Recovery // Tumblr thinspo debunked

*Trigger warning for photographs & discussion of Eating Disorders/weight*

I love Tumblr as much as the next person.It's a great place to get style inspiration,read interesting stories and catch up with friends.However scroll a little further and you'll notice a few photographs that aren't all they seem.Thinspo or "thinspiration" is defined as "photographs or other material intended to provide inspiration for Anorexia as a lifestyle choice".I can't even begin to discuss how angry these make me! I think they are really toxic and do nothing to break the stereotype that eating disorders are only experienced by thin white women.Please note,I have nothing against any body type,we are all worthy of feeling pretty and special whether we are fat,thin or anything in between.The problem I have is with the media and "pro ana" supporters promoting negative self talk and diets.

Lots of these images were inspired by this (in) famous Kate Moss quote.

via Tumblr

This quote always makes me think.Personally when I reached my "goal weight" I didn't even care about how being skinny felt.I couldn't feel! Also I think that lots of things taste better than being skinny.Freedom from self hatred and a healthy relationship with food taste 1000x better than skinny could ever feel.

via Tumblr

I hate this kind of faux motivational BS.Your stomach doesn't even know what applauding is.It's very easy to lose sight of the actual science when you're faced with these so called "inspirational" images.Not only do these images shame any body type that doesn't fit this "ideal" that is generated by the media,it also shames people for feeling one of the most primal instincts,hunger.

via Tumblr
Urgh I don't even know where to start with this.I hate the ignorance that Tumblr and the media display,they seem to think that Anorexia is a diet that can be picked up and dropped as they wish.Also, drinking only Diet Cokes and coffee whilst smoking cigarettes will not turn you into a fragile little Effy Stonem clone.It will make you tired,depressed and resentful.Pretty girls are made of determination,strength and happiness!

One thing I have noticed is that pro-ana and "thinspo" messages definitely prey on the vulnerable and try to either shame them into feeling inadequate, or post motivational quotes saying that they too could be just like this! They sell dieting and weight loss as the answer to everything.Don't like yourself? Lose weight.Want that boy to notice you? Slim down.It's just another form of advertising for a lifestyle that isn't attainable,we shouldn't treat it any different to the more obvious advertising.The only difference is that thinspo is made in people's bedrooms and not boardrooms. 

To counteract all of this negativity I created my own "Anti-thinspo" photo.

 I know that people are more aware of these materials now,and they are slowly being taken down.If you do see anything that you are concerned about then I would report the content to the admins of the website.I hope this has helped put things in to perspective a little more,it's amazing how little people can think of how a few words can affect people so much.

Have you ever come across anything pro-ana related? What did you think?


Beat bad skin // £2.19 Germolene cream trick

I've been stuck with one of those really painful under the skin spots for a couple of days now (thanks hormones).You know the kind that stick out like a sore thumb and can't be popped? Short of going outside with a scarf wrapped around my chin,I grabbed some Germolene antiseptic cream from my cabinet and dabbed some on.I've always used it for burns and insect bites so I thought it would be good at numbing the area and keeping it free from infection.

I really love the smell of Germolene,it's a very medicinal scent and it has a thick consistency.I found I only needed a little bit to numb the spot and I was pain free! I thought I'd let it do it's magic overnight and hope for the best.When I woke up it hadn't gone,but it definitely look less irritated and had begun to shrink.A great way to improve the effectiveness of Germolene is to dab a cotton wall ball in hot or warm water (be careful) and place it onto the area,this helps opens up your pores and lets the cream do it's job a little better.

It's a great multipurpose product to have around the house and it's really affordable too.You can pick it up from Amazon for £2.19, but I have seen it in various pound shops before so keep an eye out!

Do you have any tips for treating problem skin?


Recovery // Anxiety affirmations & tips

via Pinterest

Anxiety disorders are unfortunately very common,with 1 in 6 people in the UK experiencing them in their lifetimes.How they affect people varies as much as the people themselves,mental health doesn't discriminate.If you have any concerns about your well-being,please don't hesitate to visit your GP.

