, I think that I may well suffer from it. From a very early age I was always a restless sleeper – tossing and turning each night, talking in my sleep and grinding my teeth. This has slowly crept into adulthood and has never changed; my sleep patterns are still identical to those of when I was a small child.

Recently my partner has been telling me that sometimes it is almost unbearable, to the point that he has even resorted to sleeping on the couch some nights because I have been tossing and turning and throwing my arms and legs around the bed so much! Whilst I know it is not funny, I cannot help but laugh when he tells me these tales each morning because I just cannot imagine that I can behave like that in my sleep. This got me looking into Sleep Apnoea a little more.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing.

There are two types of breathing interruption characteristic of OSA:

  • Apnoea – where the muscles and soft tissues in the throat relax and collapse sufficiently to cause a total blockage of the airway; it is called an apnoea when the airflow is blocked for 10 seconds or more 
  • Hypopnoea – a partial blockage of the airway that results in an airflow reduction of greater than 50% for 10 seconds or more

This would explain my snoring and talking in my sleep then! If I am honest, it scares me a little and I think that it scares my partner too. On many occasions, I have woken in the middle of the night to him standing over me, shaking me to wake up because I have in fact been lay there motionless in my sleep, appearing not to breathe. That really is a scary thought!

According to the NHS, people with OSA may experience repeated episodes of apnoea and hypopnoea throughout the night.

During an episode, the lack of oxygen triggers your brain to pull you out of deep sleep – either to a lighter sleep or to wakefulness – so your airway reopens and you can breathe normally.

After falling back into deep sleep, further episodes of apnoea and hypopnoea can occur. These events may occur around once every one or two minutes throughout the night in severe cases.

Most people with OSA snore loudly. Their breathing may be noisy and laboured, and it is often interrupted by gasping and snorting with each episode of apnoea.

These repeated sleep interruptions can make you feel very tired during the day. You'll usually have no memory of your interrupted breathing, so you may be unaware you have a problem unless a partner, friend or family member notices the symptoms while you sleep.

The above describes my sleeping pattern perfectly. I always feel tired during the day no matter how early I go to bed or no matter how much sleep I think I have had. Things are slowly starting to piece together. Whilst this is a self-diagnosis of the condition, I feel a little more relieved after doing some research that it is a common problem.

Whilst sleeping, apparently it is normal for the muscles and soft tissues in the throat to relax and collapse to some degree.

For most people this doesn't cause breathing problems, but in people with OSA the airway has narrowed as the result of a number of factors, including:

  • Being overweight or obese 
  • Having a large neck 
  • Taking medicines that have a sedative effect, such as sleeping tablets 
  • Having an unusual structure in the neck, such as an narrow airway, large tonsils, adenoids or tongue, or a small lower jaw 
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol, particularly before going to sleep 

All of the above relate to me. I am overweight and I am very conscious that I need to shift it. Some of the medication that I take does have a sedative effect as I suffer with back problems. I am also suffering at the moment with recurrent septic tonsillitis and I do smoke around ten cigarettes a day.

After looking into OSA I am more aware than ever that I need to be making some serious lifestyle changes such as losing excess weight and cutting down or quitting cigarettes for good. However, I do also think that recurrent tonsillitis may be one of the issues also. I am seeing a specialist at the hospital later this week, where I am hoping they will offer a tonsillectomy and that may improve symptoms. I shall keep you all posted and let you know how it goes! Here’s hoping that both my partner and I can have a good night’s sleep in the not too distant future.  Failing that I may well be checking myself into a sleep clinic, or joining a dating website!  (Just kidding!)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Symprove 12 Week Programme

Look what arrived at my door this morning, my 12 Week Programme of Symprove from Spink Health.

After being diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in 2011 and having suffered with stomach problems for sometime, I was excited to learn of the Symprove 12 Week Programme and was more than happy to give it a go and see if it can improve my daily symptoms of IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.

The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.

The condition is often life-long, although it may improve over several years.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Abdonimal (stomach) pain and cramping, which may be relieved by having a poo. 
  • A change in bowel habits – such as diarrhoea, constipation, or sometimes both. 
  • Bloating and swelling of your stomach. 
  • Excessive wind (flatulence). 
  • Occasionally experiencing an urgent need to go to the toilet. 
  • A feeling that you have not fully emptied your bowels after going to the toilet. 
  • Passing mucus from your bottom. 

In addition to the main symptoms described above, some people with IBS experience a number of other problems. These can include:
  • A lack of energy (lethargy). 
  • Feeling sick. 
  • Backache. 
  • Bladder problems (such as needing to wake up to urinate at night, experiencing an urgent need to urinate and difficulty fully emptying the bladder). 
  • Pain during sex (Dyspareunia) 
  • Incontinence. 

The symptoms of IBS can also have a significant impact on a person's day-to-day life and can have a deep psychological impact. As a result, many people with the condition have feelings of depression and anxiety.

Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria. These include: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum. Normally a healthy gut would already contain all four of these, however when it doesn’t, it can soon become unbalanced. Symprove has been created to restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.

During the Symprove 12 Week Programme all you have to do is drink 1 small cup of Symprove each morning and that’s it. Symprove are confident that in 12 weeks you and your gut will feel significantly different.

So, I am ready to go! This is day 1, and I shall keep you posted on my progress. 

Please note that I am not a medical expert, nor am I trained or qualified to give an advice regarding this condition. This post is based purely on my own thoughts and experiences. You should see your GP if you think you have IBS symptoms, so they can try to identify the cause.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Charity Begins At Home

This Christmas Eve, my boyfriend and I decided to celebrate our first day off work by heading over to Liverpool City Centre for a few drinks to get us into the Christmas spirit.

After visiting one bar and stopping by a few shops to pick up a few last minute bits, we passed some cash machines and saw a man sat on the floor by the bins.  He did not ask for money, he barely even looked up but my partner gave him a few pound that he had spare in his pocket and told him to go and get a hot drink.

We walked away discussing how it must be dreadful to be out day and night in the cold weather and how nobody should have to live their life like that. 

As we sat in the next bar we visited, conversation kept coming back to the people who were living on the streets.  I think that we had both gotten into the “Christmas spirit” and were both truly saddened that this was real life, how people lived.  Not just at Christmas but on a day to day basis whether it be freezing, hot, wet, damp, sunny – this was life for some people. 

As we left the bar and were heading to get the bus home, and my boyfriend said that he would like to go back and give the man who we saw earlier a few extra pound.  We went back to where we originally saw him but he had moved on.  In his place were two new faces, a man and a woman with their dog.  They were just sitting down for the night when we approached them and asked them if they knew where we could find the man from earlier; they said that they did not know.

We began chatting to the couple, my boyfriend was speaking to the man, and I was speaking to the lady.  Over a cigarette, the lady was telling me how they were just settling down for the night and how she thought it was going to be a long one as it was so cold.  I told her that I felt so awful that I was going home to a warm house while she was outside and that I did not know what difference it would make to her, but she was welcome to whatever was in my purse.  As it happened, there was only around £5.40 in my purse but I took it and gave it to her anyway.  Her face light up when she explained to me that now they did not have to sit on the street, they had enough to go and stay in one of the local hostels with their dog.  I asked her would £5 really provide a bed for the night for the three of them and she told me that it would.  My eyes filled up as she was talking to me and I smiled a little inside knowing that just a few pound that meant nothing to me could mean so much to somebody else.  The lady thanked me, hugged me and we went on our way.

On the bus home my boyfriend began telling me that when he had been speaking to the man, he had told him how he used to have a good job and redundancy lead him to drink, then eventually drugs and before he knew it he had lost his home and he was on the streets.  The lady he was with was in fact not his friend as we first thought, but his wife of fifteen years.  It got me thinking of all of the insignificant things that we all moan about on a daily basis, what does it all really mean?  Nothing.  There is a couple, married for all of those years who are still together through thick and thin.  That must be real love.

Whilst speaking with the couple, there was a charity in Liverpool mentioned that give the homeless people soup and warm drinks and distribute warm clothes to them.  It got me thinking that I am going to make it my New Year’s Resolution to start helping others more and doing something that will make a difference to somebody else’s life.  Just an hour or two volunteering of an evening with the charity would not only make me feel better, but be making a difference to local people.

The UK seem to spend so much time and money on foreign aid, when really, we only need to look at our own cities to see real poverty and devastation.  After reading this article I was deeply saddened that people on our streets can be treated in this way.  According to www.homeless.org.uk around 2400 people are thought to be sleeping rough in any one night.  Should we not be doing more to help these people? 

The "Don't Just Walk Past - Tell Us" campaign gives people the option of calling a 24-hour helpline number 
0800 567 7699 or completing a form on the charity's website www.porchlight.org.uk/tellus.

For 2015, I pledge a few hours per week of my time to go and work with the rough sleepers of Liverpool and to spend some time talking to them and getting to know them.  I will also be collecting warm clothing to take over to the charity for them.  

This year, I will try to make a difference to somebody else life.  No matter how small the gesture, a little sometimes means a lot as I learnt on Christmas Eve.


Just a quick one for you all.

I am looking for some advice, feedback, reviews, etc of diets that people have recently done. I am familiar with the usual – Weight Watchers, Slimming World, etc. I am looking to try something new and would be keen to hear some “Real Life” stories before I go out spending pounds on products that may or may not work.

