Mental Health | Thrive Stress Free App

Good evening my lovelies!

I’ve recently been covering mental health on the blog, if you are a regular reader then you will know my thoughts on this topic and how important it is to continue to raise awareness and reduce the amount of stigma surrounding it.

Thrive gave me the opportunity to give their relatively new app Stress Free* a whirl, their Stress Free app released in 2016 set out to help prevent, detect and manage mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Their evidence-based app allows you to use a variety of techniques to cope and manage stress and anxiety.

With the current waiting process for seeking help for your mental health, anything that can help people with their struggles is a huge bonus, generally the only way to get access to receiving treatment is when your mental health is deteriorating and you warrant a referral by a GP or need to be hospitalised which should never be the case. Andres one of the founders of Thrive is a UK trained psychiatrist, his aim is to form an app to try and prevent mental illnesses from progressing.

Thrive is clinically focused using evidence based activities to try to treat and prevent common mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress and depression. The app is super easy to navigate around, to begin with your asked to answer a couple of questions of how you have been feeling over the past week, Thrive ask that you try not to think about the responses because it’s best to give your immediate answer.

Thrive have incorporated a mood meter into the app which asks you daily how you are feeling, the mood meter is a slidable scale from feeling low to feeling really happy which is what I like to see, because lets be realistic you are never one or another. I know that sometimes when i’m feeling rather rubbish I might not be right down to the red side of the scale but just into the orange, so I like how realistic it is.

Once you’ve used the mood meter it leads you onto the thought trainer, this is cognitive behavioural therapy based and helps you train those pesky negative thoughts to see the positive in them.

I’ve used the mood meter to generate the results below, so i’ve put my moods relatively happy, I’d say about mid way through green. I was recently interviewed for a Senior Mental Health Support Worker position and am yet to hear back from it, but I am feeling really positive and have had good feedback so far. I have always dreaded interviews as my brain goes to mush and heart ends up in my stomach but I managed to hold it together and I feel great.

After filling your mood meter the app asks you a couple of questions and allows you to pick from a variety of options based around your answers. Thrive then gives you suggestions of which activities to complete to help you build resilience, combat stress and eliminate negative thoughts.

Thrive’s various activities provide you with ways to help you cope with daily stresses and negative thoughts and include:

Breathing

Deep muscle Relaxation

Self hypnosis

 Meditation

By doing deep muscle relaxation it tenses and relaxes your muscles which in turn calms your mind. Meditation teaches you to not engage with your negative thoughts and allowing to them pass by. The self hypnosis section will try and train you to put yourself in a hypnotic state and the calm breathing helps you to relax your mind and body, just three minutes three times a day will have long term positive benefits.

The Stress Free App allows you to track your progress throughout using it which is really handy as you can see where you are progressing.

I really like the applications activities and I can see them being beneficial to someone that is struggling with their mental health but I think that charging such a high fee for people to have access to it is the wrong approach.

I believe that people with mental health issues could be put off paying out such a large amount of money to get help as i’ve found that when suffering from depression it is hard to realise that you are struggling especially to the point where you are willing to resolve it financially.

Download the app getting yourself a free trial using FSFJUNE310617

sig2

Marie Curie | The Blooming Great Tea Party Campaign

Everyone loves tea and cake right?! I know I definitely do, in fact it’s probably a little obsession of mine which doesn’t do too well for the waist line. So when the opportunity arose to raise awareness for the charity Marie Curie who are currently running their new campaign ‘The Blooming Great Tea Party’ obviously I said yes!

If you’ve never heard of the Marie Curie before then they care for people who are living with terminal illness and their families, the nurses and other professionals at Marie Curie offer expert care, guidance and support allowing them get the most from their time they have left.

