Is an electric toothbrush worth the money?

Oh my… how have I only just started using an electric brush?!

My teeth not only look good, they feel fantastic! I used to think electric toothbrushes were just a way of getting us all to waste away our money but honestly, it’s a teeth investment. The adverts are right- they feel like they’ve been cleaned by the dentist.

Most recently I’ve bought the Oral B electric toothbrush with the CrossAction head. (If you are reading this when this post was made and love a bargain, you NEED to get yourself straight onto Amazon, or if you can’t wait Tesco and Superdrugs are doing it half-price too!) I don’t think I would have bought one full price as I didn’t understand the hype of them at first. So if you are feeling like what I was, definitely get them whilst they are a lot cheaper than usual.

So why is it so good?  The CrossAction brush is so so so GOOD if you have small gaps or triangles in between your teeth because let’s be honest a manual toothbrush can’t get in there. The brush almost acts as an electric floss and brush all in one. It also buffs your teeth giving it a little sparkle to your smile. Another thing which I love about it is the small round head. I feel it catches every angle of each tooth and it reaches the back of my mouth a lot more comfortably.

So yeah- that is why I love an electric toothbrush, I’m sure there are more reasons why to love it on their marketing, but those are my reasons! I don’t think I will ever go back to a manual toothbrush again. I honestly look forward to brushing my teeth in the morning and before going to bed now, I’m not even joking!

Let me know whether an electric toothbrush as changed the game for you in the comments below!#

Mental Health and Stress

Stress… the signs, symptoms and causes

Stress, can effect you in a million different ways. It can affect your mind, physical body and how you behave. This can impact on you, your life as well as anyone and everyone who maybe around you.

Stress can damage your body (your physical health). It can even age you! There is quite a bit of evidence and research that shows this to be true.

Here are some of the problems that maybe caused or made worse by stress:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pain of any kind (headaches, back pain, joint pain, abdominal pain and some chronic pains)
  • Sleep problems
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Digestive problem
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Heart disease
  • Weight problems
  • Reproductive issues
  • Thinking and memory problems
  • Emotional volatility (such as getting angry easily, frustrated, upset etc)

Signs and symptoms

Mind, Behaviour and Emotions

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits
  • Other behavioural, mental or emotional health problems

Body:

    • Headaches and other aches and pains
    • Diarrhea or constipation
    • Nausea, dizziness
    • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
    • Frequent colds or flu
    • Prone to skin allergies
    • Fatigue (often due to not resting or sleeping well)

Some Causes

Stress maybe caused for lots different reasons, often it is something negative that has impacted our lives internally or externally… but stress can also be brought on because of something positive going on in our lives. For example, starting university, a new job, moving to a new home, getting a pet, new relationship, holiday or even getting married. Everyone is different what one person finds amazing may be stressful for someone else.

Some external causes of stress:

  • Work, College, University and School
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Change in homelife
  • Relationships
  • Finance
  • Being busy
  • Social events
  • Holidays
  • Major life changes
  • Exams, Deadlines and timeframes
  • Various types of commitments

Some internal causes of stress include:

  • Pessimism
  • Inability to accept uncertainty
  • Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Low self-worth
  • Excessive People Pleasing (the need to please others to the detriment of own health and well being)
  • Unable to say no
  • All-or-nothing attitude
  • Unable to empathise or see other points of view
  • Poor Emotional controlIf you feel you may live a stressful life.

There are steps you can take to help relieve the pressure of stress, by managing the stress and regaining some control in you life.

 

 

TRY THIS…

Here are a few things you can do:

Meditation and mindfulness can help calm the mind and reduce stress.  Checkout our meditation Post

 

Make time for you by committing to ’Self-Care’.  This means scheduling quality time for you without feeling guilty and genuinely taking a break from life. Checkout some of our self-care ideas, on our webpage, instagram or join us at facebook 

 

Manage stress by Keeping a ’Stress Journal’ to find out what your stress triggers are and do something to resolve them

  1. What caused the stress?
  2. How did you feel at the time (physically and emotionally)?
  3. How did you behave?
  4. What made you feel better?
  5. Resolution – Which of these could you do to stop it from happening next time…Avoid, Adapt, Accept (choose one and try it… put in your journal what happens)

 

Get moving!