There are different types of Anxiety disorder,such as Social Anxiety Disorder,Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety disorder to name only a few.I suffer from the latter which means that I worry obsessively about the future and find it hard to make decisions.I also struggle with appointments and using the phone (I hate going to the Doctors!)

Some symptoms of Anxiety can include;
  • a sense of dread
  • shortness of breath / heart palpitations
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • irrational thoughts
  • feeling like you're having a heart attack or "going crazy"
Whenever I feel extremely anxious (e.g important phone calls) I have heart palpitations,my hands shake and my chest becomes very painful.I also find it hard to get my words out and I can jumble sentences up.Everybody experiences symptoms differently though,so there is no right or wrong way.

I know that people telling you to "calm down" definitely doesn't work so I've put together some great tips and affirmations that have helped me in difficult situations.


"Nothing can hurt me right now"

Reassuring yourself that you are safe from harm can really decrease anxious feelings.If you can,try to move yourself to a more comforting environment.

"I accept that I feel anxious and it will pass"

Acknowledge your emotions and realising that it won't last forever can be very comforting.

"I am in control" or "I can do this"

Help yourself to feel powerful.Even when you're feeling scared and anxious,positive statements will help to counteract the anxiety.Also,it can do wonders for your self esteem!

Top tips for Anxiety

  1. Breathe! When you're heart is racing and your mind is running away with you,it's easy to lose control of your breathing.Long and deep breaths can really help keep your symptoms in check and help you to accomplish your tasks.
     2. Feel the room around you.Touching your surroundings can help you focus on the reality and ground      your thoughts in the present.I like to touch the seat that I'm sat on and try to notice what's around me.

     3.Keep a journal.This is why blogging is great! If that's not your thing,keeping a journal where you can write your thoughts and experiences with anxiety can be really help you notice patterns in your behaviour and emotions.
      4.Question the worries in your head. Are they irrational or irrational? If you can solve the problem think of ways to achieve this (ask for help if you need to.) If you can't then try to accept that you can't change the outcome.

      5.Get enough sleep.A good nights sleep can go a long way to helping you feel more refreshed,focused and at ease.I know if I don't get enough sleep,my anxiety levels definitely increase.

I really hope that anyone that  is suffering or has suffered with anxiety feels safe in the knowledge that they are not alone! I often experience unpleasant symptoms still,but by managing them effectively I can get through the day a little easier.

Do you have any advice to people experiencing anxiety?


Poundland bargains // Jess Nail Polish Review

I've had a lot of success with nail polishes from Poundland recently, I love that they have a great selection of branded products like Revlon and Sally Hansen.I normally overlook brands I don't recognise but I saw a very inviting stand of Jess nail polishes that had every kind of colour and finish you could want! I've never seen this brand before, but I'm after some bold colours for Spring & Summer,so I picked up two of these polishes for £1 each (of course.)

The packaging is fuss free and clean which is a winner for me,and I like that they have names,polishes always seem a bit more luxurious to me when they have creative names.The beautiful emerald green is called "Brazen" and the vibrant purple is called "Madison".I was worried that they might have been hard to apply being a cheaper product,but I was very impressed.It only took two coats of polish to achieve a nice solid colour and the brush holds just the right amount of product.It also has a very quick drying time which is great for people in a rush.

Madison looks 1000 x nicer on the nails than in the bottle! It's so vibrant and has quite a glossy finish.I did add a little bit of a topcoat but it doesn't need it. 

I will be wearing this so much during the coming months.Brazen means "bold and without shame",so this polish definitely lives up to it's name.It also has a glossy finish too,which I think makes it look a bit more high end.

The next time you're in Poundland,I would definitely recommend having a look at the Jess nail stand.They're cheap and have so much variety to choose from that you could buy one for every day of the week!

Have you ever tried Jess polishes? What do you think?


Job hunting //How to improve your job search today

Searching through the newspaper and scouring the internet over and over again becomes second nature when you're job hunting.I'm currently in this situation and it can really give your confidence a knock,but I've been having more success recently (with some interviews on the way!).The little things can really help, so I've put together some tips that I've found have really been keeping the momentum going.

1. Don't be hard on yourself

This has been a big hurdle for me as I had to leave my job to recover from my Eating Disorder.However, whatever reason you don't have a job,please don't be hard on yourself.I know that in today's society people can often judge you on your profession,but they don't know you or your situation.You're trying to better yourself and that's great.

2.Use your resources

Networking can create great job opportunities.Talking to former colleagues or friends and family who might know of vacancies available can often result in you hearing something.How often have you heard "So and so said they were hiring at the...".Keep your wits about you and you don't know what will come up.

3. Get your C.V and covering letter checked over

The Job Centre offers work groups who will go through your CV and covering letter with you, to see where you could make improvements.They can often arrange work experience and work together with you and potential employers to secure work.I would definitely recommend these,they treat you with respect and offer you resources that you might not have realise existed.

4.Don't take rejection personally

It's easy to think there is something wrong with you when you keep getting knocked back.Accept that this is part of the process and focus on the positives you have achieved.I have found that emailing the employer requesting feedback can be really helpful in finding out how to improve your approach.

5.Be informed

Companies like to hire employees who know about the organisation and their values.Taking time to make some notes about the company and their background is very beneficial in creating a positive impression and good communication.


Job search websites

CV & cover letter help

Free CV templates & advice
How to write a successful CV
Cover letter samples & writing advice

I hope this help people who are in the same situation as me to not feel so alone! Just like everything, job searching can taking a little time,but with hard work we will get results.

What tips do you have for job hunters?


Summer skin // Scholl Instant Hard Skin Remover review

Every year as Summer approaches I start looking for gadgets and gizmos to help remove the dry and cracked skin from my feet.I think I've bought every kind of cream promising soft smooth skin and I didn't have much success with the Ped Egg either! It felt like I was rubbing a cheese grater over my feet,and it was just as helpful too.I was browsing Bloglovin' as I often do,and I noticed that Leah over at Just me,Leah was reviewing this and her results gave me some hope! I really want to wear more sandals this year,so I popped over to Amazon and picked one up.

Scholl Instant Hard Skin Remover £8.50 from here

Apparently 98% of people agree that they saw visible improvements and I like those odds! I decided to soak my feet first so that my skin was softened and it would (hopefully) be easier to use.

The first thing that I found that it was really easy to hold which meant that I could get loads of dead skin off.It felt really therapeutic! All you do is rub the circles which contain specially angled blades backwards and forwards over the area,and the skin will be removed.After using this,I noticed a massive difference in how my feet felt and the areas were much less painful and red.To get the most out of the experience rubbed in some heel cream and put on some thick socks so that it could soak in.

      CCS Swedish Foot Heel Balm £5.56 from here

This stuff is amazing! It nourishes my skin and definitely reduces the time I need to spend on my feet.This would be lovely for anyone who is on their feet a lot.It's more than I'd normally pay for a foot cream,but seeing as Summer is coming up,my skin needs the attention.

I'd definitely recommend getting the Scholl Instant Hard Skin remover if you suffer from painful dry skin and calluses! It only took about 10 minutes to use so it's easy to use if you're rushing around.Unfortunately,if you're Diabetic you won't be able to use this product.

Do you have any tips of soft feet?


Freebie // Manuka Doctor Mini Hero Kit review *

I've been hearing so much about Bee venom and Manuka honey and the wonderful effects they can have on your skin! Apparently they have great healing and nourishing properties and even leave your skin looking youthful and glowing.I didn't want to pay the often hefty price tag on these products,so I decided to take advantage of the Mini Hero Kit that the lovely people at Manuka Doctor are giving away for free! It's worth £12.99 and you only have to pay £2.50 P&P so I think that's a pretty good deal.Pick it up here (I'd be quick though, you never know when they're going to take these deals down.)

You get 3 sachets which have enough product in to get 2 or 3 uses each out of them,and I'm really pleased with the results! I did look up the process of how they retrieve the bee venom,and I'm happy to say that it is a humane process.If you'd like to know more then there is more information here.They do advise not to use this product if you are allergic to bee stings.

Manuka Doctor Rejuvinating facial mask
"Pain free natural way of combating wrinkles with purified Bee venom to help promote elasticity"

I applied a thin layer of this after cleansing and left it to soak into my skin for 30 minutes.It really felt like it was working,it reminded me of a nice spa treatment.On application it had a lovely fresh smell and went on really smoothly.I used a damp face cloth to remove the residue and my skin felt so soft and nourished! It also had a nice glow to it,probably from the Bee venom!

Manuka Doctor Skin treatment serum
"High performance natural alternative to significantly improve blemish prone skin"

Honey and it's antibacterial properties have been used in skincare for years,and I can see why.I applied some of this before I went to bed and when I woke up my skin tone did look more even and refreshed.It might take a few more applications to get it looking how I want,but I am impressed with it's results.

Manuka Doctor Targeted wrinkle filler
"In just 30 minutes wrinkles are reduced"

Now I don't know if this is true,because I'm only 22 and I don't have any wrinkles that I can see right now.It did leave my skin looking really plumped out and fresh though.I also noticed it gave my skin a lovely smooth texture which made applying my make up much easier.

They also offer lots of other products for all different kinds of skin conditions.I'd never heard of Manuka Doctor before but after using these samples I think I'll check them out.Their products vary in price from affordable to the more high end,but I'm sure there is something for every budget! I would definitely recommend them.

Have you ever used Bee venom in beauty before?


Recovery // Positive body image affirmations

Positive affirmations are a big part of my daily life.If I didn't do them I don't think I would be able to look in the mirror.Looking in the mirror is a big struggle when you don't believe you match up to societies impossible standards.Girls as young as 5 and 6 are becoming increasingly concerned about their weight and appearance.It's getting just as bad for men too,there are plenty of adverts shaming men for not being the muscular Action Man types that the media hound them with everyday.To try and ground myself in the reality and gain some perspective,these affirmations really help me to create a more positive atmosphere.

1. "I deserve to take up space in the world"

I believe this is a quote from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is a great affirmation to say when you are feeling helpless or unimportant.You can be vast and brilliant and you deserve to be here as much as anyone else.

2. "I am worthy of love."

This one has helped me through some very tough times.You are worthy of love no matter who you are or where you come from.Love isn't just reserved for the successful,the healthy or the rich.

3. "Fat isn't a bad word."

You hear so many people saying "Does this make me look fat?" and the other person will say "no, you look beautiful not fat".Why can't they be both? Fat is whispered in hushed tones and shouted as taunts and I think it's unnecessary.You can be fat,you can be thin,or you can be anything in between.If you're healthy and happy then that's great.Actually,even if you're not healthy,you're still wonderful and deserve everything you could want!

4. " It is okay for me to love myself."

It isn't vain or self absorbed to love yourself and your body.You are capable of great things and that should be celebrated! When we start dictating our happiness and not the media,true acceptance of ourselves and others will come.

5."Thank you (body part) for doing (whatever they do.)"

I know this sounds funny but I find this really helpful.Thank your legs for carrying you everywhere.Thank your eyes for seeing what the world has to offer.Your body is going to be with you your whole life,so learning to honour and respect it can only improve your relationship with yourself!

Although it takes time,I definitely think these affirmations are really useful in helping to improve your body image.I like to say some when I'm getting ready in the morning,it's a great way to set myself up for the day!

I'd love to know if anyone else has any affirmations they use.Let me know!


Poundland bargains // £1 Minnie Mouse polish review

I'm obsessed with everything Disney related,as I know lots of people are.I don't enjoy paying their prices though,it seems that anything with the Disney name can retail for twice as much as another brand.That's why I'm so happy to see lots of their products in Poundland at the moment.I also love buying more polishes than I need,and at only £1 I can justify that!

I picked up this beautiful Minnie Mouse polish in "Red".Not a very inventive name,but the packaging is so cute that I don't mind.I found the short brush made it really easy to apply and the formulation wasn't too goopy (technical word.)

I would definitely recommend this to someone who want a simple but pretty nail polish for a good price! They did have a few other pastel colours too,which I think I'll have a look at another time.It didn't smell too strong either,which I think is a bonus as some polishes really have that chemical smell to them.

This is after 2 and a half days and I'm terrible at nail care,so I'm pretty impressed by it's staying power.If you regularly use hand cream and apply top coat I'm sure it will last longer.Looking at them,I wouldn't say that it was a true red,they look more of a orangey red to me.Or "blood orange" but I can't say that or "oxblood" without feeling like a pretentious twit.

What polishes are you wearing at the moment?


Anorexia and Me: Q&A

I've been wanting to write some more about my struggles with Anorexia,but I didn't know where to start so I thought do a little Q&A.It's a pretty intense subject but I thought it would be a great way to let you in on a little bit of my life.Just a side note, if you find the talk of weight or eating disorders triggering to any mental health problems you may have,please proceed with caution.

I chose the above picture because it was taken last August when I became fully physically recovered from Anorexia.When I restricted,I would never let myself enjoy a sunny day and I had so much fun!

How old where you when you began restricting food?

I was 14 and at Secondary school.I was a healthy weight with a BMI of about 23,but I had a school trip abroad coming up and I wanted to look my best.As other girls at school were doing the same,I thought it would be a great idea to eat a little healthier and starting cutting down my food intake.

What triggered your Eating Disorder/disordered behaviours?

I've always felt inadequate.I feel bad admitting this,but when I'd see all of the popular girls eating something "unhealthy", for a moment I would be better than them.For a moment I would feel like someone.Also,most of my family are women so the diet talk was inevitable.It seemed like my family condoned my behaviour,and they would always complement my "wonderful figure".It took me years to realise I was worth more than my appearance.The abusive relationship I was in at 16 didn't do much for my self esteem either, I felt like everyone was watching me self destruct.

Why did it spiral out of control?

I lost a little bit of weight from healthy eating, but that wasn't enough.Every time I stepped on the scale I was happy for about 0.5 seconds,and then came the plans for more weight loss,I needed to lose more.I began exercising obsessively.I remember buying an exercise bike and pedaling so fast that my legs felt like they were going to collapse underneath me.On top of that I was only eating one or maybe two tiny meals a day.I had dozens of diaries that should have been filled with memories of friends and summer holidays,but instead sums and numbers of every bite of food was carefully logged and recalculated.I never ate more than 1000 calories a day.Constant fights with my Mum over tea were becoming normal.I wasn't underweight at this point but I was suffering.It goes to show that you don't have to be underweight to feel the side effects,as I was constantly in a zombie like state and getting weaker by the day,both physically and mentally.

When did you get diagnosed with Anorexia?

The 10th of January 2013.I'll never forget that day as long as I live.My now husband begged me for weeks to go to the Doctors,by this point I was at least a stone underweight.I didn't think anything was wrong.I remember saying "It's no big deal,it's only a diet".Except I had been on a diet for 7 years.I had never realised until that day that that wasn't normal.When the Doctor confirmed I had Anorexia, I just laughed.I couldn't believe it, and I was utterly terrified at even the thought of gaining weight.

What treatment did  you receive to help you recover?

Last year I attended a 20 week course of DBT or Dialetical Behavior Therapy which is designed for people to help take control of their emotions and move towards  a more positive coping mechanism.I regularly went to the Doctors so they could monitor me and check my bloods (I hated that!) I also had to eat regularly and this was the hard part.I had some days where I'd just cry through every meal,knowing that this was the only choice I had.It did get easier as I began reaching a healthier weight,probably due to the fact that my brain could work properly!

