Wednesday, 12 December 2018

How To Overcome Writer's Block As A Blogger

I have hit a bit of a wall this last week. Writer's block or blogger's block or whatever you wanna call it. I just can't seem to get my words out. I have so many pictures sat in my files ready to be shared but the words to go with them have been lost somewhere.

The thing is, it was never like this at the start. I would write every single night and always have something to say. Whether it was gushing over a new trend or sharing probably a little too much info about my relationship, the posts went up like clockwork. Then I think I started overthinking it all and suddenly I didn't know what to say anymore. And the more I tried to push myself to write, the less I was able to. But, at the same time, I didn't want to take a break through fear that I would never write again. What if I just have nothing to say ever again? What if my well of inspiration has dried up forever?

And that is what this week has been like. I have felt hugely uninspired. I haven't travelled anywhere interesting or even had an opinion that I deemed worthy of sharing. Sure, I have had a few half-baked ideas but nothing to make an entire blog post out of. I have spent this week opening my laptop, writing a title and a paragraph, then closing my laptop again.

And I feel like this is kinda borne out of the pressure I put on myself. I always want to write something super interesting and ground-breaking and hilarious accompanied by editorial level pictures. I may not always achieve that but that is the aim behind almost every post I create. And that shit is kinda exhausting. I see myself becoming too much of a perfectionist about the content that I produce and share and it is draining the joy out of writing.

I want to have fun with this blog and not care too much about page views or the fact that I haven't been chosen for certain campaigns and realise that yes, I have worn that coat 3 times already on the blog but no one really cares. I want to give myself more creative freedom here rather than leaving posts in my drafts for months on ends because they weren't quite riveting enough for me to click publish on them.

I want to let loose and really enjoy sharing my thoughts here again. However mundane they may be. And I also want to give myself more breaks so that when I do come to write, I write about things that I am passionate about and I share content that I am proud of - not because it meets my high expectations of what kinda content I should be producing but because I have enjoyed the whole process.

Trousers: Nasty Gal (here)
Jumper: Primark (similar)
Necklace: Voice International (here)*
Belt: Primark (similar)
Jacket: Topshop (similar)

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

All The Christmassy Things I Want To Do This December

I have always been one of those people who are really into Christmas. Everything about it is just so magical - towns and cities transforming into winter wonderlands, the abundance of gingerbread, the old films that make you feel all cosy inside, and - most importantly - the amount of stuffing and sausage balls you are encouraged to eat. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year and, with Ava being a big girl of one now, I am excited to share this holiday with her since last year she was only a month old and couldn't really get into the Christmas spirit. So, I have put together a bit of a festive bucket list of all the things I want us to do over the next month and I will hopefully be able to share us ticking them off with you guys.

Go to all the Christmas markets
Back when I was 16, I travelled to Cologne with my auntie for a few days of festive fun and my favourite bit of the whole trip was definitely the Christmas markets. I loved all the handmade nick-nacks and the big gingerbread hearts with 'ich leibe Koeln' scrawled across them. It felt so Christmassy and so unlike anything I had experienced here (I mean, church fetes can't really compete with that). Since then, Christmas markets have become a huge thing here in the UK and I am so much for it. I love how it gives small businesses a platform to sell to more people and, not gonna lie, I love how churros have become synonymous with the whole UK Christmas market experience. This year, I want to explore more Christmas markets. And maybe Ava could even try her first churro.

Buy Christmas presents from small businesses
As per usual, I am on a budget but I want to try my very best to buy at least a few things from local businesses - even if it is just a card. And I think presents from these kinda shops are so much nicer to receive too as the things you find tend to be a little more unusual and interesting than your run-of-the-mill Lynx Africa gift set. So, if you are able, jump onto Etsy or pop into that little gift shop in town and check out what they have to offer. And, if you are stuck for ideas, check out my independent business gift guide (cheeky little plug).

Bake festive snacks
After a good few months without a working oven, we finally got it fixed! Well, Isaac pushed a button inside the oven and now we just cautiously cook stuff and hope it won't explode. But one good thing about having an oven - however much of a health hazard it may be - is that I can finally get back again! And my list of goodies I am planning to make is pretty extensive. Right at the top, we have mince pies. But we also have a few wildcards like chocolate orange cookie bars and whoopie pies. Watch this space, pals.

