Thursday, 13 August 2015

#TBT My trek America Experience

and 8 reasons I want to be back on the west coast.  

Last year I was lucky, crazy stupid kind of lucky. I won my dream trip to America from the kind people at Trek America. Here are some reasons that going on that trip was the best thing I ever did. 

1. The people. 
It's no fluke that "the people I have met are the wonders of my world" is tattooed onto my ribs. People are special, they make an experience. The people I travelled along the west coast of America with will forever hold a place in my heart. From the Chinese couple to the Scottish sisters, the lone northern girl and even the tour leader herself: this lot are special and travelling with people forms bonds like no other. 

2. I learnt to hike.
I didn't like it, but I did it. Hiking out of the Grand Canyon was the hardest thing I've ever done but finishing those last few steps were the most powerful and inspiring thing ever. And there is absolutely nothing that compares to a shit ton of pizza after a 6 hour hike. Nothing. 

3. Vegas is no joke. 
It broke us all. Getting chucked out of the Bellagio for being too drunk is not clever but it does make for an excellent story. 

4.  I learnt things about myself. 
I think travelling does this to you. You have a lot of reflective time in the van, you chat to people from all over the world and that changes you, always for the better. 

5. San Francisco is epic. 
Probably one of my favourite stops on the tour, San Fran is a magical city. I will return one day to finish what I started. 

6. Camping is amazing. 
I was a little dubious about setting up a tent every night in a different location but by the end our tent building skills were absolutely top notch and we could (and did) do it in the dark with no problems. 

7. The food 
We all put in to a food kitty on the first day and the tour leader bought groceries with that. We made our own breakfast each morning (mmmm blueberry bagels) and prepared our lunch on the go (picnic in Walmart car park anyone?) dinner was a social affair that everyone helped with and there's nothing that bonds a group like the washing up. Occasionally we are out, and experiencing local cuisine was eye opening to say the least. Two words: portion sizes... 

8. The views. 
Honestly, there is absolutely nothing in this world that compares to watching the sun set from the cliffs in San Diego. Equally, watching the sun rise over the mountains, or the clouds pass over the Grand Canyon are things that really stick with you. A helicopter ride over the drop of the canyon, the madness of the Vegas strip, San Francisco from a yacht as the sun sets...absolutely epic memories that even the best camera couldn't capture. 

If you're considering a tour like this one, the only thing I can say is do it. You won't regret it and it has ignited a passion in me for travelling that I never knew I had. Since coming off the trip I've been to Scotland and Denmark to visit my friends, I've booked a flight to the other side of the world on my own and I'm confident in my ability to make friends wherever I end up. It's truly a life changing experience that you can undertake alone, or with a friend. I've genuinely never felt more at home than sitting round a campfire with 2 Danish girls, 2 Scottish girls, a Korean, a Chinese couple, an Australian, a Swiss girl and 3 other Brits, cooking smores and sharing stories. 


When you can't find the heartbeat.

WARNING: sensitive, potentially upsetting topic follows. 