How are you now?

I am amazing! I have been completely free from any negative behaviours since August last year! I still have horrible days,but I find much more comfort in communicating with people than I do restricting now.I'd never thought I would be able to even have one day with precisely counting every calorie.Now I eat regularly and don't cut out any food groups! Also,I don't have any more physical symptoms from my eating disorder,I practically walked out unscathed and I am incredibly lucky.The pain of recovery was completely and 100% worth it.

I often feel so sad when I think about the experiences I've missed out on because of my disorder.I have accepted that I'm allowed to grieve that time,but I have the power to decide what my future is going to be.

I definitely think people would find it easier to start recovery if society didn't have the wrong preconceptions about mental health and eating disorders.

Anorexics aren't vain or stupid and bulimics aren't lazy or greedy.Eating disorders in all their forms aren't just black and white,but various shades of grey.People who are suffering need building up and supporting not mocking and belittling.

If you have any more questions,feel free to ask. I know it's a tough subject,but it's experienced by so many people that I'd love to be able to help.Obviously,if you are concerned about yourself of someone else,then I would advise seeking medical advice from your GP.I'm going to be writing more about Mental health on here,so watch this space!

What topics would you like to discuss with me next?


Ebay bargains // Korean BB Cream

I've really been into Korean cosmetics recently.I love how innovative the formulations are,and they have products for every skin type imaginable! After using the sheet masks (which I reviewed here) and being very impressed,I was very excited to try this BB cream from the Korean company,Holika Holika.

If you browse Ebay you'll notice there is no shortage of interesting foreign beauty products and this really caught my eye! Isn't the packaging adorable? I had been looking for a BB cream to wear on those days when I want to wear lighter make up,and with summer coming up I thought it would be the perfect time to buy one.I picked this up for the bargain price of £3.36 from this seller.This is a complete steal because on the Holika website it retails for £7.87.

They have 5 types of BB cream to choose from depending on your skin type.They are;

  • Moisture for dry skin (this is the one I bought)
  • Essential is a multitasking BB cream for all skins
  • Clearing for acne prone skin
  • Watery for combination skin
  • Shimmering for dull or uneven skin tones
Lots of Korean products are aimed towards keeping skin youthful looking,so I'm happy that these contain SPF 30 to keep my skin in good condition.On opening the tube it has a medium consistency and smells lovely and fresh.I think it would be great for anyone with sensitivity to strongly scented products.

On application it looks quite orange,but it sinks wonderfully into my skin and provides light coverage.I've noticed that applying a moisturiser beforehand helps it last longer and stops it from gathering in dry areas.I definitely think this is a contender against the more well known BB creams from Garnier and Loreal.

This was the end result! When I apply this it gives my skin that "my face but better" look that I prefer in the Summer.It leaves a lovely dewy finish and it lasts a good 5 hours too.I like to dust a little powder on top just to set it.You don't need much product for a full face,but when I do eventually run out,I will definitely be repurchasing this.

Do you wear BB creams? What do you think of them?


Sun safety Q&A

We have had some glorious sunshine in the UK,and with that comes the barbecues,beaches and inevitable sunbathing.There's nothing nicer than going for a long stroll in the sunshine,or sitting on one of our lovely beaches basking in the warm rays.There is quite a lot of confusion about skin types and the best products to reduce the risk of skin damage,so I thought I'd put together a little Q&A to help you make the right decision for you and your health.

What's the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and unprotected exposure can cause premature ageing and potentially skin cancer.

UVB rays are accountable for your Sun burn.They will burn the superficial layer of the skin but the intensity will vary depending on the time of day or season. 10am to 4pm are the times when these rays are likely to do the most damage.

Should I still wear Sun cream if it's cloudy?

Yes! The Sun's rays can still pass through the clouds and will still be able to damage the skin.

What SPF (Sun Protection Factor) should I buy?

It is recommended by the NHS that you use a Sun cream with an minimum SPF of 15.Obviously,the higher the SPF the more protection your skin is receiving.

Can I use Sun cream that I bought last year?

You should always check the expiry date on the bottle and replace it if it's out of date.However,if stored properly Sun cream will remain effective for 2 or 3 years.

What is the most effective way to apply Sun cream?

Generously and regularly. Always make sure to apply Sun cream around 15 minutes before going out in the Sun,to make sure that it's had time to absorb into the skin.You should reapply every 2 hours,or every hour if you are sweating lots.

Other ways to ensure that you're staying safe in the Sun include;

  1. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. ( Ice lollies are also great for this!)
  2. Wearing sunglasses and using an SPF lip balm to protect the eyes and lips.
  3. Wearing light and loose clothing can help reflect light and reduce the risk of burning.
  4. Always go to the Doctor if you have any concerns regarding your skin.
I always get quite confused over what I should be doing and buying,so I thought this would be a helpful reminder for myself and everyone to enjoy the Sun but make sure we're keeping safe too!

Do you wear Sun cream? What brand would you recommend? 


Recovery // Positive meal time affirmations

This isn't a subject I have touched on yet,but thanks to the wonderful community here, I feel like I am able to talk about it.I am in recovery for Anorexia and I have been for around a year now.It has been incredibly hard and only recently have I addressed the reasons behind my disordered behavior.I would like to mention that I am fully physically recovered which I am extremely happy about after 7 years! I will do a more in depth post about this,but I know that in my experience, it is incredibly hard to make healthy choices for yourself when the media constantly bombard us with images of "perfection" and the idea that what you eat is somehow linked to your morality.

How many times do you hear people say "Oh,I shouldn't have eaten that!" or "I'm being naughty today"? If you walk down any street you're bound to hear people throw around these statements that are full of blame and guilt.It definitely doesn't encourage a healthy relationship with food and I have said these too! It seems like especially for women, we are made to feel ashamed of enjoying food.I sometimes feel like this is a type of oppression,but that's another issue!

I often like to write down positive food affirmations that I repeat inside my head to help solidify the beliefs I have learnt during recovery.In today's diet culture I think this would be really beneficial to everyone.

The ones pictured are brilliant at helping me look at things from a more logical perspective,I also like the following to keep me focused and in the right mindset.

"Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes"
"I can eat without shame"

My personal favourite is  "strength and control come from exercising my personal power in the world,not from what I eat".Once we distance ourselves from tying our self worth and emotions to food,I think that's where real changes can be made! Everyone is worthy of loving themselves and being loved by others,regardless of their weight.

Has the diet industry affected you? What positive things do you tell yourself?


Discount dining // Tastecard free trial

I've been hearing so many great things about Tastecards that I thought I would check it out for myself.I'm always on a quest to save money,so I opted for a 30 day free trial before I commit myself to paying £79.99 a year.I wasn't too sure what they were to be honest, so I had a browse on their website (here) and it all looks very exciting.

Tastecard is a diners club,where members receive 2 for 1 discounts or 50% off their food bill for presenting their card at the restaurant.I tried booking a meal through their website,and I found the whole process really easy and quick.They have a large directory of restaurants that you can search through, and when you've found the right one for you, just ring up as you normally would and say that you have a Tastecard.It only took about 5 minutes and now I have a lovely meal booked for us on Monday that gives us a 241 meal offer.

I found their website really easy to navigate and you can also have the restaurant details sent to your phone. Great for people like me who have a terrible sense of direction. Tastecard comes across as a very customer friendly and innovative company,which is refreshing!

The only downside is there is some restrictions,but then I can understand that as they still want to run a business after all! You can't use your Tastecard around peak times like Christmas and other holiday events,but if you eat out regularly this would be a great way to save some money.I suppose it's kind of like paying some money up front to ensure discounts in the future,like an investment!

I'll reserve my judgement until next week and I can see it in action.For now though,I'm pretty impressed! I really like the concept and I think it's a great idea to help people have a wonderful experience for less.

Have you ever bought a Tastecard? What do you think of Diners clubs?


Prep your skin for spring // Red Fox Tub-O-Butter review

I've been looking for a product that will get rid of dry patches of skin without creating irritation or being too strongly scented.The one place I always have a look around is Amazon,there never fails to be something there for everyone.I came across this interesting looking tub with the even more interesting name of "Tub-O-Butter".Although it doesn't sound very appealing,it claims to have so many benefits from keeping you looking young to preventing dryness,and all for £2.49! I thought was very reasonable considering the amount you get.

£2.49 from Amazon (free P&P)

I must admit the packaging doesn't really do much for me.I think I've seen these colours before on my Nan's curtains back in the '70s,but it's easy to read and I do like their no fuss approach.Apparently this product is from Georgia in the USA, so I'm hoping for something a little different to what we get over here.Foreign beauty products are always so fun to use,they seem more more innovative. 

It has a very thick Vaseline type texture,which is great as not much of the product is needed.I'm hoping this is very economical as I'm forever buying moisturisers.It has a very faint scent of cocoa butter which is just enough that you can smell it on the skin,without it overpowering any perfume.I tried some this morning and I must say,this stuff is amazing! A thin layer is all that's needed to give my skin all it needs and it has left my problem areas free from irritation and dryness.It takes a little while to sink in,but it is definitely worth it to feel the benefits that it gives.

I was really impressed by all of the uses this lotion has,I've used it to moisturise my cuticles and it's left my nails feeling really nourished and smooth.Also,it contains lots of natural ingredients like pure cocoa butter and lanolin which is great if you're trying to be more wary of what you're putting on your skin.I'm definitely going to buy this again!

Have you bought any great products from Amazon recently?


The best things in life are free // Community Potluck

Once a week, I have decided to dedicate a post to writing about great things to do or see for very little money! Having a night out can be so expensive, and you can often go how with nothing more than an empty wallet and a soggy kebab.This is where Potlucks come in, they are gaining popularity in the UK as they're a great way to share food and meet new people.I took along some peanut butter and chocolate bars!

The idea is that everyone who attends brings some food and you all share it together.They normally accept donations so that they can hire the venue and put the kettle on,but other than that it's often free! My local one was held in the Methodist Church and run by the "Network of Wellness" who help support people coming together in the community.

I thought the table decorations where really cute and I love the handmade touch.They did a really good job at jazzing up an otherwise plain hall.I could do with some of those candle jars at home!When I got to the food table,I didn't know what to pick. There was so much choice including vegan options,so it was great that everyone was catered for.

I decided on trying a little bit of everything! I had to some Pasty of course (true Devonian!) but this was potato and leek which was a bit different.I also tried so Gnocchi and a little bit of rice salad.There was loads of fresh fruit too, so I picked up a few fresh strawberries.Almost all of the food was organic,really well cooked and there was so much of it that I was blown away by people's hard work! I washed it all down with a lovely Chai Latte.

I couldn't pass up on dessert as it all looked so good! My photo doesn't do it justice,but this a Berry cheesecake which had just the right amount of sweet and tart flavours.It was great to just sit and enjoy some food with people you wouldn't normally spend time with.You meet all kinds of people! With full stomachs, we decided to head to the free market.

Now that you know roughly where I live,Totnes is well known for being an alternative and green community.We're very big on recycling and reusing down here! A friendly man came up to us and said "take as much as you want" which I thought was very generous.There was a large selection of kids clothes and all kinds of different books covering every subject.We walked away with a few books that we know family members love.

I was really impressed by the kindness and friendliness of the community here, we had a great time! If we had of gone out drinking for a night, we could have spent £30, but this was a great way to have a meal out in a lovely setting all for a £2 donation!

Would you ever go to a Potluck? If you have,did you enjoy it?