Establish some Christmas traditions 
Isaac isn't a huge fan of Christmas so the buck really falls to me to create some family traditions (other than talking about how capitalism is destroying the world - Isaac has that one well and truly covered). I am thinking of getting Ava and I matching Christmas PJs, putting up decorations together, and maybe even hosting a huge Christmas Eve feast. Either way, I want to truly embrace the Christmas spirit - especially as this is Ava's first Christmas that she can be truly involved.

Drink all of the festive drinks
Now I am not the kinda girl who gets excited over a glass of sherry or an espresso martini but what does get my heart racing is a fancy hot choc. Especially when it comes with cream, marshmallows, and even a candy cane. Costa's orange hot choc is the current front-runner but I may have to test a few more - just, yknow, for market research and that.

Put together stockings for Ava and Isaac
I have such fond memories of waking up at like 3am on Christmas morning, shaking my brother awake, then running into my parent's room - stocking in hand - to unwrap the goodies I had been given. I loved all the little gifts - but maybe not the one tangerine that was always at the bottom of the stocking - and I want to carry this on for Isaac and Ava. Yes, Isaac is a grown man but he needs all the festive joy he can get. And Ava will likely just try to eat all the wrapping paper but is it really Christmas without one family member sicking up a gift bow?

What does your December to-do list look like?

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

My 24 Hour Labour Story

Since Ava turned one a couple of weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about how she came into the world. It feels like an entire lifetime ago that I was pregnant with Ava - I can hardly even imagine what having a bump feels like anymore. I mean, pregnancy is so strange. It is like your body is normal then suddenly you are carrying a whole other person inside you then you just go back to normal again. Some days I do kinda miss feeling the little kicks inside my belly but I have loved watching Ava grow this last year even more.

Anyway, let me set the scene for you guys. Isaac and I had just moved to South London from Devon and Isaac was working a lot to meet the crazy London rent. I mean, he sometimes would come in at 1am and be back out the door at 5am. And my heavily pregnant self just spent my days chilling eating chocolate, watching vlogs, and having a lot of baths. But I was still pretty active up until the end. I would often walk from Blackheath down to Greenwich and wander around the market and enjoy seeing the kids riding their bikes through Greenwich Park. But around 37 weeks, I didn't want to leave the house as much and I felt my body telling me to take it a bit easier. So I did. And I was certain that I would be giving birth soon.

It was on Saturday 5th Novemeber that I started to think the baby could actually be arriving soon. I had been having cramps all day - especially in my lower back - but I had made plans with Isaac to go to a fireworks display that evening so I pushed through with the help of my good friend paracetomol. Putting the visions of me giving birth in the middle of a field surrounded by people to the back of my mind, I actually had a great evening.

The cramps continued for the next couple of days so I stayed in the house - in the bath - and rested up (and ate a whole lot of chocolate). On the Tuesday, the pain intensified - it felt more like contractions. I had barely slept at all that night because of a few things. The pain, of course, but also the pressure from where the baby had moved down and from the acid reflux I had been having for about a week now. So, I got up (read: sat up in bed and switched on my laptop) around 5am when Isaac left for work. Thankfully, Isaac was back home around 2pm but it felt like a long old while that he was gone. I had been in and out of sleep for most of the day but I could barely walk without getting bursts of pain in my lower back. By the time he was home, the contractions were about 30-40 minutes apart and they stayed like that for most of the evening. Under the advice of the midwife, we stayed home and waited. Well, up until 11pm when my waters broke (although my husband was adamant that I had just peed myself smh) so we collected a few of the last minute things together and made our way to the bus. Thankfully, as we were living in London, we didn't have to wait long for a bus and arrived at Lewisham Hospital around 11:30pm (although early labour and bumpy bus journeys aren't a combo I would recommend to anyone).

When we arrived, they checked me over and found that I wasn't dilated at all. They were debating telling me to come back later but, as my waters had broken and my contractions were every 15 minutes, they decided I might as well stay. We were put on a ward and had a bed that was sectioned off by a curtain with all the other women waiting to be far enough along to go into the actual birth unit. I didn't like being in this shared ward. I wanted to have my own, private space. Especially as the contractions got more intense, I felt uncomfortable shouting out in pain with other people around hearing me. I was worried of scaring the poor, possibly teenage girl who was on the other side of the curtain and definitely wasn't as far along as I was - or maybe she just handled pain a lot better.

