-This post is in collaboration with Woolfoot Heating-
Winter is definitely in full swing now and when winter comes around it usually means it's that time of the year we start to see our heating bill shoot up in price. In this post, I'm talking about some things you can do to help save on your heating bill this Winter.

If you live in an older building make sure you try and block out any draughts such as around your doors and windows. You can buy draught excluders and brush strips for your doors and you can buy weatherstripping tape which can help to make windows and doors less draughty too. Also, make sure that any hinges and latches on the doors around your home are properly secure and not loose as this can let draughts through aswell. 

If you have an older boiler then it might be time to start looking into getting an upgrade. Boilers that are 10+ years old waste a lot of valuable energy and they're just not as efficient as newer models. You can get a Boiler Installation in Leeds by Woolfoot Heating who can remove your old boiler and replace it with a newer model. They also come with a 12-year guarantee to keep your mind at ease. Also if you have a newer boiler, it usually means that your house insurance tends to be lower too. 

Another way in which you could save yourself money is by turning off radiators in rooms you don't use or use much. This will make your boiler work more efficiently and it also means the rooms you want to heat will heat up quicker too.

You should also try and keep your immediate area around you feeling super warm and cosy. You can do this by pulling the sofa(s) in your living room out away from the radiators so then the warmth from the radiators can get around the room more freely. Also, make sure you tuck any curtains above a radiator in your home behind the radiator, so then the warmth is getting in the room and not just heating up your windows. Adding to that,  don't forget to pull out any chunky knit cardigans or jumpers you've had knocking around in the back of your wardrobe during the summer. You could also make use of some of your fave summer clothes and you could team your favourite summer dress with a jumper, tights and some boots or a wear roll neck top underneath your fave pinafore styled dress just to switch it up a little.

Another must-have during the Winter is a hot water bottle so make sure you've got at least one hot water bottle in your home (I literally can't live without mine lol). You can buy a basic hot water bottle and you can also buy super long hot water bottles now that you can wrap around you too. Something else you could buy is an electric blanket for your bed to keep you extra warm and cosy at night and an electric throw blanket for your living room. I've literally just bought an electric throw blanket a few weeks ago and it's honestly a game-changer! They tend to be super cheap to run too, I'm talking literally pennies for hours worth of use.

Do you have any tips or tricks on saving money during the Winter?

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-This post is in collaboration with London Hearing Clinic and Harley Street ENT Clinic-
Taking time out is something we should all do, especially when we're feeling super stressed, whether it's due to our home life or work life or anything else we've got going on. If we don't take time out then it can affect our mental health and physical health very easily. So in this post, I'm talking about what I would say are my top 5 ways to just take a bit of time out and relax.

Making Sure I Get Out Of The House 
Because I work from home, I can get a bit stir crazy if I don't get out of the house and take a bit of a breather. However, with me having chronic pain, it means some days I literally can't leave the house because I'm in too much pain. But I do try and get out of the house when I really feel I need to, even if I'm having a bit of a flare up. When I feel I'm in need of a bit of a breather I tend to just visit my local shops, go for a drive in the car or even something super simple like having a little walk around my garden. 

Listen To Music
Music is definitely something I turn to a lot and if I'm feeling quite stressy or if I just need a pick me up then I'll pop one of my fave playlists on and just take some time out. I know sometimes people like to listen to super loud music when they're feeling stressed because they feel like it "blocks it out" but you do have to be careful as this can lead to your damaging your hearing. From a Tinnitus sufferer like myself and after many years of listening to my music too loud, I really do mean it when I say please don't do it! If you do already have issues with your hearing then you could look into booking an appointment at London Hearing Clinic for some help.

Have a Pamper Session
Having a pamper session when I've had a rubbish day always makes me feel better. I like to go all out and treat myself to a bath bomb bath, use my fave shower gel and usually one of my more luxurious face masks and I'll just stay in the bath for as long as possible. After I've had my bath I always make sure I moisturise my body allover because I find it works best after a hot bath and then I'll usually paint my nails too. It's almost like a ritual haha!

Knowing When To Say No and When To Relax
I think a big thing I've learned over the past year is learning when to say no or when something is just too much for me to handle if I've already got a lot going on. If you take on too much and overwork yourself, you'll probably end up making yourself unwell and then if you try and push yourself even more whilst you're feeling unwell, it could lead to something such as Tonsillitis or an Ear Infection, especially if you've been putting off a doctors visit. If you do suffer with reoccurring Ear, Nose and Throat problems then you could book an appointment to visit the Harley Street ENT Clinic where they offer diagnostic services, tests, and advice as well as being able to carry out a wide range of ear, nose and throat treatments on site.

Allowing Myself An Extra Few Hours Sleep!
Lastly is something so simple but works so well is allowing myself to have a lie-in when I feel it's needed or even a cheeky nap (which will no doubt turn into a few hours) in the afternoon is a good way to make yourself feel recharged. 

What things do you do to take "time out"?

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-This post is in collaboration with Where The Trade Buys-
For most people, the Christmas holiday period can evoke a bit of stress and anxiety, both at home and in the workplace. Managing your work-life balance can become more challenging, and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Paired with dark gloomy weather, those who are susceptible to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may struggle even more with the winter months. 
But let this Christmas be different? There are many small changes you can adopt, in order to alleviate your own stress and the stress of others.
  1. Plan ahead to help manage your workload
Planning ahead is one of the most effective ways to manage Christmas stress, both in the office, and at home. Make lists that you can work through systematically, and don’t fall into the trap of being over-ambitious! You don’t want to be stressed about present buying during work hours, so plan to start early this year! If you schedule in an out-of-office hour each weekend from the start of November, you will have all your shopping done well ahead of time. This way, the task won’t conflict with your busy workdays. If you get ahead of the game with presents, wrapping paper, and gift tags (you could even consider bespoke gift tag printing online) you’ll avoid the dreaded Christmas Eve last-minute rush.  In addition, you have planned ahead for work tasks as well as present buying, you won’t be as short of time and you’ll be able to enjoy the final few festive days of work stress-free!
  1. Take advantage of flexible working hours 
If your workplace offers flexible working hours or the ability to work from home, then now is the time to utilise these schemes! If this isn’t offered, you should consider raising it as an idea with your manager. Flexible working hours are particularly beneficial for anyone suffering with SAD. The ability to manage your working hours yourself, on days when it is getting difficult to make it into the office, is vital.
  1. Shop for gifts online 
Online shopping can be a lifesaver if you’re short of time and beginning to stress. Whether it’s gifts for the family, or a last-minute workplace secret Santa present, it’s always easier to jump online on your lunch break than make time for a stressful shopping trip. This way, you could get presents delivered to your workplace rather than your home address and no prying eyes will see them! What’s more, you won’t have to worry about missing your delivery at home, as there will likely be someone at work to take your precious parcel. 
  1. Understand your rights to sick leave  
Workplaces are under legal requirements to allow sick leave when needed, whether it be physical or mental illness you are struggling with. Current generations work longer hours than ever, giving a lot to their employers — it is in the best interests of your employer to make sure you stay healthy and happy. You are entitled to up to seven days sick leave after self-certifying your illness. After this, you will need a note from your doctor to confirm the reason you’re not fit for work.  
  1. Switch to decaf drinks
For many, a warm cup of coffee or tea is essential for getting through a gruelling workday. Especially over the winter months, it’s hard to consider getting through the day without these warming vices. However, caffeine can intensely heighten your anxiety levels. If you are feeling stressed and anxious in the workplace, make the switch to decaf — at least over the hectic Christmas season. 
  1. Make time for exercise in your routine
With a gruelling work schedule and a hectic home life, it can be more difficult than ever to make time for exercise over the Christmas period. Dark evenings and mornings, paired with frosty weather, add to this off-putting environment. Despite all this, you should try and make some time to take care of your mind and body through exercise. If your schedule is tight, why not ask your manager about the possibility of arranging a pre-work yoga class? Or, if finances are your main concern, find out if your workplace could get a corporate gym membership — lowering prices for you, and increasing health and productivity for them. It could be the perfect Christmas present for a workplace to gift its employees. 
  1. Enjoy some downtime with work friends 
Work Christmas parties are a great way to alleviate that Christmas stress. It isn’t often that colleagues all find the time to celebrate together, but this makes the yearly work Christmas party so much more special. It’s a great chance to let your hair down and get to know your colleagues out of the ‘deadline stress’ context. Of course, not everyone looks forward to the office party. A recent study from Perkbox, found that over one in four employees don’t enjoy their work’s Christmas party due to various reason. With this in mind, think of other activities you could organise in the workplace that could alleviate stress without conjuring social anxiety. A mince pies and mulled wine evening after work is a great, more low-key and relaxing, alternative to an all-out Christmas party.
  1. Or, don’t… practice the self-care that works for you
We’re probably all familiar with FOMO (the fear of missing out), but have you ever heard of JOMO (the joy of missing out)? This acronym describes the pleasure of taking a break from social activity in order to enjoy personal time, and it highlights an absolute necessity. Christmas time can be stressful enough as it is, so don’t put pressure on yourself to engage with every social activity (both in and out of work) just because you feel obliged. Taking valuable time for yourself is an essential part of self-care, and this doesn’t change over the festive period! 

Different tips work for different people, but if you action even a couple of these ideas this winter, you will feel a weight lift off your shoulders! Give them a try and remember to look after yourself this Christmas.  
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-If a product is marked with an * then it's a PR/gifted item. This post contains no paid content- 
 Bali Body are an Australian cruelty-free, vegan friendly and paraben-free brand who mainly specialise in selling fake tan products. However I don't use fake tan because it literally always turns out patchy on me and I also don't think it looks "right" on me because I'm just used to looking pale if that makes sense. Also with having chronic pain it's probably more hassle than it's worth in terms of the application and removal process. However when Bali Body got in touch asking if I'd be interested in trying out their products I was really intrigued by their skincare and bodycare ranges. So I've been trying out three of their products for a few weeks and in this post I'm going to be talking about how I've been getting on with each one.

As I've mentioned in previous blog posts I've really gotten into wearing more of an minimal base this year. So I've been opting for BB creams, CC creams and tinted moisturisers instead of foundation. I think it's because I feel like my skin can breathe better with products that are more lightweight and I find that they're easier to apply because you can just use your fingertips if you want to. I've also been liking wearing them if I'm feeling a bit rubbish about my skin and just want something to even out my skin tone. So the Bali Body BB Cream SPF15 priced at £25.95* definitely piqued my interested when I saw it. There's 4 shades available and I chose the lightest option which is "Fair". They describe it as a multi-tasking cream as it can be used as your base, sunscreen and an anti-ageing moisturiser all in one. I'll be honest I wouldn't feel particularly safe wearing SPF15 on it's own, especially in the summer but I suppose if you've forgotten to put your SPF on in the morning then at least it's better than nothing. The BB Cream itself provides a nice, glowy, light coverage which evens out your skin tone nicely. I've also been using it with a few dabs of concealer wherever needed just for a bit of extra coverage here and there. I do sometimes find that BB Cream shades can come up a little too warm for someone like me who is quite pale so I like that it's one of those products that adapts to your natural skin colour because the mineral oxidises to match your skin tone. So overall I would pick this up again. I think it would make a great summer or holiday base product! 

I don't know why but I was expecting the Coconut Lip Balm SPF15 priced at £12.95* to be similar to the Glossier Balm Dot Com which I adore. However I would say that the Bali Body Coconut Lip Balm is somewhere in between the Glossier Balm Dot Com in terms of how hydrating it is as well as a lip oil which I actually really like. It's quite runny so you do have to be careful when you first apply it because it did take me by surprise. But I do like that it makes my lips look super plump as well as giving a nice amount of moisture because of all of the nourishing oils inside.

Lastly is the Luxe Moisturising Lotion priced at £16.95* and I'm not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed when I applied it and realised it doesn't really have a scent. I was really expecting it to have a tropical scent, especially for the price and size of the product but it doesn't. I've had a look on the website and it says that it gives a light grapefruit scent but I can't smell it. *Also note this product does contain nuts in the ingredients*. It's lightweight but definitely packs a punch on the hydration front which I do like and with it being lightweight it means it sinks into your skin quickly. It's main ingredients include soothing Aloe Vera, hydrating Shea Butter and age defying Camellia Tea oil. Something else which caught my eye on the ingredients list is that it contains Lactic Acid. The reason why I found this interesting is because I suffer with Kerotosis Pilaris (chicken skin) on my upper arms quite bad and I find that Lactic Acid, if I keep on top of using it, really helps to reduce it. So I think it's good that the moisturising lotion has that added in so if I forget or let's face it, can't be bothered to apply the lactic acid after I've had a shower or bath then I know that the lotion will make up for it in the mean time. I'll be honest I'm still kind of on the fence about this product because of it being pricier than my usual lightweight body moisturiser and the fact that it doesn't have a scent but I do like that it contains lactic acid and aloe vera which are two of my hero products.

Have you tried anything from Bali Body before? If so, what did you think?

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-This post is in collaboration with Iverson Tyres-
Driving in London is a frenetic task, especially in rush hour, and having a puncture is no fun. Keep yourself and your passengers’ safe by keeping the following in mind:

Picking the right tyres for the job
Choosing good tyres is one thing: choosing the right tyres for your driving conditions is another. London, largely, has good roads, but if your job or a holiday is going to take you onto rough or untreated roads, then you might need to invest in tyres designed for rough terrain. This will not only ensure that they tyres last better, it will keep everyone in the car safe as sturdy tyres will grip poor road surfaces better.

Trust the experts
Mechanics and tyre vendors know everything there is to know about tyres and can easily ensure that you have the right tyres for both your needs and to fit your vehicle. Book your car tyres in London from Iverson Tyres. It will not be long before your car is fitted out with new tyres that fit properly.

Know when to replace your tyres
If you are only an occasional driver, and take good care of your tyres, it can be tempting to keep old tyres on your vehicle for a bit longer. While tyres that are well-maintained certainly can last a little longer than those that have been abused, the recommendations for replacement are there for a reason – your safety! Change your tyres according to manufacture recommendations and enjoy greater peace of mind in your travelling!

Running in your tyres
For approximately the first one or two hundred miles travelled, your tyres should be considered new. New tyres are still settling in to the job and any (very rare) manufacturing faults will present themselves at this time, but they are also unwieldy, rigid and tend to be a little bit shiny from the manufacturing process. Therefore, while you are running your tyres in: take it slow and careful, avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration and stay on good quality roads as much as possible. Once the tyres are run in, you will enjoy a more secure and stable driving experience.

Check the fitting
Make sure you buy the right size tyres from your supplier. The tyre size is etched onto the side of the tyres, or it will be in the owner's manual. If it is not there, you can always check online to see which tyre size is right for you. 

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RNG and RTP Slots Explained *

in , by Kirsty Milward, 26.11.19
-This post is in collaboration-
Although slot fans used to find it tough to trust casinos online, stricter legislation has won most of them over. Nowadays, remote casinos like Slotsracer.com have to possess a license from the UK Gambling Commission and use things like Random Number Generators (RNGs) and Return To Player (RTP). But what exactly do we mean by RNGs and RTPs, are RTPs the same online and offline, and when may slots with lower RTPs be more preferable?

RNG Slot Games
An RNG is a microchip that generates random numbers in casino games like slots. RNGs are independently checked and verified by organisations such as eCogra to ensure that every time you push a spin button in a slot, any symbol can show up (and slots cannot be rigged). This makes online slots unpredictable for players, casinos and even slot developers; thus, none of us can really predict when a jackpot or even a progressive jackpot will be won. Nevertheless, by using RNGs, developers can program a machine to pay out a certain percentage over time. Which brings us to the next section...    

RTPs Online Slots
An RTP tells us the odds in a particular slot and is normally measured over 10,000 games. The higher the RTP, the greater chance you have of winning and RTPs are published in percentages. Thus, let’s say a slot has an RTP of 95%. This means that on average, you’ll win back 95% of your money. In other words, the casino holds a 5% advantage over you. Indeed, you can calculate the house edge in any slot by subtracting its RTP from 100%. And since most casinos in cyberspace publish their slots’ RTPs, you shouldn’t play slots at casinos without them.

