I had no plans to write this blog, but I heard something on newsbeat today when I was driving home about a girl who had passed away from a blood clot, caused by her contraceptive pill, and it really got me thinking about how dangerous contraceptives can be, and how we are not always given the full story about what we are pumping our bodies with on a daily basis. The majority of us have probably taken the pill at some point in our life, and I’m sure generations will continue to take it after us, and I definitely haven’t had an easy ride when it comes to contraceptives.

I read this blog from Hannah Gale a few months back, and although I do not applaud her friends for ‘risking’ having a baby, I can see where they are coming from. When I first decided to go on the pill at 16, there were some risks that I had to come to terms with before I chose the one that is right for me. Without going into too much detail (I’m sure many of us know this anyway) there are two types of pills that a girl can take – the combined pill and the mini pill (progestogen-only). As there was a history of deep vein thrombosis in my family, I had to have a series of blood tests to see whether I could in fact have the combined pill with no complications at all, or whether it would make more sense to explore the other routes available. Whilst I waited to see what the doctor suggested, they put me on Noriday and see how my body reacted to it as I was also prone to migraines.

A few months later I went for my blood pressure and all round check-up and everything seemed to be as it should be so I carried on with the mini pill for a few more months (or so I remember, it was almost 9 years ago…. wow, old) As most of my friends were on Microgynon, I thought why not try it seen as they had told me at the doctors that I would not have any problems if I were to go on the combined pill, and hey two pregnancy stopping hormones are better than one! So I proceeded with the ‘evil pill’ as I now call it. For those who don’t know, Microgynon works by taking it daily for 3 weeks, and then having a ‘pill-free week’ where you get your period (sorry if you’re reading this boys!). But I had problems with this pill as I was getting a migraine every time I had my ‘pill-free week’ and as it isn’t recommended to take more than three months’ worth of pills in a row, I then had to come off it.

Having tried two or three more combined pills (all of which gave me severe migraines) I decided to go back to square one with my trusted Noriday. By this point, I’m pretty sure my body hated me so much and carried on giving me migraines as a punishment for being so curious with my birth control in the first place… So I had some more blood tests, did some research, and decided to go down the road of long term solutions. By this point I was 19, and in my first year at Nottingham Trent and obviously not thinking of a baby any time soon. Although switching doctors was a bigger hassle than it needed to be, the staff at my new clinic were all lovely and really knew what they were talking about. After speaking to a nurse for about 45 minutes, she said the best thing for me would be the contraceptive injection. Boy was she wrong…

A couple of weeks after having my first injection (you were meant to have one every 12 weeks) I had put on about half a stone, and my hair was coming out in clumps. At the time I thought I was just over-eating as a coping mechanism for being unhappy at university, and that my hair was falling out because of stress and not having the best diet, but after moving home, and joining the gym, the weight just wouldn’t shift and my hair continued to shed (not my finest look…) For months I didn’t put two and two together that it could be my contraceptive that was giving me the problems – I wasn’t having migraines, so for the first time I thought my body was ready to forgive me! Then one day after work, I remember googling the name of the injection, Depo-Provera I believe, and there were so many forums of teenage girls, and girls in their early 20’s who had all had the same problems that I had which is when it finally clicked.

The next day I went to the doctors and told them about the problems I was having. By this point I had had about 3 injections, and although that may have not been enough time for my body to adjust to the new hormones swimming around my veins, they did believe that the hair loss and weight gain were due this. They sent me for some more blood tests to ensure this was the real reason, but they advised me not to have any more. The annoying thing about that was it took my body about another 8 weeks to get back to normal after the last injection had worn off. So all in all, I had more problems for just under a year, and what a year that was!

Obviously, this whole blog post is related to me, and my body and health and it is important to remember that everyone is different. I know girls who have been on the combined pill for almost 10 years, and people who have never tried anything. It completely depends on what is right for you. Because of my history of migraines, and all the problems I had during my quest to find contraceptive, my nurse advised me to try a mirena coil (or IUS), which I won’t bore you with, but you can find more details here. Although the initial stage hurt like a b****, I have had no problems for over 4 years, which for someone with my past, was so god damn refreshing!

This post may have been an absolute overshare of my life, but I think it is important for young girls, actually girls of any age for that matter, to really know their family history and be aware of what they are pumping into their body. And if the pill isn’t right for you, there are definitely other options available. You just have to ask. Some doctors are reluctant to talk about other options because it costs the NHS more, and Microgynon is the cheaper alternative, but there are other options that don’t involve a trip to your local GP.

