Category Archives: Lifestyle

Three ways to wear a Bandana

Hello everyone,

I have finally got a bandana! You have no idea how excited I am for this – I no longer have to wear toilet roll in my hair to pretend I’m some 80s punk-rock chick. I found this amazing seller on Ebay that sells these gorgeous hair ties for a reasonable price, so if you’re looking to purchase one take a look at the shop here. Once I have worn this one a few time, I’ll definitely be going back there for more… they are soo nice!

Anyway, since getting the bandana, I have discovered some other ways to wear it other than in your hair. Check them out and let me know what you think…

1. In your hair

Here I have done a quick up do to demonstrate how to tie a bandana into your hair. I feel as though this look doesn’t have to be the neatest  of looks. You can pull up your hair in a ponytail, bun or wrap and then wrap your bandana around your head, carefully twisting it into a knot at the top. I love how quirky this look is and how easy and fast it is to do. Very simple yet very effective.

2. Around your neck

I think this is such a funky way to wear a bandana. Since my friend introduced me to this style I have been completely in love. It adds that extra something to any outfit, especially if you’re wearing a low cut top, it really shows off this accessory. I think it looks super cool with a necklace on underneath it too.

3. On your wrist

This is something that the 80s fashion introduced me to. They were very much into wrapping as much around your wrist as you can (my style influence here obviously being Madonna). I think it looks quite boho and would look super cute in the summer paired with some denim jeans.

Let me know what you think of these three ways to wear a bandana and if you have styled it in any other way let me know in the comments section below!

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CHD | Growing up scarred

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There is not a time that I can’t remember having a raised, silver line running down the center of my chest. It’s as though I was born with it. It is as much as a part of me as my arms and legs are.

Throughout my time I have acquired quite the collection of scars. The majority of them are from having open heart surgery. I have a scar running right down the middle of my chest. Then another starting on my boob, trailing under my right arm and almost reaching my spine. Along with these I have smaller scars scattered across my chest where the doctors inserted drains after my operation. They’re not the prettiest of things, but I do recall my mum telling me it was where I was ‘Kissed better’ in order to make my younger self accept them more.

Whilst growing up I managed to gather all of the childhood scars. From gashes in my knee from falling over in the playground. Scratches on my arms from my pet guinea pigs and scars along my forehead that happened when I ran into a birdbath and had to have my head stitched back together – along with numerous other ones that don’t have stories to them or are from the dreaded chicken pox.

To add to the assortment, two years ago I had my appendix removed which again, decorated my body with another four silver lines around my stomach. If you joined them up like a dot to dot game, they’d create the perfect kite shape.

I think you can agree that I have my fair share of battle wounds.

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My scars didn’t really bother me until I started to hit the puberty age. I’d say I began to notice I was different than everyone else at around the age of ten. I remember being in Primary school and people would ask me what it was, why I had them, what they meant… They made their own assumptions and told me what they thought my scars looked like. One comment that has stuck with me for all this time is when someone compared them to the likes of bird muck. It was a great simile, especially for someone so young, but it was such a great simile that it hurt so much and is something that I’ve never forgotten.

Then came high school.  This is when it really struck that I had scars and the majority of other people didn’t. I used to hate getting changed for PE. Partly because of the fact I’d have footballs thrown at my head and snide comments thrown in my direction (yeah, I was the nerd at the butt of everyone’s jokes), but having to get into my kit meant having to reveal my scars. And this terrified me.

Again I’d have curious comments asking why I have them. But no one was too brutal. I have no idea why, but I just felt so self conscious and different, which drove me to hating my scars (something I’ll never forgive myself for).

I remember times where I would get so upset and cry about the way I looked. I’d use make up to try and cover them up… but because the top part of my scar healed quickly, it has left it bumpy and raised, which meant makeup only drew more attention to them.

There were days I felt so low that I would consider having plastic surgery to make them smaller.

Social events such as prom were on the horizon and honestly, choosing the dress and trying to be happy with the way I looked felt like torture. It wasn’t just the way my scars looked, but if you have a scar you will know how strange it is to touch them. It is numb and weird and I just really hate the way it feels. So to have someone prodding around with pins and fitting my dress was not the most pleasant experience.

