Tuesday, 27 September 2016

6 years on - 6 things I've learnt from my Invisible Illness

6 years ago I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope. An invisible and chronic illness that is part of the dysautonomia family which in short term is a general term used to describe the breakdown of the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms are wide ranging from patient to patient and can include problems with the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and perspiration. Other symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness, feeling faint or passing out (syncope) weakness and cognitive impairment. I was first diagnosed at the age of 20 after 10 years of doctors, questions, tests and panic after a series of worrying faints and seizure like activity.  


Why am I telling you all of this? Well this week marks Invisible Illness Week, a cause that is close to my heart. The weeks main aim is to raise awareness for invisible illnesses and to remind people that just because you can't see someone is sick it doesn't mean they aren't.

Today I wanted to write a little list of things I've learnt since getting my diagnoses and also raise a little bit of awareness about my condition and others struggling a silent battle every day. 

1. This is a different life than you planned, but it doesn't have to change you. 

When you are first diagnosed, a lot of things automatically get taken away from you. Things such as driving, exercise, the knowledge that you will definitely have children may all come up for question and this can leave you feeling understandably scared. Since my diagnoses I've started to live in something I call my 'new' normal. So I can't have a shower without the help of a stool or sitting down and I can't stay out till ridiculous hours of the morning like my friends without severely paying for it the next day, but that doesn't mean I have to lose who I am. Try to find new hobbies that you enjoy which fit around your illness and you'll soon realise your diagnosis doesn't own you. 

2. Not everyone will understand. 

But you don't look sick? You're too young to be sick. "Oh I'm exhausted too." All things I've heard on more than one occasion when I've been talking about my illness or mentioned that I'm feeling unwell. Sadly for a lot of people seeing is believing and unless they can see an arm hanging off its very unlikely that they will always believe the extent of what you're going through. I once had a long chat with my great aunt and she told me that other people don't matter, as long as I know my own limits and I'm taking care of my personal health, what do other people's opinions really matter? 

3. People will try and tell you WHY you are sick. 

You look tired, are you sick because you're tired? Did you eat enough? Maybe you need to eat? No, I'm just ill! It took me a while to get a few people to understand this, as if people know the cause, they think they can create a solution. The sad thing is with chronic and invisible illnesses is that usually they are life long and whilst they can be managed, they are usually unable to be cured completely. So as annoying as this can be, I've learnt to let these people try and help, it makes them feel better and  like they're doing something positive, even if you still feel rotten afterwards. 

4. Learn to live in the moment. 

When you don't know if you will wake up feeling well or like you've just been hit by a bus, It's good to learn to live in the moment. Whilst cancelled plans can be frustrating, learn to live spontaneously and make plans in the spur of the moment. Whilst I understand that sometimes medication and equipment might need planning for some people, if you're having a day where you feel well, plan an adventure and appreciate the day. 

5. Grow a thick skin, people will say mean things. 

Knowingly or unknowingly, people in your life will sometimes make comments which hurt. You can take these comments to heart or you can learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Anytime someone says anything hurtful or a little close to the knuckle now I offer them the line "by all means please take this for one month and then get back to me" and it seems to work. Whilst you shouldn't have to fight your corner, sometimes people need educating, so do your bit for the rest of us and teach them why their comments are hurtful or bad. As for dealing with them yourself, know they often come from a place of miseducation rather than wanting to be hurtful. 

6. Take care of yourself. 

Don't beat yourself up for those days spent in bed. You aren't being lazy, you are recovering and giving your body the love and attention it needs. Taking care of yourself is not something to be ashamed of. You sit back enjoy that well deserved day in bed! Need a nap when you get back from work? Nap away!! 

Do you suffer from an invisible illness? What are your top tips? 

Until Next Time 

B X 


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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Customising on a Budget with Everything5Pounds

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know a few weeks ago that I came across an image on Pinterest, one that I fell in love with. It featured a denim jacket to die for, with the words "don't follow me, I'm lost too." Never had a piece of clothing spoken to me more, but upon researching, I just couldn't justify the price. I decided that customising would be the only way, and that is where Everything5Pounds stepped in. 

Offering good quality products at a fraction of the price Everything5Pounds offers a wide range of clothing and accessories for just that, £5! Whilst some of the pieces on the website won't be to everyone's taste, if you're willing to have a little hunt, some true gems can be found. 

