Tuesday 8 May 2018

My Purrfect Gift Box - 2 Year Anniversary!*

Can you believe it has been 2 years since I first reviewed My Purrfect Gift Box on my blog? Me neither! When I was contacted to review a box as a little Birthday/Anniversary review, I jumped at the chance. I (and Biscuit) used to love receiving this box each month and if it wasn't for the fact we are saving every spare penny for our wedding, I would have carried on with my subscription.

The best thing about this box is you don't even need to have a cat to sign up, as the cat treats are an additional option so purely being a cat lover is enough! This month's box had a Spring Theme and was packed with loads of amazing items.

The first item I opened was this gorgeous necklace, designed by USA artist Krista Smith.  The folk inspired cat art is unique and this cat with flowers design is perfect for Spring. I love the simple black cord too, it adds a touch of class to any outfit and goes with everything. She has a lot of other art and cat prints over on her etsy and I have my eye on some of the ginger cat items. This necklace retails at £18.99.

You cam never have too many coasters and I adore these spring inspired floral cat designed ones by Kim Haskin retailing at £16.99. I love how cute and fluffy the cats look and each cat has a name too which I think is adorable! These coasters are good quality and will brighten up my room a treat. She is based in the UK but ships internationally if you are interested in seeing more of her work.

I love these watercolour stickers from Thailand artist Pennapa Yodhor. The spring colours compliment each other well and I think they will really brighten up my planner this month. These retail at £4.50 and can be found on etsy amongst lots of other designs.

This ceramic kitty planter is the ideal addition to my home as a cat and plant lover. The planter is ideal for a succulent or small flower, and I can't wait to look for something permanent to sit inside of it. It even comes with its own drip tray to keep surfaces clean and tidy. I really love it and think other cat lovers will too. This retails for £12.99.

I have been looking for a little pocket mirror for my makeup bag and this generous sized one featuring Ella Goodwin's Flower Antlers Kitty illustration is perfect for Spring and beyond. This retails at £5.50, you can check out her website here.

The first cat themed item in the box was this handmade 'fiori' (flowers in Italian) toy made by AmiCatToys. I can see why the flowers were chosen for this box as it fits in with the Spring theme perfectly. This colourful toy comes complete with a few jangly bits which immediately got Biscuit's attention.

The second cat item was VitaKraft's cat grass kit. It's a premium seed mix which is ready prepared, a bit like cress. I had to punch some holes into it, add the seeds, mix the soil and then add water. It takes about 3-4 days to start sprouting and I will let you know over on Instagram how I get on with it! It is quite a good thing to have as it can encourage cats to help cough up their hairballs, and I know my fluffy cat gets a lot of those!

I love how adorable this catnip cupcake is from etsy shop Little Miss Delicious. They have a lot of cute food themed jewellery, accessories and home decor that looks good enough to eat. I seriously love the pizza themed goodies they do. Biscuit is sure to enjoy this, and it looks adorable in my home. The cat gifts retail at £16.99 for all three products.

Head over to My Purrfect Gift Box for more information or to see previous boxes. This box including cat goodies is only £39.95 including UK delivery, but if you son't have a cat and would rather skip those items it's just £31.95! You can also make one time purchases which make great gifts. What are you waiting for?

*I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.


Wednesday 2 May 2018

Finding a Lump - Shine Night Walk Marathon 2018

This year I am going to be taking part in the Shine Night Walk Marathon in aid of Cancer Research UK. I have chosen the cause to be Breast Cancer. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please click here. Thank you.

I thought I would write this post about an experience that I had in the hope that it will help to reassure others when in the same situation. It is also one of the reasons that I am taking part in the Shine Night Walk Marathon. I did the 5k race for life a couple of years ago and it was such an empowering experience and really inspiring day. This year I thought I would push myself and do the 10k as well as the muddy version, all in the same weekend. Am I mad?! My friend Astrid then told me about the Shine Night Walk - an inspiring event and something amazing to train for and raise money for. I am not an expert in this matter, this is purely an account of what happened to me and how I felt. I hope if you are going through something similar that you know you’re not alone.

It started off a while ago now when I started to read a blog by a girl who went to my school. She is younger than me and was diagnosed with breast cancer and I found her blog posts really hard hitting and interesting to see her going on her journey and being so strong and brave. She brought awareness to myself about how important it is to regularly check your breasts and since her blog went live I have made an extra effort to check myself. I realised it can happen at any age. I thank her for bringing this awareness to the younger generation.

I noticed a dull ache in my left breast so decided to check myself. I couldn’t find anything so forgot about it but it was playing on my mind. I then got my partner to check and he couldn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. I then waited a few more days and had another feel and finally I found a solid lump. As you can imagine, this was terrifying. I cried and as it was just before Christmas I thought I would wait until after to stop me worrying. Of course the worry didn’t subside so the next day I booked an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner.

I had been crying all morning and was so worried so I took my mum to the appointment with me for some support. James did offer to come but I didn’t want to mess up his work schedule just for me. We walked into the nurses office and she was lovely. She asked a few questions about the history of my family and luckily mum was there to answer them for me. Having had breast cancer herself, this obviously increased the risk for me. The nurse pulled a curtain around a section of the room and I undressed my top half. She told me to lay down on the bed and point out where I found the lump. She had a feel around and soon found the lump I had mentioned, but on inspection she did say that I generally had quite nodular breasts anyway so it could just be how they are. She couldn’t feel any other areas of concern. I told her this lump was new which is why it worried me and at the end of my visit she had referred me to the hospital to see a specialist. I was told my appointment would be in the next 2 weeks and I had hoped it wouldn’t clash with any Christmas plans. I awaited my phone call.

In the days leading up to my phone call I found myself obsessing over the lump and constantly feeling it to make sure it was there which then made it painful. There were times when I thought it had disappeared and then I would find it again. My GP appointment was on the Friday, my phone call came on Tuesday the following week and I was booked in for my appointment on the Thursday. All in all, 6 days. Hats off to the NHS as I thought that was brilliant, especially to get me in before Christmas.

When I arrived on the day of my appointment I got parked up and made my way to the right area. I had my mum with me and she knew where we were going. I checked in and was given a sheet of questions to fill out before I saw the doctor. Before I even had a chance to finish the questionnaire, I was called through. I had to take off my upper clothing and put on a fetching gown. My mum came in with me and sat on the other side of the curtain. I saw a man called Dr Hussien (I think). He asked me where the problem area was and got me to lie down. He examined both of the breasts but couldn’t find anything that stood out to him. He could feel the lump I had pointed out but said it felt normal to him, but would refer me to ultrasound to put my mind at ease.

I had to go back to reception and they then told me where to go next. I went down the hall and checked in at another reception and was told to wait. I had no idea how long I would be here, but another lady went up to the desk and said “I’ve been waiting for over an hour, how long will it be?” and the receptionist said that it was quite normal and some have waited up to 3 hours. In the end it was about an hour and a half later until I was seen for the ultrasound. A female led me through, this time I left mum in the waiting room, and told me to take off my upper clothes again and cover myself with a towel and lay on the bed which I did. A male then entered the room and he  asked me to point out the area and cross referred this with the doctors notes. He applied some gel and ran the ultrasound over my breast where I had found the lump. He kept rolling it around trying to get a good shot and get as deep into the tissues as possible. He then asked me to look at the screen and showed me what normal tissue looked like and said he couldn’t see any areas of concern. All he could see were a couple of tiny cysts which weren’t worth doing anything with. He then left the room and I got dressed and the female gave me a leaflet on breast cysts. She said if I were to feel anything else then to go back, don’t ever assume it is just a cyst if a new lump was to appear.

When I left the ultrasound I had to go back to the original waiting room to speak to the doctor, thankfully this didn’t take too long. He called me in and had examined the photos from the ultrasound. He said that he couldn’t see any areas of concern and it all looked normal to him. He said the cysts were nothing to worry about too. I was so relieved. I walked out and told mum what had happened and both of us felt so much better. We then realised how hungry we were and we went and got lunch.

Thankfully on this occasion everything was fine, and I think the whole process was very fast and efficient. If you ever find anything please get it checked out as it may be nothing, and will put your mind at ease. Even if it is something, you’ve taken the first step in resolving it by visiting your GP. Since then I regularly check myself throughout the month.

I will be completing the Shine Night Walk for all those who unfortunately didn't get the results they hoped for. I hope that any money I can raise will go towards life-saving treatments. Please donate here.

© UK Lifestyle and Beauty Blog. All rights reserved.