Being a midwife is 99% the best job in the world. On a regular day I deliver wriggly, wet, naked babies into a brand new world. There will be three people in a room, and then all of a sudden there will be four living, breathing, dreaming beings and it's like magic. You deal with the stress and the pressure and the responsibility because nothing in this world compares to watching a family evolve, watching a woman realise her full potential, being a witness to a baby's first breath. If I take time to think about what I actually do, it blows my mind. And that is because I'm passionate about women and childbirth and pregnancy, like all midwives are. We don't do it for the glamour, or the money- It's the most amazing thing and I'm privileged to be a part of it. However it's not always happy endings. And those moments are the moments I go home and never stop thinking about. 
The panic on the phone is barely disguised in her voice. "I haven't felt my baby move" she says "not for a few days now. Not properly" come in right away I say, keeping my voice upbeat and even. Come in, bring your notes and we'll check you over. I look at my colleague, "no movements" I say. The prayer we both say is silent and personal but I can see it in her eyes, and she in mine. Please don't let today be the day. 
When the woman buzzes in, I go to meet her personally at the door. Take her notes, give her a smile. Squeeze her arm. She's been crying but she's dried her tears. She's at the hospital now, it'll be ok. She's come alone, didn't want to worry anyone. Drove herself here, probably a bit too fast. I move her to a side room, the monitor's all set up. Usually I'd chat, do some observations and paperwork before listening in but neither of us can wait. She lays down and presents me with her perfect bump. I put my cold hands on her abdomen and it is at that point that I know, in my gut, this is not ok. My face remains passive as I perform the usual checks. I move the transducer to where I know I should get a thumping heart. Nothing. The silence is deafening. I don't fill it with my usual "this baby's hiding from me" or some other pleasantry. She knows. She always knew. She looks at me, scared. "Do I panic yet?" She half jokes. Is someone coming to meet you, I ask. She says her husband is on his way. Good. I don't want her to be alone for this. I move the monitor about, praying i'm wrong, knowing I'm not. Another midwife comes in, she sees my face and takes the monitor from me. She has a turn at fruitlessly moving it over and around. "I'll get a scan" I say, in my best calm voice. The husband arrives, white with panic. I show him in and close the door behind me. "I'm going to get someone to scan you" I say. Begging her to understand with my eyes, so I don't have to say it. "We can't find baby's heartbeat so it's the best way to know what's going on" the comprehension in their eyes is sharp and frightening. They grip tightly to each other, not daring to voice their thoughts out loud. I nip off, find a doctor that can prove me wrong. Please prove me wrong. They come right away, drop everything to be with me, this family. 
We stand in the dark scan room, focused on the screen. I lean against a wall, cross my fingers behind my back. I'm not qualified to make the diagnosis but I know what's coming. "I'm so sorry, there's no heart beat. Your baby has died" 
In the hours that follow, I don't cry. I save that until I'm home. I am the epitome "swan-like" calm and professional on the surface, paddling like mad to stay afloat underneath. I give myself to this family, to cry on, to blame, to ask questions. I am honest and sensitive and gentle. I leave the hospital in a daze. I pass pregnant women on my way out and I want to urge them "enjoy your baby before she's here. Talk to her. Watch her closely. Trust yourself" I get home and kick my shoes off. I don't even notice the ache in my feet or my back tonight. I run a bath and get in, it's then that the tears come. That poor fucking family. It's so unfair. 
We don't know why. It's possible we never will. Shit things happen, that's not good enough but it's all I have. I go to work the next day with a smile on my face, but I never ever stop thinking of that family. That baby. That mother and father who have so much unknown territory to cross now. A taboo subject, a bomb gone off in their lives that they don't know how to deal with. It touches so many people, when a baby dies. I know I'm not the only member of staff to have gone home and cried that night. We love these women, these babies, they're our vocation. We feel their loss deeply. We learn, move on and heal but we never, ever forget. 

UPDATE: I saw her, in the street. Smiling, with her hands on a tiny blooming baby bump. It filled my heart with joy. I approached her hesitantly, unsure if she'd want to see my face again, to be reminded. We locked eyes and she pulled me into the biggest hug. "I wasn't sure you'd remember me" she said. "Of course." I replied "A midwife never forgets" 

I wrote this post for me, as a reflection on my job. It is not based on a specific event, or case, or patient. It is an amalgamation of my experiences. I hope it hasn't upset you but I desperately want to break the taboo round this subject. Raise awareness. If you're pregnant, or know somebody that is, and they say their baby isn't moving as much- call a midwife. We want to know about any change in the baby's movements, whatever time of night or day. Trust yourself. These things happen and there is very little anyone can do to prevent them, but monitoring your baby's movements and acting on your instincts gives you your best chance. 


