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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

What To Wear To Visit Disney World*

Hello lovelies,

Image source. Shared under CC

I remember as a child and teenager being jealous of my peers whose parents were taking them on a family holiday to Disney World. I grew up seeing Disney World adverts on tv and it always looked so magical. As a small child I had a black hat with mouse ears on which I wore until it fell to pieces. I even used to wear it to church. Even as an adult it's still on my bucket list to go to Disney World one day, and here's what kind of thing I'd be wearing for the trip.

Comfy shoes

Comfy shoes have got to be at the top of the list as there's a LOT of walking to be done - there's the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Centre, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, as well as the water parks and more! Skechers are my go to comfortable shoes and I have a few pairs - their memory foam insoles really are like walking on air, perfect for a long day on your feet. These slip ons with fastenings offer great support, and you can machine wash them as well at the end of a trip to freshen them up. Just don't tumble dry them or they'll shrink. They are an expensive outlay but your feet will really thank you for it, trust me.



Minnie Ears

You can't go to Disney World without wearing Minnie ears, it's absolutely got to be done! These sequinned ones are a great price and would keep your hair off your face on a hot Florida day. I think I'd go for the ones on the left as the more colour the better for me!




Polka Dots

To me, Disney screams Minnie Mouse polka dots so I'd have to wear something polka dot print. This plus size Lyra dress by Lady Voluptuous is stylish and comfortable, and as it's made of stretch jersey it'll be great for those humid Florida days.

£47 here

Have you been to Disney World? What did you wear?

This is a collaborative post (written by me).

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Tips on How to Dress for a Summer Wedding*

Hi lovelies,

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


Summer has arrived which means that there are sure to be a few weddings on your calendar to look forward to. There is nothing quite like a wedding and they are always great fun, but it can be hard to know what to wear particularly if you have a few weddings to attend. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you navigate the summer wedding season.

Check the Invite
Before you start searching for an outfit you should check the invite as this is likely to say what the dress code is and if there is any particular theme to be aware of. Always follow any instructions on the invite - you don’t want to stand out and upset the happy couple! If you are not sure on what to wear or what the etiquette is then ask other people for guidance and what they are wearing.

Material & Colour
You will, of course, want to look your best on the big day but you must also consider comfort particularly if you are going to be there all day. Weddings can be tiring and hot in the summer months so think about a material or colour which will be comfortable yet flattering. Breezy, lightweight materials and light colours/patterns are ideal - just remember to not wear white!

Choose Accessories Carefully
The accessories that you wear provide you with the chance to make a summer outfit a little bit classier and more sophisticated but make sure that they are not too elaborate. Something like diamond earrings from a place like F Hinds is an excellent choice and will certainly make any outfit pop.

Plan for the Evening
Keep in mind that even in the middle of summer the evenings can get chilly. This means that you should have some kind of jacket or blazer to put on once the sun goes down so that you can stay warm while still looking smart and stylish.

Consider Footwear & Where the Wedding Is
It is a good idea to find out where the wedding and reception are being held so that you can pick out an appropriate pair of shoes. If the reception is being held on grass, for example, then you will want to switch out the heels for something flat yet still elegant.

Summer wedding season is always great fun, but it can be hard to plan your outfit especially if you have multiple weddings to attend. Hopefully this information will help you to plan the perfect outfit which will help you to look and feel your best while still adhering to the dress code. It is essential that you follow whatever dress code the couple have stated and to always check with other guests what they are wearing just to make sure that what you have planned is appropriate.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Mac Or PC: Which Is Best For A Fashion Blogger?*

Hello lovelies,

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

The age old question of whether a Mac or PC is better has been around since the dawn of computers. It’s the same as asking which is better: tea or coffee, ready salted or cheese and onion, DC or Marvel, coast or country, Nikon or Canon. While this question will continue to be debated long after you have finished reading this article, there are some pointers to look for when it comes to making the decision about which to plump for when purchasing your next bit of hardware. You could place your emphasis on colour, shape, or whether the speakers are loud and of good audio quality. However, there may be more important aspects of your purchase that you should consider.

Computers were once hefty desktop things, but they have now morphed into the more convenient and smaller laptop varieties. Both Mac and PC have ventured into this realm to create exceptional machines. No one is arguing that one is a poor imitation of the other. You simply need to consider whether Mac or PC best suits your needs. While they have many similarities, it is their differences that will help you decide which computer you prefer. If you are a fashion blogger, which laptop should you go for?



Image source

Hardware

While boring and super technical, it is imperative that you check out the hardware of your device. You need to consider the RAM, the memory, the speed and the display of your machine to ensure that it is a user friendly experience for you. You may assume that the sleekness and postmodern adored-by-millennial Apple may win this hands down. After all, they produced the MacBook Air that looks as light as a feather, is ridiculously thin and lightweight, and yet still squeezes in all the performance of a monster machine.

However, the PC has many more laptop varieties, from the Dells of the world to the more aesthetically pleasing Sonys. The colours are almost endless, so you can choose the ultra formal black or a quirkier rose gold. There are an array of different screen sizes and resolutions to play with, and there is a wealth of processors to pick to suit your budget. You could even have a PC with a touchscreen capability, making your blogging a breeze compared to having to tap away on a keyboard for hours on end.

Software And Apps

With Microsoft being the stalwart of the PC, they seemed to have a monopoly on the word processing and spreadsheet-esque software packages. However, Apple has its own version which gives Microsoft a run for its money. Of course, you may choose to forget the free trial before having to purchase your Microsoft Office 365, and instead go for some open source software. With your Mac, the Office Suite equivalent is free - great for those heavy blogging days.

