Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Life : Two Years

Two years ago today, I lost custody of my sons to their father due to depression. It was honestly the hardest, most heartbreaking day of my entire life. In a split second, I went from seeing my two beautiful boys most of the week and having them overnight, taking them to school, bathing them, putting them to bed, reading stories and having cuddles, snuggled up with popcorn and movies on the sofa.. to supervised contact four hours a week. You're told they can't sleep at your house, you can't bath them, read them a story and snuggle them into bed with a kiss. You're not even allowed to take them to school, or collect them at the end of their day. I can't explain what it's like for this to happen, all of a sudden you're told you can't look after your own children, the boys you brought into the world - because you're mentally ill.

I'm writing this with tears rolling down my cheeks. The day we went to court was awful. The childrens' father had been physically violent to me during our relationship, I brought this up. He threw me into a wall and winded me severely when I was pregnant with our second son, I literally couldn't breathe. He painted me in a light that made me look like a liar, that I was trying to make him look worse because I was 'ill' - like I wasn't able to think clearly because I was depressed. Some people might wonder why I let my depression get so severe, when actually, I was begging doctors for months for help, they'd send me away with yet another anti-depressant and tell me to come back if it wasn't helping, which of course I did. I wasn't given any kind of help until it was too late and I'd tried to take my own life (I was alone when this happened). 

For the first few months after losing my sons, I laid in bed feeling sorry for myself. I was overwhelmed with guilt and I wanted to sleep the days away, I didn't want to exist. I felt like I'd failed as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend. I felt like I had nothing to live for. It took me months and months of going around in circles, getting lost in my own thoughts to actually realise that I could carry on just existing or I could get myself better and regain custody of my children. 

Of course I opted for the latter. Before we went to court, I had to undergo a psychiatric assessment, the psychiatrist reccommended that I would need 12-16 sessions of psychotherapy, but he believed that I wouldn't actually do it. So I spent an entire year having private psychotherapy, to prove that I would do it, to get myself better and work through the issues that had been plaguing me since childhood. 

I started working again, I hated my job but it gave me a routine, I had something to get up in the mornings for, I was earning my own money and it was distracting me from my thoughts, as well as getting me to socialise. I pushed and pushed myself, making small, slow steps to begin with, but giant leaps as time went by.

I got discharged from the local mental health team not long after we went to court, it was in our agreement that supervised access would remain in place for a year. After this, unsupervised contact could be introduced, provided that a second psychiatric assessment proved I was well enough mentally.

Sure enough, after around 18 months of having supervised access to my sons, I had a second psychiatric asssessment. I was no longer clinically depressed and was classed as being in remission, I'd had no depressive symptoms for over 6 months and the psychiatrist was happy for me to see my children alone again. 

I started collecting them from school and having them for dinner, without their father or a member of my family being present. 

On Saturday this week, my children will be sleeping here for the first time in that two years. I've redecorated their bedroom for them, ready for them to come home and they cannot wait to spend the night here. Two days later, I start my degree in Mental Health Nursing.

I really thought that I'd never get through my depression, I never believed that there was a way out of it, like there was nothing I could do to get better, it just wasn't going to happen. I was drowning. But actually, with time and patience, self-belief, support from loved ones and the drive to keep moving forward, I did it. I am so proud of myself right now and I hope me and my little boys continue to keep moving to the future, to continue to make progression and to rebuild our relationship. If you don't believe that time is the best healer, I promise you, it is.

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

069 : Kelly Brook Audition Eau De Parfum Review

We've all heard of Kelly Brook, whether we know her as a model, actress, presenter, business woman and pin-up, Kelly has firmly made her name as more than just a pretty face in the world of fashion and beauty. Having produced collections for Simply Be and a lingerie line for New Look, aswell as a range of her own fragrances, she's no stranger to building a business and establishing herself as a brand.

Audition by Kelly Brook* is the latest release of Kelly Brook's fragrances, the idea behind Audition has been described by Kelly as 'a scent that is glamorous, honest and confident, just like a first audition' - Kelly worked with Kent Fragrances as sole and exclusive distributors, individually picking out each ingredient herself, choosing keynotes which were all important to her. 

I really love the design of the bottle, a sleek, glamorous 50's Art Deco style with a black lid and rose gold detailing (who doesn't love a little rose gold?!), it's a really vintage looking bottle made from heavyweight glass. It's a simple yet tasteful, classy design which looks beautiful in the light. As for the fragrance itself, it has top notes of Juicy Bergamot, Melon and Dew fruit, with Wisteria and Water Apple. The heart notes are Iris and Heliotropine, combined with a woody, Patchouli harmony. The bottom notes to audition are Sweet Vanilla, Amber, Benzoin and Musks. 

Audition is a really demure smelling fragrance, it's so sophisticated and feminine but light enough to wear daytime through to night. It has quite a dewy scent and smells fresh yet woody, I can see myself wearing this quite a lot, although I'd say it's definitely more of an autumn scent than a summer, just because its a little heavier than it is fresh and more woody than floral. I think Kelly's done amazingly at choosing the ingredients for Audition, they work together really well to create such a ladylike, pretty scent. 

Have you guys tried any of Kelly Brooks fragrances? Let me know what you think!

*Product sent for review. However, all opinions and wording are my own.

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Monday, 20 July 2015

068 : Zoella Tutti Fruity

Aloha! It's been suuuch a long time since I last updated, over a month. I've had so much going on lately, my little boy lost his first ever tooth (he cried!), aaand I got into uni! I'm super excited about it and get wait to get started, I'll be studying Mental Health Nursing and in three years time I'll be a qualified Mental Health Nurse, if anyone has any tips on living on a student budget, that'd be super helpful!