As mentioned above the Marie Curie charity are currently raising funds with their current campaign ‘The Blooming Great Tea Party’, with your help by hosting your own tea party whether it be at home, work or in the community it can raise money to keep providing the outstanding care to those in need. When a tea party comes to mind straight away I think mini sandwiches, Victoria sponge and scones, so below is a recipe for a classic Victoria sponge to give you a helping hand for your own tea party.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 20.29.19

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 20.26.59.png

Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Ingredients

300g Self Rising Flour

300g Caster Sugar

300g Unsalted Butter (softened)

4 Large Eggs

Splash of milk

Icing Sugar For Dusting

Jam 

250ml Extra Double Cream

Method

  1. Preheat your oven on 190C/Gas mark 5.
  2. Place your softened butter and caster sugar into a bowl and beat until a pale creamy consistency.
  3. Gradually add eggs in one at a time, beating them.
  4. Fold in your flour and mix well.
  5. Divide the mix into three tins, or two if you wish. Place into your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Check that the mixture is fully cooked, you can do this by popping a knife into the centre, if no mixture is on the knife then it’s ready, if not pop it in for 5-10 more minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven and allow to fully cool before assembly.
  7. Spread your choice of jam over the cake and top with your whipped cream.
  8. Sandwich your cakes together, if you wish place fruit on top and dust with icing.

DSC_6618

DSC_6624

What are you waiting for? Eat your body weight in cake and raise some money for a good cause! You can grab your fund raising pack over at Marie Curie’s website. Good luck fund raising!

sig2

Kat Von D | Beauty Haul & Giveaway

Since watching LA & Miami Ink I have forever been obsessed with Kat Von D, who isn’t?! So when I saw that she was bringing her own beauty range out I was so excited BUT there as a down side, I would have to order from America which comes with customs fees so when Debenhams announced last year that they would have Kat Von D’s range online exclusive to them my dreams had come true.

With my birthday approaching next weekend my husband said that he would get me a couple of bits from Kat Von D *dances* I was over the moon. Scrolling through Debenhams website again for the millionth time after previously eyeing up what I wanted I grabbed the Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette £37, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick £17 and Lock It Foundation £27.

Being pale is always a problem when your looking for foundations on the high street as most of them for me are warmer tones so they have an orange tone to them, I tend to have to lighten them or look for high end makeup brands. With that in mind I picked up the Lock It Tattoo foundation in the shade 41 neutral, which is her lightest shade and looked like the colour would match my skin tone online.

I was so excited to try this out as i’ve heard great things about it especially after reading Caitlin’s post ‘The Base That Will Not Budge’ over at Through The Mirror, Kat claims that “Lock-It’ foundation is the only long-wear liquid formula we can count on to create a perfect canvas. With one pump it will even out discolouration, stop shine and hide blemishes, offering amazing coverage that’s so long-wear you can go a full 24 hours without re-applying.” sounds like the perfect foundation right?!

I blended the foundation onto my skin using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and honestly it’s practically a shade from white, the foundation is incredibly pale and far too pale for me which NEVER happens! I looked drained and ghostly. Once fully blended into my skin after 1 pump the coverage was about medium I would say, even though it claims to be full coverage, I could still see redness from spots so a second coat might be better. The foundation sank into my pours clogging them rather than covering over them and didn’t really live up to my expectations, which I was gutted about, I don’t think it was the right foundation for me. On a positive note though I do absolutely love her packaging, the plastic container is a nice touch making it handbag friendly!

DSC_6424

Another absolutely beautifully packaged item from the Kat Von D beauty range I picked up was the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Exorcism which is a beautiful deep purple. I absolutely adore my dark lipsticks, it’s pretty much all I wear now a days, so this was definitely a must into my basket. The lipstick glides across my lips with a doe foot applicator without any pulling, the formula is really creamy drying matte in seconds! What I love most about this liquid lipstick is that it is SUPER pigmented, only one swipe is needed across your lips for an intense colour which last all day long without highlighting any dry patches. I definitely need to get my hands on more shades, especially the shade Woolfe.

Head to the end of the post to enter the giveaway to win your own Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in your choice of shade!

Lastly I picked up the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette which i’ve been lusting over forever and possibly the main reason for the order. The palette is a hard cardboard base as opposed to the usual hard plastic containers eyeshadows are usually in, I was quite worried as I thought it would get ruined but the case is super sturdy and has a magnetic lid protecting those beautiful eyeshadows.  The palette consists of twelve matte shades which include neutral, warm and cool shades split into three quads consisting of base, contour, define and highlight shades.

