Inform. Inspire. Innovate

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Blog related Christmas gifts 2014

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I've loved seeing everyone's 'what I got for Christmas' post so I thought I'd share some of the blog related pressies you'll probably be seeing featured here a lot in the future. 


If you regularly read my blog, hopefully you say my bedroom inspiration post as Luke and I were re-decorating our room (you can read it here). We're nearly done but I was still doing my make up on the floor in terrible light (and we all know how disastrous that can be), so Luke bought me a beautiful mirrored dressing table for Christmas! I'll try and take a better photo of it when I'm back from my parents house!


Benefit is a brand I've wanted to try for ages but never never have for whatever reason. Luke bought me all of these goodies which I'm so ridiculously excited to try! Reviews to come. 


Luke's parents always buy the most beautiful gifts and this Christmas was no exception. I can't wait to use all the Sanctuary Spa products in this 'box of delights' particularly the scrub and the radiance exfoliator. 



Until now, I've taken all my blog photos on my phone, and to be honest I don't put much effort into them at all but that's all about to change - I hope! I'm so in love with this camera already. I didn't want anything too fancy as I wouldn't have a clue how to use it but this one is a perfect size and the photos are beautiful. All the photos below are taken on it! 


I loved Make Up Revolution from the first try so obviously there was a pretty hefty wishlist given out to family members. These are all my goodies and I can't wait to try them all out!





I'm sure it's obvious from my previous posts how much I love baking so I was mega excited unwrapping all of these beauties! Look out for future posts using the recipes. 


Geeky baking/food product! A little contraption to make food look pretty. Now I just need to work out what would work best with it!


I do love a good tray bake so these are 5 disposable foil trays for all my baking pleasure.


This present definitely excited me the most. I eat rice 24/7 so I've wanted this rice steamer for aaages - sad, I know! 

Send me the links to all of your Christmas pressie posts if you haven't already. There'll be reviews on everything featured in this post soon although I don't actually know where to start! 

Hope everyone has a fabulous New Year!

Love Lauren xx

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

#nyLDNmeet

As most of you know, I'm at Events Manager 'by day' and events related rubbish literally take up the majority of my daily thoughts. I've been blogging for 7 months today (Happy Blog Birthday Blonde Vision) and I definitely haven't met enough of you lovely people so after seeing a couple of other bloggers organising meet ups and events I decided to rope in Tamsyn and Amy and get planning a big event to cure all of our January blues. 

The event will be hosted at the beautiful members only cocktail club, Bitter Sweet in Soho. 

Keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow and there'll be a little Christmas surprise! We hope to see you there beautiful people!

Love Lauren xx



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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Chocolate chip shortbread recipe

This is literally the easiest recipe ever for the most mouth watering shortbread. If I can do it, anyone can...

Ingredients

115g butter & extra for greasing
115g plain flour
55g cornflour
55g golden caster sugar
40g chocolate chips 


Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 160 Celsius
  • Grease a tin (9 inch loose bottom tin is recommended but clearly judging by the below photo, I didn't listen!) 
  • Sift the flour and cornflour into a large bowl
  • Stir in the sugar
  • Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture sticks together - that's the messy bit!
  • Add some chocolate chips into the mixture if you want them inside the shortbread too
  • Smooth mixture into tin and prick with a fork
  • Add some more chocolate chips over the top and push them in slightly (I used way more than 40g of chocolate chips!)
  • Bake for 35-40 mins until cooked but not browned. Okay I slightly overcooked mine!
  • Mark into portions, leave for 10 minutes to cool then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
So there we have it (even if mine is slightly overcooked), the best shortbread ever!




Let me know if you give it a go yourself!

Love Lauren xx
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Friday, 19 December 2014

Family photo booth fun this Christmas

The best part about Christmas is spending time with my family, particularly my grandparents as one set lives in Devon so I don't see them often. 

My Grandad has been ill this year and I was obviously heartbroken and sick with worry. I was looking back at holidays/Christmas'/birthday's to find photos of us and I realised I hardly had any at all. Sometimes we're just too busy having fun and enjoying the moment, we forget to take photos, but then regret it later on when you're trying to remember. 

I vowed this Christmas to take loads of photos of us all together (I say the same thing every year and never do), so this year I've decided to be pro-active and set up a photo booth in our house this Christmas. It's so easy to do and seeing as I was getting a camera for Christmas, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity. 