Prior to this collaboration, I myself have placed a few orders and have been really happy with what I have received. 


This whole outfit is fantastic quality and is the perfect way to get in on the current double denim trend. I customised the jacket for a few pounds by searching for iron on patches and letters online, with the jacket overall working out at a cost of about £10. Complete bargain right? 


I accessorised this look with some ripped jeans, (which it should be noted fit amazingly and a lot better than some of the more expensive jeans I've owned,) some sassy leopard print heels and a basic white vest. The whole outfit would add up to a bargain price of £20, which is basically even cheaper than a night on the town!

Everything5Pounds update their website daily with the latest fashion so that you can keep up to date with the latest trends at a fraction of the price. 

For more amazing pieces visit everything5pounds.com 

Until Next Time 

B X 

*this post was in collaboration with everything5pounds and everything featured was sent for the purpose of review, however I selected and styled all items shown. 


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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Spectrum Brushes

If mermaids owned makeup brushes, I'd imagine them to own a full collection of Spectrum Brushes. Crafted in beautiful colours, almost too beautiful to use, thanks to the kind people at Spectrum Brushes I recently became the proud owner of the 10 piece essential kit! 


In a beautiful shade of ombré pink, this set makes the perfect addition to any dressing table. 

Consisting of 10 must have makeup brushes, they make a great set for anyone looking for the perfect place to get started. 

The full set consists of: 

B01 - Flat Top Buffer 

A01 - Large Domed Powder

A05 - Small Angled Blush

B03 - Buffing Concealer

A06 - Large Fluffy Shader

B06 - Tall Tapered Blender

B04 - Small Angled Blender

A17 - Angled Brow

A15 - Lip Liner

A09 - Angled Eyeliner

Each brush is made from high quality synthetic hair and the full collection is vegan and cruelty free. 

Brushes of note

The brushes are super soft with my favourites being the angled eyeliner brush, the buffing concealer brush and the small angled brush. Perfect for all those final details. 

If you like the sound of this kit you can find the set available online for £39.99, as well as many other beautiful collections at spectrumcollections.com 

Until Next Time 

B X 

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Wonderland Clothing

Ah summer, the beautiful, warm, bright days of summer. Whether you've got your sights set on some last minute sun or whether you're soaking up the final days of summer, the perfect outfit can help you enjoy the last of those sunny days. 





This beautiful number was sent to me by Wonderland Clothing and is available on their website.

Made from beautifully thick fabric and with the most gorgeous pattern and vivid tones it makes the perfect dress for an end of summer wedding or lounging days in the sunshine. 

I didn't realise it was possible to be this in love with a dress, but it hugs the figure perfectly, whilst hiding away all those little imperfections. 

You can find the Cairo dress and so many other stunning pieces at: www.wonderlandclothing.com 






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Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Social Butterfly

For as long as I can remember, I have never really fitted "in" wherever in may be. I have always struggled to fit into large group of girls, I often find them intimidating or find that they at times don't get my dry, largely male friend driven wit. 


At school I spent most of my life being bullied and ridiculed for not having a particular group that I belonged to. Sure I had friends, in fact some of those close friends I even have now, but I'm not one of these girls that have a particular "clique" that they have had for years. My friendship groups are fluid and have grown and changed with my life. 

The problem with being a "social butterfly" is that it's very hard to make people stick. When you flit in and out of groups, you're never really the first person on people's mind. This can often leave those of us with multiple groups of friends feeling forgotten or at the wayside when plans are made. When I was younger, this used to bother me quite a lot. I always wondered why I couldn't be the girl in the big friendship group with a solid group of friends since the year dot. 

As I've grown older I've come to realise that the saying about your best friends being on one hand is really true and it's really important. It doesn't really matter if they are all in the same group, because it offers you change and a variety of personalities. 

I have different friends that I know I can go to for different life problems and joys. Friends that I know I can share deep secrets with and have tremendous laughs with. I have friends that I know would hit it off if they met and I have friends that I worry would cause a combustion if they ever stepped within a few feet of each other. 

The beauty of friendship is that it is diverse and changing as life evolves around us and as I grow older I couldn't be happier to flutter my wings around the many social circles that life has to offer. 

Until Next Time 

B X 



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