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Prom is supposed to be the time when you dance with your high school  sweetheart and forget all of your worries. But I never had a high school sweetheart and prom made we question whether I could ever be loved when my body is covered in scars. It made me sad and feel extremely unattractive.

When going to college I swore that I wouldn’t let me scars get me down, but oh how I broke this promise to myself. Everything was fine until I was asked out by some boy – of which I declined – and his best friend decided to use my operation against me. He called me ‘heartless’ and named my scar a ‘demon wound’. I get that he was standing up for his friend, but I feel as though I’d be more heartless leading him on than going on a date with him. All this is behind us, and the guy who asked me out is probably one of my closest friends right now and has been in a relationship with another girl for almost two years. I don’t talk to the other guy though, there comes a time in your life when you realise what kind of people you should surround yourself with, and someone who called my scar a ‘demon wound’ is not one of them.

I still get down about my scars from time to time, even last night I didn’t wear this top because it showed off too much of one. I guess I’ll always have good days and bad days with them, that is only natural, but I am learning to love my scars more and more. They are what have kept me alive and so are the greatest gift I have ever received. I doubt I would be the person I am today without them, they have made me stronger and braver than ever. My scars are what makes me, me, and even though it has taken time, I’m starting to see how beautiful they really are.

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❤️ CHD | My Story ❤️

I think I’ve written a similar post like this a couple of years ago, however as it is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness week, I thought I would once again let you into  huge part of my life that has shaped the person I am today.

My parents didn’t know that anything was wrong with me until the day I was born (although my mum’s body had produced a lot more water in her pregnancy in order to protect me whilst I grew. It’s amazing how nature knew there was a problem and yet no one else did). I was soon diagnosed with a condition called Fallot’s Tetralogy. This is where there are four defects found with the heart:

  1. Pulmonary Stenosis (A narrowing of the Pulmonary Valve).
  2. Ventricular Septal Defect (A hole in the heart).
  3. Right Ventricular Hypertrophy (The left side of my heart over compensated and meant the muscle thicker than it should be).
  4. Over-riding Aorta (The Aorta lies over the hole and allows some deoxygenated blood to be taken around the body).

I really don’t want to get too scientific, but if you want to,  you can read up further on the condition here.

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Although I was born with the condition, I was too small to operate on and so I had one operation around the age of one to put me on until I could have the full open heart surgery at two years old. I am so glad that I was very young when I had the operation as I barely remember any of it. However it pains me to think what my parents were going through, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to see your child hooked up to numerous monitors. They really are the bravest people I know.

Luckily everything went well during my operation. I made a fast recovery in hospital and when it was time to go home, I was watching Teletubbies and didn’t want to leave!

I don’t really have that many memories of being in hospital. I mean I was two years old so it is a very long time ago! Though there are three snapshots that have stuck with me. One was when my Grandad came to visit. I had my operation in December and so there was a Christmas tree on the ward. He got me out of my bed and walked me over to it. I know it doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal, but it is the small moments like this that are the most precious, especially when it was shared with my Grandad. He is such a special person  in my life who I have the utmost respect for, and I know this memory will stick with him too.

Something else I remember is when I went for a bath we found a toy plane on the side. I think it belonged to another child there on the ward, but I remember playing with it.

The last thing I remember is more of a scent than a memory. There was a dad and his daughter on the ward next to me and she had apple scented hairspray. I think he gave my mum a bottle for me or told her where to purchase it from because I am sure that when I left the hospital I still had this hairspray with me. I just know that it smelt amazing.

Having the operation has saved my life. If I hadn’t have had it, I probably wouldn’t have made it past my tenth birthday, and if I had done, I could be in a wheel chair right now – which is so terrifying to think about. It has meant that I can lead a completely normal life. I’ve taken dance classes, achieved my Black-Belt in Taekwondo, been in numerous plays. Even had to do cross country at Highschool… as rubbish as it is running around a field in the freezing cold, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I still have trips to the hospital for check ups and echocardiograms (kind of like an ultrasound on my heart). I’ve even been told that I may have to have another operation in years to come – though my Grandad is adamant that this wont happen. But if it wasn’t for the scars on my body, it would almost be impossible to tell that I have a Congenital Heart Defect.