RTPs: Online Slots v Offline Slots
While slots at both online and offline casinos possess RNGs and RTPs, the figures for RTPs are usually quite different. In fact, in Vegas’s casinos, laws only require slots to have an RTP of 75% or more. The RTP average at online slots is estimated to be about 95%, whereas at offline slots it’s thought to be around 85%.Therefore, the house edge is a lot bigger in offline slots.

When Slots with Lower RTPs May Be Preferable
Of course, an RTP is only one of the factors to consider when playing slots and thus sometimes when faced with a choice between two games, some seasoned players opt for the one with the lower RTP. Why? Well, low volatility slots tend to possess high RTPs and pay out more often. However, victories on these are usually quite small. In contrast, though it’s harder to win on highly volatile slots, when you do triumph, you often take home huge prizes. Thus, it really comes down to this question: do you prefer low odds and small prizes or high odds and big prizes?   

Final Thoughts
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this guide on RNGs and RTPs and why don’t you use your new-found knowledge the next time you’re choosing a slot to play?

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-If a product is marked with an * then it's a PR/gifted item. This post contains no paid content-
If you're planning on buying beauty related gifts or homeware gifts such as candles, room sprays and reed diffusers then Fragrance Direct is definitely a place you should check out. For this blog post I've picked out an array of beauty gifts that I think would make perfect gifts this Christmas. Obviously with Fragrance Direct always aiming to offer their customers the lowest price possible it means that you'll obviously save some money too!

First up is the Ghost Daydream EDP Spray 30ml priced at £15.50 (RRP £27). I think Ghost perfumes are always really nice to buy as a gift as the bottles are always so pretty. For instance the Ghost Daydream EDP comes in a lovely bottle which shows off an array of yellow, lilac and blue tones when it's caught in the light because of the multi-faceted bottle. It contains notes such as Citrus, Salt, Violet, Tuberose Absolute, Patchouli and more which all blend together to create a lovely airy, floral scent.

Next is the gorgeous Heathcote & Ivory Vintage & Co. Top to Toe Kit priced at £6.99 (RRP £10) which I think is just such an aesthetically pleasing looking gift and I like that it contains a nice array of products which are a little different to your usual gift sets that are priced around the same price. It contains a lip balm, body lotion, foot cream, bath salts and hand cream and I think it could make a great gift for an array of people in your life too. It also has a little "To: XXXX From: XXXX" tag which I think is cute.

Moving onto a main makeup gift I thought the BareMinerals Crystalline Glow Bronzer & Highlighter Palette priced at £19.99 (RRP £30) looked like a perfect Christmas gift! The limited edition palette has been designed to create a healthy-looking rose gold glow on all skin tones. It kind of reminds me of the BECCA highlighter palettes because of the multi-dimensional, marbled look of each powder. Each one also contains illuminating crushed rose quartz crystals and squalene which is a natural moisture magnet. The powders have also been baked so that they last longer and contain microfine mineral luster pigments for a weightless radiance.

If I ever find out that someone has never tried a Wetbrush before I'm just like "whaaat?" so I just had to pop one in this gift guide. I think they're a great stocking filler and they are honestly game changing and really help to reduce damage to your hair. I never use any other brush but a Wetbrush on my hair since discovering them last year. They do have different options and colours to choose from but I decided to include the Wetbrush The Wet Flex Dry Brush in Pink priced at £7.99 (RRP £14) in this gift guide. It's designed to be used on wet hair because the InteliFlex bristles and flexible brush head are perfect for detangling hair. 

Next up is the NUXE Christmas Cracker Gift Set which unfortunately I can't seem to find on the website anymore but maybe it'll come back in stock soon because it is specifically for Christmas. Inside the cracker you get four NUXE minis - Huile Prodigieuse Or 10ml, Huile Prodigieuse Florale 10ml, Creme Prodigieuse Boost Gel Cream 15ml and the Insta-Masque Purifying 15ml. The Huile Prodigieuse scent is one of my all time fave scents - it's just so nice! If you're not familiar then it contains notes of Orange Blossom, Magnolia and Vanilla. I think it's a great way to introduce someone to NUXE and I love that it comes in the cracker packaging to make it a bit more Christmassy and special.

For the skincare lover in your life I thought the REN Clean Skincare Stop Being So Sensitive Kit priced at £20.99 (RRP £22) looked like a great gift set. It contains four minis of their sensitive range Evercalm and they are: Gentle Cleansing Milk (50ml), Global Protection Day Cream (15ml), Anti-Redness Serum (10ml) and Ultra-Comforting Rescue Mask (10ml). I thought it would make a great skincare gift because after the festive season our skin tends to need a pick me up after we've consumed wayy too much alcohol and chocolate haha!

I also decided to feature the Technic Man Stuff Keep It Clean Gift Set priced at £4.99 (RRP £6.99) which I personally liked the look of because it contains a big 500ml bottle of Hair & Body Shampoo and a 270g bottle of Muscle Soak bath salts. I thought it was a bit different to the usual bog-standard gift set for men. There's also loads more sets in the "Man Stuff" range that are affordable and a bit quirky too.

And lastly I've chosen to include the COTY Beckham Inspired By Respect After Shave Lotion 60ml priced £6.99 (RRP £19.95) mainly because of the whopping saving of £12.96! It comes in a nicely presented box and contains a blend of zesty grapefruit and watermelon notes along with a fiery hit of pink pepper. Also with base notes of vetiver, patchouli and moss. I just think it'd make a great main gift or you could also add to it and pop it into a hamper or something like that.

Have you seen anything in this gift guide that you think will make a great gift for someone if your life? 
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-This post contains PR/Gifted items and is also in collaboration with Infini London. All opinions are my own-
It's happening... My first Christmas Gift Guide for 2019! I thought my first gift guide should be about choosing what to buy as a main gift as well as some stocking filler ideas. There's so many fab things in the shops and online this year and it's been so hard to decide what to feature. But here's a round up of some gift ideas that I think would go down well this Christmas.

First up are some Feather & Down gift sets which I think are really great gift ideas because everyone needs to wind down and relax in the evening after a long day and a lot of people struggle doing so. Feather & Down have been my personal go-to brand for pillow mists for about two years now and they definitely help me when I'm struggling to relax or sleep. (Also just a side note... their Breathe Well Pillow Spray is fab if you've got a cold/flu!). They currently have an array of gift sets available and I'm sharing two of them in this post that I personally think look fab and are also not going to break the bank. These gift sets are the Bath Oil Duo gift set priced at £12* and the Straight to Sleep Set priced at £6* which are both available in Sainsbury's.

The Bath Oil Duo comes with two bath oils as the name suggests. One is the original Sweet Dreams Feather & Down scent and the other is the Breathe Well scent which as I've already mentioned is great for when you've got a cold or the flu. The bath oils turn into a lovely, luxurious milky consistency once added into your bath and they're just perfect to use as part of your winding down before bed routine. I think you get a good amount for the price too as both bottles are 50ml each!

The Straight to Sleep gift set which is priced at £6 features mini versions of their Original Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray and the Sweet Dreams Body Lotion. I think it's a great way to introduce someone to Feather & Down and because they're mini versions they're great for travel too. I really like the original scent because it's not super overpowering like some pillow mists can be. It's just very calming and relaxing. 

I feel like the PMD Clean Pro RQ priced at £165* is a perfect luxury gift for any skincare lover in your life. It really helps to deeply cleanse your skin and the Rose Quartz (on the other side) which heats up is great to use with serums to get maximum results or even just as a relaxation technique before getting into bed. I even use it when I have a tension headache! It's rechargeable, comes with a travel case and is also completely waterproof. I've got a full review on my blog which you can read here if you want to find out more info. 

Another gift idea which I think is really nice and also meaningful is flowers. Infini London offer beautiful, luxury roses which last a whole year(!) via an eco-friendly solution. They have an array of ranges to choose from too, including the Suede Collection, Diamond collection and the White Diamond Collection. They're a great way to make your recipient's Christmas extra special this year! They retail between £120-£200 and they also ship to 190 countries worldwide.

