Falling in Love and Heartbreak – The Second Time

This blog has always been a place for me to ramble when needs be and sometimes, these posts are for nobody’s benefit but my own and I think this may be one of them but who knows, it may resonate with someone.

I spoke on my Instagram in September last year and have spoken on the blog many times about my breakup. This isn’t about that but long story short, together for three years, lived together, lies, upset, break up, heart break – yeah.

That was rough like VERY rough but I got through it and came out the other side a few months later feeling ready to meet someone new. I wasn’t actively looking but I was open to feeling for someone again.

In March this year, on the day I left the flat I’d shared with my ex no less, a boy walked into my life, out of nowhere and turned my head instantly.

I felt for him in that moment, the way I felt the day I’d met my ex. I don’t necessarily believe in love at first sight but I do believe that you know when you’ve met someone who is going to change your life and that’s how I felt when I met him.

At first, I was a bit of a closed book. I had been hurt so badly that I wasn’t going to let that happen again but when you’ve met someone that makes you feel that special way, you can’t keep your barriers up no matter how hard you try and before I knew it, I was falling head over heels.

He seemed like everything I wanted, we spent so much time together, I cared so much for him and would’ve gone to the ends of the world and back if he needed me too. I went out of my way to make him happy and just seeing him smile made it all worthwhile. I very quickly made him a priority and rightly or wrongly given the time frame, felt so strongly towards him.

After a few months, the whirlwind came to an end and as with my previous breakup, it wasn’t my choice and I had no control in the decision, it was made for me.

Although I knew this heartbreak hurt less and would last a lot less time, it still hurt and because I wasn’t strong enough to cut contact with him, it’s continued to re-hurt for months since but this whole thing has taught me about falling in and out of love for the second time.

I wanted to talk about this because everyone talks to you about your first love and your first heartbreak and what they’ll be like but no one tells you what it is like to do this for the second time.

I guess we don’t talk about it because we don’t want to have to go through it. We all want to fall in love just once and if we’re going to have to have our hearts broken, just the once is more than enough but unfortunately, we don’t all fall lucky and we do have to go there more than once and it is so different the second time.

Let’s start with falling in love for the second time. In my experience, it just isn’t as easy. You just don’t let yourself fall quite so care free. First time round, there’s a beautiful sense of naivety about it all. You’ve never been hurt. Falling in love has never gone wrong. It’s all just an adventure that you may be apprehensive about but you’re not scared. That blissful ignorance allows you to fall for someone with no hesitation but falling in love for the second time, especially after heartbreak, isn’t like that- or at least for me it wasn’t.

When you find that second person and feel those feelings come back, you know what they are. You don’t get that same feeling of anticipating the unknown because you already know how this could end and it’s hard not to skip straight to that part. It’s hard to sit back and enjoy falling in love when you know that this could end in heartbreak.

It is hard to knowingly walk back into the fire when you already know you could get burnt but at the same time, falling for the second time is also an incredible feeling. For me, it was like an awakening that there was more to life than the person that had hurt me. After a breakup, you feel like you’ll be alone forever and falling for the second time makes you realise that you have met someone else and you can be happy again and in a way, that experience feels so much more special because it provokes those emotions.

As for the heartbreak, I can’t say it doesn’t hurt the second time but for me, in my circumstance, it hurt less. The time together was shorter, the drama was less and I guess the feelings towards each other, as real as they were, were weaker, so it was easier but it still hurt.

Personally, getting my heart broken for the second time was a bit of an eye roll moment. I felt sick and my chest hurt and my head ran away with me, of course it did, but it did just make my eyes roll.

It was kind of like ‘here we go again’. I guess I always assumed falling in love would end like this because it did last time. I wasn’t surprised I’d ended up here so it all felt so much easier to stomach but it did hurt, you’re just programmed to cope better.

I was stronger going into this situation than I was the first time and because of that, I had my cry and then I took a step back and realised that I’d got through it once and would definitely get through it again.

Saying that though, that second heartbreak was a weird one for me because I have to admit, I wasn’t so forthcoming at accepting it. First time round, I was so weak I just accepted it, I had no fight but with my new found strength, I tried to fight back the second time and turn things around, save the situation, make changes to make it work but in reality, I should’ve used that strength to walk away and work on myself, not the relationship.

So, in summary, falling in love for the second time is equally one of the most refreshing but terrifying feelings in the world and equally, heartbreak number two hurts a lot but you’ll take it in your stride much better.

All I can say is let it happen. Don’t hesitate to fall for Mr or Mrs Right 2.0 because they could be the one and bringing issues from past relationships into new ones is a recipe for failure, so leave the past in the past and look at this relationship as a brand new start.

