Tag Archives: Lifestyle

❤️ 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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BLOGMAS

I am so excited to announce that I will be taking part in Blogmas this year. It is the first year I have decided to do this so please bear with me with uploading the posts and trying to organise/ arrange everything. But I am super excited about this and think it is the perfect way to get feeling Christmasyy!

I’m sure you do, but if you don’t know what Blogmas is, it is where you post a blog for every day in December about Christmas or winter. It looks so fun and I’m really happy to be doing it this year.

If you are also doing Blogmas please let me know – I love reading other people’s posts about Christmas! It gets me in the festive mood.

I am so looking forward to Christmas this year and I hope my blogs throughout December will help you feel christmasy too!

I will leave you with a picture me and my friend took at the rainy Manchester Christmas Markets this weekend… Do excuse the hoods!

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Until December 1st

xx

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Hello Again | Life Update

Hello everyone! I know it has been a long time since I last posted but lots is happening at this end! I feel like I’m busy doing everything and nothing all at the same time – a lot of the time life is very much ground hog day, but I always seem to find myself leading quite a hectic life.

I have found myself a summer job at a hotel, which I must admit has been taking up quite a bit of my time recently. But that’s fine, I get on great with my boss and the other people that work there so so it takes the pain of ‘going to work’ away. I’ve also been put on my mum’s care insurance for the past two weeks leading up to my test as I really needed to pass it this time. I absolutely HATE taking my driving test, but I guess I’ve become pretty well at it having to take it FIVE TIMES.

But luckily I passed this time, they do say that 5th time’s the charm, right?

I put it all down to my outfit on the day… I was wearing my new Wonder Woman top from H&M, which makes me feel so empowered as if I can conqueror anything! (Oh and maybe the ‘Rescue Remedy’I was taking beforehand too!) I spoke to the examiner about so much random stuff I bet he thought I was a right weirdo aha. One topic of conversation was how disheveled a dead seagull on the road looked. But whatever I said must have paid off as he passed me with one minor!!

Here’s a picture of me after the test… I apologize now for how I look. There were many sleepless nights before this day and I got so hot and sweaty going around the test route, it’s not one of my best looks. But anyway, here I am posing as Wonder Woman! The photo was taken by my Driving Instructor, Alison, who has seen me through my ups and downs over the past two years. I say driving instructor, but she’s more of a friend now than a teacher! So happy to have passed 🙂 🙂 🙂

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I have lots of reviews coming your way. I decided to have a shopping spree in town last week and I really can’t wait to show you what I bought!

Until next time xx

 

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Going to university? | Advice

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Today I have started to write my final essay which means first year is almost over! You have no idea how good this feels.

This year seems to have flown by. I’ve started packing up my things and it only seems two seconds ago that I was unpacking – it’s insane.

With having spent a whole year at university I thought I’d share a bit of advice that might help you chose a university if you’re considering going. (This post is a little bit off topic, but I would really like you to learn from my mistakes!)

1. You don’t have to go to university straight away.

I was never really given this option of taking a gap year. At my sixth form applying to university seemed to be compulsory and no one really mentioned taking a year out. You just filled in a load of forms, wrote a personal statement and sent this off to five places that you think you wanted to go to. It was kinda of like applying for high schools. University seemed to be the next stage.

Well it isn’t. Coming to university I have realised that a lot of people take years out. In my house 9 out of the 13 of us took at least one year out.

Looking back I do kind of wish that I had taken a year out. Had got a job, earned some money and just had a year off to find my feet and think about what I actually wanted to do with my life. It is a scary thought as you don’t know if you would be able to find a job, or if you would just have no money for a year. But definitely don’t rush into things if you’re not 100% sure you want to go to uni, or even if you’re not 100% sure which uni you want to go to.

2. Look around

I think this is another one of my mistakes. I didn’t go to visit any other university other than the one I’m at now. And even when I did visit this uni, I didn’t explore the actual area, just the campus.

I think one of my biggest downfalls was that I was afraid to take myself off to have a look around other universities. It’s hard to get your parents to go with you when they’re working and open days are in the middle of the week. But you should be able to convince a friend and go on an adventure around another city for a day. I know trains can be expensive, but trust me, spending that little bit of money will mean the world to you when you move into a new place that you’ve already fallen in love with.

3. Find what’s best for your course, but also what’s best for you

For me this is really important. I did consider what was best for me but I wish I had done a lot more. I chose to come to Salford and study journalism, mainly due to the fact that part of the course was held in Media City. Now this is an amazing opportunity that I thought would be stupid to turn down. But just because certain things are good for your course, doesn’t mean mean they are good for you. Another place I was considering going to was Chester and a part of me wishes I had gone there. I find that in Salford there is nothing to do. There is one pub and a Tesco and other than that it is a pretty lousy place. You can’t just take yourself for a walk or go and find new and exciting places.

I really like nature and heritage and pretty buildings and Salford just doesn’t really offer any of that where as Chester does.

So just because something may look good for your course, make sure that you will be happy in that place, otherwise your life at university wont be as good as it could have been.

These are just three little tips that you should definitely consider when applying for university and three tips that I wish I had considered a lot more. I hope this helps you when choosing where you want to go to.

 

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John Frieda Hair Care | Review

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Last year I had my appendix removed which resulted in me being extremely lazy, in pain and not wanting to move. Therefore, I don’t think I washed my hair for a good week – which is gross I know, but these were special circumstances and believe me, when you feel that bad your hair is the last thing on your mind.

Anyway, it came to the time where people wanted to come and see me to make sure that I was okay. Which is really nice, but this made me realise how gross I actually looked. I remember texting my mum’s cousin asking her to let me know when she was coming round so that I could wash my hair and make myself look presentable.

She turned up at the door one night, and bless her soul, she had gone and bought me some John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner. I was so grateful and could not wait to try this out.

The next day I dragged myself off the sofa and upstairs and washed my hair for the first time in what felt like forever. I’ve never tried more of the expensive drug store shampoo before, I didn’t really think it would make that much of a difference, but oh my! It is the best thing.

Not only does it bring out the colour of my hair a lot more, it leaves it feeling so silky smooth and really shiney – it’s as though I’ve just come out of a salon (minus the styling – teehee).

Not to mention that it smells amazing!!

I don’t really buy expensive things when it comes to beauty and make-up, especially with being a student, that money tends to be spent on food rather than unnecessary products. However since trying this shampoo and conditioner I have not gone back. I make sure that I leave a bit in my budget so I can purchase this product.

It depends where you buy this shampoo from, but I do believe that it is just under £6 per bottle – and if you’re lucky you may find out it’s half price! I think it is money well worth spent and the bottles that you get seem to last forever!

If you’re looking for some shampoo to try out then I would so recommend you try this out.

Please let me know what you use, do you notice that spending that little bit extra actually does make a difference?

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Three Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

All my life I have been so lucky with my weight. I’ve never had to work out or diet to maintain my shape. However, since coming to university, I have noticed that this invisible power of mine seems to be wearing thin.

I was shocked after finding out I had put on a couple of pounds and had started to notice a bit of a pot belly forming before Christmas. Luckily it hasn’t got to a stage where I’m bursting out of my jeans YET, but I have noticed them feeling a little bit tight over the past week.

Because of this I decided I needed to do something about it before it gets out of my control.

The first step in my new healthy lifestyle was to hide away any temptations.

This meant all of the chocolate, sweets and any goodies I could find were all placed in a box under my bed and shoved right to the back corner.  Yes, I have created a monster under my bed, and sometimes it is hard to resist climbing over a load of shoes to the box of temptations. But I find that my will power is strong, and I’ve only delved in there when desperate measures called (like having a lack of running water for two days, or having to write a stressful essay).

I no longer demolish a packet of biscuits in one sitting and I have replaced my chocolate cereal with Special Kay Red Berries – which is very refreshing in the morning.

With every meal I make sure I drink a glass of water which is supposed to fill you up that little bit more, without any weight gain, meaning that you eat less and take in less calories. I also have a bag of dried fruits and a bowl of apples next to my laptop so when I get hungry I eat something healthy instead of devouring a salty bag of tortilla chips.

 I am not calorie counting or going on any diet as such, I’m just starting to cut out the rubbish and eat as healthy as I can with being on a student loan.

 The second step I’ve taken is to join the university gym

Eating healthy is all well and good, but I find myself still putting excess sugars into my body that I need to get on top of. So hopefully by joining the gym I will be able to get my body into shape for summer and burn off the belly.

I’ve started to get up at 9 every morning and leave my house for the gym at half past. My lectures have fallen well for me this semester as there are no early starts – the earliest lecture is 1pm. So hitting the gym at 9.30 is ace as it means the majority of people will be in their lecture or will be asleep, meaning I get pretty much free reign over the equipment.

I do half an hour on the treadmill, fifteen minutes on the cross trainer and fifteen minutes on the bicycles. However that’s just a rough guide, and sometimes I might do a whole hour on the treadmill, it just depends on how I’m feeling on the day.

I find that this is a great way to start the day. Not only do you feel happy with yourself as you’ve done an hour of vigorous exercise, but apparently running releases endorphins in your brain which puts you in a positive mood. It may not feel like it, but running puts you in a better mood.

I find that waking up early for the gym is beginning to sort my sleeping pattern out too. Because I’m now an early riser, I find myself getting tired in the evening and so falling asleep is less of a challenge. This is a huge help with trying to lose a bit of weight too as your body needs at least 8 hours sleep to help rejuvenate your body over night so it is refreshed and functions properly the next day.

The third and final step I have taken is investing in Green Tea.

I have done quite a bit of research into green tea and it seems to be one of the best things you can have if you’re trying to create a healthier life style for yourself.

Not only does green tea hydrate you, but it speeds up your metabolism meaning that when working out or even just going for a walk, you are burning off more calories than you would without it.

It also helps your digestive system helping you process food and cuts down water retention in your body so you get less of a bloated look in the evening.

I would really suggest you incorporate green tea into your routine, even if it is just one glass a day.

These are just a few changes that I have made to my lifestyle to hopefully lose a bit of weight and feel less sluggish. I will let you know how I get on and I hope this helps you if you’re also planning on being that little bit more healthy.

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Blog Update | Mondays and Fridays

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Things have been a little bit crazy lately. I have had a load of deadlines to meet, a few shopping trips here and there, a quick visit home and a winter cold to shake. I must admit, I have let my blog slip a little bit. But hopefully, after this weekend and after writing this essay, I will be back on my feet again and with a bit of luck, I’ll find some spare time to get back doing what I love, writing some posts and reviewing some products.

I thought I would get some structure to my blog, as at the moment I’m posting here there and everywhere but there is no kind of order. So to become organised from next week onwards (do forgive me from time to time) my plan is to post every Monday and every Friday which will give you some pleasurable reading to begin and end your week with.

The theme of my blog will always be beauty and fashion but do expect to see some lifestyle posts in here too, especially around Christmas and New Year! I think I made the right decision when I chose to move from Blogger to WordPress and thank you for staying with me during this transition. If you’re a new follower then hello! I hope you enjoy reading my posts and are finding them helpful.

If there’s a certain post you’d like to see or a certain topic you’d like me to write about, don’t hesitate to contact me or upload a comment below.

I look forward to these new arrangements and getting back blogging on a regular basis!

Until Monday x

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