In terms of apps, the Mac doesn’t come loaded with rubbish and filler that you’ll end up uninstalling to free up some much needed space. You will have an exceptional photo app, a decent movie maker, word processing tools and the opportunity to download extras from the Apple Store. This is your laptop created for your preferences with the capability to be highly personalised. For the avid fashion blogger, the Flume app makes using Instagram on your laptop a much more pleasurable experience. You can forget about having to rely on your smartphone, to scroll through your feed on the big screen instead.

Your PC will come with more free trials that you didn’t even want to sign up for, and way more pop ups. This is ok for the individuals who want all of this extra software kit, but it’s not great for the streamline fashion blogger.



Image source

Security

While you might not be blogging about the most confidential or secret of subjects, you still don’t want any old hacker compromising your posts, infiltrating your blog and stealing your content. Apple is more secure simply because there are fewer laptops with the Mac interface. Hackers tend to prefer going after Windows powered machines. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in some decent free anti-virus software for your Windows PC to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a cyber criminal. Whatever laptop you choose should have more than a mere firewall to protect it.

Money

If you don’t have very deep pockets, then a PC is the way to go. They range in price from under £200 for an entry level basic model to over a couple of grand. However, if you want a Mac, you won’t get much for under £600, and this is only for the bog standard generic bit of kit. MacBook Airs are way more expensive. Value for money rests with the PC. There are many more retailers of PC laptops, and there is a greater variety of choice. There are deals to be had with software bundles, which could be useful for your blogging credentials.



Image source

Intuitiveness

The amount of times Windows has rehashed its interface is shocking, especially when some of these updates are anything but user friendly. Does anyone remember Windows 8? The most recent update - Windows 10 - is more exciting with Cortana coming on board to rival Siri. The interface is user friendly and easy to navigate.

The great thing about Apple’s interface, OS X, is that it rarely deviates much from its tried and tested aesthetically pleasing menus and design. It has steered clear of the whole touch screen capability believing it to be little more than a gimmick whereas Windows have fully embraced the concept. It’s up to you how much emphasis you place on this quality.

Choosing a laptop is difficult, especially with the vast array on offer. Consider what it is you want from a machine, think about how you will use it for your blogging, and go with function over form. Laptops are built to last if you choose a good brand, so spend as much as your budget will allow.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

The Top Three Essential Oils*

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


Ah, essential oils. They don’t just smell divine; they can benefit our health in a number of ways. Whether you’re physically soar or seeking calm, there’s likely one to suit your needs.
Unsurprisingly, each tends to have a specific effect – so, it’s important that you know what to look for.
To find the best one for you, read our essential guide.
  1. Lavender
Want to unwind? Lavender may hold the solution. People have used the plant to relieve stress for centuries – and to great effect.
Various studies have heavily suggested that it’s useful for aiding relaxation, both within the body and the mind. As an essential oil, it’s particularly effective, especially in the bath.
So long as it’s paired with carrier oil (as water and oil don’t mix), you stand to release mental tension. Place four to five drops in your tub, and you’ll feel tranquil for hours afterwards.
For a good night’s sleep, a few sprinkles on your pillow may help you to easily drift off.  Lavender can be the ultimate essential oil for tranquillity.
  1. Chamomile
If you really want to feel calm, how about chamomile? It won’t just soothe your mind – it could heal irritated or sore skin.
It’s used by many people as an anti-inflammatory, as it typically has a gentle feel. If you plan to use it directly on your skin, remember to be careful, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Always dilute it with carrier oil. To stay completely safe, why not ask your pharmacist or doctor about how best to apply it?  
Once you’ve found a suitable solution for you, rub it onto clean, warm skin. For maximum effect, it’s usually best to oil-up just after a bath.
Use it wisely, and you could improve the look and feel of your skin.
  1. Jasmine Absolute
Jasmine emits a glorious scent. Floral, uplifting and clean, it’s a favourite among many aromatherapists – and it’s easy to see why.
Very often, it can really boost our mood. Breathe it in, and you may very well notice a difference in how you feel.
Of course, when made into an essential oil, its aromatic benefits intensify. Just imagine how uplifting bathing in it could be!
Unlike with gentle chamomile, however, try to refrain from using the oil – or any dilutions of it – on your skin, as it could cause irritation. Instead, limit it to baths. If your skin is highly sensitive, opt for a diluted version of it.
You’re bound to feel refreshed by its scent.
Now that you know what to look for, you stand to make the most of essential oils. What’s to stop you from finding the ideal one for you?  
Thanks for reading. 
Leah xoxo

Pink Clove floral wrap hi low dress

Hello lovelies,

How are you?

I'm back with a fashion post. My aunt bought this dress to cheer me up when I was down a while ago, and Mookie took photos for me. I have such good people in my life, I'm so thankful.

Now on the Pink Clove website this dress is listed as black but it's more like a dark brown, as you can see better in the close up further down the post. 

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 1

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 2
It comes with a fabric belt in the same material but it's so well fitted for me I'm only wearing it for decoration.
Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 3

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 4

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 5

I'm wearing a size 28 and it fits well everywhere except the bust, so I'm wearing a camisole underneath to prevent flashing my boobs. You could always use a safety pin to save wearing an extra layer. I've worn the dress a few times so far and it washes well.

Floral hi low hem wrap dress £28 

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. 

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo