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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!
---



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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