Monday, 10 August 2015

#NRWsummer bloggers event

On Sunday I did something I never thought I'd have the confidence to do, and I walked into a pub I'd never been to, to a group of people I'd never met. It was the Norwich Bloggers #NRWSummer event and I couldn't miss out! Being a socially anxious person, I nearly bailed several times but I'm so, so glad I didn't! There was yoga, a social media workshop, fabulous live music and lots of chatting about blogs with some lovely girls. I had an amazing day and I am so so grateful to Justine, Courteney and Hannah for working their socks off and putting on a fab event. And the goody bags are amazing, I'm still working my way through mine but each product has been a total winner so far! Filled with old favourites and new brands alike I can't wait to get properly stuck in! Such a generous bag, the girls did good! 

It was lovely to meet so many like minded girls, and one in particular I really clicked with was Louise. She's a stylist at, and when a stylist tells you she likes your dress it brightens up your whole day, amiright? 

We were joined by Matt the lovely social media mogul who talked us through the do's and don'ts of the all important social media platforms. It was great to listen to someone in the know and actually have a face to face conversation about the important things I.e when's best to post and how much is too much! It made me realise I definitely need to up my social media game. 

The afternoon was rounded off perfectly for me (I had to leave a little early) by the gorgeous and supremely talented Hannah doing a live set on her adorable little ukulele. Honestly, I've already mentally booked this girl for my imaginary future wedding. What a babe. 

I really hope I can attend some future events organised by the Norwich Bloggers. It made me super proud to be part of our lovely community, and made me love my fine city even more. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015 personalised phone case

*GoCustomized were kind enough to send me this phone case for free in return for a review. This does not effect my opinions or what is written in the review*

When got in touch with me and offered me a personalised phone case to review it couldn't have been better timing. My iPhone six was currently going around naked as my Victoria's Secret Pink phone case was sillcone and had stretched and got on my nerves because it stopped me easily sliding my phone into the pocket of my uniform or my jeans (unecessary info there, enjoy...) I was so excited to review a lovely new case and it took me an age to decide what photo to put on it!

I went for the iPhone 6 full wrap hard case and I chose one of my favourite photos from California that I'd taken. Making your own phone case is such a novelty and it was a real fun experience! do a whole range of different cases for different devices and this definitely won't be the last thing I order from them as I'm so so happy with the finished product! It was so easy to do, I just uploaded my photo straight from Instagram, made sure I was happy with the design and voila! I could've added words but I love the simplicity of my photo and actually it's a photo that speaks volumes to me so I don't need extra quotes on top. 

It came so quickly considering it's a personalised product and, to my surprise, it has a matte effect. I was expecting it to be shiny and I'm so happy it's not because it's a really lovely finish!  
For £19.95 I don't think it's bad at all, I've paid a lot more than that for phone cases half the quality. I can already tell this case won't scratch easily and it will protect my phone if I should drop it (touch wood goddamit!!) Having had this case for a couple of weeks now I can confirm that it does, infact protect the shit out my phone! I'm the clumsiest person around and my phone suffers a lot for that, but this case has really stood up against that, I'm so impressed!!
The only thing about the whole process that I have to say negatively is that I could not get the site to work properly on my mobile. However, I'm assured this is being sorted and actually it was simple to do on my laptop too I'm just an on the go type of person! 

What would you put on a personalised case? 


