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How To Live A Life Free From The Strains Of Stress*





(Pixabay License)

Hello lovelies,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

Now, we aren't suggesting you can have a life that is entirely stress-free. If that were true, then we would all be drifting through life on (figurative) fluffy clouds and silk-sewn rainbows!

Rather, we are suggesting that it is possible to live a life (largely) free from the strains of stress; those health issues that can occur as a result of the stressors in our lives.

How?

Well, consider these suggestions. While we can't guarantee you will never get the occasional headache because of your stress, or a case of the jitters when you have to enter a stressful situation, you might still be able to handle stress without falling majorly ill as a consequence.

#1: Find your support network

Talking to another person can give you a perspective on your stressor. Having somebody around to make you laugh can offer you instant stress-relief. And the physical hug of another person is a proven way to lower your blood pressure. So, find the people who can offer you these things in your life, and add them to your support network.

#2: Use remedies for stress relief

From rub-on-lotions to stress-relief sprays, visit your local health shop, and buy any natural products guaranteed to offer you quick relaxation when you need them. Then carry them around with you in your bag, and apply them as soon as you start to feel the effects of stress.

CBD oil is another effective stress-reliever, so follow the link for where to buy CBD oil in the UK legally. And there are other essential oils you might consider, especially when getting into a bath, so consider lavender, chamomile or jasmine, as just a few examples of quick and soothing stress-relief when you need it. Follow our previous link for more advice.

#3: Spend more time outside

Staying cooped up indoors when you're feeling stressed isn't helpful as, without the fresh air and natural light of the sun, it can be easy to fall prey to depressive symptoms. This is often why people suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the winter. Instead, make an effort to spend as much of your time outdoors as possible when you're feeling stressed, as your mood will soon start to improve.

Of course, if you're physically active when you're outdoors, you will also start to feel the stress-relieving benefits of exercise. And if you can spend time taking part in fun activities, then you will drive down the effects of stress further. Incorporate such behaviours into your lifestyle on a regular basis, and stress won't have time to take its hold on your life.

#4: Take breaks from technology

Staring at your phone for hours on end won't help, as not only will you feel more stressed if you read anything online that bothers you, but you will be less likely to spend more time exercising. And the same applies to your television. Life on the sofa isn't good for you on either a physical and mental level, so turn off the TV and spend more of your time in activities that will stimulate both your mind and body. Apply the same rules to any other piece of technology that rules your life. While they are fine in moderation, too much time with them could increase rather than reduce your stress levels.

Finally

From work worries to money issues, you will experience stress on a fairly regular basis. While you should find ways to manage your stressors, it's important for you to know that they don't have to derail your overall health. Follow our suggestions then, and live a life free from the strains that your stressors can cause. And if you have any other pieces of advice for our readers, be sure to share them with us.

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Leah xoxo

Making Big Decisions In Life*

Hello lovelies, 
This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

There are going to be times in everyone’s life when they need to make some big decisions. When those times come around, it can often be particularly concerning trying to work out how to make sure that you are making the right one. Of course, this is something that we all struggle with, but if you are keen to try and make sure that you are making the right decisions then you will need to think about what you can do to make sure of that. In this post, we are going to discuss just a few of the things that you could consider if you want to try and improve your decision making. You might find that focusing on these things is going to mean that you end up with a much better ability to make those big decisions.



Credit - CCO Licence

Consider All Your Options

One of the most damaging things you can do here is to rush into making big decisions without properly considering all of the options available to you. When you do that, it is only going to mean that you will struggle to actually make the right decision, and you might not even be able to work out why. So it’s important to take some time and step back, and really think about what kind of options you have in front of you, which are viable and which are not. If you can do that, you should find that you end up making the right decision much more often, so this is absolutely something that you will want to think about as best as you can.

Ask Around

It is always a good idea too to make sure that you know what others think of whatever is in front of you, and the decision that you are having to make. If you can get a good sense of what people are thinking about that decision, then you can find it easier to place your own understanding within it all, which is something that you are going to admit is very important indeed. There are lots of people you can turn to for this. You can ask your parents, your siblings, your partner, or your friends. You might even want to think about getting email psychic readings and using some of that information to help you. Whatever you do, just make sure that you are seeking the advice of some of the people you really trust who you have access to.



Credit - CCO Licence

Take It Slow

Finally, remember that it is often important in these big moments to make sure that you take things slow. That doesn’t mean not jumping or taking risks, but it does mean that you should make sure that you are really certain of what you want before you make any big decisions in life. The last thing you want is to regret anything, so this is going to be the kind of thing that you will really need to be sure of in order to avoid that.

Thanks for reading, 
Leah xoxo

An All-Around Sustainable Lifestyle To Look Great and Feel Great*

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).
https://unsplash.com/photos/4PG6wLlVag4


Hello loves, 

Living a cruelty-free lifestyle doesn't just end at the beauty products you use. It should affect all parts of your life from your clothing choices to your diet to how you get around town. If you're new to doing this, you'll know it's not easy, and even those who have been doing it their whole life still struggle with some aspects of the lifestyle.

But it doesn't need to be a chore. While you're making possibly massive changes to your lifestyle, it's not something that should get you down. Instead, it's supposed to be fun. Something to energise you. Something to make you feel good about yourself and the rest of the world. 

Everyone needs support when making such significant changes, so here's some quick advice on how to live an all-around sustainable lifestyle that will make you look great and feel even better. 

Diet Decisions
The first thing everyone tells you when seeking a more sustainable lifestyle is to change your diet. For meat-eaters, this might be a challenge, but those who have already dipped their toe in 'alternative' diets shouldn't have too much trouble. Vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism are all superb diets to consider. 

It doesn't end there, though. You also need to think about how you get the food onto your plate. There are plenty of ways to do this without spending half your life wandering aimlessly around the supermarket. One successful option is to grow your food, but this only works with a back garden. If you're short on space, locally sourced food is a winner. 

Fashion Fixes
The clothes you wear and their impact on the environment is not something most people think about when considering a more sustainable lifestyle. However, when you consider how many new clothes you buy each year, it all adds up. 
 
This isn't to say forget about labels and designers and live in a potato sack, but instead research sustainable clothing options. You can do this through existing stores or consider second hand and charity shops. It's also easy to take existing clothes and alter them to suit different seasons to give you a brand new wardrobe without spending a penny. 

Transport Triumphs
One of the most significant issues with living a sustainable lifestyle is pollution from transport. The main problem is convenience. Once you get your driver's license, you hope to never get on a bus again, but when everyone thinks this, the planet suffers. 

Instead of sitting in traffic on the way to work, consider waking up just a little earlier and catching the bus. The first weeks may be difficult, but soon you'll soon get used to it. If public transport is out of the question, you can always cycle (and get in some exercise) or car share with a coworker who lives close. It's not ideal, but it's one step closer to more sustainable living. 

Sustainable Success
What's important to remember on your quest towards a more cruelty-free and sustainable lifestyle is that you'll find it easier and more comfortable if you take it one step at a time. Trying to change too much at once can lead to you becoming overwhelmed with what you have to do, so don't overdo it. Instead, take it easy and make changes where you can. You'll soon make a habit of sustainable living like you've been doing it all your life.

Thanks for reading. 
Leah xoxo

It Is How You Are Old: Ways To Feel Young(er) Again

Hello loves, 

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).



Image - CC0 Licence

When you start to fight old mother time, it is a battle that you will end up losing. When it comes to looking younger, while there's plenty of lotions and potions out there, the real secret is feeling younger. Feeling younger doesn't just have a benefit for you right now, but it helps you later on in life. But what are the different ways that you can feel younger without resorting to drastic measures?

Swapping Those Bad Vices

We've all got some vice, whether it's sugar or cigarettes, but we can do is, before making those healthy swaps, is realise what they do to us on the inside. This is usually the best springboard to make a healthy change. But when it comes to something like cigarettes, they can be notoriously difficult to give up. This is while it is worth making a swap to something similar, such as a shisha kit or e-cigarette. If this is something that interests you, it's worth looking at buyv2cigs for the best shisha pen kit. Swapping those bad vices can take a while. The trick is not to swap all of them at once, it's about doing one at a time. And remember, when it comes to something like diet, a little bit of what you fancy is good. It's just when they take over your entire life that you need to make a major change.

Reclaim A Sense Of Happiness

We can spend so long looking for the right moisturiser when really, it's beyond the skin we need to look. Feeling happier in life is a great way to keep you young. And when it comes to making yourself feel better but things, a lot of it is to do with not sweating the small stuff. It is, after all, the little things in life that make you happy. We have to remember this when we bury ourselves in stress, because it's these things that won't do us any favours, and when we feel a lot of stress over little things, anxiety is never far behind!

Get Lifting

Weight training is one of the great ways to increase your energy levels and if you feel more energetic, you will begin to bound about the place. If you can't get to a gym, resistance bands work just as well. In fact, exercises with resistance bands provide the same muscle stimulation for a fraction of the cost but it's not as heavy on your joints. Weight training or any form of exercise is great to give you a lot more energy.

Take The Right Vitamins

It's something that we're all told to do! If you don't have enough Omega-3 or Vitamin C, and you always feel a bit under the weather, it's amazing what supplement can do. Remember, getting a supplement isn't meant to replace a diet but if you can get an allergy test, and see what vitamins and minerals you lack in, taking the right supplements can make you feel a lot better, in fact, could make you feel much better than when you were younger!

However old are young you are, there is always a way to recapture our youth in mind and body. Remember, it's not how old you are but it is how you are old.

Thanks for reading, 
Leah xoxo

My top 5 rides to visit at Universal Studios Orlando*

Hi loveys,

This is a collaborative post (written by me).

[By NBCUniversal - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]


Are you a rollercoaster fan? I haven't been on a rollercoaster in years but I grew up going to Dreamland in Margate and regularly got my thrills there as a teen on the American Looping Star and the Scenic Railway. I'd love to visit Universal Studios in Orlando. Opened in 1990 and co-founded by Steven Spielberg it's one of the top theme park destinations in the world.

Here are the 5 rides at Universal I'd most love to go on. Some of them are rollercoasters and some of them are virtual reality simulations. There are a couple of really family friendly rides in my picks as I'm basically a 5 year old in a 45 year old's body!

HARRY POTTER AND THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY 

I'm a massive Harry Potter fan (and proud Slytherin) so this ride is right at the top of my list. Harry Potter is great escapism from reality and what better way to do that than by flying over Hogwarts?



THE SIMPSONS RIDE

When I was with James we used to watch The Simpsons almost every day of the week. I'm a huge fan of the dysfunctional yellow family so this virtual reality coaster ride would be a beeline for me. It's good family-friendly fun.



DESPICABLE ME MINION MAYHEM

I don't know what it is about me and cute yellow critters, but I also love Minions. They're cute and silly and they love ba-na-nas, so what's not to like?! This ride is pure escapism and very family friendly, featuring a dance off at the end of the show.



THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF SPIDERMAN

This is another virtual reality ride rather than an actual rollercoaster. Watch Spiderman save the day as he soars over New York. Just make sure you don't lose your lunch when he drops 400 feet!



REVENGE OF THE MUMMY

This indoor rollercoaster takes you on a dark and scary ride complete with fire and insects as the Mummy Imhotep tries to steal your very soul! This ride looks really scary and would be sure to get your heart pounding.



Have you been to Universal Studios Orlando? If so, what was your favourite ride?

Get your Universal Studio Tickets for the family.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

How The Gut Affects Mental Health*

Hi loves,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).



Michael Schiffer

Gut bacteria or the 'good bacteria' in your gut helps to regulate your bowel, assists with digestion and maintains healthy levels of microbes. In case your gut bacteria is not functioning properly then you may suffer from constipation, flatulence, diarrhoea, acid reflux, bloating, and a lot more gastrointestinal ailments. If your gut isn't working correctly for a long time period it may result in serious illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome or perhaps diverticulitis!

Gut bacteria are necessary since they are the bacteria that keep your entire digestive system secure. They are the bacteria that antibiotics kill, so if you are ill frequently and will need to take a great deal of antibiotics afterwards your gut bacteria will be deficient. This is going to cause diarrhoea. If you choose antibiotics, all of the gut bacteria can be ruined. However, your gut bacteria isn't often considered as being the probable cause of a mental health issue.

Latest research, however, indicates that a number of bacteria known as Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, may influence somebody's emotional health if there's a scarcity of this substance. If you are missing GABA, you can be identified as suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and fatigue but what is often ignored is that you may be also afflicted by susceptibility to stress, causing nervousness, depression and possibly autism.

GABA has a role as a neurotransmitter, sending messages to the mind and nervous system. It is also involved in regulating the communication between our brain cells. Studies have proven that GABA can restrain anxiety and affect our behaviour, so when it's low we don't feel as calm or relaxed or having difficulty sleeping too. Dealing with anxiety, we may turn to cigarettes (much worse than even the best vape). More studies will need to be carried out in this area, but this new information is possibly a good insight to explain the link between our bowel and emotional health problems.

The good thing is that GABA may be raised naturally with foods high in magnesium and vitamin B. It is a fantastic idea to have an organic multi-vitamin daily, as nobody eats perfectly every day - a supplement will make sure you don't become deficient in minerals and vitamins. Green tea and chamomile are also good for increasing those bacteria levels. These foods and vitamins have shown in certain tests to increase gut bacteria and consequently an increase in an individual's mental health capabilities. Additionally, there are a number of other all-natural approaches to improve mental wellbeing, manage stress, anxiety and depression. Ask your therapist to learn what you will need to do if you suffer from one of these ailments.

GABA hence has the capability to be a fantastic supplement if you're feeling a little away or have been suffering from poor anxiety, depression, or even PMS. Bear in mind your mood may be changed by levels of hormones and also how the thyroid is working. Conversely, GABA can improve your mood, impacting your emotions and putting a positive slant on your perspective.

Thanks for reading. 
Leah xoxo

Setting the Date: 3 Things to Book ASAP

Hi loves,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).



Image Credit: Unsplash

Planning a wedding is no small feat. Sure, you might have planned large parties before but the pressure on this day and the number of things you need to organise can quickly get on top of you.

There are lots of things you will learn as a bride-to-be and the whole process is a fantastic opportunity to get exactly what you want, even if it’s just for a day. But with so many things on your ever-growing list, what do you need to prioritise right now?

The Venue

The very first thing you need to think about is where you want to get married and whether you want to stay there for your wedding breakfast and party or if you want to move everyone to another location. For some people, a hotel is a natural choice as this means that you don’t need to go very far at all on the day and relatives and friends traveling longer distances can stay over too.

The main thing to watch out for here is the cost. Venues can charge a lot of money for a simple exchange of vows and you should definitely be careful of not-so-optional extra charges. For many people, choosing separate venues and paying for transport actually turns out to be a lot cheaper and get you exactly what you want.

The Band

If you want live music at your wedding, you definitely need to get in touch with your preferred band ASAP. Websites like https://www.alivenetwork.com/hirelivemusic/wedding_bands_in.asp?area=Suffolk are great for finding local talents, no matter what sort of music you are into.

The reason you need to book so quickly is that bands tend to book way into the future. The other reason, which will probably be obvious if you are a musician yourself, is that bands really like to have time to rehearse so if you have a list of songs you really want, they need time to learn them!

The Food

Another surprise early book but the food is a big ticket item for your wedding day and it can take time to decide what you want and how many you can afford to feed. While low key wedding breakfasts are more popular and cocktail receptions are becoming a thing too, food needs to be a top priority to keep people happy.

Again, caterers tend to get booked well in advance so if you have a particular taste or you like a particular company, you should definitely get in there quickly. The same goes for your wedding cake. If you want a bespoke cake that’s really going to stand out, you need to book in quickly so that you get the designer you want.

Once you have sorted out these big ticket items, there is still a lot left to do but at least you know that on your wedding day, all the basics will be in place. And, if you have started planning nice and early, you will still have plenty of time to do all the fun things like finding your outfits and making decorations.

Thanks for reading. 
Leah xoxo

#Ad Curvissa's Summer Of Yes OOTDs

Hey lovelies!

I'm back with an outfit post - well, actually two of them! Curvissa are running an awesome campaign at the moment called the Summer Of Yes. It features three bloggers/influencers and each of them has a capsule collection. You can read all about it and see all the items here - Curvissa Summer Of Yes.

CURVISSA TROPICAL PRINT MAXI DRESS

I'm wearing this dress in a size 28 and it's true to size. I decided to dress it down for daywear with plimsolls and a denim jacket but it'd look fabulous dressed up for the evening too.

The dress has corset-like tie fastenings on both sides so you can nip your waist in, which I've done here. It's lined to the mid thigh and is such a good quality heavyweight dress.





OUTFIT DETAILS

Curvissa Tropical Print Maxi Dress
Jacket (very similar)
Plimsolls (similar)
Earrings - Primark

SHEEGO FLORAL EMBROIDERED TOP & BOOTCUT JEANS

I was also sent a couple of other items. I chose some bootcut cropped jeans with the aim of turning them into rolled up jeans shorts. I can't do this with skinny jeans as my calves are so big so bootcut jeans are the way forward. Although the jeans are cropped, because I have stumpy legs they're almost full length on me. 😁 Because I carry most of my weight in my bum, belly and thighs I sized up 2 sizes to a size 32 in the jeans. Curvissa advises you to size up one size anyway as their jeans are tighter fitting than most other brands'. They're a little too big but nothing a belt won't fix. They have lovely embroidery on them and have loads of stretch. I also chose a white top with floral sequin arrangements. It's a really soft 100% cotton material and the tassels are a cute touch. I also sized up in the top to a size 30/32 because I wanted an airy, swing look.






OUTFIT DETAILS

Sheego Floral Embroidered Top
Sheego Cropped Bootcut Jeans
Sandals

Have you ever shopped with Curvissa? They have a handy holiday shop section with everything you need for the summer.

I love my old lady sandals from Shoezone. They have velcro at the both the toes and the ankle and they're so soft and spongy to walk on. I had a conversation with my man about buying old lady sandals when we were in the shop and he said "Well, you are 45!" So this is middle age - being happy with comfortable shoes!

I use affiliate links on some items, which means if you click and buy from them I will earn a small commission. See my disclosure for more details. The items in this post were gifted but opinions are all my own.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo