A very blobby birthday to me

This is going to be a super light post, mainly because it wasn’t supposed to be on my blog schedule, and the fact that it’s my birthday! I have had more than a few thoughts about my pregnancy and all the photos I’ve been taking to document my changing body these past 8 months. Legs, bum, boobs in particular have expanded and stretched beyond anything I could ever imagine… and I’m ok with that. It has been a great first pregnancy, and I am now in the final days just waiting and waiting for something to happen. In my mind, it almost doesn’t feel like anything is about to change, but of course it will! Before I go into labour, I wanted to put this out there so you can see a month by month play as it were. For those who aren’t aware, Blobby is my baby. So raise a glass for me today as I reach the grand old age of 27- a very blobby birthday to me indeed! Enjoy the snaps…

Weeks 5-13

Weeks 14-22

Weeks 23-31

Weeks 32-40

Now the final stretch is in sight, I want to thank all my friends, family and readers for being there in the form of a text, tweet and visit throughout my pregnancy.

Blobby, it’s been real, but seriously now, get out!

Saharasplash x

It’s never too early for a Cadbury Christmas

With Christmas now just 16 weeks away, I thought I’d get the baubles rolling and do a festive post! I missed a lot of the action from Christmas in July this year, but I did however make it to a certain Cadbury event which was absolutely amazing. It was the showstopper of all Christmas showcases and I’m here to spread a little pre-season magic and show you why it’s never too early for a Cadbury Christmas!

In the heart of Soho amidst the July heat and bustling crowds, I stepped into what could only be described as an alternate universe. Snow was on the ground, a lovely scene of lifesize advent boxes filled the first room. I was given the number 5 (my birthday date) and what was inside the box I got to take home- advent calendars !!!

Moving onto the next floor…

I found a huge dining table with an enormous Christmas cracker- Cadbury snow bites spilling out everywhere! If you’ve not been following my blog for long, I discovered snow bites last Christmas and here’s the post which features my late Great Dane posing in Cadbury accessories!

And now for the top floor of this crazy Christmas dreamland…

I learnt that Cadbury have teamed up with Help for Heroes this year with their Heroes tins. Money will be donated to the charity upon purchase of the special tins- how fab?! As well as this newcomer, Cadbury have also decided to bring back some of their old school classics along with retro packaging:

You can buy the four bars in a lovely set like this, just perfect for a little nostalgic gift this year.

Thank you so much to the Cadbury team for inviting me along and thanks to all you readers who couldn’t help but clicking as soon as you saw the chocolate! I hope your Christmas, whenever you start planning it, is merry and filled with sweet Cadbury treats!

Saharasplash x

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Spending the day wisely with F+F and CRUK

This month has been a pretty slow month in terms of my blogging and attending events. Being in the third trimester has really had a huge impact on my days out in London as there are limits to how much I can and can’t do now. However, spending the day wisely with F+F and CRUK was 100% going to happen no matter what. F+F are the clothing brand at Tesco, and they have been working with Cancer Research UK in a variety of ways. This time, they kindly sent me plus three other bloggers for a day out and tour of one of the research facilities in London. First stop, brunch!

We met up with everyone at a lovely spot near Shepherds Bush called Mustard. It was so lovely to sit and chat with other bloggers as well as Karen who told us more about the partnership between Tesco F+F and CRUK. The 16-year partnership has now raised £40 million can you believe! This includes just under a million by having Tesco customers donate their unwanted clothes to local stores.

Over a coffee and dessert, I learnt about the Buy One, Donate One scheme, where an entire school uniform gets donated just by purchasing an item from the range.

So after a lovely brunch, we were on our way to the Imperial College for a tour of their CRUK centre.

We were given lab coats which made me feel right back to those school days in chemistry class. I always loved learning, so sitting down to listen to the vital research taking place was such a treat. The centre focuses on treatment innovation and the Imperial Research Centre is one of 18 experimental medical centres in the U.K.

Some quick but essential facts from the tour and talk:

  • 42% of cancers are preventable (mainly from lifestyle, environmental choices)
  • The average person takes 180 days from spotting the first symptom to visiting their GP- this is far too long!
  • In 1970, 1 in 4 people developed cancer
    In the next 20 years, this number will be 3 in 4 people
  • It takes a huge amount of time to create cancer fighting drugs, but a very short amount of time for cancer to work out a way to beat the drug. Early diagnosis is the key!