The night and following day are bleary in my memory. I remember being in and out of consciousness. And, when I was awake, I was huffing enough gas and air to tranquilise a horse - and even dragging the gas cannister around the ward with me when they instructed me to get moving to help encourage the labour. I remember Isaac eating every meal they brought me and feeling sick at the smell of food. I vaguely remember someone sitting and praying with us whilst I screamed every swear word known to man. And apparently I called my mum at 2am telling her the baby was coming - little did I know the baby wasn't coming for a good 10 hours.

I remained here until 5pm the following day. Midwives had come and gone but, as my waters were broken, they couldn't check how dilated I was very often in case of infection. But, by 5pm, I felt like I had to start pushing. Everyone was telling me that my baby would be here soon. I was carted off to the labour ward and they told me that I was 3cm dilated. The midwives were super supportive but they said I wouldn't be able to have a water birth which I had considered as they needed to monitor the baby's heart beat since she hadn't grown for a fair while. I was strapped up on the baby heart monitor machine and they said I needed to wake up a bit so they confiscated my beloved gas and air.

The next 6 hours were filled with pushing. Even towards the end, my contractions weren't coming as quickly as they needed to be. They put drips in my arms and kept telling me to push. I pushed but the baby just wasn't coming out. I could feel that everyone was starting to panic. If I reached 24 hours of dry labour, they would have to give me an emergency caesarean. I didn't want a caesarean as I knew Isaac would have to return to work as soon as possible and it would leave me physically unable to care for the baby as much as I would need to. At about 11pm, the doctor came in. The pain was indescribable but I still managed to stand and walk a couple of steps to try to get her moving down. We tried all different positions but the doctor decided that the end of the bed had to be taken off, my feet were put high in stirrups, and he injected my hoo-ha. I think it was general anaesthetic. He coached me how to push and Lord knows I push every part of my body in a mad frenzy to get this baby out. I thought my eyes would pop out, I was pushing so hard. As he reached for the scissors to try to manually extract this baby with some scary instruments, I pushed so hard that I thought every blood vessel in my body would simultaneously explode. The head was out. Thank the Lord above, the head was out. Another push and she was with us. Ava was born. At 11:58pm on 8th November 2017 weighing 5lb 4oz. Her first sight was her father. They passed her to my arms and I remember poking her little chubby cheeks and feeling so relieved that we had both made it through.

My next feeling was hunger. My husband had been trying to feed me throughout the labour which made me feel sick each time. But now I was desperate for food and drink. The midwife brought me toast which I lay there munching as I cuddled my new bubba (christening her in crumbs - sorry, Ava!). I was just so happy that it was over and grateful to everyone who had been involved. The midwives were amazing and gave me so much support - and a little tough love when it was needed. And my husband had been by my side the whole time. I was really grateful for that.

If you loved this post then please make my Christmas by voting for me in the UK Blog Awards. Just click here!


Monday, 3 December 2018

Christmas Gift Guide: Independent Business Edition

When it comes to buying presents, I usually go where I can find the best deals. Whether that is 3 for 2 in Boots or 20% off on ASOS, I love a bargain. And who can blame me? Christmas can be super expensive and, like most stay-at-home-mums with a minimum wage part-time job, I am on a budget. But this year, I have decided that I want to make a conscious effort to support more local and independent businesses. With all the information surfacing about the effect of fast fashion, it is easy to imagine how much waste Christmas produces too. So, I decided to stop buying an excessive amount of gifts and just give each person one nice, thoughtful gift which they will hopefully cherish a lot more than another Lynx Africa set. 

I may have already bought one of these bottles as a gift for someone but I am very tempted to also pick one up for myself (they do an adorable cherry print one!). But these bottles are great. They keep your water cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours and they are so much better for the environment than purchasing plastic bottles every time you get thirsty - they are way cuter than plastic bottles too.

Ella Masters Studio
I feel like almost every British blogger follows Ella Masters and, like me, probably spends way too much time scrolling through her shop wanting to buy everything on there. She recently painted a postcard every day for a year and is now selling a select few - and I just want them all tbh. I love the motivational quote postcards she creates but also her portraits are amazing. She also does pet portraits which is pretty much what every dog mum wants in their life.

Rather excitingly, I am actually an ambassador for this awesome company but it deffo would have made the list even if I wasn't. Voice International is made up of a team of Ugandan women who make beautiful, high quality jewellery. They use materials local to them such as ankole which is an animal byproduct and turn it into beautiful necklaces, earrings, and rings. I love this company because it champions female talent.