If you’ve just had your heart broken for the second time – do not blame yourself. It is easy to think that after going through it again that it must be something to do with you but it isn’t, you just haven’t met the one and you’ll never be right, no matter what you do, for the wrong person.

I hope this has helped someone that is at any stage of this whole journey, my messages are always open if you need me!

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My TEDx Talk Experience

I can’t believe I am writing this but on Sunday 16th June, I delivered the TEDx talk I had been planning for 6 months and now the big day is over – what!!

I wanted to jump on here (partly because I have become the world’s worst blogger recently) but also because I wanted to share my TEDx experience and also a few key points from my talk I want to keep chatting about!

The TEDx Talk Experience 

For me, this whole journey started back in December when my proposal for the talk was accepted and I was offered the opportunity to speak!

I have worked pretty hard for the last 6 months writing the talk, rehearsing both at home and at the venue and generally worrying about choking, tripping, falling and other potential embarrassing scenarios that could occur… alongside delivering a talk to 100 people live and eventually, the rest of the world!

Despite the stressing and the nerves, this is 100% one of the best things I have ever done in my nearly 20 years of life and I will forever be grateful to myself and the organisers of the event for letting me do it!

I feel so much more confident and empowered as a result of delivering this talk and I am so passionate about what I spoke about that I just want to keep the conversation going!

My TEDx Talk 

My TEDx Talk was entiteld ‘It’s Time to Remove the Filter From Social Media’ and was all about the benefits of being more open and honest about both the good and the bad times of your life online.

This is something I am so keen to push across the online world in a bid to make social media a more positive and helpful place for us all to be! I love social media and want to see it used in the most beneficial way possible and I hope my talk was a step in the right direction for that.

I shared the following 4 principles that if we keep in mind when sharing online, we can make social media a much better place:

Balance – if you’re going to share the best bits of your life, share the harder times too. It’s up to you how you do it but balance is the key to success in any element of your life and social media is no different!

Education – try and use every post you publish as a chance to teach someone something! Always aim to educate and inform, even if you need a moan at the same time, cap it off by sharing how you’re going to make yourself feel better because that could help someone else in the same position!

Aspiration – share your successes and allow us people to aspire to do the same! From weight loss to a job promotion, if you’re doing well, don’t just boast, share your story in a way where others will be inspired and informed on how they can do the same!

Transparency – if you fake a perfect life online, you become untouchable and unreachable and risk making others feel inferior! Being open, honest and transparent about all elements of your life makes you approachable and real, people can relate and benefit from your presence online!

Remembering these 4 things when posting online will make us all more responsible for our social media footprint and provide us with a platform filled with beneficial, realistic content that adds good to our life, not negativity!

I can’t wait to share my talk with you when it is live and I hope it inspires some of you to look at social media differently!

Thank you for always supporting the blog, my Instagram, my Huffington Post articles and all the work I do because it means the world and allows me to reach platforms like the TEDx stage to spread the words I am most passionate about!

What Being An Apprentice Can Really Be Like

Whether you’re leaving Sixth Form or College in the next few weeks, if you’re just about to step out of mainstream education then you’re probably spending a lot of time thinking about what the next chapter of your life is going to hold.

I imagine there’ll be a lot of 17 and 18 year olds out there right now wondering whether university is right for them or people leaving college and not knowing how to get a job but have you actually considered an apprenticeship?

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to be an apprentice. The job title sounds a bit rubbish and the pay is probably even worse but I can tell you first hand, that isn’t always the case.

That might be the reality of being an apprentice at some companies but lets not accuse all employers of being the same because in my experience, doing an apprenticeship was the most intelligent decision I made throughout my education and has pathed the way for me to achieve a career I never thought would be possible.

I didn’t have any A levels when I left college, I had my GCSEs and a couple of qualifications in the beauty industry from my local college, so I certainly didn’t qualify for a degree level apprenticeship which is where I assumed the decent money and responsible roles were.

I was bored of my beauty qualification and wanted to get back into something more office based. Marketing had always appealed to me, mainly because I liked playing on social media and I naively assumed that is what digital marketing entailed, so one night I decided to randomly apply for a digital marketing executive apprenticeship I had seen advertised at a local agency.

The only credentials I had that made me relevant for the role was an A* in GCSE English and the ability to use a computer and a smartphone but I put my best application form in and hoped for the best.

I got an interview and somehow managed to wing getting the job. I was terrified when it dawned on me that I knew NOTHING about the role I had applied for but then I remember, I was just an apprentice! I probably wouldn’t be doing any proper marketing work for months and would probably spend my days brewing up and filing things away – that’s what apprentices do right?

Oh how wrong was I! This particular apprenticeship was relatively well paid and I worked for every penny of it from the minute I got the role! The company I went to work for was small and as soon as I started I played an integral role in getting things done, so I was put to work on real client tasks from day 1.

I have worked for the same company for nearly two and a half years now, completed by Level 3 Diploma Digital Marketing, have had two pay rises and a promotion to Content and Social Strategist – all through an apprenticeship that was better paid and harder work than I could’ve ever imagined when I first thought about the stereo typical apprenticeship.

The whole point of an apprenticeship is to learn on the job. The majority of employers aren’t looking for a slave or cheap labour when they advertise for an apprentice, they’re looking for someone who is keen to learn the industry and has the ability to do so. They’re genuinely looking for someone to become a part of their business and continue through the ranks as time goes on.

In my experience, apprentices are still an essential and valued member of staff and your role is so much more than just observing. You get hands on experience in an industry you’re passionate to explore further and an apprenticeship is the perfect way to get your foot in the door of a business that could help you path the way for your future career.

University is right for some people but it wasn’t for me and it won’t be for a lot of other people but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on further education or entering industries that you believe favour those with degrees.

I think a lot of people are put off apprenticeships due to the old-fashioned stigma around them, so hopefully hearing a first hand account of how an apprenticeship can actually be life changing will alter your views on this option and maybe even encourage you to try one for yourself!

I wouldn’t have the life and career I do at 19 if it wasn’t for taking the plunge and applying to be an apprentice, so if you want to carry on learning while earning too, an apprenticeship could definitely be for you!

Father’s Day Gift Guide | AD

Father’s Day isn’t far away now which means its time to start thinking about what you’re going to buy the fatherly figure in your life this year.

Whatever your budget or kind of man you’re buying for, hopefully, there’ll be something in this gift guide that suits:

For the Techy Dads

Neos SmartCam – £24.99 on Amazon

My dad is the techy dad so I knew he’d love this home security camera from Neos. The SmartCam is one of the most affordable yet highest quality home security cameras currently on the market and it has had rave reviews from a lot of people.

I gave this to my dad to have a play with as soon as it turned up and needless to say, he was thrilled and has been ever since.

We decided to set this up in the kitchen as when all three of us are out of the house, we leave our two dogs in the kitchen. It makes sense as their beds, food, water and toys are all in the kitchen and it stops them running riot around the house. We’ve often wondered what they get up to when we’re not home and now we can watch for ourselves.

My dad set up the camera and then downloaded the app so he can watch a live stream from the camera on his phone! You can even talk through the camera, so we can talk to the dogs and they can hear us – it really is amazing!

You could also use this for what it is meant for which is a security camera and it is just as good for that!

For the Dads Who Care About Personal Grooming 

Black Leopard Skincare – From £5.29

Skincare is always a good gift idea for men as a lot of guys just don’t think about taking care of their personal grooming and now Black Leopard Skincare has launched in the UK, they’re the perfect brand to use.

An Australian brand that has now launched their UK website, Black Leopard offer a great selection of affordably priced and high-quality skincare for men include after shave balm, a cleanser, antiperspirant, face cream and more.

The prices of their products start at £5.29 but their complete face care bundle for £77.50 contains a full-size version of all their skincare, allowing your dad to try the full range and start a really good skincare routine.

Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor – £8.99

Now, this might seem like a bit of a practical or mundane gift but sometimes they’re the things your dad really wants for Father’s Day.

If your dad is forever going through disposable razors, buying him a decent one that will last a little longer is a great idea and the new Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor is an affordable and suitable choice for all men.

Available in high street stores such as Boots and Tesco, this is a gift that is easy to get your hands on, won’t break the bank and your dad will actually appreciate.

For the Outdoorsy Dads

Zippo Heat Bank 3 Hour Portable Charger and Handwarmer – £24.95

Perfect for the dad that either works outside or enjoys spending a lot of his free time in the outdoors, the Zippo Heat Bank 3 is a combined portable charger and handwarmer that as the name would suggest, can charge your device and keep your hands warm for up to 3 hours.

This device is super lightweight and compact, so perfect for keeping in your backpack on adventures or in your car on the go!

Presidio Sport Phone Case – £24.95

Ideal for the dad who is on the go and as a consequence, forever dropping his phone, the Presidio Sport phone case from Speck is affordable yet seriously robust and is designed to protect all models of phone from all angles.

A sleek and lightweight yet super durable construction, this relatively slimline phone case is made up with three layers of protection to offer resistance to damage from 360 degrees.

Available in a range of colours for a range of phone models, this is a great idea for the dad who is always dropping his phone on the go!

For the Foodie Dads

DC Superhero Jelly Beans – From £2.15

One for the DC comics-loving dads that are also foodies, Jelly Belly has partnered with DC to bring out a range of jelly beans in packaging themed around Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Available in 28g and 60g bags as well as gift boxes, the DC Comics jelly beans are in a range of flavours including Berry Blue, Cream Soda, Sour Lemon and more.

Perfect if you’re on a budget or you just know your dad loves all things superheroes!

Blossoming Gifts Gluten and Wheat Free Hamper – £48.99

If your dad is a big foodie, the Blossoming Gifts Gluten and Wheat Free Hamper is a great choice, filled with delicious snacks to enjoy whether you can or can’t eat gluten!

Check out the full blog post review of this hamper here!

For the Sentimental Dads

Personalised Cufflink Box – £29.99

Personalised gifts are a perfect choice for dads who appreciate a sentimental gift and this cufflink box from Giftpup is an ideal gift idea for the men in your life who find themselves dressing up a lot.

A high-quality black leather look 12 compartment cufflink box with a plaque for personalisation on the top, this chic and stylish product would look pride of place on a dresser or bedside table but it also won’t break the bank.

So, what will you be getting your dad this year? Let me know in the comments!

 

The Ultimate Foodie Father’s Day Gift – Blossoming Gifts Gluten Free Hamper Review | AD

*the products shown in this blog post were sent for review and advertisement purposes. This blog post is in collaboration with Blossoming Gifts, however all opinions are my own. 

If you’re struggling for Father’s Day gift ideas, food is always a good idea and whether your dad is gluten free or not, this hamper from Blossoming Gifts is a gift that is bound to go down seriously well.

My dad isn’t a Coeliac and doesn’t eat gluten free but I love to introduce my family to gluten free snacks and treats that I think are tasty and know they’ll enjoy and this hamper is perfect for doing that.

Blossoming Gifts may be best known for their flowers but their selection of personalised gifts and hampers are perfect for all kinds of occasions, including Father’s Day and thanks to having a great range of free from hampers, catering for gluten free, vegan and diabetics, everyone can enjoy one!

I chose the Gluten & Wheat Free Basket which retails on their website for £48.99. This is their mid-priced gluten free hamper, with a smaller one available for £33.99 and a larger one on sale for £73.99.

Hamper 1

I think this hamper is great value for money, particularly as it comes packaged in a generously sized wicker basket which you can keep for decor and storage around the house.

The Gluten & Wheat Free Basket Contains:

1 x Easy Bean Cheddar Crunch Chickpea Crispbreads

1 x Frank’s Luxury Cherry Shortbread

1 x Linden Lady Handmade Luxury Florentines

1 x Mr Filbert’s Honey and Peppercorn Mixed Nuts

1 x Mrs Crimble’s Sour Cream & Onion Cheese Bites (flavour may vary)

1 x Oloves Chilli & Oregano Green Olives

1 x Oloves Lemon & Rosemary Green Olives

1 x Patteson’s Chocolate Macaroons

1 x Sugar n Spice Peanut Butter and Fruit Flapjack

Hamper Contents

All of the products in this hamper aren’t your standard free from aisle finds, they’re all a little more luxury and some of them are real artisan products which I think always feels extra special and makes for a really lovely gift.

The hard work of wrapping it is all done for you too, all you need to do is pull the basket of food out the box it arrives in, add a bow or maybe wrap it in some cellophane, write a card and its ready for gifting to your dad!

I did cheat slightly and give this hamper to my dad a little early as I wanted to see what he thought as a dad receiving it as a gift and he was thrilled with it. Both him and my mum said they’d be super happy to open this as a present and were both amazed by how much you got inside!

My dad has more of a savoury tooth, so he automatically gravitated towards the crispbreads and the nuts, whereas my mum couldn’t wait to try the florentines!

Hamper 2

We were all amazed by the quality of the seagrass basket it comes in and it is now taking pride of place in the living room, it’s perfect for storing books/magazines in a nicer way than just throwing them on a shelf or in the corner – this really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Hamper 3

So, whether your dad is gluten free or you are, this gluten and wheat free hamper of goodies from Blossoming Gifts is a great option!

You can also add a personalised message to the box it comes in, just for that extra special touch!

As a bonus, if you’ve never ordered from Blossoming Gifts before and you sign up for their emails, you’ll get 10% off your first order, making this even more affordable!

Dog With Hamper

Is It Coeliac Disease? | Coeliac Awareness Week 2019

From the 13th – 19th May, Coeliac UK will be running their Coeliac Awareness Week for 2019. This week offers the chance for people diagnosed with the disease to share their story and connect with other sufferers as well as educating people who don’t know what Coeliac Disease is with the aim of potentially helping people get a diagnosis if they haven’t already.

The theme this year is ‘Is It Coeliac Disease?’ which has been designed to help people assess whether they could be suffering from Coeliac Disease and whether they need to get checked for it. Coeliac UK has created an online assessment that anyone can take for free which uses a few simple questions to help you decide whether a trip to the GPs to discuss testing for Coeliac Disease is required.

The assessment can’t tell you whether you have Coeliac Disease but it can help you decide whether this autoimmune disease is a possible cause of problems you’re experiencing. It is quick and simple to take and could be the start of your official diagnosis if you are suffering and didn’t realise.

As part of Coeliac Awareness Week, I thought I’d share my diagnosis story as I do get asked this quite a lot and mine was a little different to the standard, so it might be of interest.

I was finally diagnosed a couple of months before my 18th birthday (mid-2017) but I had started wondering whether gluten caused me a problem back in early 2016. I felt sick a lot, ended up with what seemed like IBS a lot, I was bloated, tired and just generally thought something I was eating was causing me an issue.

Gluten seemed like the best place to start as I knew a lot of people had issues with carbs and my mum suggested it might be some kind of intolerance, so in 2016 I made a half-hearted attempt to cut gluten out.

I started eating gluten-free pasta and bread and started checking the packets but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very good. I remember picking a thin crust pizza on the basis that there’d be less gluten in it… I know!

I went to the doctors after a couple of months of kind of trying to avoid gluten and got told I had Bulimia. I did suffer from an eating disorder and because of that, they pinned my digestion problems down to my mental issues with food but it turns out… I didn’t have Bulimia either.

Because she’d told me that though, I started eating gluten again and I remember going on holiday a couple of months after this trip to the GP and eating pizza, pasta and all sorts and just feeling awful all holiday.

Now time loses me at this point because it was another year before I got diagnosed and I don’t really remember what happened in the middle but I seem to think I carried on eating gluten but didn’t eat bread because it made me feel gross!

I do remember eating a subway when I had a hangover in December 2016, so around 6 months before diagnosis and being so ill. I assumed I’d be ok because I was fine with gluten apparently but I was so incredibly unwell.

These IBS like attacks kept happening and it seemed totally random. I remember having one after eating a flapjack and one after eating a pack of BBQ hula hoops, both of which I now know are a no go for Coeliacs.

Eventually, I got fed up of feeling ill and not understanding why, so decided to push for the Coeliac test again, after being refused it the year before and being told I had Bulimia. My GP still wasn’t convinced and said she was pretty sure I had IBS but she’d put me through for a load of blood tests, including Coeliac Disease to rule everything else out and then she could diagnose IBS.

Slight problem with that plan – I did have Coeliac Disease. My tests came back over a month later (they lost my results once) and the test spoke for itself, they showed signs of Coeliac Disease.

I was told to go on a gluten-free diet and was referred to see a consultant about an endoscopy. Another twist in my diagnosis story – my GP told me the camera was a colonoscopy, so up the back passage and not down your throat. I had accepted I would have this and prepared myself.

When I finally saw the consultant in November, so nearly 6 months later, he revealed that the camera was, in fact, going to have to go down my throat and I freaked out. I have always had a horrific fear of being sick and I just could not go through with an endoscopy. I cried to my consultant and he saw how scared I was, so he said he’d re-do my blood tests and if they still showed apparent signs of Coeliac Disease, he would be happy to officially diagnose me off that.

I went for the blood tests and the results came back showing Coeliac Disease again, so he wrote me an official letter with my diagnosis on it. I was then referred to a dietician and still have yearly dietician appointments now.

I am too young to qualify for DEXA scans but do have annual blood tests through my GP, checking all my different levels, so despite now having the endoscopy, I still get all the relevant Coeliac Disease aftercare as I was officially diagnosed.

It is rare to be able to get an official diagnosis without endoscopy and it is recommended you have it done for complete confirmation but in special circumstances, which is what mine was considered to be, you can get an official diagnosis without.

So, that’s how it all happened for me. That’s how I was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease after 18 months of pointing out to GPs that something wasn’t right. There wasn’t anything like the ‘Is It Coeliac Disease?’ online assessment available when I was wondering whether it could be, so I think this new resource is amazing!

If you have any inkling that Coeliac Disease might be the cause of the problems you’re experiencing then please take the assessment and get a better idea as to whether you need to look into this further!

How did you get diagnosed with Coeliac Disease? Let me know your diagnosis story in the comments or let me know on Twitter!

 

Surprising Our Best Friend | Bubblegum Balloons Review – AD

*Disclaimer – The bespoke balloon featured in this blog post was gifted to me by Bubblegum Balloons for the purpose of advertisement. All opinions are my own. 

I like to think I am pretty good as surprises. I’m a creative person in general so when it comes to special occasions, I always like to go all out to make the people in my life happy, so when it came to celebrating the one year anniversary of one of my best friends’ business, me and my other friends decided to go all out.

We decided to plan a little surprise get together at my house before heading into town for a night out and we wanted to make it as special as possible for her.

As well as going to the shops near where we live and picking up some standard balloons from Card Factory, a banner, a card and a cake, we knew we wanted to get her a personalised balloon with her business name on.

I was so excited when an email from the lovely team at Bubblegum Balloons dropped in my inbox asking if I’d like to check out their range of bespoke balloons. Now I always reiterate that I only ever collaborate with brands that are relevant to my life and that I think you guys will like, so this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.

They’re inflated bubble balloons were exactly what we had been looking for as a surprise for our friend, so when the team at Bubblegum very kindly said I could pick one of the balloons to have sent out for my friend’s surprise, I was thrilled.

We had a look through the site and decided we wanted her business name writing on it, so we just had a look through all the designs, ignoring the text they already had on them and just chose the one we liked the look of.

This is something I really liked about Bubblegum Balloons, although the balloons on the website are designed for certain occasions, you can change the text on all the designs to suit your occasions, meaning you can have something really bespoke to you.

We were going with a rose gold and pink colour theme for the rest of the decorations, so in the end we actually chose one of the engagement balloons and had the text changed as this fitted our chosen colours.

The actual balloon was the ‘He Put a Ring On It’ balloon but we had ‘Kelly Gordon Fine Artist’ written on it instead. It’s a clear balloon with pale pink heart confetti inside and gold, pink and white hearts going down the ribbon.

Balloon 2Balloon 1

This balloon retails for £30 which given the quality and detail that goes into these, I actually think that is really good value.

The balloon turns up fully inflated and in a large cardboard box. We actually got the balloon out the box for our surprise but the box means you could easily surprise someone with it or do a reveal using one of their balloons.

You can get next day delivery if you order before midday and mine was delivered by DPD. I got a text in the morning with a one hour delivery slot and it turned up right on time.

I honestly could not believe how gorgeous it was when it turned up and our friend was over the moon with it. It has stayed inflated for days now and isn’t showing any signs of deflating anytime soon, making it even better value for money.

Personalised balloons are seriously on trend now for all kinds of occasions and they make great props for photographs, so if you’ve got a party, wedding or other kind of occasion coming up then I would highly recommend Bubblegum Balloons for your decor!

Anyone else kind of want a balloon with their name on now? Yeah me too!

(If you’re interested in checking out my friend’s business, she’s a digital artist and illustrator who works on commissioned pieces. She specialises in animal portraits and caricatures but is available for a range of design work. You can find her on Instagram @kellygordon_fineartist)

5 Things Tinder Has Taught Me

As a newly single young woman, where was the first place I went to find a date? Tinder, obviously!

I re-downloaded the app within weeks of my breakup out of pure boredom and got back into the swing of swiping left and right but 6 months down the line, I’m still single and I can’t even be bothered to open the Tinder app on my phone anymore!

However, although my little swiping spree is over now, it did teach me a few things, so I thought I’d share 5 of my findings from my time on the world’s favourite mobile dating app!

1. First Impressions Online Are Based on Looks 

It’s basically the ugly reality of the online world at times but when it comes to getting a first impression of someone online, it’s all based on looks.

I was swiping aimlessly through man after man, judging them purely on looks and deciding based on that whether they were a potential partner or not, barely even giving a glance at their age, location, job or interests.

2. Chat Up Lines are Still Alive and Well 

I thought chat up lines were a thing of the past. Something our parents used to say when you had to flirt face to face because mobiles didn’t exist but tinder taught me that this kind of cringe chat is still alive and well.

3. People Say Things on Tinder You Just Wouldn’t Say Out Loud 

My above point kind of leads me on to this and that’s the fact that people say things on Tinder that they just wouldn’t say out loud.

Both in their bios and on messenger to potential new dates, it’s a thing both male and female users do but some of what’s said on that app is just not something you’d ever hear during a face to face conversation.

4. Manners Are Left at the Door on Tinder

From my experience, there’s a certain type of person who seem to think manners don’t apply when using Tinder. They think they can start a conversation by forcing a crude compliment at you or get unnecessarily aggressive if you don’t reply to their toe-curling message in a timely manner and quite frankly, that isn’t acceptable and certainly won’t get you a date.

5. You Ain’t Going to Find ‘The One’ on There

I don’t know the exact figure of how many Tinder weddings have taken place but I can’t imagine it’s a particularly high amount as from what I can tell, you’re not going to find ‘the one’ on there.

Tinder is too fast paced and appearance orientated for you to ever get to know someone properly. There’s too many people ‘fabricating the truth’ when it comes to what they put on their profiles so even if you do make it to a face to face date, they’re probably not who you thought they were anyway!

For me, Tinder is a bit of fun with friends. It’s a laugh to have a swipe through but in reality, you’re probably going to have more chance meeting someone on a night out that has any kind of potential than on your phone!

And don’t forget – you’ll probably meet the right person when you least expect it anyway, so I’d just stop looking all together and let them find you!

5 Easy Ways to Help a Friend Struggling With Mental Health

As we all know all too well, it isn’t always possible to know if a friend or family member is struggling with mental health.

Sometimes they hide it too well and we could’ve never known but that’s why it is essential to check up on all your friends, even those who seem so content and happy, so I thought I’d share 5 simple and easy ways to help a friend struggling with mental health, even if they haven’t told you they are.

1. Ask If They’re OK and Mean It

The second line in most conversations is something similar to ‘how are you’, we say hello and automatically ask if someone is OK or ask how they are but because we’re so programmed to automatically ask this, do we really listen to the answer?

Whether you think your friend could be suffering with a mental health problem or not, drop them a text, give them a call or ask when you see them how they’re doing and give them time to answer and take in what they’re saying.

2. Let Them Know How We’ll They’re Doing 

A lot of mental health problems can stem from a lack of self confidence or self worth, so letting your friends know how well they’re doing could be the boost they need to feel better that day.

Whether they post something online about a success or you just know they’re trying to really hard with something, a one line text to let them know they’re doing well could make all the difference.

3. Make Plans and Stick to Them

Making plans with someone can be one of the most valuable things if they’re feeling down in themselves but it’s important to stick to them.

Make plans with your friend, get them out the house, get them doing something they enjoy and when you’re with them, properly give them your time, don’t be on your phone all the time.

4. Encourage Plans for the Future 

Living in the now is so important when you’re feeling low as enjoying the current moment can really lift your mood but if your friend or family member is struggling with mental health, encouraging them to look to the future is equally as important.

The future can look dark, empty and daunting when you’re feeling depressed or anxious or suffering with another kind of mental health problem and something as simple as a friend reminding you how much you have to look forward to can make all the difference.

5. Listen and Don’t Judge

Everyone is different with how they deal with mental health, some people are more vocal than others but if someone opens up to you about how they’re feeling or tries to reach out to you for support, just listen and don’t judge.

Sometimes all you need when your low is a shoulder to cry on and someone to hear you out, you’re not always looking for advice, sometimes the best thing you can offer someone is your time and full attention to just listen.

Offer them a safe place to talk with no judgement and make sure they know that place is always there.

Although having a mental health problem can feel so complex and confusing, dealing with it can actually be as straight forward as following the above 5 steps.

Check on your friends that are sad but check on your friends who seem fine too, you just never know!

Mind – 0300 123 3393

Samaritans – 116 123

Mother’s Day Gift Guide | AD

*all products in this blog post were gifted for the purpose of inclusion but all opinions are my own. 

Mother’s Day is not too far away now (31st March), so it’s time to start shopping around for the perfect present for your mama this year!

Keep Her Cosy with a Hat and Neck Warmer from Buff

As some of you may know, we have two dogs in our household, so we’re pretty big into going for walks and seen as the weather is always cold round here, a hat and scarf/neck warmer is an essential bit of dog walking kit.

Buff are known for their high quality winter accessories, specially designed for outdoor adventures, so they’re ideal for keeping you cosy on a dog walk.

This beautiful matching set of a grey knitted bobble hat and neck warmer are priced individually but make a lovely gift set.

The Gift of Soft Skin From Aveeno 

The thing I love about gifting Aveeno products is that it’s a brand that works for all ages and mum’s with children of all ages. I’ll be gifting my mum some of the adult range, which comes in a green packaging as I know she loves the brand and uses it a lot but Aveeno also have a baby range which is a thoughtful gift for any new mum.

I think packing up a selection of Aveeno Baby and adult products in a gift box is a wonderful Mother’s Day present for new mum’s or maybe even for mum’s to be who will still be waiting on baby’s arrival on Mother’s Day!

Give Her Glowing Skin with Skin Doctors

I introduce my mum to a lot of skincare brands and love gifting her skincare products I know will help keep here glowing skin looking fresh.

Skin Doctors is a really lovely skincare range that is priced more at the premium point but comes beautifully packaged and promises to work.

They have a great range of anti-ageing products which is the collection best suited for my mum’s skin (not that she needs it) but they also do products to target other specific skincare complaints that are suited for other skin types.

The Collagen Boosting Duo is a stunningly packaged pair of products that feel luxury to hold and use, so a lovely gift to give.

Keep Things Personal with Gift Pup 

My mum loves a personalised gift. Is that a mum thing or just my mum?

She loves it! If she can put someone’s name on something then she is just all for it, so something personalised is a perfect choice for her for Mother’s Day!

Gift Pup do a great range of personalised presents for all occasions including these amazing handmade confectionery trees with personalised glasses holding them up!

This is the chocolate button tree and I had the glass personalised with ‘Love You Mum’ but they also do trees with liquorice all sorts, Malteasers, Haribo and more and you can have whatever you want put on the glass.

These trees retail for £24.99 which considering their handmade and personalised, I think that’s a great price!

(the centre of the trees DO contain gluten, so this is something my mum will be enjoying alone, however I highly recommend checking out GiftPup for personalised gifts, both foodie and otherwise!)

Flowers She Can Keep Forever From Ferris Heart Sloane

Whatever I buy my mum for Mother’s Day, I’ll usually get her a bunch of flowers too but they obviously die after a few days and it does feel like a waste of money, especially as she seems to spend her life buying new flowers for the kitchen window, so some faux flowers are a perfect gift.

Ferris Heart Sloane sell a stunning selection of premium faux flowers, such as the bouquet below which will last forever and don’t need any care! Simply pop them in a vase and they’ll look as good months down the line as they did the day you bought them!

The Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep from Scentered 

My mum just doesn’t sleep. Seriously, she struggles so badly to ever get a good night’s sleep, so I often gravitate towards getting her gifts that aim to aid a good night’s sleep like this beautiful set from Scentered!

This is the ‘I Want to Sleep Well‘ Gift Set and it retails for £27.99. This beautifully packaged (like stunningly packaged) set includes a candle and balm that are both scented with lavender and chamomile and they smell divine.

The scent is so relaxing and I can really see how it will help you get off to sleep peacefully, so I’m hoping my mum will love this.

Make It a Sweet Mother’s Day with Jelly Belly

Personally, my mum and I have a thing about prosecco flavoured sweets – we love them, so these sparkling wine flavoured jelly beans from Jelly Belly are perfect.

First of all, how cute is the packaging that looks like a little wine bottle? These don’t just look cute though, they’re also gluten free, dairy free, gelatine free, alcohol free, kosher, fat free and peanut free, so they’re pretty much good for everyone!

You can grab a super sweet gift set of the wine flavoured jelly beans direct from Jelly Belly for £12.00 that comes pre-boxed and wrapped to do all the hard work for you!

This Mother’s Day is Smelling Sweet Thanks to The Perfume Shop 

Me and my mum share most of our beauty products but particularly perfume. I’ll steal some of hers and she’ll have some of mine, so buying fragrance for Mother’s Day is basically a gift that will benefit us both (terrible I know)!

Marc Jacobs have brought out a new fragrance in their range of Daisy Perfumes and it’s available at The Perfume Shop now. Daisy Sunshine is available in a couple of different bottle sizes, ranging from £57.00 – £68.00, so it’s on the pricier side but a really thoughtful gift.

Handmade and Delicious Mother’s Day Treats From Fudge Kitchen

Handmade treats are always the best and these Cherry Bakewell Caramels From Fudge Kitchen are all handmade in Kent!

Labelled up gluten free and vegetarian, they’re range of fudge and caramels has something to suit every mum, whatever flavours she fancies but as my mum will never say no to a cherry bakewell, I knew these were perfect for her!

You can explore Fudge Kitchen and other local producers of handmade goods in Kent by visiting the Produced in Kent website!

So, there you have it, whatever your mum is interested in or loves to receive as a gift, there’s plenty of suggestions here for things to get her!

Have you got a special gift planned for your mum this Mother’s Day? Let me know in the comments!