I always feel like buying perfume or aftershave is a good way to go if you're stuck on what to buy someone. Obviously you need to know what kind of scents your recipient likes but I think if the person you're buying for likes floral scents then any of the Marc Jacobs "Daisy" perfumes are a good kind of staple perfume to go for. I'm really enjoying Daisy Dream* at the moment which is why I've featured it in the photos.

Another great main gift choice is a luxury candle which not only smells gorgeous but looks nice too. Sara Miller London have definitely hit the nail on the head when it comes to their candles. There's a good range of scents to choose from Bergamot and Mint*, Cinnamon, Rose & Anise, Grapefruit, Yuzu & Tonca and Jasmine, Lemongrass & Ginger and more. Their candles are made with 100% pure soy wax and hand poured in the UK. The Bergamot and Mint* candle which I chose to feature in this post has such a crisp but winter-y scent and I just can't get enough of it. Even when it's not lit, it still smells lovely but not in an overpowering way like some candles can. I also like that the candles are set in gold lined glass to create a mesmerising hue and relaxing glow for a perfect, cosy winter evening. 

Above: Antique Bookstore Segment Pot
Above: Bedtime Baby Segment Pot

If your recipient doesn't like candles or can't use candles then there's always wax melts! You could even introduce whoever you're buying for to an electric wax burner and buy them some wax melts to use. I personally tend to receive wax melts as stocking fillers at Christmas because I'm a bit of an wax melt hoarder truth be told. I really like Sassy Shop Wax Segment Pots* priced at £4. They're separated into 6 parts so they're easy to break off and pop in your wax burner/melter. There's also plenty of scents to choose from (some of which are dupes of other things) such as Antique Bookstore, Snow Pixie, Bedtime Baby and more. I'm absolutely obsessed with the Antique Bookstore wax melt! They're also really pretty with the added biodegradable glitter and sequins sprinkled on top.

Above: Mermaid Sparkle Wax Melt Bar
Adding to that they also sell Wax Melt Bars too which I think are an great alternative to buy if you really want to buy someone chocolate but they can't or don't eat it. This is because I think wax melt bars kind of resemble chocolate if that makes sense. Again, there's plenty to choose from including Loverdose, Parma Violets, Mermaid Sparkle, Under The Stars and more so there's something for everyone.

If you are looking for affordable but meaningful jewellery to buy for someone then I can't recommend Soul Analyse enough. I'd never heard of them before they got in touch with me regarding my gift guides and after looking at their website there's many pieces that I really like the look of. I may even have to add one or two to my own christmas wish list this year! But for my gift guide I chose the Rose Gold Necklace RRP £25* which is engraved with the words "Strong" from the "I AM" affirmation range. I decided to choose the "Strong" necklace because it's just a nice little positive kind of reminder when I'm having a bad day with my chronic pain that I am strong and I've been through many bad flare ups over the past 18 months or so, so what's one more? However if the "Strong" one isn't to your liking then you can choose from two other options which are "Believe" and "Enough" and the necklaces are available in Silver and Gold too. 

I've been really enjoying Miss Patisserie bath bombs this year and I actually prefer them over LUSH because I think LUSH have gotten so expensive and I think they're being quite cheeky with their prices to be quite honest. Miss Patisserie Bath Balls are vegan and are priced at £4.50 and I just think they are fab for the price! There's different scents to choose from and they always put on a big display once you pop them in the bath. I've never had a dud bath bomb from Miss Patisserie either. You can buy them from their website, ASOS or Boots. I tend to just pop one or two in my basket when I'm running low when I'm doing an ASOS order. They also do other products such as their Bath Melts, Shower Steamers, Bath Dust and more (price may change slightly depending where you buy from). 

Lastly is Chocolate and Sweets because you just can't go wrong with chocolates or sweets as a stocking filler really, can you? You can also make more of a gift out them and you can add them into a hamper or you can add more bits such as bath bombs, stationery etc to make a main gift without spending a fortune. 