The minute your stressed do something physical (dance, workout, exercise, play a game, clim some stairs, go for a walk… just do something). You may not feel like it at the time but the minute you do you will start feeling better, this will help release endorphins, try and aim to eventually achieve 30 minutes a day if you can, if not that’s okay some exercise is better than none.

 

You may also want to read our blog on Organise Your Stressand ‘Listening to music helps reduce stress’… don’t let stress stop you in your tracks 🙂

We will have some other stuff on stress later in the month… so keep visiting us here or sign up to our society, follow us on instagram and join us at facebook.

I hope you found the information helpful. If you have found it useful or have tried any of these strategies why not comment and let us know how it went. If you have tried other things that have worked for you please share.

 

Thanks COVID, I’ve now learned to do my own gel nails!

Before COVID, I was obsessed with getting my nails done. I literally got a fresh set of acrylics every month, though it made my life a little harder when it came to things like opening a can of pop, it was all worth the struggle for gorgeous nails!

When lockdown happened, I had to learn how to do my nails. I tried the classic nail polish and billion-hour wait to dry routine first and… that lasted a week or so. My nails were just chipping constantly, especially working in a high pressured supermarket job at the time. I found my self painting my nails every night to fix the chips, it was driving me crazy!

I thought to myself, well how about I get a gel nail kit. I was looking constantly for a kit, but many had rocketed in price or sold out- I’m guessing a lot of us had the same brain wave. But, by pure luck, I managed to get a hold of one that was reduced to clear because of damaged packaging in Tesco! *hallelujah* I suppose the saying: ‘good things come to those who wait’ was really on my side that day.

The nail kit I got was the Sensationail Gel Polish Starter Kit . This kit had everything and more, I was over the moon! There was a file, buffer, cuticle stick, cleanser, lint wipes, primer, and LED lamp included! Most of the kits I had been looking for online, only provided a colour polish and top & base coat, so I was really grateful to find this little gem in the supermarket. Though the lamp is smaller than what you would expect in the salon, it still provides the exact same quality. It also made me wonder why the salon gel machines are so big, the small one provided in the starter kit works just as well! The instructions to the kit are really clear for new beginners too. So if you are looking for a gel kit to start with, I highly recommend Sensationail!

After a while, I had got sick of wearing the same colour, especially since coral didn’t go with everything. So I thought I would invest in something more natural. This is where I discovered the easiest eveeeeeeeeeer french manicure gel set! It was also Sensationail too since I felt that they were reliable, but what was so fantastic about his kit was that you didn’t have to paint the white tip of the french manicure yourself. The kit provided white stickers that you could stick onto your nail and buffer to your preferred length. This was the best hack I had seen! Especially when it came to painting your nails with the less dominant hand (my left hand). After you had stuck them on and buffered it, you add a layer of topcoat, then cure it. *Ta-daaaah* the easiest, quickest, cheapest frenchie you will have ever had! Here’s the link for the french manicure kit, https://amzn.to/2D6p5ah, or if you just want the magical white strips https://amzn.to/3fqJsM8.

Truth be told since the salons have opened, I have gotten acrylics done since I love the extra length, but instead of getting colour at the salon, I now go home to paint them myself with my gel kit. It saves me at least £5 and I can pop on as many coats I like! I absolutely love it.

Let me know if how you got through your COVID nail journey in the comments below or if you do get this nail kit! I would love to hear.

 

Don’t go chasing waterfalls- let’s go walking waterfalls

Let me guess I got you singing TLC waterfalls in your head right now because it’s definitely in mine after reading the title.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about R&B, though you all know it is my favourite genre of music- just thought It’d be rude not to give it a cheeky reference! (Head over to my music tab if you wanna talk all about those sweet rhythm and blues though).

What we are really here to talk about, is going on a walk to a waterfall! I say specifically waterfalls because I was watching Down to Earth on Netflix and Zac Efron (major eye candy and fantastic series) told a really interesting fact that got me researching. Zac said that ‘water in motion (waterfalls) produce negative ions, which is known to relieve stress, tension, fight depression and increase energy. In short, all these negative ions are creating very positive vibes.’ This is TRUE! These positive vibes increase our serotonin levels (the happy chemicals in our brain) which make us happier and invigorated. Aside from all these fancy scientific words, when we see something that we perceive as beautiful like nature and waterfalls, we tend to be generally happier due to the aesthetic qualities too. How great does a walk to a waterfall sound, right? We haven’t even discussed the physical benefits of taking a walk yet either!

In terms of the physical benefits of walking- you’ve probably heard them all before, it helps with blood circulation, strengthening your muscles, ease joint pain, lower blood pressure and weight loss. In fact, did you know you can burn from a range of 100-300 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your walking pace? A walk by the waterfall is what I would now I like to label as a WWW- a walking waterfall WINNER! (Yup, you heard this here first).

For me, besides all these amazing facts, just being physically present at a waterfall is so relaxing. I love just sitting by the side hearing the force of the water go by. The air feels so crisp and clean to breathe. I could literally sit by a waterfall for hours. Honestly, I think walking to a waterfall is possibly one of my favourite self care activities. It just ticks so many boxes all at once. Even if you’re a social person, you could easily gather your friends to go on a walk together to a waterfall. Or if you’re a foodie, make yourself a picnic and enjoy it by the pleasant surroundings. There’s a multiple of ways to tick a looooooot of self care boxes here!

If you’re looking for a great waterfall to go to, here is an amazing one that I just visited a few days ago in County Durham. This is a picture of Low Force Waterfall below I took myself. There is another bigger waterfall about a half an hour walk from it too called High Force, which has the most volume of water going through an unbroken drop in England. However, I actually ended on top of the waterfall instead at the bottom, so I couldn’t get a great photo.

Why I choose skipping over running or going for a walk

Who said skipping is just for children?

Skipping or jumping rope- whatever you choose to call it is the BEST mind declutterer.

skipping rope, jumping ropeThough going for a walk or run is still great, it’s so easy to think about things that happened yesterday or things that are going to happen in the future. Whereas skipping requires you to be present at all times so you can focus on jumping the rope at the same time. The moment you slip out the present you’re left with a sting from the slap of the rope. So if you’re feeling that you can’t focus clearly today or your mind keeps wandering, I definitely recommend go and grabbing a rope for ten minutes- you won’t regret it!

It’s so fantastic because you don’t need to go to a park or the gym or even leave your home. You can skip indoors or in your garden, it’s so convenient! Even skipping for ten minutes helps me to focus, so it’s very time efficient and very fun! Skipping has so many health benefits too. It’s amazing for those who want to lose weight, it tones the upper and lower body, it helps to improve heart rate and it great for practising coordination and balance. And with any fitness, it’s great for our mental health due to the endorphins released in our brain.

You can purchase skipping ropes almost everywhere for a couple of quid! Just make sure you get one that fits for you. To check if you have the right length put one foot on the skipping rope and see if it reaches your armpits. If it does then hurray you have the perfect skipping rope size for you!

If you haven’t skipped for a while don’t worry if you can’t skip for 30 seconds without a break. Give yourself some time practising and getting used to the rope and I promise you that it will come with time. You will absolutely love it and definitely see a change in your physical and mental health sooner than you know it.

 

The difference between bodyweight and body fat

Bodyweight and body fat are two totally different things!

With university finished for this academic year and COVID 19 is still restricting our movement, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get on the fitness bandwagon. I’ve spent my time researching and understanding fitness, in the hope to improve my overall fitness and to help you guys! Even if you’re not interested in losing body weight or body fat I’m a strong believer that fitness is amazing for self-care. This is because when we work-out we release lots of happy chemicals in our brain which helps with our overall mental wellbeing and physical health!

Now, let’s get to the point of this blog-

Many of us find ourselves saying ‘I need to lose weight’ at least once a year, whether that’s before a beach holiday or on new years day.  But is it weight you really want to lose, or is it fat?

From my understanding, losing bodyweight is more of a short term goal.  This is where you want to look slimmer overall and basically lose weight in general.  Using scales is often the preferred method when monitoring weight loss. In terms of food, this is where I would take a diet approach, which focuses on maintaining a calorie deficit (eating under your daily calorie intake). Just remember though, a diet is temporary and not a lifestyle change.  Losing weight for a long period of time is not healthy and thus should be used only in the short term. This is because when we’re dieting we tend to cut out the foods that we love to see results to our body and we’re not eating our standard calorie intake (2,000 for women and 2,500 for men).

If certain foods make you happy, I believe that you shouldn’t have to cut them out and that’s why I say diets are short term. Your happiness should be a priority.

