Do Weighted Blankets Really Work? | Trying Mela Comfort's 7KG Blanket For Anxiety, Sleeping Issues and Chronic Pain

Saturday, 29 February 2020

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I have quite bad anxiety and when it's bad, it's really bad, my sleeping issues kind of vary depending on my anxiety levels and then obviously I have my chronic back and pelvic pain joining in on the party too. I've been toying with the idea of trying a weighted blanket for a couple of months but they are quite expensive for what is essentially a blanket. However last month, I decided to buy a weighted blanket from Mela Comfort because I found a good deal on Amazon that I just couldn't pass up. On the website, it's priced at £144.99, however at the time on Amazon it was £94.97 (including free postage) which is still quite pricey but better than the RRP.

Mela Comfort also give you a 100-night trial with fuss-free returns which is great, obviously, if you buy through Amazon then that changes things a little because they have their own returns channel so ideally, you would return via Amazon within 30 days for free.  But if it goes over the 30 day return policy then you can contact Mela and then they will send out a courier to collect the blanket (I'm not sure if this is free or not though).

They also donate a portion of every sale to Mental Health America & B1G1 which is obviously fab and it's nice to know that your purchase helps people in need. Another thing which I found out before buying from Mela is that if you do decide to return your blanket for whatever reason they don't resell their used goods, instead they donate any returned blankets to their housing shelter charity partner.

I've been using my blanket for almost a full month and I feel like I can give you my full review and kind of pros and cons about it now as I know quite a few people were asking me to do a review when I said I was getting one.

Because of my chronic pain issues, I'm usually glued to a hot water bottle or a heating pad of some kind, even in the summer. So prior to buying their weighted blanket I had a look on their FAQs about using heated products near the blanket. It doesn't say anything about hot water bottles but it does say you can use an electric blanket under the weighted blanket but you may get hot. However, in one of the leaflet/guides which come in the box, it says to avoid using direct heat sources as it could damage the glass pellets inside. So it's kind of saying one thing on the website and then something else in the guide which threw me off a bit. I still use my hot water bottle with the blanket but if it's a fresh hot water bottle, I tend to cover it with a cushion just to stop it being in direct contact with the blanket. The blanket is also is noisier than your normal bedding or blanket. I'm not going to lie, it did annoy a bit on the first few days but now I'm kind of used to it. It's kind of a rustly noise, similar to a sleeping bag. 

Onto the pros... I like that the blanket is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, some other weighted blankets which are priced at a similar price, literally look like a sleeping bag and just don't look very nice IMO. I like to try and make my room look and feel super cosy and the cover of the blanket definitely fits into my decor. It's also super soft which adds to the whole cosy vibes too. I do wish you could buy the minky cover that comes with the blanket on its own but apparently, you can't, which I think is a bit weird to be honest because what if you accidentally spill something on it and stain it or if it starts getting a little worn after you've owned the blanket for a while. You can buy other covers to fit the weighted blanket but they are more for the summer as they're lightweight and breathable.

I feel like the blanket has been helping with my sleeping to a certain extent, I still struggle to fall asleep but I sleep for longer amounts of time, I feel more well-rested when I wake up and I find the blanket quite comforting, especially when I'm having a bad day with my pain or anxiety. Talking of my anxiety, I feel like the majority of the time, the blanket helps but there have been a few times when I've been in a bad anxiety spell and I've felt like the blanket is suffocating me a little. So for me personally it's kind of hit and miss. The one thing I'm shocked about is that I think the blanket has been helping my pain a bit. When my pelvic pain is flaring or just a little angry, I tend to get quite bad upper leg pain and it can go from feeling like a heavy, dull thudding ache to feeling like electric shocks and since I've been using the blanket, the leg pain has definitely reduced, even though I have had a couple of bad pelvic pain flares over the past month. It's also completely stopped my restless legs which I get when my anxiety is bad which is great because I always joke that I kick my legs out like a donkey when it's bad. My back pain has also been a tad better recently but I think that's because I've been watching my posture and making sure I rest when I feel I need to.

Overall I do think the blanket is worth it and it has helped me and I think it's been a good investment for my health but if the price is what's putting you off trying a weighted blanket, don't forget to shop around first and see if you kind get it cheaper on Amazon or find a promo code.

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What's Inside February's Roccabox? + An Exclusive 20% Discount Code!

Friday, 28 February 2020

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-If a product is marked with an * then it was PR/Gifted to me. This post contains no paid content-
 I recently received my February Roccabox* and I've got to say straight off the bat, it's a good one! Containing 7 products with a value of £80+ the box has a good variety of products to try. Although I'm already familiar with a couple of the products, the box still excited me when I opened it which is always a good sign. So here's what you get inside February's box... 