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I can't believe as I'm writing this it's been over 6 months since I was basically forced to go on the mini pill for my chronic pain/suspected endometriosis. Like where has that time gone? Anyway I wrote this post all about my experience so far which I think I wrote after being on it for around 3 months. However there's been some weird things going on since then that I just wanted to talk about as I know some people have been following blog for my (suspected) endometriosis journey and any posts I write about it. Also when I say suspected I mean pretty certain btw. It's the doctors who are "blind" to the fact that I have the majority of the symptoms and have done for years. I honestly think my chronic pain kicked off last year because the endometriosis has gotten worse over the years without being detected and now it's built up inside of me and it's just inflamed and angry all of the time. The only problem is now is that any doctor I see is basically playing god with my body when things could be seriously messed up inside of me, to the point that I might not be able to have kids if I want them in the future, which I'm pretty sure I do. Also because I'm plus size, I constantly get fat shamed during every doctor/hospital visit too. 

Anyway I've had some weird things going on since my last blog post about going on Cerazette and I just thought I'd basically brain dump everything here for both myself to look back on and also anyone else who is having the same or similar symptoms (whether you have endo or not). 

First up is cramps... I've been getting monthly cramps minus a period which is super annoying. My actual chronic pelvic pain still isn't as bad as it was when I wasn't on the pill which again, is another obvious symptom that the doctors should pick up on. The pill is helping my pelvic pain which pretty much says my pain is gynaecological related and not just sudden onset "chronic pain". I've also had scans and blood tests in the past year which have ruled out any other concerns including fibroids, PCOS and anything more sinister. So it means everything is pointing to endometriosis again. For the cramps I've been getting I've been using a mixture of either CBD products, BeYou Patches and strong paracetamol (I can't take NSAIDS so yep, fun for me).

I also got a period. Yep and guess when it arrived? On Friday the 13th and also during a full moon. That is some witchcrafty, powerful shit, right? I was just like oh my god and then I shouted downstairs to my mum to tell her hahaha. I literally felt like I was getting my very first period all over again. I've definitely been taking white bedding for granted over the past 6 months. The period itself in terms of the flow wasn't too bad, it was light-moderate and nowhere near as heavy as my usual periods and I didn't really get any clots like I would normally (sorry tmi but just being real). I just whacked my trusty ModiBodi on and I was fine. It was the pain that was the issue, it wasn't as bad as they usually are during my "natural period" but it was still up there on the pain scale and it was setting off my pelvic pain even more than usual. So yeah, it's safe to say it was not a good 5 days. I just hope I only get one every 6 months or so because I can just about handle that. 

Something else which is really weird and I don't know if it's just me finally growing up and realising that "my type" always end up turning out to be arseholes or if it's the pill affecting me but my "taste" in men has changed a lot. Which I've got to admit is very weird because my type has been very samey for years and then all of a sudden it's changed a lot and it kind of coincides with when I started on the mini pill. So I do think it's pill related in some sense because of the hormonal changes. I've also read articles about it prior to going on the pill about people being in long-term relationships or even married and then not being attracted to their other half all of a sudden after going on the pill or changing pills. It's all a bit weird and scary really, isn't it?

I've also noticed that some days (usually in the middle of my pack) I'll get really intense cravings for the most random foods, usually things I can't eat because they set my pain off too. So yeah, ngl that's annoying.

Overall I do think the mini pill I'm on (Cerazette) helps with my daily pelvic pain and it's obviously a plus that it's almost stopped my periods too. I still have pain every single day with my pelvic pain and that general area really but it's not as intense as it was. I think if the pain sprung on an "normal" person who doesn't have pain day-to-day, they'd probably go to A&E or at least to the doctors but because I'm used to the day-to-day pain, it doesn't affect me that much. Also I know it can be a heck of a lot worse to the point I can't walk, bend down or stand up straight because of the crippling pain. 

I don't have really bad flare ups of pain every single day like I was last year when it really started to kick off but I would say I get at least a few per week. The pain I get still drastically affects my day-to-day life and I can't do things that I used to before I got ill and even on my lesser pain days I have the constant fear of flaring so if the fear takes over I tend to back out of any sort of loose plans I make.

I do want to continue to take the mini pill and I've got such bad anxiety about my upcoming doctors later this month because I'm so worried my doctor will try and randomly take me off it because if she does then I don't think I can cope with the pain I was having every single day last year.

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