Creighton's Chocolaterie is a UK-based, all-female brand that I discovered in my local gift shop - Boka. I fell in love with their fun packaging and even more fun flavours. They have all the Christmas bases covered too. You can get a trifle flavoured chocolate bar (you're already sold, right?) and even a boozy Christmas cake one. They also do vegan chocolate boxes for you saintly people who are looking to make it to the top of the Nice List this year. 

This is another brand I discovered in Boka and fell in love with. They make all sorts of interesting things including glittery socks, velvet makeup bags, and little fabric brooches and pins. Is there anything more extra (or festive) than glittery socks with a big butterfly pinned to it? I need that level of fancy in my life.

So, I had to round this post up with possibly the best gift you could give someone this year - a chocolate covered marshmallow lolly the size of your head. I actually got this as a gift a few years back and I am still thinking about it to this day - it was just that delicious. So, do the right thing and over your friends one of these bad boys and become everyone's favourite person ever.

I hope this post got you in the festive spirit and, if not, reread this and take a shot every time I say 'independent business'. You will very quickly be filled with a great deal of festive cheer.

And, if you liked this post, be sure to head over and vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. I will love you forever. Just click here!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Body Trends (& Why They Need To Stop)

Trigger warning: this post contains content that may be triggering to those affected by eating disorders.

Cassey Ho aka Blogilates recently shared a post about how body types come in and out of fashion and how we treat our bodies as though it is a trend. She shared her body edited to the different ideal body type of multiple decades to show how the ideals change with each ten years that pass. She commented on how we shouldn't treat our body the same way we treat clothes - scrunching them up and throwing them out to replace them with the hot new thing as soon as they go out of fashion.

And it got me thinking. I had never really given this a huge amount of thought but, after seeing this post, it kinda gave me that hangover that coming to a daunting realisation often does. I started to question how big a role body trends play in my relationship with my own body and how, over the years, this has affected my self-esteem.

As a kid of the nineties and a teen of the noughties, skinniness was king. Kate Moss famously said 'nothing taste as good as skinny feels' and the TV was jam-packed with stylists trying to recommend flattering clothing to contort our body into that ideal. The boobs were big and everything else was small. Apart from me - I wasn't small. I have always been a little chubby (I still have nightmares about the year 6 weighing sessions that I'm still not entirely sure had any purpose other than humiliating us at our most vulnerable age) and, unlike today, there was never someone in the media saying that was ok or that I could still rock the most killer outfits without having to swear off carbs for all eternity. I always kinda felt like a 'before'. An ugly duckling waiting to transform into a beautiful, Britney Spears-esque butterfly. Looking back, the body trend that was popular at that time did affect how I saw myself because everyone felt pressured to transform themselves into this ideal so all I saw on TV was people who looked like that. And obvs if you're on TV then you are someone that my teen self would have aspired to be like. Cue years of low self esteem and feeling kinda shit about my body. Years that I didn't need to feel like that but because my body wasn't 'on trend', I did feel like that.

Fast forward and all we hear is 'boobs are out and bums are in'. Everyone wants that Kim K look. Even I have spent many an evening doing squats and donkey kicks and whatever the hell else they say can grow your booty just in the hope of having a less pancakey butt.

Before I got pregnant with Ava, I finally reached the weight loss goal I had been chasing for years - I had made it to size 8. But, when I got there, suddenly I didn't want it because it wasn't what was 'in' anymore. After all that restricting and gruelling exercise routines and going to bed with a rumbling belly, I realised that my skinny body wasn't popular anymore. It felt like running a marathon then suddenly finding out that they moved the finish line. I am ashamed to admit that diet culture had made a real home for itself inside of me and I was adamant to become whatever was 'hot'.

I saw tweets all the time body shaming less curvy women (one that particularly sticks with me was about John Legend having a bigger butt than Chrissy Teigen which basically insinuated that she wasn't feminine simply because of her frame) and they made me feel inadequate. There wasn't enough hours in the day for me to do enough squats to get a Nicki Minaj level butt. Nor enough money in my bank account to just buy one. So, for a little while, I just didn't wear bodycon or anything that showed my shape. Once again, I opted out of certain things because my body didn't fit the bill of what was hot at the time. I mean, I couldn't open myself up to the world for them to ridicule my tiny butt.

But then I got fed up of hating myself and my body. I got fed up of always trying to reach these standards that are so fleeting. Like Cassey says, we can't treat our bodies like fast fashion and I want to reverberate that sentiment so much. Yes, I am not 'slim thick' but I am also not bothered. So, here I am rocking bodycon as a size 12 woman with a pancake butt. And loving my life.

We need to start celebrating all bodies because each and every body is wonderfully unique - and that is what makes them so amazing. We are all individual and having one body type held up as an ideal is dooming most of us to feeling inadequate and unattractive. So let's stop chasing these ideals. Lets be grateful for what we have. And lets empower each other in a world that pits women against each other.

Dress: Femme Luxe* (here)
Coat: New Look (here)
Boots: New Look (similar)

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Cardiff Travel Guide

Cardiff is a place that means a lot to us. It is the place where I went to uni, where Isaac and I had our first date, where we got married, where I graduated, and where we found out we were pregnant with Ava. This city encapsulates so many amazing memories and a beautiful chapter in our lives. And it is also a place that I know inside and out so I thought I would play honorary local and give you the low down on everything from where you can get the best cakes to where you can shop til you drop.

City Road
I am starting off with my favourite part of Cardiff and that is City Road. Located in Roath, it is a bit more rough and ready than the more central parts but that is kinda why I love it. City Road is basically a really long street full of takeaways, restaurants, barbers, beauty salons, and international shops. It showcases how amazing diversity is and what awesome things come from it. If you want to see what Cardiff is truly about, I suggest checking this place out. And, in particular, heading into a Lebanese restaurant and getting yourself a huge platter (you won't regret it).

Roath Park
Right around the corner from City Road is Roath Park. It is a huge expanse of park where you can take the kids to climb on the play equipment, have a kick about, explore the gardens and greenhouse, or head to the lake and rent a peddle boat. Isaac and I spent so much time at this park when we lived in Cardiff and it is easy to understand why. There is so much to do there and I hope to one day take Ava back there to enjoy it too. Also don't forget to grab an ice cream from Joe's Ice Cream Parlour whilst you're there (I can highly recommend the Turkish delight flavour and Isaac can recommend all of the flavours as he probably ate all of them at least 5 times).

Blanche Bakery
Whilst you're in Roath, you should probably check out this bakery (AKA donut heaven). Blanche Bakery is a recent addition to Cardiff - one that I sadly missed out on but made a point of visiting when I went back there. Their vegan donuts are the cutest and, I can now assure you, they are also the yummiest. I tried the French toast donut and it was so light and fluffy with a cinnamon icing and some fruit on top. Lush!

Cardiff Bay
Now that we have exhausted Roath, I'm gonna chat to you guys about Cardiff Bay. I feel like Cardiff Bay is really quite fancy. They have a lot of more fine dining restaurants and bars as well as the chain ones we all know and love. But our usual spot was a little pub inside the Red Dragon Centre (we actually spent our anniversary there and watched 3 football matches lol fun) but they have loads of other stuff to do in there like bowling and cinema and eating chips in Five Guys. Also you can get a boat from Bute Park near the castle in the centre right to Cardiff Bay which is a lot more fun than walking.

The arcades
Cardiff is often described as the 'city of arcades' and that is because, you guessed it, there are a hell of a lot of arcades. And they are just so pretty (especially at this time of year). The arcades give Cardiff character and host the very best of local, small businesses. You will find cute brunch spots, delicatessens, vintage clothing shops, and so much more nestled away in these arcades. But my fave arcade shop has to be Madame Fromage  because I love cheese (who doesn't?) and this place has so much cheese to offer. And they do macarons too.

Waterloo Tea
When you think of tea in Cardiff, most people would probably recommend Barkers Tea Rooms. Not me though - I absolutely love Waterloo Tea. They have so many different types of tea but, my fave thing about them, they do all different cakes and brunch bits too. I got their avo toast before and it was lush but my fave was their lemon polenta cake. Deffo worth a visit (or, at least, to take a slice of cake home with you).

Cardiff indoor market
This indoor market is located right in the centre of town but is easily missed. This market is filled with local traders selling everything from spices to Welsh cakes and is a must-see. I used to buy my veg from this market and would always pick up a few Welsh cakes whilst I was there - they were always so light and buttery and delicious. So, if you're still hungry after the Lebanese platter, ice cream, donuts, Five Guys fries, cheese, and cake, be sure to pick up some of those!

Cardiff Castle
Last but by no means least, we have Cardiff Castle. It seems almost rude not to mention this castle as it is a huge part of Cardiff. I have been inside Cardiff Castle but never 'inside inside' - I mean, I have only been around the grounds. But, from what I saw of the grounds, I would deffo recommend a visit. They have cool underground passageways that are made to look like how they would have been during wartime as they were used as bunkers and that really interested me. And you can go to the top of the tower so if not for history, visit for the gram.

