Bloody Mary Metal Review

It's no secret here that I'm a huge jewellery lover and I love discovering new brands and boutiques who have something completely different to offer. A couple of the girls I follow on Instagram had shared posts from Bloody Mary Metal and I was instantly enticed by their gothic feel and beautiful theme. I would have ordered much sooner but their range is a little more expensive than my usual budget so I waited and saved up so I could treat myself to something special.

As soon as I saw the skull necklace, I knew it was the piece for me. Although it is the skull of a cat and I would never in a million years consider myself to be a cat person, it's such a beautiful piece of jewellery and I fell completely in love with it. The design is cast from a real cat skull and is solid but still a dainty enough necklace for everyday wear. All of the jewellery by Bloody Mary Metal is the real deal and I think it makes it all the more special when you know your jewellery is going to last an extremely long time. The presentation box which the necklace came in blew me away and it certainly felt like I had treated myself big time. It's a lovely matte finish square box with gorgeous gold detailing - very glamorous! Inside, the necklace itself lay on a spongey velvet cushion and held in place with a little pin so it looked perfectly positioned when it was opened.

In all honesty, I was nervous to receive my first piece of jewellery from Bloody Mary because this little beauty cost me £60 plus £8 in postage but I can truthfully say, I would happily pay that again for such stunning work and reliable service. I got emails and texts from Royal Mail stating that they had safely received my parcel and would be attempting to delivery it the next day, which also assured me of it's whereabouts and when to expect it. A lot of brands don't offer this sort of delivery service so it was really nice to know that Bloody Mary genuinely care about delivering your items to you safely and securely. Granted you pay a little extra for it, but the last thing you want is for something so expensive going missing in the post!

All of Bloody Mary's jewellery is made to order so it may take a few days for your order to reach you, but I think made to order makes it all the more special. They do however sometimes have a couple of the pieces made up already to speed things along and I believe each listing tells you how many they have available ready to ship. My skull necklace had already been cast so I didn't have to wait very long at all and the delivery was super quick. 
I love my engagement ring and our wedding rings to bits but I wish I had known about BMM when we were looking because they have some truly beautiful bespoke options and I can totally imagine us wearing our wedding pieces made by them. I'm so in love with the necklace I chose and it's no surprise that I'll be saving up for another treat when my bank account allows it!

Thanks for reading! 

Three Months Off The Pill - Update

It's been around three months since I took my last contraceptive pill and I thought it would be interesting to share the changes I've noticed since becoming artificial-hormone-free.

1. I feel less bloated
I'm not one to bloat up much anyway (its just podge, not gonna lie) but I've definitely noticed a few less pounds and also I don't feel as bloated after eating. Even during my periods, it's more of a tenderness than a bloated feeling.

2. I feel less stressed
My mind feels less pressured. It almost feels as though I can think clearer and process thoughts a lot easier than when I was taking the pill. One of the reasons I stopped taking it was to see if my mental health would improve and I can honestly say that yes, I believe it has helped and I also feel less anxious which brings me onto my next noticeable changed.

3. I feel more body confident 
This is one I find quite hard to explain but I feel more in tune with my body than I did whilst taking the pill and more confident in my own skin. I've been taking the time to look after my body more, whether that's enjoying a good soak in the bath or not feeling guilty when I simply need some comfort food, being kind to yourself is really important. I've also found it easier to open up to people about periods and get involved with conversations about them, even some of the males I work with are fascinated which makes a nice change. 

4. My skin type changed
Before going on the pill, my face was constantly dry and I have problem areas like my forehead which was always flaky and it used to embarrass me ever so slightly. Even the biggest dollop of moisturiser couldn't combat it but then I went on the pill and my skin became oilier. I had a typical oily t-zone and the dryness went away however now I'm back to being off the pill, here comes the flaky forehead. Its also been on my chin a tiny bit and on my cheeks and I tell you what, this cold weather certainly won't have helped! 

5. Tampons are uncomfortable 
I've never been a huge fan of tampons but sometimes they're required and I've been struggling to feel at ease with them again. In the past I've stuck to Tampax and an applicator is 100% necessary but I bought some Superdrug ones and found them to be so uncomfortable and painful to remove that I'm wanting to try other products. I've even bought a Moon Cup to try which I'm actually quite excited about and have done a first impressions review which you can read here.

6. Agonising periods
I don't want this to put people off coming off their contraceptive methods because everyone is different and it's not a case of it's definitely going to happen to you. My first period after coming off the pill was strange; very hormonal, easily upset, achy, sore, needed chocolate and crying when discovering the husband has eaten your Creme Egg. My second however was something else. I found myself having to put handwarmers in the top of my knickers, dosing up on pain killers all day everyday and doubling over because it was all too much. Hot water bottles, loss of appetite, drinking a shit tonne of water, hot flushes, dizzy spells. It's been awful. It's still very early days so I'm hoping it'll all settle down, but I can literally feel the confusion my body is feeling and I've been needing a lot of TLC. 

Obviously everyone has their own reasons for changing or completely stopping their contraception options and remember, what happens to others won't necessarily happen to you. Its a big change for your body so be kind and always speak to your doctor or sexual health nurse if you're worried about anything.

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

My First Smear Test

Smear tests. Its one of those envelopes every girl dreads being shuvved through her letterbox (no pun intended) and mine arrived last year in June. I had it all booked in on the 2nd August but couldn't attend on the day due to having hand surgery after an accident at home. Part of me was relieved and another part of me was frustrated because I'd been brave enough to book my appointment after weeks of putting it off and then it was taken away.

Months went by and we're now in March. If you've been reading my blog this year you may have spotted that I decided to come off the pill in January and therefore, my periods returned after 3 glorious years without them. I had my first period and decided I would book in again, get all down there checked out and psyched myself up to make the call. I was devastated to discover the snotty receptionist refused to give me an appointment because I wasn't at the correct stage in my cycle. She explained I couldn't get booked in because it wasn't precisely 10 days after I had stopped bleeding and told me to wait until my next cycle. If you've come off contraception yourself, you may have experienced irregular cycles and the rest of it so at this point I was like...what the eff...I could be waiting ages. Then I got my second period at the beginning of March and was fully aware that this time, I had to think ahead and try to get myself booked in again. With appointments being so hard to grab at the correct time, the NHS are under a lot of pressure right now and its only been getting worse. I managed to get squeezed in for the end of March, 9 days after the bleeding had stopped. I did check with my nurse about the 10 day 'rule' but turns out it was all rubbish and as long as you're not bleeding, you can get a test done.

I arrived with plenty of time to spare and my lovely nurse called me through way before my appointment because there was no one else waiting. This was brilliant because it meant I wasn't there getting all worked up alone in the waiting room and it was also the nurse who I used to see for my pill appointments so I knew she was a diamond. She went through it all with me, led me to the table and left me to get myself undressed from the waist down and asked me to call her back when I was comfortable. I hopped on, lay down and let her do what she needed to do. She explained everything she was doing but if you don't want to know you can ask your nurse to not talk you through it. I found it eased the awkwardness though and the two of us actually had a right laugh. She grabbed the lubricant which farted as it left the tube and she said 'whoops, excuse my lube!' and that set us off again. It didn't hurt one bit but it was just a little uncomfortable. I experienced light cramps afterwards which is totally normal and I had such a spring in my step knowing I'd got it over and done with.

I'm sure we've all heard about the importance of getting a cervical screening test done and although it sounds like the most horrific, embarrassing and daunting chore ever, its totally worth it and every girl should get it done. I found on the day that posting on Twitter asking for positive vibes really helped and the blogging community was so encouraging and inspiring. If I wasn't ready to get one done, I would have been from their kind and motivating messages. It only takes a couple of seconds and honestly, try going in with a light hearted attitude and take your sense of humour with you because it helped me so much to relax. I feel super proud to have done it and know that next time won't be so scary.

Thanks for reading!

Moon Cup - First Impressions

Recently I dove back into the world of menstruating after three years of never having to worry about periods. I was on a contraceptive pill that stopped them altogether and whilst this was awesome and I never missed the pain or agro, I became increasingly aware and worried about what long term effects the artificial hormones and unnatural methods were doing to my body.

I'd seen Mooncup via other bloggers and never advertised anywhere but you can't lie about this - don't tell me for a second it doesn't intrigue you! Even if you're completely against the idea, you are definitely sat there questioning how it works, is it any good and will you prefer it to other products? I bought one this week and I'm here to try, test and review the Mooncup to share my experiences and thoughts. I'm very hopeful and determined to get on with it, so what better way to start this adventure than with a first impressions.

The Mooncup comes in two different sizes, basically one for women who have given birth and one for women who haven't. This is also dependant on age so if you're over 30, you'll probably need size A but you can always email them and query this if you're unsure. It comes presented in a small, rather posh looking box and inside, is a little organic cotton pouch containing your new silicone Mooncup. I have to say, it was quite exciting unboxing mine for the first time and I was surprised by the size of it. I don't really know what I was expecting, but it was a little bigger than I imagined but didn't let that put me off.

I had a bath one night and after a lovely long soak, dried myself off, thought sod it and had a go at putting it in. There are two different ways of inserting the Mooncup and whilst both are tricky, I can tell its going to be something that with a little practice will become really easy. My first attempt resulted in me letting go of the Mooncup too soon and it popped open and gave me quite a fright but I persisted and tried again and voi-la…it was in! 

This next bit you may find hilarious, but I did some squats, jiggled around a bit, walked around the landing with no pants on but you know what? Not uncomfortable, not painful and left me feeling super proud that I'd managed to get it in correctly within two attempts.

The bit I'm nervous about is emptying the Mooncup whilst out and about in public because some toilets don't have the sink in the cubicle with you. I have read that some people just tip the contents into the toilet, give the cup a wipe out and pop it back in so I guess I'm just going to prepare myself with baby wipes, tissues and my usual supplies for just in case occasions but I'm definitely going to give it a try. Let me know if you've ever tried a menstrual cup and what your thoughts are!

Thanks for reading!

Lush Leicester Easter Launch

Last week I was lucky enough to receive an invite to the Lush Easter Launch at my local store in Leicester and I didn't hesitate to accept! After the last Lush event I went to, I had more of an idea about what to expect so I was much more relaxed and Lush were kind enough to allow a plus one so this time, I took my best friend with me and we had a right good time.

As with the Valentines range, this is the first time I've had a chance to actually buy some of the new products so I did indeed grab some newbies and oldies that I've not tested before. One of my favourite things to see were the bunches of carrots and the scents of all the new products were unreal. 

The staff were more than happy to show demos throughout the entire 2 hours that the event was held for and each time, they explained a bit about the product, their designs, fragrances and what I especially love is the whole experience is so personal. Everyone shares their favourites, encourages each other to try new things and its an amazing way to interact and meet some new people and make new friends too!

I think I spotted a few bloggers who I recognise from Twitter, but I'm way too much of a pansy to take the risk and ask if its them or not! I'm way better than I was when I went to my first event so fingers crossed, my social anxiety is getting better and I'll be making the first move in no time. I was really impressed by the range of 'surprise' products such as these huge Easter egg bath bombs. Inside they have another extra treat and they smelt delightful. Something I regret not picking up was the Flopsy face wash jelly, it was such a strange consistency and fun looking that I can't understand why I didn't give it a go.

How beautiful is this love themed soap? I majorly regret not buying a slice because it smelt to fresh and rosy. I did however buy myself a couple of blocks of the other soaps; an old favourite called Rock Star and one I haven't tried before in soap form, Karma. We were also invited upstairs to actually make some products ourselves to take away and again this was a great way to interact with people because one of the products was the Cupcake face mask and the group of us around the table each took it in turns to mix and add ingredients. It certainly is the little things like this that restore my faith in humanity and go to show you can have fun with complete strangers. The Lush staff are awesome at helping to break the ice and introduce you to the products, people and the Lush culture.

As always, a huge thank you to the Lush Leicester team, especially Aiyaaz for always being so energetic, enthusiastic and spreading the Lush love where ever he goes. It wouldn't be the same without him prancing around having a giggle - it creates a wonderful atmosphere and I was so thankful to have been a part of it once again.

Thanks for reading!

Why Adulting Sucks

Its not always unicorns and glitter on my blog. Truth is, recently I've been feeling really down in the dumps and that reason is - money. Money is one of my biggest triggers for my anxiety and since buying a house, I've been in a sort of constant struggling whirlwind of panic and dread. We're not in a bad way by any means, but money really does control our lives as humans and I'm talking about the bigger picture now rather than not having the odd shopping spree here and there. 

At the start of the year, I booked a surprise trip to Amsterdam for our first wedding anniversary/James' 26th birthday and decided I should spill the beans basically because we were spending a lot at the time on deposits, removal men, decorating, convenience food due to not having a fridge, furniture and all the other stuff that comes with moving house. We discussed it all and decided we'd still go, but then our boiler broke. We had to fork out for a boiler man and the new parts which totalled to the same amount as our holiday. The beginning of the year is also our time for all the car stuff - insurance, tax, MOT, as well as new wind screen wipers, wires for my printers because the wifi wasn't working, loft panels and now we're having to save for a new bathroom. So we've cancelled our trip.

Then the other night, I was tidying my laptop and camera away after hooking up to a BT hotspot downstairs (the only reachable connection!) and as I walked away with my camera on top of my laptop, it slid off and smashed onto the floor. So off I went yesterday to Jessops to ask about a repair and it turns out it would cost the same as my camera is worth to get it fixed. Do you ever just think…fuck my life?

Thing is, there is so much pressure from every angle to be leading these perfect lives all the time that when shit hits the fan, you feel like a right let down. Don't get me wrong, this is all pretty trivial, first world problems and all that but when you work your ass off to be able to achieve lovely things and they break, or the cost of living just keeps piling up, it can make you feel like you're drowning. It can be really hard to try and grasp back some of that positivity and turn a crap situation into a better one.

For our first wedding anniversary, we've got an entire week booked off now where the trip to Amsterdam should have been so we're going to cram in as much fun as possible. We've decided we're going to visit the Space Centre in Leicester, have a little shopping trip, lots of dog walks, baking, continue transforming the house and spend lots of time winding each other up. Its what you make of it so I guess todays message is, don't let the bastards get you down and when life gives you jip, poor yourself a drink then add some rum to that shit.

Thanks for reading!

February Favourites

Welcome back to another set of monthly favourites - these bad boys have excited me a lot over February so lets dig in!

The Little Melt Company Wax Melts
I've shared this wonderful little Etsy shop on my blog before but I have decided that I've never come across scents as top quality as these, even Yankee. They're only £1 per melt and Debbie has an awesome range of scents to choose from, even Lush dupes. They also make sweet little gifts - I bought some for my step-mum for her birthday and she loved them!

Options Hot Chocolate
Straight after a shift at work, the first thing I usually crave when I get home is a bar of chocolate. This pretty much then stops me from wanting any actual dinner and in a bid to try and become a bit healthier but get a chocolate fix at the same time, I have turned to hot chocolate. You can also get low fat squirty cream as an extra little nom nom to top it off and I find it to be just right for satisfying my taste buds but not filling me up too much to the point where I don't want any proper food.

Marshmallow Bubble Bath
Since actually having a bath tub, shopping for bubble bath is something that excites me a lot. As much as I love Lush bubble bars, they can end up being really expensive for every day or even weekly use so I like to have liquid bubble baths for back up, so I can save my Lush products for a proper little pamper. This one by Imperial Leather smells so sweet and you can definitely smell it on your skin after a good long soak. I'm dying to try the Foamy Banana scented one next - I hope this brand keeps up the sweet treat flavours!

Creme Eggs
With Easter just around the corner, or rather as soon as Christmas is out the way, the shops start to fill with all of those naughty chocolaty treats. I have literally never been a fan of Creme Eggs until this year and I've not been able to leave them alone. Honesty its been one every day in my lunch bag for work. I find them to be just the right amount of sickly sweet goo and they stop me from wanting any other naughties once I've had a Creme Egg for my chocolate fix. You also can't go wrong with Mini Eggs, am I right?!

Killer Queen by Katy Perry
I was out walking my dogs the other day with a friend and kept getting wiffs of her perfume and couldn't help but fall in love with it. Turns out it was Killer Queen by Katy Perry so I ended up buying myself a bottle. This perfume is both visually stunning and a great additive to any perfume bottle collection. It also smells perfectly sweet but super sexy at the same time, I've become obsessed with this scent and it seems to fill me with confidence.

I'm trying to explore a lot more this year and I'm always on the look out for new things to try so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks for reading!

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