Although I was very lucky to be told early on about my family history of blood clots, I think it is important for girls to get blood tests before they take anything, just to make sure. Unfortunately there has been a young girl who has lost her life, and this has really opened my eyes to how beneficial it was to have my family behind me. Maybe some girls are right in hedging their bets in the baby making process to not take the pill. Could the risk be better than pumping our bodies full of chemicals that counteract the sole purpose of having sex in the first place?

Every girl is completely different. Something that doesn’t work for me, might be the best option for you. Remember, I am not a doctor! x

I’ve noticed a lot of people on my Twitter and Instagram are coming to the end of their studies, and although it makes me feel like I grew up in the Stone-age (or the late 00’s if you will) I thought I would compile a list of what I have learnt in the almost three years that I have been out of education. And on that realisation, before I burst into tears about how much I miss being a student, let’s jump right in.

1. You find that the only jobs out there seem to require at least 2 years experience, and a degree, and the spells to get into Hogwarts and instructions on how to finish a rubix cube in less than 30 seconds and your application to be on this year’s Apprentice.

2. Job applications take up a lot of time, and you start to wish you’d applied whilst you were still studying, but hey… it’s not like they told you to do that or anything… oh wait.

3. You will constantly refresh your emails hoping for someone, anyone to give you an interview or at least a recognition of your 23768th application.

4. And when you do finally get an interview, you will overthink the whole thing entirely and decide you’d rather do a masters then actually get a job.

5. If you don’t get the job at the end of the whole process, you will take it so personally that you pretty much think you have a problem with being in social situations, when in fact you were probably just 1 of about 500 applicants.

6. You think screw it, I’m going to move to another city to only have that dream crashing down that you’ll just be in the same boat there. *Sigh*

7. You  move back in with your parents and wonder how the hell you did that for a good 18 years before you left for the real world of cheap vodka shots and hangover Tuesdays.

8. After a few weeks job searching, the only option you have really is to reward yourself with a holiday where you picture yourself never coming home.

9. You realise new clothes are not essential when you’re scraping the barrel to afford to eat, but continue to buy the odd Starbucks to instagram. Priorities and all…

10. You begin to wonder how you can be the next Zoella to earn a living.

11. You wonder whether you can read your CV any more times without wanting to gauge your eyes out.

12. You cringe over what you write in your covering letter. Sure that shift I did at the union bar helped me to gain valuable experience in the public sector.

13. You start to lose faith in whether going to University was worth it.

14. You even consider the move to the big smoke, but on looking at the cost of renting a room in a 14 bedroom house, you think again.

15. And then BAM, just when you weren’t expecting it, you get the phonecall. YOU GOT THE JOB!

16. You start to count down the days till the weekend. Every. Single. Week. Ah life…

I know that some of my posts recently have had a foodie theme, well what can I say? Girl likes her food, and Italian food for that matter! I’ve decided to do this post in two parts, so welcome to part one, my review of the lovely Vapiano restaurant in Manchester’s Corn Exchange. If you take anything from this post (and don’t make it to the end) it’s basically that you HAVE to visit this place! It’s so bright and airy and the staff are lovely, and the food is incredible and yeah, I’m getting side tracked already and I’m getting hungry and basically NEED pasta right now to survive… Good start!

Anyway, last month, I was contacted by the PR agency of the restaurant after I had seen their #EatPastaRunFaster campaign popping up on Twitter and Facebook, which is basically a good way of healthily getting carbs into your diet, especially if you’re a gym-goer… but I will talk about that more in part 2!

I thought as I had been invited to try out the menu and this new concept of dining, that it would be the perfect place to have a reunion with my fellow blogger friends LilyPaula and Erin who I met at the Jet2 event at the end of March and are some of the loveliest girls ever! Lily also mentioned on her blog as well that it feels like we’ve know each other for years, and it really does! So us four bloggers went to get our carb-loading on, which was the best way to spend a Sunday evening in my opinion!

As the girls live all over the North, we met a little bit earlier than the meal was booked and went for a drink in Cosy Club which is becoming one of my favourite places to go in Manchester. I went for a watermelon ice tea, because I didn’t want to be the crazy twenty-something who drinks Prosecco by herself on a Sunday evening when everyone else is having soft drinks… No matter how much I wanted to be!

We made our way over to the restaurant for our booking, taking pictures and posing on the way and were greeted by the very friendly front of house team who took us upstairs to the main restaurant. From looking at the restaurant from outside, I had no idea how big it really was, and very light and airy.  The whole concept of the restaurant was also really interesting. Instead of having a waiter/waitress and ordering with them, you seat yourself, decide what food you want and go to the relevant station ie. starters/antipasti/pasta/pizza/risotto/desserts and order your food there whilst you wait, and they make it right in front of you. The restaurant itself originated in Germany, serves fresh Italian food and is a very quirky new concept which I think will catch on to more restaurants up North and in London. I’m one of those people as well who loves watching her food being made in front of her like a teppanyaki restaurant so this was right up my street. Plus, as I mentioned, I LOVE Italian food.

For a starter I had bruschetta, with the ripest and sweetest tomatoes known to man which was absolutely delicious. I was trying to wait for the other girls to get their starters in order to share, but ended up eating it all as it was just so. damn. good. (Soz girls!) For main I had the Gamberetti which was king prawns, tomatoes, spring onion, tomato sauce and fresh lemon, and again, was incredible. For dessert, we shared 4 between us which was a very rich chocolate slice, a honeycomb and cream sort of mixture, a baked cheesecake with a berry compote, and a nutella, cherry and cream one (99% sure those aren’t the correct names…) It would be a sin to go to this restaurant and not order dessert, just sayin’

I’m really privileged that we were able to experience the amazing food at Vapiano because it was seriously good and the whole experience and company was amazing. As I said, I will write a longer blog on the whole #EatPastaRunFaster campaign and the recipes I’ve been trying, I just firstly wanted to get the message across that this restaurant is definitely one to try if you’re ever in Manchester! And I will definitely be back!

xx

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The main thing – there’s nothing better than a list post.

1. Having your nails painted, really makes it feel like you have your life together

2. A lot less people have their life together than you think. Most twenty-something girls are in fact trying to find their path, just like you are.

3. Sometimes there is nothing more therapeutic than cooking up a storm and serving up some home-made grub.

4. It is hard to see your friends on a regular basis, especially if you don’t all live within 10 minutes from each other like you did when you were growing up.

5. Boys don’t like you more if you double text them.

6. You can 100% see your knickers through your leggings. Even if they’re black. Even if you wear a thong. No excuses.

7. There is no ‘right’ time to get a new job, move in together, go travelling, break up etc. If it feels right to you, it is.

8. Sometimes you have to be a grown up and put the Topshop jumpsuit down.

9. You will spend most of your adult life questioning the reasons for paying council tax.

10. You shouldn’t skimp on skincare. That baby gotta last you a lifetime.

11. Complaining about the cost of petrol will become a weekly sore point.

12. The only person who cares how you look in a bikini is you.

13. Buying homeware will completely take over your life… and your bank balance… but hell, your kitchen gonna look gooooood

14. Being healthy is more expensive than you thought.

15. No one teaches you how to apply for a mortgage or buy a house or how to save money.

16. If you’re constantly having to question whether you’re happy in your relationship, chances are, you probably aren’t.

17. Renting is just dead money. Who knew?! Oh wait, your parents did.

18. It’s far more common to blow all your money on Boohoo and live like a pauper the rest of the month than you might have thought. Will we ever change? Probs not…

19. Chocolate + Netflix + blankets = happiness

So April has been and gone, and I’m not even going to say how fast it all happened (but really though, I’m pretty sure I left my old job last week not a WHOLE MONTH AGO!) But yeah, April has been a good month for me in terms of starting a new chapter of my life which has been exciting but nerve-wracking at times… but overall the month of April was a good one for me! And here are a few of my favourites of the last few weeks 🙂

1. Blogger friends

I met these lovely ladies at the Jet2 event back in March and we have spoken almost every day since and even started our own blogger whatsapp group! It is very refreshing to find a group of girls who have similar interests to you and all get on so well that it feels like you’ve known them a lifetime. It’s also good to be able to talk about bloglovin followers, YouTube, no follow links, photography etc. with people who don’t automatically switch off as soon as you mention that you write a blog. As we’re from all over the North West (expect Paula who is actually from London, but goes to Sheffield Uni) it was hard for us to get a date in place for a reunion, but we managed to last weekend. Find their blogs here… ErinLily & Paula.

2. Yoga

Last year when I was give the all clear from my kidney stones, I still had a bad muscular pain in my left hip which was getting worse and worse towards the end of the year. After a few physio sessions, the pain had lessened but it was still noticeable. To ease the discomfort I decided to start Yoga as a sort of low impact exercise that would hopefully stretch and the muscles that I damaged, as well as giving me a bit of mindfulness at the same time. I’ve only been going for three weeks but I love it! It’s on a Saturday morning and it really makes me feel less stressed and sets me up for the weekend. I haven’t seen that much of an improvement yet, but it’s still early days.

3. MUA Highlighter 

When it comes to buying makeup, I’m a Boots girl through and through (mainly because the Superdrug where I live closed down a good few years ago) but the other day when I was shopping with my Nan in Southport, I came across the MUA range in there. I’m not sure whether MUA is Superdrug’s own range, like Boots has Natural Collection, but I was really surprised at the quality of the products for the price. This highlighter was only £3, and there were so many other things I could have bought because the range was quite extensive and everything I saw was under £10. I’ve been using this highlighter more as a weekend makeup look as it is a little too strong for work, but I think it gives a lovely champagne pink colour and doesn’t look too heavy on the skin which some other brands can. I would definitely recommend checking this range out if you haven’t so far!

4. Eat Pasta Run Faster

I have a blog post on this campaign coming up in the next couple of weeks (maybe even in two parts…) but I thought I had to mention this recipe here. When me and the blogger girls met up last weekend, we went to a restaurant called Vapiano who have started this campaign to show people they can eat carbs and still lose weight. I did my own spin on one of their recipes for dinner last week, and it was amazing. This dish is a take on their ‘Gamberetti’ which is based around king prawns. Unfortunately as I have a weekly shopping budget to stick to, I used frozen prawns, but it still tasted good. If you would like the recipe to this, keep your eyes peeled in the next fortnight!

5. Real Techniques Face Brush

I finalllllly got round to throwing away my trusty MAC foundation brush which I bought when I was about 22 (I’m not kidding…) I thought it was about time to reinvest in a new one, but one that was going to last me a long time but wouldn’t break the bank. I had read a few reviews on this one, and as I am such a fan of the other Real Techniques brushes that I have (a concealer brush and a couple of eye shadow brushes) I thought I would give this one a go. It was only £9 which I think is really good for a makeup brush. It isn’t necessarily for foundation, but I feel as though it blends mine really nicely and it makes it last longer. So if you’re in the market for a new foundation brush, definitely give this one a go!

6. Max Factor Lipfinity (in 055 Sweet)

Still on the topic of makeup, I picked up the Max Factor Lipfinity lip kit at the same time as I bought the RT brush, and I am already obsessed. I have only worn it out a couple of times, but it does last for most of the night. I did find myself reapplying towards the end, but because the colour isn’t a million miles off my natural lip colour, it wasn’t that obvious that it was wearing off. For the Lipfinity kit, you apply the colour first to clean, dry lips and wait about 60 seconds for it to dry. After you’ve done that you add the transparent balm over the top which is lovely and moisturising.

7. House Party

This might be the lamest thing I have ever written, but I couldn’t write my April favourites without talking about one of my favourite nights. One of my friends had an old fashioned house party (at her parents house who were on holiday, for the added bit of charm!) and it was such a great night to have all my friends together, old and new, and people who I hadn’t seen in years. The girls in the picture are three of my best friends who I have been friends with since Year 7 incase you were wondering 🙂

8. Maxi Dress

As a girl who is on the rather short side of the height spectrum (5 ft 4 to be precise!) I have never really found a maxi that I a) like the look of and b) didn’t drag across the floor when I attempted to walk. I recently saw this one in my local H&M but I didn’t buy it for whatever reason and kept regretting it… up until the point where I just thought you know what, if we do get a summer in the UK, this would be perfect for BBQ’s or days out, so I went and picked it up! At the time there was a 25% off promotion in store as well so it turned out to be only £12; Bargain!

9. Primark Candle

I love candles. I am a girl at the end of the day… But you know what I like more than just any candle? A three wick candle! I picked this one up about 3 weeks ago from Primark for about £3.50. It’s in the flavour sweet berry and patchouli, and smells divine! The pattern also sort of reminds me of Christmas, which is always a good thing in my books.

 

What have been your favourites this month? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing what other people are liking 🙂

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