Anyway, I was really excited to see the lovely Zoe Sugg aka Zoella was bringing out a new beauty range called Tutti Fruity, the products are the same as her first range but with a different scent with the exception of the Kissy Missy lip balm which is a completely new prdocut to the range, plus two stunning new beauty bags! available in most Superdrug stores and online. My local Superdrug store is really small and I was surprised to see they stocked the Tutti Frutti range, but I picked up a few bits and I love them.

So the first product that caught my eye was Let's Spritz, I absolutely loved the fragrance from Zoe's first collection and I love this even more, the bottle is gorgeous, the lace detailing on the back of it is just so cute and very much Zoe, the lid is slightly different to the previous fragrance, it's still metallic but a super pretty shade of blue with adorable polka dots! It's perfect for keeping in your handbag for a little freshen up, ever since I got this I haven't actually used any of my other perfumes. It smells so, so fresh and is really light and summery, the scent itself is quite hard to describe other than it is really tutti fruity! It's just so pretty and so feminine, plus at £8 it's so affordable you can buy it over and over! Let's Spritz is really long lasting too and quite a heavy scent, so you smell amazing all day, body mists are generally quite lightly scented but this is a perfect alternative to a perfume.

Foam Sweet Foam has to be my favourite product that I picked up, I'm a sucker for anything that smells incredible and looks good in my bathroom and Foam Sweet Foam ticks all the boxes. Plus, I love the name, it's just too cute. So, this is a shower gel, but my house doesn't actually have a shower (I know, right?!), so I use this in the bath as a bubble bath and to wash myself with. It bubbles up in the bath like a regular bubble bath would, so it's really multi-purpose, but it just smells amazing. I honestly cannot get enough of the scent of the Tutti Fruity range, all of the products carry the same scent and it is divine, literally good enough to eat. A little niggle that I have with bathing products is that some of them smell amazing in the bottle but when you get out of the bath your skin doesn't smell of anything, it's something I really don't like, but this makes your skin smell so beautiful. Even my boyfriend noticed which is unusual for him! I stocked up on these from Feel Unique, be rude not to when it's only £3.50 right? It's slightly more expensive than a regular shower gel, but the price difference isn't massive and it's most definitely worth it!

For anyone that regularly reads my blog, you'll know how much I love a body scrub. It's one product that I just couldn't live without. Scrubbing Me Softly comes in a really cute little tub with a yellow lid and matching polka dots, it's just as cute as the other products in the Tutti Fruity range and smells just as good. I've been using the Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream but I have to say I much prefer this, it's definitely one to rival high end brand exfoliators, it leaves my skin so soft and so smooth and for anyone thats used the Clinique Sparkle Skin which smells really minty and slightly like mouthwash or toothpaste, I much prefer the scent of Scrubbing Me Softly!

Zoe has done amazingly with the Tutti Fruity range and it's definitely one I'd purchase over and over, (definitely have my peepers on the beauty bags and Kissy Missy!) have you guys tried anything from the Tutti Fruity collection? What do you think?

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

067 : Fudge Clean Blonde Shampoo

I absolutely love being blonde, after years and years of being a brunette I went back to blonde about 5 years ago and it's been a constant struggle to keep yellow tones at bay. I've tried more violet and toning shampoos over the years than I can shake a stick at, but this might just be the best one yet.

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo claims to eradicate yellow tones from blonde hair and it does just that. I soak my hair and pop this on, its a really deep violet colour so looks a little daunting at first but it smells so beautiful. I wash mine straight off again and my hair is evenly toned with no yellow whatsoever. Sounds almost too good to be true right?! 

This shampoo can be left on for up to 5 minutes if you're after a gorgeous silver shade or a pale lilac, but if you're looking to just knock out the brasiness in your blonde, I'd wash it off fairly quickly because it doesn't take long at all for it to change!

The only qualm I've had with this is that it isn't quite nourishing enough for my hair, after years of having highlights and bleach put through my locks, its in fairly crap condition so I always use a really moisturising conditioner afterwards - other than that, I'd say its pretty perfect and I can't imagine replacing it with anything else just yet!

Have you guys tried any Fudge hair products?! 

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

066 : Review - Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Oil

I've really been getting into facial oils just lately, my skin has been really dehydrated, especially with the weather blowing hot and cold. I picked up the Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Oil after reading amazing reviews about it, and I haven't been left disappointed. The Blue Orchid Facial Oil claims to restore vitality, radiance and freshness to dehydrated skin. Containing essential oils of patchouli and blue orchid to tone and revitalise skin, along with hazelnut oil to deliver moisture. 

The bottle is really beautiful, a lovely clear glass with a little pipette to dispense as little or as much as you need. I love a clear bottle and being able to see how much product you have left - I found with the brown Estee Lauder bottles I could never see how much oil I had left and although they look luxurious, they just aren't practical. I've found that you only need a two-three drops of this little lovely to cover your entire face and it doesn't leave any residue or make your skin feel remotely tacky, it just sinks in so beautifully, I've been using it morning and evening after cleansing and my skin looks and feels so much healthier. It has a beautiful glow which I haven't had for a long time and it stays hydrated all day, as well as leaving my pores much less noticable. 

The scent is a bit of a love it or hate it. Personally, I love it. My boyfriend hates it! It has a really natural, almost woody scent. It's a difficult one to describe but its absolutely lovely.  Price wise, at £32 its really reasonable, 30ml doesn't sound like a massive amount but when you're only using a few drops a day you're bound to get a good few months use out of one bottle. I haven't bought any facial oils under £30 so I can't compare quality wise but this is definitely worth its price tag! 

Have you tried any of the Clarins Facial Oils?

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