Tuesday, 18 October 2016

How To Survive Hospital Stays + Appointments

Today I'm having to travel into London to have a Cardiac MRI, I have these scans about every 18 months to get a more detailed look at my heart but today's is particularly important. I'll still find myself doing a lot of waiting around though so I thought I'd do a little post about how I keep myself occupied and some of my tips and tricks. I have hospital and doctors appointments several times a month and I've stayed in hospital, usually following surgeries, quite a few times now so I thought I would just share some of the things that make these experiences a little more comfortable for myself. This is definitely a post for my fellow spoonies!


Whether you're just going to a hospital appointment or you're stuck in hospital for a stay entertaining yourself is pretty important. For hospital stays you might find at first you're too sick or in pain at first but I find after a few days I'm okay enough to get a little bored. For appointments I tend to stick to books, some hospitals provide free wifi but I never find it to be too great, if you can get a signal though it's a good time to switch on your 3G/4G! Make sure to bring a portable charger with you if that's your plan, I've found myself sitting in waiting rooms for hours before and having your battery die halfway through isn't fun.

For longer hospital stays I find books are still a good option but it is difficult to concentrate on busy and noisy wards and if you are in pain or discomfort. Some wards might have TVs, I found this happened more when I was on children's or adolescent wards but on any other adult ward I've stayed on they at least have a family room with one if that is something that would keep you occupied. I find that on wards you can often pay for a day or a weeks worth of wifi which is what I usually do, it means I can watch things on my iPad and keep in contact with people. If you have family or friends visiting you it might be a fun idea to ask them to bring a board game that you could play together to take your mind off things or some magazines which are a little easier to read than books.


For my hospital appointments that I know will be longer than usual, like my MRI scan today, I always pack a few snacks. Things like cereal bars are easy to pop in your bag, most hospitals have a little shop where you can get a snack or a drink though. For hospital stays I find this is even more important, especially after surgery. We all know that hospital food isn't great but especially after surgery you need to eat to get your energy up so if you have anyone visiting you it might be a good idea to give them a little shopping list. When you're in hospital it's usually a case of 'eat anything you want as long as you just eat' or at least that's what the nurses often told me if I hadn't eaten enough post op! This often ended in my family delivering Mcdonalds to my bed haha.


For appointments I always wear loose and comfortable clothes, often I need to have a scan or x-ray so I try and dress in things without any metal too. I think when you're sitting in a waiting room for a long while you just want to be comfortable, your tightest skinny jeans might not be the best things to sit down in for a long time! It's all about what you like though and how you're travelling, if it's the middle of Winter then leggings might not be a great choice.

For hospital stays I always like having my own PJs to change into once I can get out the hospital gown, they aren't the most attractive things and you can never close the back properly so you end up flashing everyone! You can also bring your own blanket or pillow if you want too, that might help you if you get homesick as well.

I realise that these aren't exactly groundbreaking new ideas but hopefully it might help someone who is staying in hospital for the first time or is new to having regular appointments! Leave your tips in the comments below too so we can all help eachother!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Natural Collection Highlighter Sticks | Review

Over the past couple of months Natural Collection have been releasing a few new products, if you know of the brand then you'll remember that all throughout them being sold in Boots they never brought anything new out. To me they were the first makeup brand I used but as I grew older the fact that they didn't change at all did make me move to other more established brands that regularly released new products. However finally this year Natural Collection have expanded their budget range and have created some new products, all whilst keeping that familiar £1.99 budget price. The new brow products look lovely but I was worried that I wouldn't find a good shade for me so I chose to try out the new highlighter sticks instead.

Like most of their other products these sticks cost only £1.99 each and the packaging has been kept the same too, simple but practical. There are 3 different shades but I only have 2 of them, Rose Glow and Coral Glow, the third one Copper Glow looked a little too dark for my pale skin. You twist up the product to use it and then you have a few different options as to how to apply it. I tried applying it directly on to my skin but I found that didn't work at all, it felt a little sticky and heavy. Since then I've been using my fingers to apply it and that has gone a lot better, the product blends out easily when you use that method and you are left with a more natural finish. I was worried about whether they would leave chunks of glitter on my face but luckily the shimmer is quite fine so it isn't too in your face.

I definitely preferred Rose Glow out of the two, it suited my pale skin really well but it did still need quite a bit of blending in so it didn't stand out too much. I found Coral Glow to be more of a blusher than a highlighter really, it's quite dark and pigmented but it does make a lovely blusher so that's okay in the end. I think if you have darker more tanned skin then all 3 shades will be perfect for you, whether it be as a highlighter or a blusher. If you have pale skin than Rose Glow will probably only be the only one that suits you as a highlighter but they are definitely worth trying I think. If they released some powder highlighters I think I would prefer them more as they tend to be more subtle, unfortunately these were just a little too dark for my skin to work as just highlighters rather than blushers.

You can buy these and the other new products in Boots stores or online here for £1.99 each.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Let's Have A Catch Up | Blogtober + Moving

Today my main priority has been packing, today and tomorrow are my main days that I have to get the majority of big things packed so blogging unfortunately hasn't been high up on my to do list though. I don't want to miss a day of blogtober though after coming this far so I thought I would just do a little chatty Sunday post, a catch up of what's been happening recently! Hopefully after I've moved and settled my content will improve again and I'll be back to normal completely.

Photo credit: Makeup Savvy

Most of my week has been spent clearing out and packing, as most of you probably know by now I'll be moving up north very soon. Everything is just about sorted and ready now, all I have to do is finish packing! I'm pretty excited, 2 years of long distance in a relationship isn't easy at all, I'll actually be writing a post about my experience very soon with some tips for anyone else hopefully. I really cannot wait to see the back of long train journeys every few weeks, they were exhausting and it is definitely the right time to make the move. I'll be moving to Hull so if you are a Hull blogger, or from near there, then say hi! I would love to get to know some other bloggers in the area as apart from my boyfriend and my grandparents who live near Hull I don't really have anyone else up there that I know yet.

Of course I have to talk about Blogtober! I can't believe that it is day 16 and I haven't missed a day yet, I really feel like I could complete this. Some days my posts have been pretty short and not my usual quality because of bad pain and fatigue but I'm glad that I still managed to post on those days. I never in a million years thought that I could blog everyday for a week, let alone over 2. One thing that has helped me to take on this task is my new laptop table. Sitting at my desk isn't easy anymore and I can only manage to do it for about 10 minutes at a time before pain forces me to lay down so being able to blog laying now is perfect. The table can tilt so I don't need to strain my hands to reach the keyboard of my netbook and it also has a cooling fan in it, definitely one of my best buys in a while.

As for next week unfortunately I do have a hospital appointment. I thought I was going to be free from them until I'd moved but I got a phonecall from Great Ormond Street this week to arrange my cardiac MRI for Tuesday. I'm at St Barts hospital now for my heart but they still use GOSH for their cardiac MRI scans because the equipment they have there is so good. No complaints from me about it, I spent my whole life having appointments there and everyone is so friendly, it become a second home almost. Also, I get to watch a DVD while I have my scan which will be about an hour long, so I can't complain about that. The results of this MRI will determine when I'll need heart surgery, my aortic root will definitely need replacing at some point but the echo/ultrasound I had a few months back didn't give us clear enough measurements of my aorta so it was difficult to predict when I might need the surgery. I'm hoping to get away without having it for another 3-5 years hopefully as I'd quite like a break from major surgery! I shall cross that bridge when I get to it though.

For the moment though I'm completely focused on moving and I'm looking forward to almost having a fresh start up north, I've got a good feeling about it.
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