I ordered a photo booth set from Ebay which came with the props and the sticks separately so I've been slowly but surely taping them all together. I'll be setting up my new camera (when I've worked out how to use it!) on a tripod and I plan to find a space in my house with a plain background which may be hard with 8 people, a dog and a LOT of Christmas stuff going on. 

Hopefully this will encourage everyone to get together and take some hilarious photos on Christmas day that we can all keep forever. I'm sure I'll put a couple up on a future post! 

Obviously I got distracted while I was making the props... 

Love Lauren xx
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone..

* photo from Pintrest

This week, I've been inspired by three things; the Miss World 2014 competition, this week's #fbloggers chat and an article on the good old Daily Mail website. They all have one thing in common, charity. 

I love Miss World. I know a lot of people have issues with beauty pageants but I don't think they have a clue what they're actually about. A key part of Miss World is the 'beauty with a purpose' segment. Each Miss World contestant has to set up a charity project in their own country to make a long lasting contribution to society. Since Beauty with a Purpose was set up in 1972, it has raised hundreds of million of pounds. These women have a platform to speak and be heard, much like us bloggers, albeit on a bigger scale.  They use their voice to make a difference by raising awareness and raising money across the globe (they're not all beauty and no brains for those narrow-minded people out there!). You can read more about the wonderful Beauty with a Purpose here

This week's #fbloggers chat, hosted by the beautiful @BeckyBedbug took the usual chat topic away from materialistic issues and on to a much more important topic, charity. The chat made me ask myself why I wasn't using my blog to do more, help more etc. I do have some controversial posts planned for 2015 raising awareness of issues in our society but for me, that's still not enough; I can do more for others, and want to do more. 

Finally, scanning through the daily mail, I came across an article about about Luke Cameron, a fellow blogger who does a good deed every single day in memory of a close friend. The gestures are range from paying for someone's petrol, helping out a neighbour or baking cakes for friends and family. Luke has received some negative comments online about his good deeds, and don't even get me started on how much that disgusts me but we all know how cruel the internet can be! Luke's story made me think about how easy it is to just do something nice for other people, and also how rewarding it must be to know you've made someone happy and made a difference. You can follow Luke's good doing on his blog, here



* photo from Pintrest

We can all make a difference, even with small gestures. So, with all this inspiration to raise awareness of charities and make a difference, I vow to:


Do nice things for others 'just because'
Take every opportunity to make someone's day
Grow some balls and post the controversial charity awareness posts that have been in my drafts for months
Organise charity events in 2015 and encourage charity participation

I already have a list of events I want to organise or activities I would love us all to take part in in 2015 so keep an eye on this space so I can gather up you beautiful people, and together we can make a difference. 

We have a platform to speak and be listened to, use it!



Love Lauren xx


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Friday, 12 December 2014

My Breast Augmentation Journey #2; The Surgery and Recovery

As I'm sure you're all aware, I recently had a breast augmentation. The first BA post I did about my decision, the process and all the technicalities of the surgery was so well received by all of you lovely people so thank you for that. If you haven't already, you can read it here.

Going through a surgery like this is such a big decision and I know for a lot of people, the actual surgery and recovery is something that puts them off. This post is completely and utterly honest on my personal experience so it's not necessarily the same for everyone but will give you some idea. 

Here's your pre-warning that reading on will be full of TMI and parts of it probably a bit gross so if that's an issue, you know where the back button is! I honestly feel it's important for the people reading this post because they're interested in or looking to go through the procedure to know exactly what they're in for, TMI or not! 

The surgery

My admission time was 8.00am which I was really happy about as I would have hated waiting around all day. I wasn't allowed anything to eat 8 hours before admission or anything to drink 2 hours before admission so really I hadn't eaten or drunk anything since about 8.00pm the night before. 

When I arrived at the hospital I was taken up to the ward straight away and changed into my gown with a very sexy pair or knickers and a hat (there's a photo on twitter if you all want to laugh at me!). The nurse came in and asked me to do a pregnancy test - pretty hard since I went to the toilet before I left home and hadn't drunk anything since the night before! 

I had all my obs taken and she said my heart rate was extremely high (well duhh!) so I tried to lay down and relax. The anaesthetist came down to see me about 9.00am dressed like a million dollars - think I'm in the wrong job! He explained how everything would work and said he planned for me to wake up as the surgeon was putting in the last stitch and then went through all the side effects I might have like sickness. This obviously scared the crap out of me so I tried to put it to the back of my mind. I then signed forms to say I understand there's a tiny chance I won't wake up from the anaesthetic, all that scary stuff.  

My surgeon came down to see me about 9.30am to mark me up. He drew exactly where my implants would be placed, partially under the muscle, and where his incision cuts were going to be then I was all done!

I expected to be going down to theatre about half 10 but I didn't go down until 1.00pm so obviously by this time I was a nervous wreck, starving and had a headache coming on from stress and not having had a drink for so long. Watching Luke have a nice cold drink in front of me was torture! I'd mentioned to the nurse I was scared of needles so she put a numbing gel on my hand which was a god send. 

I walked down to theatre and into the operating room but it's all a bit of a blur now to be honest! I was so scared of the IV, I don't even know why, just irrational! I remember them saying it won't hurt and I'll feel stupid for being so scared afterwards! They were right, I didn't feel a thing, and I felt stupid for being so scared! My heart rate was still mega high, they said they couldn't put me under in that state so gave me some gas. I just remember my body feeling really heavy and my face went all prickly and tingly... next thing I know I've woken up in the recovery room!

I remember waking up and chatting the nurses ear off about god knows what, I was shaking so badly but she said it was normal. As I was being wheeled back up to my room I was crying my eyes out! I guess it was a mixture of the anaesthetic, shock, relief - a bit of everything really. Luke looked really scared when I got back in the room and he left to be sick bless him! 

I was in a bit of a state for about half an hour either shaking, crying or asking Luke why on earth I put myself through it but after a while I was absolutely fine again. I wasn't in any pain, just a bit of discomfort, particularly where I had drains inserted. 

The nurses got me a drink and some toast, as soon as I could show them I could eat and drink without being sick and go to the toilet on my own, I could request for my drains to be taken out and go home. I was absolutely paranoid about being sick straight after my chest muscles has been sliced in two so took everything really slowly. The first time I got up to go to the toilet I got so faint and queasy I had to sit back down. The shock of how heavy my implants felt didn't help!

I was dreading having my drains taken out, the whole thing is just so gross. First of all she had to pull back the strapping which was like having a wax, not a great feeling after surgery. One hand on my shoulder keeping me straight she pulled them out quickly although it felt like it took ages. That was honestly the worst bit of the whole experience because I felt everything. Once they were out and I was all patched up again I was good to go home. 

We ended up leaving about 4 hours after I woke up from surgery so not bad at all considering. Luckily we don't live too far way but if you live quite far from your hospital they make you stay overnight so keep that in mind when choosing a clinic!

Also should say that my surgeon uses drains and then tapes up the whole area for a week after surgery. As far as I'm aware, he's the only surgeon that actually does that - most people just have dressing over their incisions!

Recovery - week one

I was really nervous about recovery having listened to some horror stories from other girls saying they were in so much pain they were passing out going to the toilet. I'm the biggest baby in the world and I can honestly say I was so shocked at how pain-free I was. There was discomfort of course, and it felt like an elephant was constantly sitting on my chest but I wouldn't call it pain. 

Generally, if you have implants placed over the muscle the recovering is usually a lot easier and quicker than if you have unders because with unders your muscle is actually cut. 

The first few days I couldn't really do anything for myself, I couldn't lift a glass, I struggled even pulling my knickers down to go to the toilet - I think Luke and I's relationship was taken to a new level of gross! The first couple of days I just stayed in bed occupied by you guys on twitter or Netflix, no sure what I would have done without those two!

Everyday there was a noticeable difference in how I was feeling and what I could do for myself. By day 3 I stopped taking painkillers as I didn't see the point in loading my body with ultra strong drugs when they weren't making any difference and by day 4 I was able to do most things just a bit slower than usual. I still wasn't allowed a shower and I looked like utter crap so was trying to wash with baby wipes as much as I could! 

On day 5 I started to get pain on my right side which I felt was coming from where my drains were pulled out but because of my strapping I couldn't see anything so decided to wait until I went back to the nurse on day 7 to have my strapping removed.  

I noticed in the first week the swelling had definitely gone down, I was so itchy, I couldn't wait to get the strapping off! I was a bit of an emotional wreck the first week, crying at the drop of a hat but Luke was amazing the whole time. The photo below was taken just before we left for the hospital.



The unveiling of my new additions

I was definitely more nervous going to the hospital to get the strapping off than I was for the actual surgery - so stupid! The consultation was really quick, I had the taped ripped off, yes ripped - imagine a wax on your already sensitive post op nipples, ouch!  

When it was off I came over to queasy and was so scared to even look at them, I just wanted to wait until I got home to look at them in my own time - weird I know. I just looked down for the first time and didn't see my own body. Obviously I was expecting to see big new boobs but it still messes with your head nevertheless!

Once I got home I had a good look and got massively freaked out by some marks all over them, I cried for pretty much the whole day thinking they were stretch marks - it looked like I'd been clawed by a cat! But after lots of research, asking the other girls on the forum, and sending photos to my nurse, it was just cuts from where the strapping had been ripped off so panic over - they're going to disappear, I hope. 

Recovery - week two

So now I'm almost at the two week mark, I would definitely say for me personally, this week has been the hardest. The first week I was strapped up and was told loads of bed rest, don't really do much blah blah blah which was fine, I was in minimal pain so I just chilled out and watched TV! 

This week I needed to start getting back to normal life which is harder, and scary. I keep treating my new boobs like glass and I really shouldn't. When they were strapped up I couldn't see anything, didn't know what was going on down there and couldn't do much about it. Now it's like I've been given full custody of them and without the safety blanket of the strapping it's been tough getting used to. Made worse by the cold/cough/headache/sore throat passed on from Luke that I woke up with Monday morning - try coughing when your chest muscles have just been split in two. 

So now obviously I panic when I get a random pain, which I know is totally normal but I panic anyway, I'm a panic-maniac. I'm doing everything for myself again except lifting anything heavy or reaching up high, it just takes me longer. I'm not getting any pain whatsoever in my left side by a fair bit in my right particularly under my arm and in my incision. 

When a BA is first done, the implants sit really high up in the chest, they then (in their own time) drop down into the pockets the surgeon has created and 'fluff up' going from big stuck on rocks to natural soft boobs. My left side (the one that doesn't hurt) has started to drop already and I'm loving the shape but the silly right side is still sitting high being annoying but it'll get there! It's a long process but we'll get there in the end. 

Reflection

Writing this post has definitely made me think about how much harder mentally than physically this process has been. The majority of my friends and family didn't agree with my decision for surgery and didn't hesitate in being fully honest in their opinions which obviously hurt; especially not having had support from people close to me. The massive change in my physical appearance has been hard to get used to even though obviously I knew it was coming. As it takes between 3 and 6 months for new boobs to properly settle, they aren't the prettiest looking when they're first done so it takes a lot of getting used to and I wouldn't say I'm completely there yet!

So we're almost at 2 weeks post op and I love my little monsters more and more every day, particularly as I'm pretty much back to normal day to day (except lifting my arms high).

I hope this post has helped those of you either considering surgery or already in the process. Just don't underestimate the mental and physical effects of the surgery. I plan to do another update just before Christmas as I'm reaching the one month mark with updates and a discussion of surgery complications as I know this is something many people worry about. 

I've been asked quite a lot for photos, while I didn't feel it was right to put a full frontal on here (even I think that's crossing the line!!), please contact me if you'd like to know more/see their progress and I'll be more than happy to share - privately! As always, please contact me if you want to know anything else.

Love Lauren xx 






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Friday, 28 November 2014

The Fitness YouTube Channel You Need In Your Life


Pop Sugar Fitness is my go-to YouTube channel for brilliant workouts. I used it nearly every day before I got my gym membership, and still use it now to mix up my workouts. 

The videos are easy to follow, not too repetitive and use minimal equipment which makes the so great to try out at home. There are constantly new videos added meaning the variety is insane and the best thing is that they're all relevant, different and exciting. Personally, you couldn't ask for more from a YouTube workout. 


There's so many to chose from but here's a couple of my favourites:



10-Minute Leggings Workout: Inner and Outer Thighs



Let me know how you get on!

Love Lauren xx
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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Book Review: Lesley Pearse; Belle and The Promise


Belle

London 1910
Fifteen year-old Belle has lived in a brothel in Seven Dials all her life, with no understanding of what happens in the rooms upstairs. But her innocence is shattered when she witnesses the murder of one of the girls and, subsequently snatched from the streets by the killer, she is sold into prostitution in Paris.
No longer mistress of her own fate, Belle is blown across the globe to sensuous New Orleans where she comes of age and learns to enjoy life as a courtesan. Yet thoughts of home - and the knowledge her status as golden girl cannot last - compel her to break out of her gilded cage.

But Belle finds escaping tougher than she imagined, for her life is threatened by desperate men who crave her beauty and attention. Armed only with resourcefulness and spirit, she has a long and dangerous journey ahead of her.
Will courage be enough to sustain her? Can she make it back to her family and friends and find her chance at true happiness?

Number One bestseller Lesley Pearse has created in Belle a heroine for our times: a strong woman who stands up for right in a world turned bad.



The Promise

London 1914
Belle Reilly finally has the life she's dreamed of thanks to a devoted husband in Jimmy and the hat shop she's wanted to own since she was a child. But as the storm clouds of World War One begin to gather, Belle's already turbulent life is to change in ways she never imagined possible.

When Jimmy enlists in the army and leaves for the battlefields of Ypres, her world is shattered and she realises she can no longer stand by and watch, she must volunteer to help the wounded. But her work as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France throws her into the path of Etienne, the enigmatic man who played a significant role in her childhood, and Belle finds herself torn agonisingly between forbidden passion and loyalty to a good man.

But the past returns to haunt her present in other - more unpleasant - ways and Belle's character is put to the test like never before. Can she survive this most brutal of wars with her spirit intact? And will destiny finally lead her to lasting happiness even while war rages all around?



I borrowed these books from a colleague while I went on holiday. She has read most of the Lesley Pearse books and absolutely loves them so I was excited to get reading, especially after having a quick scan of the synopsis. They are part of a trilogy, but I haven’t actually read the last one. You could read them out of order but to get the full effect of Belle’s harrowing story I’d suggest reading them in the right order!

I have to say, I absolutely loved both books. They both kept me absolutely gripped from start to finish with so many twists and turns along the way. I have completely and utterly fallen in love with the character of Belle; Lesley Pearse makes her so real and easy to identify with.

Many of Pearse’s books centre around a particular era with Belle set in 1910 and The Promise set in WWI. One of the things I love about these books is the depth and the realism of the descriptions. Her research into the era is incredible, making it easy to imagine every scene vividly in your mind.

There are parts of both books, particularly the first one that made for hard reading at times, they are thought provoking, powerful, intense and passionate – both are a complete rollercoaster of emotion, and I’m not ashamed to say I cried!

I’d definitely recommend them and have just bought more of Lesley’s books to keep me occupied after surgery! I can’t wait to read them - let me know if you have any recommendations!

Go read!!

Love Lauren xx
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Graduation Day

If you follow me on any of my social media, I'll have bombarded your timelines with photos of my graduation a couple of weeks ago - sorry!!

I decided when I was 14 I wanted to go to Bournemouth University to study Events Management. Whilst everyone told me to have a 'back up plan' and said I was too young to decide and that I'd change my mind, I took all my GCSEs and A-levels around the subject to ensure I'd end up following my dream. There were a couple of bumps in the road, but the day I found out I had a place at Bournemouth was honestly the best day of my life, and man I cried!  

Throughout the last four years, it hasn't been easy, there were times I wanted to give up, I wondered why I bothered when I didn't need a career for my industry, but I'm beyond glad I worked hard and never gave up. I was also so lucky to have the most amazing year out in industry which fuelled my love for the industry.

Uni allowed me to become the person I've always wanted to be. I met the most amazing friends, and had more fun than I could have ever imagine having. I could keep myself entertained for hours thinking about all the fun we had. Since leaving, I definitely suffered a massive case of uni blues, I missed living with my friends and really missed education - it's all I've known my whole life. 

So because of all of this, Graduation was a big day for me, it was a time to be thankful for the people around me that had got me through the last four years, to be proud of myself for getting a degree and to begin my dreams for the career I've worked so hard for. 