As it stands, I am eating Belvita breakfast biscuits or a piece of toast in the mornings, a tin of soup for lunch and meat and veg for dinner. Whilst I know the calorific value of this is relatively low and I can lose weight doing this, I know that I will get bored easily. I have a good few stone to shift so I need to stay on target and stay motivated. I am 30 in August and it is my intention to be at goal weight by then. I have a while to do it so need something that I can stick to for this period of time.

I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Steph x

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Let's Talk About...Hair Styling

I sat in front of my mirror this morning, and decided that maybe it is time for a change of style with my hair.  My GHD's have been my best friend for many years, but he realisation has come that as much as I love them, I need to try some new styling tools.

Since that age of around 14 and discovering the GHD styler's, all I seem to have done is straighten the life out of my hair.  I currently have the GHD Boho Chic Limited Edition styler that I purchased some years ago as part of the Hair Striaghtener Gift Set.

Over the years, I have had my hair in many different styles and colours - long, short, extensions, clip in extensions, blonde, red, brown, etc.  But, I am at that point in my life again where I feel I am in need of a change.  The question is, to what?

This is a picture of me with my hair blonde with sewn in Remy hair extensions...

After almost twelve months of having my extensions in, I was in the same predicament as I am in now - I needed a change,  

From blonde with extensions, I went for natural hair with a red colour, as below...

It wasn't long before I was getting fed up and began using clip in extensions to add length and volume...

I kept my hair this colour and natural for around six months before I discovered that the red was fading very fast and to maintain the colour I was colouring it every four weeks, I opted for dark brown this time around and still occasionally use clip in extensions for when I was my hair curly or when I want it up and want it to appear thicker or with more volume...

I just really do not know what to do next!

My hair is so thin and fine and I know that excessive heat is constantly damaging my hair no matter how many protective products I use but my hair has a natural wave so I can't not do anything with it.  I really am undecided as to where I go from here to get my hair in better condition and looking healthy again.

A friend recently mentioned that she had bought the L'Oreal Steampod straighteners.  Like me, she uses hair straighteners on a daily basis and swear that they have improved the condition of her hair whilst straightening them as good as the other leading stylers.  

Has anybody tried them?  What are your thoughts?  Do they straighten your hair as well as other stylers?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Wizz Oxi Powder Fabric Stain Remover

I am so impressed with Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover that I thought I would write a post to share with you all and let you know of my findings.

A friend of mine with a family of three teenage children has used Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover for some years and swears by it above all other leading brands.  I thought that it was time to give it a go and see what all of the fuss was about.
When I was in my local shopping centre, I came across a 625g tub of it in Poundland.  I added it to my basket along with my other items and was rather looking forward to getting home and giving it a go.  Whilst staining of clothes is not a major issue for me as I have no children, both my boyfriend and I still seem to come across the same problems - staining of tea towels from cooking (curry being the worst) and staining of t-shirts in the under arm region where deodorants that promise to leave no marks always seem to. 

Along with my regular washing powder and fabric conditioner, I added a scoop to my wash.  After only using a 30 minute quick wash as I had a small load, I was very impressed with my findings.  My tea towels came out as brand new and they smelt lovely!  
Whilst I understand that there are many products on the market designed to remove stains varying in price dramatically, I honestly cannot fault this product.  For £1 a tub it is brilliant and I would definitely recommend it.  I recently came across a post where the product had been tested at BBC Watchdog's Test House and it seems that I am not the only one impressed.  Compared to other leading brands tested, Wizz Oxi Fabric Stain Remover came in at a close second.

It does the trick for me and I shall be adding it to my shopping list on a regular basis going forward.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Ladies That Lunch

Today me and my bestie decided that we would go out for a little wander around the shops and a have a spot of lunch whilst on our travels.

Carson's Mummy does not get a great deal of time to herself these days with having the two little one's, so it was really nice to just to be able to spend a few hours child-free with her and for her, I am guessing, to indulge in a little adult time.  

We realised that one of the large chain of pubs where we had originally planned to go - no names mentioned but every town has at least one, or maybe two ;) had no fryers working!  I am not back to work until Monday so technically I am still on my Christmas holidays so the diet doesn't have to start quite yet, or at least that is what I keep telling myself.  I had in my head that I was not opting for the healthy menu today and learning that the fryers were not working was a no-no for me so we headed for the next local pub.

The company was great, but I was slightly disappointed to find that the burger and chips that we ordered was like a burger that we used to get in school!  This made me think of our school days stood in the dinner queue for forty-five of the sixty minute lunch waiting only to be told that they were out of your favourite meal! Ahh, school seems so long ago, I cannot quite believe that I am 30 this year!

Anyway, as I was informed, I am not quite up to true blogger standard just yet, as only after I had eaten my meal I decided that I should have taken a picture!  As you can see, true to my word, the diet definitely has not yet begun - note that chips, onion rings and burger are nowhere to be seen but there is a lovely serving of healthy, green salad left on my plate haha!


I will get the hang of this blogging lark shortly - or at least I hope so!