Whereas losing fat, is focusing on retaining the lean muscle mass you have and just decreasing the percentage of fat in your body. This is what I would call a long term goal. When you lose body fat, you tend to see more definition of muscles and build a toned physique. The fitness process required for this is less restricted than the process to lose bodyweight but instead is more complex. Therefore, I will go over this in another blog.  However, losing body fat doesn’t necessarily mean the scales will go down. So try to avoid measuring yourself on the scale and instead take before and after pictures. But make sure you take these photos at the same time of day! For example, taking a before photo in the morning and then taking an after photo the week after on the night, will not give you an accurate representation of your body. This is because on the morning we’ve just woken up from not eating 8 hours so you will look slimmer. Whilst a photo on a night will be less slimming because of the food you have eaten on that day causing you to bloat. So top tip- try to take your progress pictures at the same hour of the day.

I hope this helps! It’s something that is commonly confused and definitely needs to be discussed more publicly. So next time you recall yourself saying I want to lose weight- ask yourself are you wanting a long term goal or a short term goal? Do you want to be toned or do you want to look slimmer overall?

 

How to make your bath go that extra mile

Baths are amazing, they’re like a little mini spa at the convenience of your own home. There are a lot of self care benefits about baths, not only do they relax us mentally and physically, but they also boost your mood and help you to sleep better.

Here are a few ways to maximise your bath needs and comforts.

  1. Bath Pillow
    This is definitely the number one game-changer. At first, I had purchased a plastic bath pillow from Amazon, which you attach to the part of your bath where your back would rest on with the suction cups. This was absolutely amazing. My baths had transformed into what I would consider as resting your head on the floor to resting on a luxurious feather down pillow created by angels. It was waterproof, so it dried quickly too! However, after about 9 months later, the bath pillow had burst and lost all its comfort, so I looked at purchasing a more durable pillow. This is where I adventured out to a soft fabric pillow. Just when I thought the plastic one was a game-changer, this was INCREDIBLE. Full comfort for my back, neck, and shoulders. It was so soft and so far it is still in good condition. Only thing is, this one takes just a little bit longer to dry than the plastic one, but definitely worth it for comfort.

  • Bath Bridge
    If you like to have a drink or a book or something to watch movies from in the bath, this is definitely something I recommend. The exact bath bridge I use is from Amazon. It is really sturdy and does not slip at all! It is also adjustable so you can fit it into your bath. Honestly, I don’t even know how I had a bath without this bridge, it literally has changed my whole bath experience. I usually like to take a glass of cold water with me in the bath, which fits perfectly in the cupholder. This sounds crazy, but the cupholder gives me more security knowing that it won’t fall onto my phone which is resting on the book holder part of the bridge.
  • Ipad/ Phone and Speakers
    I am absolutely one of the worst people for getting addicted to any TV shows and film sagas. So I always take my phone in the bath with me. I don’t have a tablet so I settle for a smaller screen and I’m definitely not daring enough to take my laptop. But do whatever floats your bath, whatever device you feel most comfortable taking in, just DO IT! One thing I don’t skimp out on though, are the speakers. The speakers I use are the KitSound Diggit they are amazing in terms of sound quality, they’re waterproof and they’re portable. With two of them together in the bath at both sides, they literally have the effect of surround sound.  It’s almost like being at the cinemas while soaking in the tub.
  • Candles
    I love candles for their smells and ambiance, however it came to the point that I was using that many candles that the smell from the bath soak and candles were too overpowering. So instead, I purchased these electronic candles. They’re perfect and do the job, the only thing I don’t love about them is that they are more of a white light than a yellow light. I was so used to using a warm flame that it took some time literally warming to the white electric flames. I think it’s really important to set the tone for your bath to how you like it because that can be the difference from having a wake-up bath to a relaxing bath. For example, I always bath in the evening when it’s darker and I don’t actually use the bathroom light, just candles. I just feel the bathroom light is far too powerful and not really relaxing.
  • Bath Contents
    Nowadays, there are so many things you can put in a bath; salts, oil, soaks, and rubber ducks. Personally I’m a big fan of bubble baths, so I love a good old bath soak. There are lots to try from, but Radox Stress Me, does me the job. The smell of eucalyptus and rosemary is absolutely amazing and so invigorating. A good trick to make a lot of bubbles from a small quantity of bath soak is to use the shower on the most powerful setting and hover it over the bath until your happy with the number of bubbles made.

    Thanks for reading one of my longer blogs! Please do let me know if you have any more tips to share or if any of these tips have changed your bath experience.

 

How going from black to blonde hair has changed my haircare routine

My natural hair is black, curly, and very frizzy. I gave it no TLC and I always straightened my hair.  Basically, hair health was never my concern then.

However, going blonde has changed EVERYTHING for me. I now check the labels of my shampoos and conditioners for the ingredients and I pay attention to how much heat I put on it. With being the youngest sibling I’ve learned a lot about going blonde. My sisters have both experienced hair snapping from going blonde. I’ve now been blonde for a year and I’ve not experienced any snapping (touch wood). So thank you sisters for being the guinea pigs.

Even if you don’t have colored hair these steps are still great to keep your hair happy (just miss out on the purple shampoo stage if you’re not blonde).

Let’s start at the top!

  1. Hair washing
    I’ve found that washing my hair weekly has made a huge difference to the health of my hair and I rarely get greasy hair or a dry scalp. It’s also great for styling curls and waves near the end of the week because the curls seem to stick better and last longer.
  2. Heat and Styling
    I think you know what I’m going to say- the less heat the better. If you really have to use any heat just remember to use heat protection sprays. I’ve trialed a lot at the moment- but to be honest with you there is not one that I absolutely love yet, so I will get back to you when I have found my holy grail.
    Buns, buns, buns- don’t you just love to get the hair away from your face and just shove it on top of your head? Well curly heads, this is a no go. For some reason, it makes my hair drier and frizzier. It is also not my favorite thing to brush out either- so definitely try to avoid styling your hair in a bun. I think the best way to keep your hair out of your face and kept tidy is by styling them in good old fashioned plats or a headband. I absolutely love this headband from Amazon (click on the link for more details). It’s comfortable, so soft, and doesn’t hurt my head. You could easily sleep with this headband on.
  3. Hair treatments and purple shampoo
    Okay- so I definitely have a holy grail hair treatment and that is Olaplex *queue the angelic chimes.* This has been an absolute game-changer. I know this because I had done a little experience: use a clean hairbrush to brush your hair before using Olaplex and see how much hair comes out. (You’ll find an unpleasant amount). Then follow the Olaplex routine and brush your hair once it has dried and… my days there is barely any hair on the brush! This is the only instant results you will see because the results for Olaplex happen over time, so be patient! I’m not sure what the magic formula is, that helps to repair my hair but the results are amazing, so I won’t be stopping! Only one downside… it is on the little pricey side and there are no dupes at the moment. It is still cheaper to buy your own bottle and do it yourself than booking an appointment at the salon though. If I do come across any cheaper alternatives, you have my word that you will be the first to know.I’ve tried two purple shampoos at the moment. I first tried the Provoke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo. It did do the job at erasing the brassiness in my hair, however, it made my hair feel dry and it made my hair more cool tone blonde. I bought this at first because I knew it worked and it came at a good price because turning blonde literally took my savings. If you are on a budget I do recommend it but accompany it with a hydrating conditioner or treatment. Now, I use the Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Shampoo. Though it is more on the pricey side it is more hydrating and helps to keep my hair a warm blonde shade.
  4. Hair ingredients
    It sounds like high maintenance having to read the labels of everything. But nowadays more and more products have on the front ‘no silicone, no parabens, and sulfates.’ These ingredients have been listed to have short term effects on your hair and basically do more damage in the long term. (Let me know if you want me to do a blog going into more detail about this- because I know it can be boring, but informative). I have stopped using these ingredients and it’s helped a lot with my hair growth and the smoothness of my hair, so definitely give it a go.  Here’s a top tip when you find yourself getting bored with reading ingredients- it is usually the first few ingredients to worry about because those ingredients have been used the most. They tend to be in a big font or in bold. I must mention though, if you’re happy with what you already use and you’ve been using it for a long time, I’d say to just continue to use them because you know what is best for you more than anyone else.

A little disclaimer– I’m no hair expert, this is just what I have learned throughout my hair journey. All hair is different, some things may work better for your hair than someone else’s, so don’t forget that!

As always, let me know if there are any other products or tips that have transformed the health of your hair in the comments below!

I hope this helps to keep your hair happy. 🙂