Tuesday, 30 June 2015


The recent tragedies that have befallen both our small community of bloggers and the larger worldwide community alike has really put into perspective for me the importance of being positive. It's so easy to get up every morning and moan about being at work or having to do something you don't really want to do, but imagine the pain of those who will never hear those qualms from their loved ones ever again. Imagine having that pleasure of being grumpy just because snatched from you in a moment of senseless terror. I can't imagine how they must feel and the recent events in the world (I refuse to give the group responsible or their heinous actions more of my words than absolutely necessary) have shaken me to the core. 
So this is a plea, in dedication to all those heartlessly, senselessly, brutally murdered in Tunisia and to everyone suffering elsewhere unnecessarily be it because of illness, loss or any other reason. Be more positive. Perform random acts of kindness for a stranger. Send your best friend that check up text, call your mum, tell your friends and family you love them. Go out of your way to make someone day. Join me in a strive to banish negativity from this world by not feeding it with fear, discrimination and speculation but by squashing it with love, hope and kindness. Don't let them win, don't live your life in fear, don't dishonour those lost and those suffering with the memory of loss by succumbing to the terror of terrorism. 
Be grateful. I am trying to be more grateful for both the big and the small things. Instead of worrying about what to wear or saving my money, I'm grateful for the opportunity to have those plans, to have a choice of clothing. I'm grateful for the luxury of fresh sheets and shaved legs, the smell of cut grass and barbecues, the ache in my feet after a long day of work. I think it really is time we took stock of our lives and voiced our gratitude for the small things. 

What are you grateful for? What kind things have you done recently? Spread the love gorgeous people. Because there is no higher power, nothing that triumphs evil more than simple love. 


Saturday, 27 June 2015


Bit of a different post today. I say that, it's not really but just thought I'd warn you. These waffly, heartfelt posts are my favourite to write but aren't that well received in the blog. As much as I enjoy writing reviews and taking photos, sometimes I just want to write for me, you know? So I apologise if you're totally sick of my emotional outbreaks but today I'm feeling waffly. Brace yourself. 
Like anything in life, healing after an emotional event takes time and if I had a pound for every person that told me that I'd be a very rich lady. If you've got a headache or a banging hangover the only thing you can do is wait for it to pass. Yeah, you can dose yourself up and feel sorry for yourself to pass the timep but the only thing that will genuinely cure you is patience. The cliche "time is a great healer" is a saying I hate. As the most impatient person in the world I want things to happen like, yesterday. And that is such a frustrating attitude when you're waiting to heal. Because you get angry with yourself for not getting there fast enough and you do all the wrong things to speed the process up. I feel like I'm coming to a point where the healing in my life is taking effect. It's such a bloody lovely feeling. I feel strong and capable and in control again. I still have bad days, of course I do. Things had gone far beyond just "the breakup" and I had allowed all my insecurities and doubts to manifest into a big ugly anxious and depressive cloud that hovered over me constantly. Occasionally that cloud still comes over and ruins my days but I feel secure in the knowledge that it will pass. With time. And I'm becoming totally okay with learning to wait because I'm discovering so much about myself. Im so capable of this. I could've punched people who told me "it will be okay again one day" and I can't count the amount of times I just screamed obscenities in my head at those well meaning people. It's true though. I will be okay again one day. And right now I'm feeling closer to one day than ever. 
I feel inspired. There's so many women in my life who're kicking ass on the regular. Not even life changing, earth shattering ass. Just your everyday, turn up and own it kind of ladies who inspire me and show me there are so many ways to be okay. 


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Current favourites

I love these sort of posts as I get to see what it is that other people are really rating at the minute. 

My current favourites are a mix of old and new. The Bobbi Brown foundation stick is an old favourite that has resurfaced. With medium coverage and a super blend able texture I love to use this on my no makeup- makeup days just to add an extra flawless look to my skin. 

My Dr.PawPaw beauty balm hasn't left my pocket since it arrived on my doorstep! Read my review here. 

The Chanel Rouge Coco Balm is an old favourite in a new shade. I'm a long time lover of 'boy' and when I saw this gorgeous, slightly pinker more summery offering of 'Intime' I couldn't resist. It's just so pretty to wear and feels so luxurious. Who doesn't love whacking out a Chanel product like its nothing? 

My most recent love is this bourjois Aqua blush. I haven't had a lot of time to play around properly with it yet but, used sparingly with a duo fiber brush it gives the most natural flush of colour and I'm dying to go back and get the nude shade!! 

So these are my current loves. Have you tried any? What are yours? 



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