For anyone thinking of going to uni, DO IT!

For anything currently at uni, don't give up!
For all my fellow graduates, congratulations for achieving something amazing!












Dress: Boohoo
Shoes: New Look

Love Lauren xx

P.S thank you Mr Sunshine for shining bright, giving us the most amazing weather considering it was November!!

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Boots Haul #2

Us bloggers love a good Boots haul, there's no denying it. I've definitely spent way more in Boots since I started blogging, and while my bank account definitely dislikes it, I love finding new products to try and share with you all - good and bad!

This is the contents of my latest haul (and a sneak peak of our new wallpaper!)


Back row (L-R):

Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo
Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo
Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Shampoo
Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Conditioner
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo

Front row (L-R): 

Boots Nail Varnish Remover Pads
Bourjois Bronzer and Highlighter Duo
Evoke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum N53
Bourjois Volume Clubbing Ultra Back Mascara


First Impressions

Batiste Dry Shampoo - I get through the Batiste dry shampoo like there's no tomorrow. My hair literally gets greasy the second it's washed so I have to keep my supply constantly topped up. If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I constantly complain of my dull, flat hair so when I saw the XXL Volume dry shampoo I thought all my Christmas' had come at once. I've used it a couple of times and I have to say I'm not impressed. It makes my hair a horrible texture, really heavy and so knotty. It's fine for one night out but if you're expecting to use it and then not wash your hair the next day, you can forget it!

Herbal Essences Clearly NakedWhilst on a search to reduce my insanely greasy hair, I saw an advert for the clearly naked shampoo. My theory was that maybe all the chemicals in my shampoo was what was making it greasy and dull so I decided to give this one a go! First impressions are good - it smells really good and my hair definitely looks less dull and flat after using it. The conditioner makes my hair feel so silky too which I love! 

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo - Having naturally blonde hair, I rely on multiple holidays to keep my hair looking bright and blonde. Now I've entered the 'real world' 4 holiday a year are just not happening any more (boo! I want to go back to uni!) so before I bite the bullet and start highlighting my hair, I'll try everything I can get my hands on for a little boost of blonde. There's no doubt about it, from first impressions, this shampoo has definitely made my hair brighter - at least for the first day after washing but I know it's not a long term fix :( anyone got a holiday brochure?!

Boots Nail Varnish Remover Pads - I swear I buy these 24/7, they just disappear. Handy size to keep in my bag which I love and they do the job. No complaints!

Bourjois Bronzer and Highlighter Duo - I was tempted by the 3 for 2 offer of Bourjois products in Boots (obviously I can never resist an offer) and decided to give this a go after reading a review on Jenny's blog (see it here). In my eyes, Bourjois can do no wrong, I just love their products. This duo is great on the go as it's perfect handbag size. If I'm being completely honest, the bronzer isn't pigmented enough for me most of the time (I just can't find anything as good as my beloved Make Up Revolution Baked bronzer) but it's perfect for a subtle daytime finish.

Evoke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo - As already mentioned above, I'm a sucker for any 'blonde' product. First impressions on this are great, it definitely works at bringing out the colour. I have however heard it's really bad for your hair but seeing as I don't dye it and rarely straighten it, I'm allowing this treat twice a week!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum N53 - This was a repurchase as I already have the N55 colour. I finally had to face the fact that I no longer have a tan and cannot continue with the orange face, white neck disaster. Heartbreaking, but Mr N55 has been put away for the foreseeable future. Anyway, obviously this is a foundation a love, hence the repurchase and this shade is no different. It's a perfect colour and sits so well on my skin. I literally have nothing bad to say about it!

Bourjois Volume Clubbing Ultra Back Mascara - This was another Bourjois repurchase and one of my favourite mascaras ever. I love big, bold, thick lashes and this product does all three - I would definitely recommend it!


Love Lauren xx
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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Breast Augmentation Journey #1

My blog was never really meant to be a personal thing. I started it to share products and ideas that I love, with the hope that you guys would love them too. Ever since I announced on twitter that I was having a breast augmentation, I've been inundated with messages from people that are in the process or are thinking about it wanting more details, information, reassurance etc. so I really felt someone needed to put all the information out there - without bias from particular clinics and their methods. 

Whilst this has been a really hard post to write seeing as my family and friends (mostly) are completely against it, I honestly feel it's an important topic to cover because let's be honest, surgery is a big thing.

Everyone looks into surgery (of all types) for many reasons; in my opinion, no one's reason is right or wrong and no one else has the place to make a judgement on it. Making the right choice however, is down to research and facts, in order to make an informed choice. 

So, first things first, I'm not going to apologise for tackling such a controversial topic, the aim of this post is to explain, inform and discuss - the truth, not the myths you've heard about the surgery. I'm not claiming to be an expert in any way, but all of the information in this post has helped me to make my decision, which is why I wanted to share it. I've tried to make this post as visual as possible so it's easier to understand all the technical bits!

Leave any judgements and preconceptions behind, and let's talk boobs - because it's OKAY to talk about it!
---

The Process

This type of post is quite hard to write because my process with my particular cosmetic clinic, will be different from other clinics so don't expect what I say to be the same every where with every surgeon! This is just my process. 

Choosing a clinic and a surgeon

Once you've decided surgery is something you want to look into, the first step in the process is research, research, research. I've personally been subconsciously been researching for years mainly via instagram and there was always one clinic that came up more often than others with what looked like great results and happy patients. After quite a bit of internet research, my mind was made up and I had a surgeon in mind. 

For me personally the most important factors when choosing a clinic and surgeon are the end results (research lots of photos) and also the after care offered by the clinic. For some people, cost is an important factor, but like I said it's a personal choice and for me, cost didn't come into it.

For those looking to have their surgery internationally, I'd strongly advise against it, not because the surgeons aren't good - that's not for me to comment, but because of the amount of pre and post of op appointments you have and also just in case you have any problems, it's really important to have your surgeon near. 

Registering interest and making your first appointment

I filled in a quick form online to register my interest in a breast augmentation and was phoned the next day by the clinic to set up an appointment with a Patient Co-ordinator (PC) to discuss the operation. 

The first consultation with my PC was free and we discussed benefits/risks/costs all the usual stuff. There wasn't really a hard sell and I wasn't forced to put money down there and then so I went home and thought more about both my options and a financial implications of the operation. 

The big decision

The next step in the process is to sign up and put the money down for the surgery. I decided to pay for the operation on finance as I wanted it soon and didn't have the money right then. I put down £500.00 and the rest I would pay starting from one month after my op. Once I'd agreed to the terms and conditions I could make my final appointments and book the surgery date.

Surgeon's consultation

Based on what I wanted, my PC recommended me a surgeon, I already had one in mind but I wanted her opinion first and she actually gave me the one I wanted based on my research. I arrived to my appointment and was told they were running late (which ended up being 3 and a half hours!), I was in a bad mood, tired and hungry but at least I got to meet my surgeon. 

We discussed the size, placement, profile and texture of my implant and I got to try them all on which was fun! I'll discuss all of these technical things later as it's really really important to have an idea of what you may want or at least the differences before you go to your appointment! 

After seeing the surgeon you have 7 days 'cooling off' period which means you can change your mind on the surgery and still get your money back which was also really important to me when choosing a clinic. 

Nurse's consultation

The final appointment is with the nurse to have a couple of tests and go through medical history. This was also the time I could ask all my questions about recovery, what I would need, how long I can't do certain things for etc. 

So that's where I'm at now. My surgery is in less than 3 weeks so now all I need to do is buy all my supplies ready for recovery and get excited about the big day!
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The Technical Bits


Based on my experience so far, it's really important to have a good knowledge of the surgery before you even start making appointments. Even in the surgeon's appointment when he/she suggests you should have something particular, you need to understand what that means and why they are choosing one option over another. 

Implant filling and Shape

The first decision to make is regarding the shape and filling of the implant. Shapes come in round and tear drop, with the round implants being the most popular option. 

The two options for implant filling are saline and silicone. Both options have a silicone outter shell but the difference is in the filling. Saline implants are inserted empty and then filled with a sterile salt water once they're in place while Silicone implants are pre-filled with a silicone gel, which feels similar to human fat. Even though both options have their pros and cons, silicone is generally the most popular option. 

My clinic only offers round shaped silicone implants so if you have a preference of one over the other, find out first what your clinic offers! The infographic below shows more about the pros and cons of each option. 




Texture


Implants come in smooth or textured on the outside shell. I would always recommend asking for textured implants and they have less chance of moving about - particularly with the tear drop implants as they're known to flip... I know, gross!

Brand

Ever since the PIP implant scandal, everyone has become more concious of the brand of implants they're using. I am having silicone Mentor implants which have a lifetime guarantee for ruptures. This means I won't have to have them replaced (unless I choose too after kids, weight gain/loss etc.) and if they do rupture, they the implant will be replaced for free which was really important to me. 

Incision

There are a couple of options of incision placement for a breast augmentation with a crease incision being the most popular. The decision will be made by your surgeon based on your requirements and his personal incision preference. The infographic below shows the four options. 




Size

Deciding on a size has definitely been the hardest part, and two weeks before my op and I'm still not sure! It's not as easy as going to your surgeon and saying I want a 34DD implant - it doesn't work like that and the same implant can look completely different on everyone. Sizes of implants are measured in 'CCs'. I was told that approx 150-200cc equals one cup size but I'm not sure how accurate that is! I chose my size by bringing in photos of what I wanted and the surgeon recommended 400 in my left an 425 in my right (to even them out!). I'm trusting my surgeons opinion on the size,he said it's probably the biggest I can go without risking rippling and stretch marks so I definitely wasn't going any bigger. I got sent the table below by one of the girls I met on a forum to help me choose a size; again, I can't say how accurate it is but based on my size now and what my surgeon suggested, it seems spot on! Top line is the size you want to be and the ones down the left hand side is your current size. 




B Cup
C Cup
D cup
DD Cup
Larger sizes
32AA
200-300cc
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
32A
200-300cc
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
32B

200-300cc
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc






34AA
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
34A
200-300c
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
34B

225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc






36AA
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
450-550cc
36A
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
36B

250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc






38AA
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
475-600cc
38A
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
450-550cc
38B

275-300cc
325-425cc
375-475c
425-550cc

I've seen a lot about a rice test to test implant sizes, I haven't tried it myself but everyone I know that has tried it says it's really accurate. If you want to know what 350cc would be like for example, measure out 350g in rice, put it into tights (or similar), tie up and mould into an implant shape and this should be about the same size as a 350cc implant - clever ay! 

Profile

There are four profiles available for implants; (L-R) moderate, moderate plus, high profile and ultra high profile. The moderate implants have the largest width and the least amount projection whereas the ultra high profile has the smallest width and most amount of projection. The profile chosen will depend on the size of your chest (I'm too tiny to have wide implants so mod and mod+ were out!) and the projection you want from your implants. 





Placement

The last decision to be made is on the placement of your implant. If you have little breast tissue, it's likely your surgeon will recommend you go under the muscle to hide the implant and make it look more natural. However, if you already have a decent amount of breast tissue (enough that your surgeon thinks it will cover the implant), they are likely to suggest you go over. In the middle of these two options is 'partials' or 'dual plane' which means the top layer of muscle is over the implant. The diagram below shows all three options. 



There are pros and cons to all options, although overs (and partials) seem to have more cons in my eyes for example more chance of 'bottoming out' and capsular contracture (your body rejecting the implant). This method is also more common for women wanting the 'fake look'. My surgeon did suggest I have overs but based on the research I'd done and the 'after' photos of many women with overs, I asked for partials. This was simply because I want a natural look on the top of the implant. The photo below shows how partials work, and it was a personal choice - not for everyone! I would have gone for unders as there's less chance on complications but I had too much breast tissue, there's a chance of double bubbling where you can see the tissue and implant separately and I didn't want that!



So there's  breast augmentation 101! I really hope for the people that have messaged me with questions, concerns and wanting more information about the technical bits of the procedure, it has helped you. I can't stress how important it is to be well informed when starting such a big journey so hopefully you lots of new information! 

If there's anything you want to ask about any part of my BA and don't want to do it publicly, please email me or tweet me and I'll be more than happy to help. I'll be doing another post probably a week or two after the op to discuss the operation itself and recovery - and probably tweeting the whole way through!

I also need to say a massive thank you to the community for being so supportive through my journey. It has been really tough with friends an family no agreeing and feeling like I didn't have anyone to talk to about it and everyone has been so amazing <3 

Love Lauren xx

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