Neutral Shades: Laetus, Samael, Solas and Lucious

Cool Shades: Lazarus, Saleos, Shax and Liberatus

Warm Shades: Ludwin, Succubus, Sytry and Latinus

The palette comes with a little leaflet on how you could transfer your eyes through the art of contouring which I find super handy because i’m absolutely useless when it comes to using eyeshadows, so it’s a great palette for beginners.

Each of the twelve shades allow you to create both day and night looks in one palette *dances* with each blending beautifully with their buttery formula and super pigmented powder giving you those dramatic eyes you’ve been lusting over. I would definitely recommend this palette to all you beauty addicts, it’s a must have in my eyes.

As a huge thank you for reaching 1k followers over on my Twitter I am hosting a giveaway that you can enter below to win your own Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick of choice! 

Terms & Conditions:

Entrants under 18 please seek permission from parents

Giveaway ends 25/05/2017 00:00, winner will be announced and have 48 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be picked. Item will be shipped once giveaway has ended & winner has picked shade.

ALL entries will be checked and verified, with any incomplete, false or duplicate entries being removed.

International giveaway

GIVEAWAY ENDED

What’s on your Kat Von D wish list?

sig2

Superdrug | Layering Lab Body Mist

As a blogger I see almost everything as an opportunity to review and with that comes spending money, I honestly sometimes think I need a spending ban *hides*, I am an absolute nightmare for spending but then again the way I see it is what is the point working if you can’t enjoy the money you earn.

Last week I had a mini shopping spree and raided Superdrug, I tend to swap between there and Boots for any personal care items. I was wandering around the aisles and spotted Superdrug’s new Layering Lab Body Mists (£2.99 each, currently 2 for £3.80),  there are six different scents available that you can buy which are Gormand, Cocoon, Oriental, Floral, Paradise and FreshI had a smell of each of the scents Gormand and Cocoon grabbed my attention the most out of the six.

DSC_6021

Gourmand “A splash of elegance highlighted by a fizzy accord of cassis and red berries melted with sweet roses revealed by an edible base made of vanilla beans layered with sugary notes and sensual musk.”

Cocoon “The scent reveals it pure whiteness with the powdery trail of rice accord and jasmine followed by the reassuring volutes of white flowers and white tea. As base note, wrapping sandalwood, vanilla and musk give the feeling of a soft veil of cashmere on skin.”

Paradise “The scent opens on a paradise beach where the gentle lapping of the waves hit the shore. This exotic freshness inspired by the tangerine leads to a warm and solar white flowers & green tea heart before diving on the divine trail of vanilla, amber and creamy sandalwood. A true I-am-on-vacation feeling.”

Floral “A romantic floral fragrance which opens on a fresh fruity facet composed of raspberries and blackberries blended with a bright bouquet of fresh peonies, rose petals and violet leaves, wrapped in a soft white musk undertone.”

Oriental “A sensual and addictive fragrance combining red fruits notes with a spicy floral accord based on orris, rose and sensual warm spices. This combination is enriched by an oriental and seductive base which mingles warm patchouli, luxurious amber and rich dark vanilla.”

Fresh “The scent opens on a sparkling fruity trail where citrus and grapefruit melt with juicy apple and sweet pear. The aquatic floral heart of peony then leads to musk’s softness. As fresh and pure as the morning dew.”

DSC_6012

Each of the mists can be used on their own or if your adventurous you can layer two of the scents together to create your own scent, pretty funky right? I love that your able to get really creative with them mixing and matching between the six.

A long lasting scent is really important for me when looking for any fragrance whether it be perfume or body sprays, there is nothing more disappointing than the scent fading after a couple of hours. I am literally obsessed with these, I would definitely go as far as saying they are a must have! the scent is long lasting, I could still smell it on my clothes after a 12 hour shift and definitely doesn’t come as a body spray at all but more like a perfume.

