Besha Babe

Hello, babes! The last few month’s have been so chaotic that I’ve barely had a change to indulge in the wonderful world of blogging, but luckily the change in seasons is helping me get my act together a bit! Talk about timing, as I was contacted by Feels to be part of their JustFab campaign and obviously I wanted in!

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Having seen the TV ads, I was aware of JustFab but admittedly had never thought to check out the site. Now reminded of them, I went online and saw that they actually had a banging collection of shoes, especially boots – which are my achilles heel (pun very much intended). The difficult bit was actually deciding what shoe I wanted! Tempted by heels, trainers and thigh-highs, I opted for some as loud and statement as I could – obviously…

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The thing I worry about with online shopping for shoes is 1) will they fit ‘true to size’ and 2) will they be comfortable enough to actually wear? I can confirm both, genuinely. As a pretty comfortable Size 7, I went for exactly that and they are snug as a dream. The heel height is slightly higher than anticipated, but sod it, I’ll be 6 foot anyday! They’re also ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly good quality, seeing as they were a steal at only £35 (for VIP members)!

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Given that I’m pretty much monogamous to the monochrome, I thought they would be the perfect accessory to add some colour and life to my Winter wardrobe and I think they do exactly that! This style of boot also comes in a range of styles and colours, so if you’re not as much into the baroque/floral trend that seems to be everywhere at the moment, then there’s still something to suit you.

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You can find my Besha Booties here on JustFab!

Photography: Carolina Mills 

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Manage Digestion: Q&A

Crohn’s Disease: Q and A with Loïs Mills of ‘Gut Instinct’ by ManageDigestion

 

Loïs Mills is the face behind the blog ‘Gut Instinct’. She is a 25 year old from London. Her Blog and Youtube channel are all about her diagnosis and subsequent life story about living with Crohn’s Disease. She is a strong advocate of talking about all the things people think are taboo about poo. She has an avid following on youtube and has grown substantially over the past 8 months. If you are not following her yet, then click here and Subscribe to her. We recently had the chance to interview her about her blog.

 

Q: When did you first think you had Crohn’s Disease or realized something was wrong in your body?

Loïs: I first noticed that there was something wrong with my body back in 2014. I had just started a business and opened my own shop in October that year and by December noticed that I was constantly suffering with stomach cramps and that I was visiting the toilet all the time. Originally, I just put this down to stress, as I was working 7 days a week and living in a new county with my first store, so thought maybe it was natural that my body was playing up!

By the time my birthday came round in April 2015, I knew that I was really unwell. I started to go the doctor, but as I’ve heard with most Crohn’s Diagnosis, you are told to change your diet for a month etc etc. This played out back and forth for a few months, before I demanded that I be seen by a specialist as I was struggling to keep my business open being so sick.

I was referred to a bowel cancer screening in the Hospital and from there was finally on path to my diagnosis. I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s in October 2015.

 

Q: How has Crohns Disease affected your life?

Loïs: Crohn’s has had a massive impact on my life! It was one of the reasons that I, unfortunately, had to close my shop, as I was too unwell to keep it open and shoulder the stresses of having my own business. Since then, it is pretty much a weight on my mind most days. The thing with an invisible illness is you carry a burden that no one else can see. I am very fortunate that I work for a small Agency that are amazing with my condition – they are flexible with my numerous hospital appointments and sympathetic when I leave multiple times throughout the day to go to the toilet!

In other ways, it has made me look at the world a bit differently. I am unfortunately not able to be as ‘wild’ as I used to be and I struggle a lot due to the hair loss and other nasty side effects that come with Crohn’s and my medication. But, life is what you make of it, so it’s just about trying to find my ‘new normal’.

 

Q: What’s the number one thing Dr’s don’t tell you about having Crohns Disease?

Loïs: One thing that Doctor’s don’t tell you about Crohn’s is the fatigue! I can sleep for at least 8 hours a night and still wake up and feel as if I’ve been hit by a bus. I often find myself pushing through a ‘fog’ like state of mind throughout the day and it makes it very hard to stay social and active when your only motivation is to get back into bed!

 

 

Q: What made you want to launch your Youtube Channel?

Loïs: I wanted to launch my YouTube channel, Gut Instinct because when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, there seemed to be limited information available to me. Other than dusty medical websites, I struggled to find anything (or anyone) relatable, which increased the feeling of isolation and stigma attached to the condition. I’ve always been a chatty, enthusiastic and open girl and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to ‘fill a space’ so to speak and hopefully then be the voice for Crohn’s that I was desperate to find a year or so ago.

 

 

Q: Where do you see your channel a year from now?

Loïs: A year from now, I would love my channel to not only be successful within the Crohn’s community but also within the wider space. The amount of positive feedback I’ve had from people who don’t have the condition but have had their eyes opened to it and learned something from my videos is amazing, as I feel like the increased awareness can only help sufferers and means that more people can understand from a relatable and realistic perspective. As Crohn’s is an invisible illness, I hope my channel will inspire people not to judge people who ‘don’t look sick’. On top of that, I just hope to reach more and more people and create a community together with each other’s journeys. One day I would love to write books too! Oh, and a cure wouldn’t be bad either…!

 

For more information about Loïs Mills, Check out her website: www.loismills.co.uk

Subscribe on Youtube Channel: Gut Instinct

Follow on Instagram: @LoisMills

Like Her on Facebook: @LoisMillsBlog

Follow on Twitter: @LoisMillsX

Ordoo

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If you love coffee (and cakes and treats and everything else) as much as I do, you’ll want to check out the new app ‘Ordoo‘. I’d never heard of it, but was aware of ‘order ahead’ style apps that were already out there (I think Starbucks uses it?) and so was intrigued when they contacted me asking if I wanted to test-drive their service. I had a look through the list of cafes they work with and was pretty excited that they were teamed up with independent, small businesses, rather than just the big boys. So after a few seconds thought (did the traditional ‘order-queue-pay’ routine really bother me that much?) I decided that I was intrigued and wanted to give it a go!

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I checked out Renzo, a gorgeous little café sat on Leonard Street. I walk past it every day on my way into work but have never had the guts to go in there (I’m happy to admit I’m one of those people that resents corporate chains like Starbucks but also often feels intimidated to step foot into an Independent place). One of the reasons being, ‘What if they don’t take card?’ as I literally never have cash on me. Not even pennies.

With this in mind, it suited me well to use an App that takes both the awkwardness and the time of paying – simply tap your order, add your details and pick up your coffee. It really is that easy!

So, it was dreary Monday morning and I thought this the perfect time to test-run the Ordoo app. Who isn’t in desperate need of a Monday morning pick me up, which is why I ordered a soy latte and a slice of avocado bread. It’s little touches like being able to select soy (or oat, or almond, or coconut, etc) milk that make Ordoo great. I often find that in Starbucks or Pret, you’re shouting over several other people’s orders and very often get misheard, leaving you with a coffee you then can’t be arsed to complain about, but don’t really want. Given my love/hate relationship with dairy thanks to my Crohn’s Disease, it is quite important to make sure I get this element right if I’m being risky and ordering a traditionally ‘milky’ coffee!

The app was easy to use and you even have the option of requesting your order ASAP or to order in advance. I hadn’t realise this, stupidly, so literally ordered as I was stood outside Renzo. Like an Uber, once I had confirmation that my order had gone through, I popped inside and awkwardly announced that I had ‘an Ordoo or something’. They smiled and immediately knew who I was/what I had ordered and within minutes I was handed my coffee and cake – dreamy!

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If like me, you want to try out more independent coffee shops and either a) don’t carry cash or b) like the idea of your coffee being ready for you as soon as you walk in the door, then I would highly recommend Ordoo. Plus, their list of shops is growing too, so soon you’ll be able to Ordoo wherever you go in the City!

TenStickers

TenStickers1If you know me, you’ll know that I love an interior (as I’m sure we all do in these visual times of Instagram and Pinterest). Making a space your own and customising it to your own tastes is pretty much the all-consuming excitement in moving anyplace new and is one of the main reasons that personally I love moving house so much! White walls don’t have to be bleak and boring; in fact, they can be a canvas for endless possibilities and style. 

Recently, my attention was drawn to a website called TenStickers; a company who create and produce vinyl wall stickers directly, therefore taking out the middle man and offering the customer great products at great prices. What’s most attractive is the selection – if you are picky like me, and in a world where image seems to mean so much, finding the perfect match can seem challenging. What TenSticker’s carefully does is categorise the stickers, from text to customisable, to laptop and baby. What’s more is you can even search for your desired image by typing in key words or even by specifying what area the sticker will be used. 

TenStickers2Personally, I love the ones that you can just whack above your bed for a touch of instant glam. I’m always a little bit scared of hanging a photo or a mirror or shelve above my bed (in case it falls on my head in the middle of the night…) so a transfer that can go straight on the wall but still lift the room from sparse to chic is right up my street!

Imagine having this in your bedroom, probably as a little bit of motivation to get out of bed on a Monday morning! For those of you who are able to fiddle around with other spaces other than their bedroom, the selection of kitchen phrases are adorable. 

The nicest part about TenStickers is their sea of customisable options. Whether you fancy a wall sticker of yourself and your boyfriend (or cat) or if you would like your favourite quote stuck above your bed (‘dreaming of Pizza’), the options available are endless. Even if you have a wall with little inspiration to fill it, TenStickers have a dedicated squad who can put pen to paper and create the perfect piece for you. The team are so helpful and responsive, that whatever your needs and whatever your vision, I’m sure they will be able to help you out.

TenStickers3Check them out at www.tenstickers.co.uk to explore the full range and to start creating your amazing space. 

*This is a sponsored post

Brooks & Brooks

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January is a fantastic time for change; be it the cliché change of attitudes to food or the change in pace and energy to life back at work after the Christmas slum.

For me, it’s been a change of visual difference. Whether it’s being a girl in the age of social media or just having some severe internal vanity, I felt like it was time to re-invent my appearance to feel like I was fully shedding my skin of 2015. Although every year has its up and downs, I feel like the last one carried a lot of baggage and it was time to breathe some new life into the way I viewed myself.

Being a dye-hard (pun intended) bleach addict, it was a brave decision to go darker. The actual colour I wanted was ‘boring, ash, blonde’ and I feel happily that I have achieved that. As if in a wave of good timing and fate, I was then approached by Social Network Solutions on The Blogger Network for Brooks&Brooks – a hairdressers based in Holborn, London. I fear the sheers more than the average woman but was excited about the opportunity of a fresh and professional cut that would finish my mini-hair transformation.

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Last Friday, I was booked in to visit Kayleigh. I’ll be honest, I was apprehensive – not only had I never had this stylist before but I had also never been to the salon. As soon as I arrived and saw that they had ‘help yourself’ chocolate treats in a jar in the waiting area though, I was totally convinced that I was in safe hands.

Kayleigh greeted me, and was as lovely and bubbly as I’d be told she was. She spent ages going through my hair and talking to me about my routines, needs and desires for my locks before giving her opinion and talking me through the process of what I was going to have done.

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I was taken for an amazing hair wash, complete with no-neck ache (a revolution from the normally painful experience) and head massage. I was given a nourishing treatment to re-condition my hair, which was visibly damaged from all the bleaches and dyes it had persevered with over the years. After this, I was taken back to my chair, given a delicious hot chocolate (this is how I judge most places these days, on the quality of their hot chocolate) and the hair cut began. Although I came in slightly narrow-minded about keeping a lot of the length and hoping to sort out my nasty ‘gringe’ (grown out fringe, FYI), Kayleigh soon changed my mind about how much better it could look if I took that baby step further and allowed more than I’d planned to come off the ends.

The result? My hair not only feels incredibly but it looks great too. Ever since Friday I have had people compliment on how thick, bouncy and healthy my hair looks – something that literally is a rarity when you suffer with thin hair like myself. It is so much more manageable and although it was a bit of a shock to my system at first, I am genuinely loving it and so happy with what Kayleigh has done. She has totally respected my long-term hair vision and given me the best possible solution.

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Brooks&Brooks gets my thumbs up, and I’ve even booked to go back in 8 weeks time.
Anyone who can get me to re-visit a salon is worth their weight in gold.