We took a tour with a researcher called Catriona. Her specialised area was understanding the link between type 2 diabetes and drug called metformin. She is hoping to find out why people taking this drug have a decreased chance of developing certain types of cancer. Each experiment is vital, yet we learned incredibly expensive to carry out!

Having lost my mother in law to cancer last year, just a few weeks after our wedding, I am fully on board with supporting all types of research that not only this facility carries out, but across the country nationwide. Statistics show that we all know someone or have lost someone ourselves to cancer, so I encourage you to do whatever you can to support.

I visited one of my local CRUK charity shops and donated a bunch of clothes which were just in my drawers and wardrobes not seeing any wear or love in years.

I want to thank the team behind the Imperial Research Centre and to Karen representing the F+F brand for inviting me along. Spending the day wisely with F+F and CRUK was a wonderfully insightful experience. I also want to thank you guys for reading this, and hope that today you appreciate everybody around you that little bit more who are happy, healthy and by your side.

Saharasplash x

See what I got in the Aldi Baby and Toddler Event this month! 

The modern face of marriage

Getting married, hitched, wed, or whatever you want to call it is a life changing decision. For most couples who are married, I’m sure you look back on your wedding day as one filled with happiness, joy and great memories. Each wedding I have been to, including my own, I have found to be such an intimate and personal thing. No two weddings are quite the same, little hints and touches of the couple spread around to make it their own. After talking with my nan recently about her own wedding, I can’t help but feel that times have changed incredibly over the past decades, both for better and for worse! I want to share a few of our stories and some facts from a family law firm (Cardiff)* in this post on the modern face of marriage.

Going back to my nan, she told me that she got married at the same time as one of her sisters in a joint ceremony for financial reasons. It was a church wedding, a traditional catholic wedding which took place in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1963. Her dress cost £13 and both rings were £19. My dress, well price comparison is quite difficult, but it was a lot more than that! Our wedding- which took place 8 months ago- saw Paul and I married at a registry office as well as by a humanist in our own home the next day.

On my nan’s wedding day, she was told not to have any champagne at the toasting because she wasn’t old enough. I had a sip or two, and no one told me not to.

On the night of the wedding, my nan wasn’t told by anyone in her family on what to expect. My wedding night consisted of unpacking a marquee and looking over all the crazy photo booth images until 3 in the morning, then we fell asleep!

A non religious wedding weekend such as mine and Paul’s would certainly not have been possible for my nan, though I can happily report that it’s been 53 years since their wedding and my grandparents are still together and are the epitome of an old married couple.

Attitudes have changed so much not only towards marriage, but relationships in general. Introducing same sex marriage in the UK has brought us into a world that is so much more open and relaxed about marital ideals and what it means to marry the one you love. However, I do find that with a more relaxed view over the decades, the number of weddings that seem to expire has grown by far too much. How many divorced couples do you know? I conducted a poll on Twitter and 72% of people knew a close family member or friend who had gotten a divorce.

Photo by Camera Hannah

Can people really get married now without that tiny little thought in the back of their mind saying ‘well, if something does happen then I can just get divorced’? I feel this is a luxury that so many people (not all) take advantage of in countries where divorce has become so normal.

Of course I am happy that divorce can mean freedom for certain abusive and unfaithful relationships, but I do think that it is all too easy to say ‘I do’ now that it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘I do until death do us part’. In the source from the Cardiff law firm, 42% view marriage as a way to increase their financial security- I wonder if that percentage would have been higher or lower back in my nan’s day!

I believe that Paul and I waited the right amount of time before getting married, about 6 years, which included living together for a considerable amount of time beforehand. We got to know each other like no one I’d ever met before and we are soon to be expanding to three before we celebrate our first year of marriage.

We have been on countless adventures, starting out at a little Twilight convention in Birmingham, then travelling to the biggest comic convention ever in San Diego soon after becoming a ‘couple of nerds!’