DSC_6016

Have you tried Layering Lab yet? What did you think?

sig2

Afternoon Baking | Quick & Easy Homemade Shortbread

As i’ve mentioned before I have a sweet tooth, in fact an everything tooth! I love sweet & carbs which isn’t necessarily a good thing so I tend to not buy junk in on the house shop and get it from every now and again.. actually that’s a bit of a fib, quite a lot lately *hides*. Due to not having junk in the house I don’t have any biscuits and today that pesky sweet tooth came out, cause come on you can’t have a cup of tea without a biscuit right?!? I headed over to my trusty friend BBC Good Food and found a quick and easy recipe to use, needing only 3 ingredients!

IMG_6323

Ingredients

125g/4oz butter55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish, 180g/6oz plain flour.

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.

  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.

  4. Cut into rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool.

IMG_6324

IMG_6322

Are you a sweet, savoury or both?

sig2

Afternoon Baking | Mini Egg Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

Afternoon baking is becoming a weekly occurrence which isn’t always the best thing especially for my waist but sweet stuff such as cake and chocolate is always my weakness *hides away*, it just tastes so so good. This week as easter is fast approaching me and my lady baby decided to whip up some mini egg chocolate cornflakes which are super quick and easy to make, below is the recipe.

IMG_6074

Ingredients:

50g butter 100g milk or dark chocolate, broken into chunks, 3 tbsp golden syrup, 100g cornflake & 1 packet of mini eggs

Method:

1. Melt your butter, chocolate and golden syrup on low heat in a bowl over a saucepan, allow to cool for a couple of minutes once ready.

2. Stir all your ingredients together until chocolate covers all of your cornflakes and then spoon the mixture into your cupcake cakes. Add your mini eggs on top of your cornflakes.

3. Pop your chocolate cornflakes into the fridge to set.

IMG_6077

sig2

Crazy Color | Candy Floss

As you might know from now I am forever obsessed with fussing with my hair colour, I am so impatient with it which is never a good thing. I’ve recently had grey hair using Superdrug’s Colour Freedom, I absolutely adored grey hair and that’s probably the one colour that I’ve had for the longest but with it fast approaching to spring and summer I wanted something lighter, after all I can always go back in autumn/winter.

With wanting my hair lighter is the unfortunate process of bleaching, this is a massive pain in the backside, especially doing it myself. I decided to bleach the ends of my hair using the Jerome Russell bleaching kit 30% volume which I find works best lightening my hair, I mixed the powder and developer which is pretty straight forward and got started. I separated my hair into sections and applied the bleach onto my hair using a tinting brush blending it so it wasn’t so blocky, left it for 40-60 minutes and rinsed it out. I decided to put a hair mask on because as you know with bleaching it damages your hair and i’d rather not end up with it feeling like straw, any one will do but I used Aussie’s 3 minute miracle treatment. I was pretty impressed with the results and the ends were really light, the only issue was that leading up to my roots was slightly ginger but it didn’t look terrible.

img_6037

I grabbed the Crazy Color semi permanent hair dye in Candy Floss (£4.99) from Blue Banana,  I was a little skeptical whether it would actually work as pastel colours need a white base or at least a platinum blonde but it was worth a go. I applied the colour to my hair rubbing it in with my hands and left it for 30 minutes, I washed it out using just warm water and it’s left a subtle pinky colour as you can see from the photos the ginger bits are still there, but it’s still beautiful.

sig2

 

Netflix | My Top 10 TV Shows

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on my top 10 Netflix movies, so here is a top 10 TV show post to follow on from that. I absolutely love vampire and werewolf type films/shows, actually love is an understatement, i’m obsessed so there is a lot of that in my favourites list.

As I mentioned previously there’s many times that I struggle finding something to watch,  whilst my favourite shows are on their midseason breaks I tend to re watch them, there must be plenty of people in the same boat so this post is ideal for those struggling.

TV

Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf, Hemlock Grove, Pretty Little Liars, Breaking Bad, The Killing, Shooter, Scream & Homeland

TV1

What’s your top 10? i’d love to know.

sig2

Revlon ColourStay Foundation | A Must Have!

When it comes around to that time to buy foundation I always dread it because I struggle buying my shade, being pale most of the lightest shades from drugstores are ivory and tend to have a slight warmer tone to them which I need more of a cooler tone so I tend to go to the more higher end foundations, the only drugstore foundation that i’ve yet got on with is the Boujour Healthy Mix.