What is your favourite thing about Cardiff?

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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

My Period Survival Kit*

Before having Ava, I would have described my periods as a minor inconvenience. I would have a headache the day before I was due on then my period would last about 5 days. They were light and I very rarely got any cramps.

Oh, how times change.

My periods have changed considerably in the last year. And not for the better. I now get cramps in my lower back and an ache that spread to my upper back and down my legs as the week progresses. I feel so exhausted near-on constantly and, coupling that with postpartum anaemia, all I want to do is just snuggled up under a blanket and be brought countless cups of hot chocolate and hand-fed Dairy Milk.

But I have found a few things that really seem to help when I'm riding the crimson wave and, that my good people, is what I am sharing with you today.

BeYou Pain Relief Patches*
I was recently sent out these patches to try and they really are a game-changer. They last for 12 hours and are made from wholly natural products (like different herbs and plant extracts). Now, I am someone who doesn't tend to go in for natural remedies - I mean, I usually just dose up on Paracetamol and go on my way - so convincing me that these products were worth it was always going to be an uphill battle. But I was shocked how effective these really are. You basically peel off the wrapper on the back (like a plaster) and place it on the area you get the cramps then, when it starts working, you feel a cooling sensation in that area. I put them on my lower back at the start of my period - when my cramps are the worst - and they really helped. I didn't even have to take any other pain relief - that is how good they are. My only issue was applying them. Trying to put a sticky patch onto your own back isn't the easiest thing - especially when they keep sticking to themselves. My advice is get a friend (or a long-suffering partner) to help you out.

A hot bath
This may seem like a cliché, namby-pamby kinda tip but a hot bath really helps. The heat soothes your muscles which will relieve any aches and pains you have - and it is a great excuse for hiding away from your family for an hour to watch vlogs. I like to put either some essential oil into my bath or, if I am feeling fancy, I will go for a Lush bath bomb.

All of the chocolate
So, I read this science thing recently that said your body naturally craves more 'junk food' when you're on your period because of changes to your hormone levels and I was like 'girl yes' because I eat as much as a family of five when I am on my period - a family of five who have been known to melt chocolate in the microwave and dip Digestives into it on a regular basis. So, I need to have a cupboard full of fave snacks for that one week else I will lose my shit. And science backs me up here so.

Taking a break
I am someone who always likes to be doing something - I mean, nothing fills me with more dread than a day without plans. And I like to try to keep that same energy all the time but, when my period stops by, all of my motivation seems to evaporate. It is only now that I have started coming to terms with that. When I am cramping and moody and tired, the last thing I want to be doing is heading out to snap outfit pictures or running around a soft play with Ava. So, I don't. I do what I can and give my body time to rest. And I know that's not possible for everyone (props to everyone out there in the police or running the country whilst also dealing with cramps and general period-ness) but just take a little time for yourself where possible.

Good skincare products
My skin is generally pretty ok. Sure, my cheeks are almost always red but I don't get spots a lot (unless I have been eating a lot of sugary stuff). But this all changes when I am on my period. I get quite painful spots on my chin which I absolutely hate so a good cleanser and moisturiser is a must. I haven't found the perfect cleanser as of yet but most that I have tried do a good job - I quite like the Biore Charcoal one - but I wouldn't be without my fave Simple Light Moisturiser. I have been using this since I was a teenager and it is perfect for my skin. It is gentle with no harsh chemicals and quite a light formula which suits my skin as I have slightly oily skin. Having skin products you can rely on is an absolute must for me - especially when I am on my period - as they help even out my skin which gives me that little confidence boost I need.

Period positivity
The most powerful thing I have in my period survival kit is positivity - and it is something that I have had to learn over the years. And this takes a couple of forms. For me, period positivity is about embracing how powerful my body is (I have really come to see this since having Ava) and my period is a reminder of what my body is capable of. I mean, I grew a whole human. And it also takes the form of not being embarrassed about my periods. When I first got my period at about 12, I felt mortified. I remember trying to hand wash my bedsheet that I had leaked onto in the sink before anyone noticed. The very thought of even speaking about my period to anyone was horrifying to me but now I see that periods are totally natural and I think we should all feel a little more free about speaking about them.

What's in your period survival kit?

* this is a paid collaboration with BeYou

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