I am super grateful to all of my doctors and surgeons who have taken care of me throughout the whole of my life and my parents for being the most patient, understanding, loving people on this planet. They have been with me through thick and thin, and if it wasn’t for them I have no idea who I would be right now. I owe them everything.

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If you or your child are going through the motions of having open heart surgery, please know that it can and does get better. I know everyone’s conditions are different and in my case I thank God every night for how lucky I have been. You have to stay strong and positive and realise you are not alone and things will pick up.

I’m no expert on the disease, but I have been through it, so if you want to drop me an email and talk to me about my experiences or what you’re going through then please don’t hesitate. It would be great to hear from you!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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Five celebs you didn’t know are affected by Congenital Heart Defects

It’s amazing how many people who have such a big influence on our lives have some way been affected by Congenital Heart Defects. Here are just five of many celebrities who have someway been involved with CHDs.

1. Joe Strummer

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With the lifestyle he led, you’d think it would be something other than CHD that sent this man to his grave, however Frontman of The Clash, Joe Strummer sadly died of an undiagnosed Congenital Heart Defect at the age of 50.

2. Jessie J

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Like her father, Singer/Songwriter Jessie J suffers from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart disease that effects the electrical currents in the heart. When growing up she suffered from a minor stroke, but bounced back up and straight into the spotlight.

3. Shaun White

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As an Olympic champion who has won two gold medals in snowboarding, Shaun White has not let having Fallot’s Tetralogy stop him. A huge inspiration.

4. Bret Michaels

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I didn’t know this guy had CHD until recently, lead singer of the band Poison whose music I rocked out to a lot in the first year of uni. He suffers from Atrial Septal Defects (a hole in the part of the septum that separates the atria)

5. Sylvester Stallone

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He may not have a CHD condition himself, but he is a Heart Dad whose daughter suffers from a Ventricular Septal Defect, which is more often than not referred to as a hole in the heart.

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❤︎ Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week ❤︎

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It is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness week and so I thought I would try and do a blog post a day about it. That was until my internet went down for the past two days! So this is the post that should have gone up on Monday… I am extremely sorry!

To start the week off I thought I would explain a little bit about what Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) mean, and how it affects people’s lives.

1 in 100 babies are born with CHD, and according to The Children’s Heart Foundation, this equates to over 40,000 babies being born every year with a heart defect in America alone. This means every 15 minutes a child is born with a heart condition and as frightening and sad as it may be, 20% of these children will not see their first birthday.

CHDs range from babies being born with half a heart, to babies needing pacemakers, or even having a problem with one of their heart’s arteries. CHD is anything that is an abnormality with your heart’s structure and is something that you are born with. Although it is often seen as a childhood condition, it is important to stress that Congenital Heart Defects are for life. You are constantly bobbing to and from hospital and, considering on how serious your condition is, many heart babies grow up needing further surgery in later life.

Some CHDs can be detected before birth, however most are found out once the baby is born. A lot of CHDs go undetected though and can seriously effect someone’s adulthood if the condition is not discovered – they could even lead to death.

It is one of the most common birth defects and yet is one of the most underfunded for research, and this needs to change.

The reason I’m writing about CHD is because through no fault of their own, so many people have little or no knowledge about the condition whatsoever. Something needs to be done about this and more awareness must be raised.

Throughout the week I will be posting information about CHD, I will be sharing my own and other survivor’s stories so please stay tuned and keep reading to find out more. Being a Heart Warrior myself, CHD is something that, as cliché as this sounds, I hold extremely close to my heart. It has played a huge part in my life and has shaped the person I am today.

Please share my blog and please raise awareness of the disease. I cannot get over to you how important it is that more people learn about this condition.

The more awareness raised, the more lives saved.

Let’s fight CHD a heartbeat at a time x

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TopShop Tall | Review

It has been a little while since I posted and I do apologise for that! It has been crazy at this end with my sister’s birthday, coming back to uni, starting the second semester. But now I’ve settled back in I will hopefully be posting more regularly. I have been wanting to do this post for some time now and am really excited to show you my new purchases.