I have used Revlon’s Colour Stay foundation in the past, the version without a pump, but it really didn’t get on with my skin, I don’t know if it was a bad batch or something but I found it impossible to blend and it was so thick. A couple of weeks ago I was wandering round Boots swatching different foundations and came across ColourStay again, I tried the pump version and this seemed better suited for me.

Revlon’s ColourStay foundation (£12.99) has 35 different shades and all suitable for all skin types covering dry/normal and combination/oily.

“ColorStay™ Makeup now with a convenient pump applicator for mess free application. Flawless, matte coverage that lasts up to 24 hours.”


I picked up combination/oily in the shade ivory, as i’ve mentioned above ivory tends to be warmer, but this is definitely toned down, it is better suited for my skin without being ghostly white. The foundation is quite thin, which one pump does my whole face sometimes less than that, it is really lightweight and provides medium coverage which is easily buildable without getting that cakey look.

I tend to have quite a bit of redness and dark circles, this foundation works wonders to even out my skin tone leaving me with a fresh and matte looking base. I can honestly vouch for the foundation being long lasting, I can apply the foundation approximately 3pm and work a 12 1/2 hour night shift and it’s still perfect in the morning without looking oily making me look better than I feel.

This honestly is my new favourite and will always have a spot in my makeup bag.

What’s your favourite drugstore foundation?

sig2

Cohorted My Little Treat Boxing Day Edition 

img_4764

After being absolutely spoilt rotten at Christmas my husband surprised me with an extra present, I had been eyeing up Cohorted’s My Little Treat Boxing Day Edition box since I saw it on their website. I have subscribed to Cohorted before and received their February box so I know this would be amazing as the rest, their Boxing Day box costs £50 which includes a total of eight high end full sized products worth £168.

Whats in the box?

Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette, Cohorted Flat Eyeshadow Brush, Cohorted Domed Eyeshadow Brush, Cohorted Crease Blender Brush, MAC Upward Lash Mascara, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Blush Powder, Bella Pierre Mineral Lipstick  & Smith & Cult Nail Polish

This jam packed Boxing Day edition box included a nice range of different high beauty products which is always good to see and an absolute bargain for £50, you’ve pretty much made your money back from the Urban Decay palette & one Cohorted brush.

Included in the box was the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette (£38.50), when it comes to the Naked palettes there is probably a handful of bloggers that do not own one of these beauties, I have been eyeing it up for quite a while now but like most things I never got round to buying it, so i’m so glad it was included in the box. Neutrals are probably my go to eyeshadows, they really compliment my blue eyes so they are definitely in for a treat with 12 gorgeous shades. 

Also in the box it includes three of Cohorted’s own makeup brushes (£12 each), i’ve seen a lot of these brushes storming the beauty world in the last few months so i’m excited to give them a whirl, I think they might take a bit of getting used to as they’re a different angle compared to your standard brushes.

Next up is Bobbi Brown Illuminating Blush Powder  – Maui (£28.50) which is a pink coral and honestly beyond stunning *drools* it gives me that gorgeous subtle rosy glow which instantly brightens up my face and leaves me looking slightly less vampy.

 What’s a beauty box without a mascara! I’m really excited to try the MAC Lash Mascara – Upward Black (£19) as it claims to be volumising, curling, clump free and lifting which is a big claim to make. 

Bella Pierre Mineral Lipstick – Envy (£15.99) was included in the box, In my opinion a girl can never own too many lipsticks, well that’s what I like to tell myself.  I swear I have so many different brands all in the same shade but of course I have to have them all.  The shade envy that was included isn’t really a shade that I would go for but it might look quite nice in the summer as it is a nude shade. 

Last but not least I’m a sucker for nail polish, I always feel naked without any on but then as soon as I wash up it just chips away leaving them looking ugly so I’m excited to try Smith & Cult Nail Polish – Regret The Moon (£19). It’s actually the first time I’ve heard of this brand but the shade is subtle and stunning perfect for any jobs that don’t really like you wearing obvious makeup & nail varnish.

 sig2