67% of people surveyed think that there is less pressure from society to get married now than there was 10 years ago- I certainly felt no pressure to get married whatsoever before we were ready. Interestingly enough, 53% of people asked would want a civil ceremony. Does this show that marriage is becoming less of a religious thing and more like a status thing? I know I am certainly guilty of feeling that happy moment I could ‘status update’ my life on social media after the wedding. I’m proud to represent the modern face of marriage, and I plan to stay married providing Paul continues to be one hell of a tolerant husband!

How do you feel about your wedding day, whether married, planning or dreaming? Would you have wanted to get married in a similar style to my nan or to me?

Saharasplash x

Facts from survey (not including my Twitter poll) comprising of 2,000 GB men and women. Source: Slater Gordon. All figures from survey are from YouGov Plc.

*This is a Sponsored Post

Head back to the home page here to discover more, and thanks for reading about the modern face of marriage!

 

RUSH Salon Wimbledon Village

When it comes to salons and regular appointments, I must admit that this is so not me. I’m the type of girl that never gets root touchups and would rather leave it six months until a sort of ombré happens. So when I eventually do make it to a salon, I’m going to have something major done. Here’s my experience of the RUSH Salon Wimbledon Village.

The RUSH Salon Wimbledon Village has been open for just a few months now, so I was really excited to visit its brand new site. There are two RUSH salons in the area, one being just Wimbledon and this one being much closer to Wimbledon Common on the High Street.

Here are some snaps of my hair before- far too long and much damage and breakage due to  brushing and styling. Can you believe the last haircut I had was before my wedding back in November?! My stylist Zoe had just the thing, starting off with the best hair wash complete with massaging chair!

Zoe used the Kerastase trio above from the Volumifique range as well as cutting off a sizeable chunk to refresh my hair.

Having long, fine hair will also weigh it down more, meaning less volume unless you style with product.

Here is the after pic! So much better right? The ends look so healthy compared to just an hour beforehand, I was so pleased to have some fullness back in my hair.

I know there’s a mirror line in this shot but I was trying to be edgy and sort of like it! What do you think of my hair difference? Have you been to a RUSH Salon before? Let me know in the comments below!

Saharasplash x

I was sent to RUSH Salon Wimbledon Village for my honest review, all thoughts are my own. 

 

Brand new Botanics Collections

So the day of this event was one of the stupid crazy hottest days of the year. Even in the cab ride over with the AC full blast, I was seriously melting! The hot summer ride pulled up outside the venue in the heart of Soho, and I stepped into a magical scene filled with botanicals everywhere the eye could see. The exclusive range at Boots has had a drastic makeover and I’m here to share the brand new Botanics collections news with you!

You can search the hashtag #theplantone on social media for all the details, but I’ll fill you in on the main points. The Botanics brand focuses on natural skincare and using the power of plants to induce healthy skin. This new launch sees us celebrate five new collections which targets different areas of skincare:

Botanics- Organic
Botanics- All Bright
Botanics- Hydration Burst
Botanics- Radiant Youth
Botanics- Triple Age Renewal

 

I was shown round the display room and had a chance to sample, smell and learn about each of the collection’s unique properties.

This Organic green range is powered by Rosehip, rich in Vitamin C and Omegas 3+6

Not only were the brand new Botanics collections there on the day, there was also an Australian Yoga wear company called Dharma Bums showcasing their new plant inspired collection! They had a monogramming service too so I was so thrilled to take away my favourite pair of leggings with my initials. I tried them on over my bump and the stretchy material worked just fine.

Instagram: @Dharmabumsactive

I had such a fun time hand picking products from the new range tailored to my own skincare needs. I’m trying out:

Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish: £9.99
Hydration Burst Cleanser: £6.99
Hydration Burst Day Cream: £8.99
All Bright Micellar Cleansing Solution: £5.49
All Bright Eye Roll-on: £11.99
All Bright Radiance Balm: £7.99
Organic Facial Oil: £11.49

The entire new range is available exclusively at Boots (on shelf) as of tomorrow and online as of today! Tailor make a skincare collection that’s made just for you via Boots.com.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading all about the brand new Botanics collections. If you’re in the mood for one more post, definitely read the one where I went to a Magnum ice cream party!