A few weeks ago, TopShop had updated its ‘Tall’ section and oh my! I went a little bit crazy and spent some of my Christmas money on two new pairs of jeans and two leotards. It is amazing to get things that fit and are comfortable to wear, so sometimes when clothes are there in Tall, I have to get them.

You have no idea how long I have been waiting for Mom Jeans to come into 36″ length leg and here they are! I have been searching for these for ages and so I had to get them . i absolutely love these jeans. The cut is amazing as they are quite baggy but are still quite fitted making them still have that girly look to them. I love the fact they’re high waisted. I have no idea why, but I tend to go for high waisted jeans a lot more than low cut. I just think they’re more flattering.

Then I saw these… they are aubergine, but the light in my room doesn’t show off their colour too well – I’m sorry!! Anyway, take my word for it, they’re awesome. The fit is stunning. They’re jean material but very stretchy, almost like jeggings. But unlike jeggings they have a button, zip and pockets – which is a must have for jeans. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve seen jeggings I’ve always been put off by them not having pockets! Anyway, these jeans are gorgeous and because they’re stretchy they’re super comfy! They’re not too bright a purple either which means they go with almost everything. I haven’t washed them yet so I don’t know if the colour fades, however I will let you know if they do! But so far, so good.

Another thing I have always found hard to buy is leotards that are long enough in the body. But finally I have found these two funky ones in the Tall section of TopShop and they fit like a dream. It may sound stupid, but being tall and rather slim makes it extremely hard to find clothes that fit. So when these came into the store I whipped them up as fast as I could, and it couldn’t feel any better to have clothes that fit like a glove.

Let me know what you think of my purchases and please check out the Tall section of TopShop if you have struggle finding clothes that fit. I know a lot of stores don’t stock Tall items which is absolutely rubbish for girls like me. But I found out that if you go in store and ask a sales assistant to order online for you, it works out that it is free postage to your house. This makes a huge difference as you don’t have to pay for next day delivery which makes it ten times funner shopping online! Seriously check that system out… it’s great.

I hope this has shown you a little bit that is in the TopShop Tall section and has inspired some outfit choices.

You can purchase the items online here:
Mom Jeans, Aubergine jeans (aka, Auberjeans) – Oh no!! They’re out of stock 😦 But I found some very similar ones here, Stripey Leotard, Black Leotard

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Hairdo | Review

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I have evolved!

I have been wanting this with my hair for around three or so years now and have never been brave enough to do it. I have no idea where from, but I found some courage in the new year and booked in at the hairdressers for a colour. Yes, I do not trust myself to dye my own hair ^_^ I think I would have ended up with an orange face!

I have never had my hair coloured properly before. Once I had blonde streaks put in, but I was around 12 years old and it was very natural looking so there wasn’t too much to worry about. Then a few years later I went black, or dark brown, when I hit that ’emo’ stage. I think everyone sees this stage in their rebellious, early teenage years. It lasted a couple of months and I quickly grew out of it.

Since then, all of my dyed hair had grown out and so I decided to go for this orangy-red ombre look.

Now I know what a lot of you are thinking… this is nothing to do with the death of David Bowie. However three years ago, I was still obsessed and wanted to dye my hair orange because of him. I looked online for more subtle hairdos to reflect that of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane and found this groovy style. I fell in love and from then onward had wanted to dye it. Even though I booked this before Monday, I feel like it holds even more meaning right now.

I absolutely adore my new hair colour and think it looks sooo good. I now have no idea why I was scared of having it done. I still feel funny looking in the mirror like “That’s not me!” hahaha! I’m going to have to get used to this new version of myself. But I love it and I feel more myself than I have for a long time.

I think everyone at some point of their life must adapt and evolve in someway. Trying new things is healthy and exciting, so why not play around with the appearance of your hair?

My only regret about dying it, is that I didn’t do this sooner!

Please let me know what you think of this new look – and honestly if you want to dye yours too… just do it! Life is too short not to take risks.

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