First up is the SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins* (60 pieces - one month supply) which if you bought on their own they would cost you £23.06 so you're already making a saving by buying February's Roccabox. I have tried SugarBearHair vitamins before and I do think they helped make my hair feel and look healthier, I didn't see a massive difference in how much my hair grew in the first month but I did like them and I feel like it's a good way to make sure you take some vitamins too. They taste so nice because they are berry flavoured so they literally taste like sweets! They're also vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, soya-free and cruelty-free. 

You also get another product from SugarBearHair which is their Luxury Shower Cap RRP £15.34*. It has an adorable print all over with their bear logo, lollipops, sweets, doughnuts and some slogan words. It also has a high-quality waterproof exterior and plush terry lining on the inside which has been added so that any steam and humidity absorbs into in the terry lining instead of damaging your hair. The shower cap is also latex-free and silicone-free which is always good to know and if you don't want/need to use it as a shower cap then you can use it to prevent bedhead hair by wearing it to bed (it has a super comfortable elastic band which keeps it in place) or you can use it when you do a deep conditioning treatment.

I was excited to see the Popmask Starry Eyes Warming Eye Mask RRP £4* in the box as I am already familiar with warming eye masks and I think they are great when you've got a banging headache that won't shift or when you have bad eyestrain. I don't really use them for sleep purposes if I'm being totally honest just because I'd need them every night if I got to used to using them and it would turn into an expensive routine. But I am a fan of warming eye masks in general!

You also get a full size MONUSKIN - Revitalising Moisturiser RRP £29.50* which is aimed at combination skin. It's so nice to see a moisturiser aimed mainly at combination skin in a beauty box because normally any creams/moisturisers in beauty boxes are aimed at either normal skin or dry skin types and my skin is more oily in the t-zone area and normal/dry everywhere else. I've never heard of MONUSKIN before but I'm a big fan of this moisturiser. It smells gorgeous because it contains Cucumber, Elderflower, Mallow and Arnica and it's just a really lightweight formula which hydrates your skin nicely. Love it!

I'm already familiar with Dr. Lipp's Superfood Sweet Potato Pigment RRP £6.99* because I actually already use it, as well as their Elderberry pigment with is more of a plum toned tint. It's a really nice, comfortable glossy lip tint that also hydrates your lips too. You can also build the colour up on your lips by applying a little more tint but I tend to keep it pretty minimal for everyday wear. 

Next up is the Danielle Creations - Lifting Peptide Sheet Mask RRP £1.60* which I haven't actually got around to trying out yet but the mask is apparently all about firming and lifting your skin whilst tackling signs of premature ageing. I definitely need to start using more products for premature ageing and fine lines and wrinkles because I turn 26 in a couple of months and I'm very aware that I'm getting some slight signs of ageing (bit depressing really, isn't it?).

I love that they also included a Teapigs Cold Brew Tea in either Lychee & Rose or Apple & Cucumber* because I actually forgot how much I love cold brew tea. Last year I loved drinking them in the summer as opposed to normal hot tea and this has reignited my love for them. I got the Apple & Cucumber flavour and it's so refreshing and a great way to up your daily water intake too!

Another thing I love about Roccabox is that you are pretty much guaranteed to get some exclusive discounts from some of the brands included in the box. So if you find something you love then you have a discount code at the ready when you repurchase (depending on when the code runs out). Talking of discounts, I also have an exclusive discount code which Roccabox have kindly given me to share with my readers. Use the code KIRSTY20 to get 20% off your first monthly box, making it just £8 +p&p! (this is not an affiliate code).

Are there any products in this month's Roccabox that you like the look of or have tried before? 

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Gameplay Review of Burning Wins *

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-This post is in collaboration-
We all know how many online slot games there are these days. The choice has got to the pint where, in honesty, it can be a bit overwhelming. Themes are more elaborate than ever which, of course, is really exciting if you are an avid player of online gambling titles. Graphics are better than ever and we are living and playing in an era that has seen slot games become well respected video games with their own narratives. But despite all this, quite simply, you cannot beat the classics, and Burning Wins proves this - find out more. 

Burning Wins Summary 

We think that the fact that slot games can such ambitious and thrilling 3D adventures this days, actually plays to the advantage of Burning Wins. The game has very, very simple gameplay and a charming retro feel that brings everything back to basics. With the likes of fruit and bells on the reels, this really is an old school slot game and there is something quite brilliant about that. 
A game for those who want a break from the more modern, all action slot games that we everywhere today, Burning Wins is just some good simple slot game fun. There are just the three reels on offer which, of course, is the original format of a slot game as introduced by the legendary Liberty Bell well over a hundred years ago. You could say that the legendary company are paid tribute to as well, with the bell on the reels playing a key role. 
The graphics are far from flashy but that is very much on purpose, as this game looks more like a classic fruit machine you would find in an arcade, rather than one that you would play on your laptop, tablet or handheld smartphone device. But that said, Burning Wins will work just fine on all three platforms, looking as wonderfully timeless as it does on your desktop screen as it will on your iPhone. 
The betting starts at just 10p and is capped at a big £100, making for a title that will appeal to gamblers of all budgets. There is no progressive jackpot here or any of that, just a simple spin and win style slot game that we are sure you will all appreciate. There are a lot of games released these days but less and less with the so-called classic theme. Burning Wins is one of those and pulls of the theme superbly. 

Playson - Developers of Burning Wins 

If you have ever wondered who it is that makes all of these fancy online slot games, then this is the section for you. The developer is something of an unsung hero of the online gambling game. In reality, these brands are incredibly important to the entire online gambling industry and consistently provide brilliant online games, such as online video slot games, that just seem to get better and better, more and more advance each week and month. 
The developers of this slot game are Playson, an established brand who have been putting out online slot game titles for a while now. They are certainly capable of working on some really ambitious games and producing titles that boat superb graphics, themes and original layouts. But that said, Playson’s stance in the development game means that they can also put out a classic themes slot like this one and Burning Wins embodies a different side to their brand. 
An appreciation of the history of gambling and slot games is obviously present in Burning Wins, and this comes together with a really user friendly interface that many people are loving to play with. The graphics are simple yet well done, with the hot rod style flames marking the top of the screen. As ever from Playson and as already mentioned, Burning Wins is available across all major platforms. Not only this, but the game looks great and plays just as smoothly as ever accords tablet devices, smartphone devices of desktop devices like laptops. 

Playing Burning Wins  Assuming you have played a fruit machine before at some point in your life, you will know exactly how to play Burning Wins. It is the epitome of an old school slot machine or fruit machine, the sort we are used to seeing in old arcades and casinos. With just the three reels, it is really simple to play and easy to understand, harking back to the days when gambling games were just more simple. 

While simple does not always mean better, there is something to really savour about the humble nature of Burning Wins. You have 5 pay lines to work with so do not expect any wins out of the blue. What you see is what you get with this retro styled game, right down to the fiery animations and graphics that the game takes it’s name from. 
If you prefer a slot game to have all kinds of features, this might not be the game for you. But for us, this title offers a welcome break from the modern, more innovative slot game and gives us warm feeling of nostalgia, which is always welcome. Look out for the likes of lemons, oranges, grapes and bells on the reels, all offering differed sized wins that will hopefully make your time spent spinning worthwhile.  

Burning Wins Slot Bonus Features and Free Spins  In keeping with the old school, almost minimal theme that is on offer here in Burning Wins, there are no special features to report. This could be seen as a limitation of Burning Wins but again, what you see is what you get with this title and if you want a slot game with lots of bonus features and mini games, we are sure you will not have to look too far to find one. 

Verdict on Burning Wins  If you like your slot games simple and your wins big, then Burning Wins is the slot game for you. A true classic both in terms of looks and gameplay, there is a lot to enjoy about the retro slot game.

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Simple Ways To Create An Eco-Friendly Garden *

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

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-This post is in collaboration with Greensleeves-
It’s more important than ever to look after the environment right now. Eco-friendliness is on everyone’s minds, and the more opportunity we have to protect nature and encourage more people to act on the global environmental crisis, the better! Thankfully, there are endless ways we can work together to do our bit, and the best thing about it is that it can start in the comfort of your own garden.

To give you some simple ways to create an eco-friendly garden, I’ve teamed up with Greensleeves, lawn care experts, who are committed to their environmental policy, and understand just how important it is to care for the environment as much as possible.

Reduce, reuse, recycle.   

There are so many ways in which you can reduce the amount of harmful products you use in your garden, reuse things to save on waste, and use recycled materials in as many areas of your garden as possible. These materials can not only help the effect we’re having on the environment, but can also release a bit of creative flair from you too.
  • Old materials like tin baths and buckets, and even old scaffolding boards can be put to good use, creating some personalised flower beds or creating a certain theme within your garden. Plant pots and garden furniture can now be made out of recycled materials to ensure harmful plastics and other items aren’t littering our planet.
  • Eco materials can help to reduce your carbon footprint in more ways than one. For example, green materials can be sourced locally, and the creation and production of these materials create fewer air miles too. 
  • Collecting rain water using a water butt is a really effective way of reusing water naturally to water your garden, instead of using the water from your taps.

Cut back on the chemicals.

Unnatural chemicals, even though they may work wonders on your garden, do come at a price. A lot of garden chemicals used to get rid of common garden pests or weeds can remain active in your garden for months, and their toxic vapours can not only harm the environment over time, but can also cause illness if inhaled by you or your pets. 

There are a number of ways in which you can naturally remove pests and weeds from your garden, without contaminating your lawn and flowerbeds with harmful chemicals:
  • Use strong jets of water to get rid of any flies or other insects from your lawn. You can also keep an eye out for young caterpillars and get rid of them before they start to grow and become a problem.
  • Cover growing weeds with plastic sheeting to weigh them down and prevent them from growing further.
  • Spread compost or shredded bark around your plants to prevent weeds from going.

Grow eco-friendly plants.

Instead of building walls, choose to grow a hedge or rows of plants. Not only will this contribute to the eco-friendliness of your garden, but also gives wildlife areas to nest or keep safe from predators. It’s also important to grow plants and shrubs where they’ll be happiest. For example, in plenty of sunlight, your plants will thrive, and with a little water, they can look after themselves. Do a little research into where your chosen plants will grow the best, and you’ll see a positive difference in how they look.

Make your own compost.

A good compost is a healthy compost, and improving your soil can be easier than you think. Making your own compost can be done by recycling green waste, like lawn clippings, hedge trimmings, vegetable peelings and fallen leaves. It’s completely free to make and over time, you’ll have a good amount of compost to use in your garden.

There are so many ways to create an eco-friendly garden.

Your garden is your own space, so it makes sense to make it look its best whilst also keeping it as environmentally friendly as possible. Do you have any clever ways to create an eco-friendly garden? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Travelling With Chronic Pain & My Travel Plans For This Year *

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-This post is in collaboration with Millercare-
Travelling never used to be a problem before my chronic pain started back in 2018 but now I find it hard to travel in a car if I'm travelling any distance over around 30 miles which is crazy, considering I was always up for spontaneous or planned days out when you're stuck in the car for hours on end before I became unwell. Now I find it quite draining and uncomfortable to be stuck in a car for even an hour and obviously that affects how I feel once I get out of the car too. So it's really knocked me back and makes me question what I feel I can push myself to do in general. However this year I've set myself a couple of goals and I've also thought about some things which could help me if I'm travelling further than around the 30-mile radius I can just about put up with. I'm not saying I'm going to jump on a plane and travel to a warmer climate any time soon but there are definitely a few places that I want to try and visit this year within the UK. Most of them are places which I used to love visiting before I got ill. So here are my "goals" and a couple of the places I'm hoping to visit this year.

My first goal is that I need to be realistic with myself and know that I'm not going to be able to walk around or do as much as I used to before I got unwell. But even if I get to the town/city I want to visit and walk around even half the amount as I used to, it's still better than nothing! It's places like Matlock, Bakewell and Manchester which I used to love visiting a couple of years ago, where I know I may now struggle to walk around now either because of my pain or the fear of flaring but the plus side is that there are loads of little coffee shops and things where I can go if I need to rest for a short spell. But when I know I've done enough for one day then I need to stop and go home and not overdo it. 

I also really need to make sure I give myself time to recover days after I've done a "big day out" as I like to call them haha. I'm a bit silly sometimes because I don't let my body properly recover if I've done something which is quite draining or could/has made my pain flare and then I just make myself more unwell for a longer amount of time. It's almost as if I'm punishing my body for not letting me do things I used to be able to do. It's kind of strange to be honest.
I'm also looking into mobility aids such as Lightweight Wheelchairs for travelling which could really help me when I'm in a big town or city. It also means I'd be able to push myself a little more and try and travel further distances because I know if I do travel for a longer amount of time then I know I don't have to worry about trying to walk around if my pain is flaring, as long as whoever I'm with is happy to push me around in the wheelchair. Obviously, with it being a lightweight wheelchair, it means it'd be easy to carry around in the car as well as being easy to take out and put back in the car after using it too.

I think the biggest "travel" goal for me this year is to visit Chester Zoo, which I know might sound really trivial to you if you are an abled person. But it's a big place and I haven't been in years. I just think it's a good goal to aim for because I really want to go anyway, I was hoping to go last year but I couldn't but that was mainly because of other things that were going on in my life as well as my fear of flaring taking over. I also love The Secret Life of the Zoo and every time I watch it, it just makes me want to visit ASAP. I'd definitely need some sort of mobility aid like a wheelchair to get around though so I think it depends on my confidence using a wheelchair too. But I really hope I can manage it this Summer!

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