Giving Blood for the first time

Over 3 months ago I signed up to donate blood because I saw several Twitter ads asking for O Negative blood which is me! The day finally arrived and I have not long got back from the donating centre. I have been nervous about donating blood for a while as I am ridiculously squeamish so I have always been put off but today I was ready and drank endless glasses of vimto so nothing went wrong.

I waited and I waited until I was called. The questions were asked, my finger was pricked and I was seated ready to go until…my veins decided to ruin everything. Two nurses had to attempt to bring my veins to the surface but they just couldn’t be bothered to show their blueness.

The feeling of guilt took over. I was constantly apologising to the nurses who look liked they needed a break because time was ticking and the waiting area didn’t seem to decrease in numbers. I felt like I had let a lot of people down that are currently lying in hospital needing a blood transfusion.

So my first experience was unfortunately a negative one because my veins in both arms aren’t visible enough. I have booked again though for three months time so I will be giving my veins a good talking to.

Thank you to all of the staff at the donating centre today, you’re all amazing doing what you’re doing! If you’d like to give blood please visit Blood and get signed up today, you won’t regret it.

How losing weight is proving tough

For the last 6-7 weeks I have been going to the gym and taking up new classes like boxing and abs blast. These have been absolutely terrifying but I’m starting to get used to what the classes have to offer. My stamina has increased, I am using my inhaler less during exercise and I’m geared up to go to the gym more.

The only downside to me working out so much is I’m not seeing any physical results. In 6 weeks I have only lost 3lbs despite changing what I eat and how many calories I am consuming. This is getting me down as you can imagine. I have been told to take measurements so I’ve done that and none of those have changed either, very surprised.

I made the decision to book an appointment with my doctor to see what advice they can give me. Around two years ago I was sent for a blood test to rule out an underactive thyroid as I do suffer with many of the symptoms – it came back fine. So I have once again booked to see if they can test me again because it would make a lot of sense as to why I am struggling.

I would love some pointers? I have been using My Fitness Pal as well but I haven’t given it a real chance yet so I’ll go back to that soon.

Heavenly Desserts or Second Hand Desserts?

Yesterday I was invited to Heavenly Desserts in Loughborough for their grand VIP opening. It was great to see so many people outside the venue and we were also surprised by a generous donation to Rainbows Hospice. I never knew this was happening so I’m glad I had my camera at the ready!

Cheque presentation for Rainbows

After the grand opening we were invited to sit in a booth together which was a little tight but we managed it! I loved the decor, it was simple but really effective and they had additional products on their shelves. With them offering various flavours of ice creams the colours really stood out. Heavenly Desserts felt fresh despite it being new, it was modern and left your eyes wandering.

The menus were very thick and full of far too much choice, it was hard to narrow it down because to be honest I would have happily eaten as many desserts as possible. I am a huge fan of pudding and can normally eat as much chocolate as I like and I never feel sick! So let’s see how my dessert went down…

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I decided to opt for a Ferrero Royale American Waffle because I love Ferrero Rocher’s and the picture looked incredible. I was toying with a milkshake for a while as they normally give me stomach ache but I thought what the heck, I’ll only live that Saturday once right? So I had the Belgian Chocolate Milkshake – chocolate overload!

Everyone had received their desserts before myself and my plus one and I’ve got to say they looked incredible. I wanted to take a bite out of each one. Our order had to be taken twice as it seems it had gotten lost and we were still waiting. It seemed a little chaotic to me but it wasn’t ruining my experience just yet.

My fellow blogger friend Bejal ordered a Belgian Waffle but was accidentally served an American Waffle with Nutella. Before she’d realised Bejal had cut into the corner of the waffle and eaten it. The waitress was told it was incorrect and took it away. A few seconds later a replacement for Bejal was bought over and it looked great. My order came over a few minutes later and looked absolutely delicious until I turned it around for photos. As I said above, Bejal’s waffle had a bite missing and guess what? So did mine!! It turns out they’d just chucked the additional toppings from my menu choice onto Bejal’s old EATEN order. Please just read EATEN and be as horrified as me.

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I sat there and told everyone on my table I’ve just been given a waffle that’s previously been eaten. I’m not saying Bejal is full of germs but c’mon who thinks it’s acceptable to present someone with incorrect eaten food?! There are no words for this incident and when I told a member of staff, they genuinely didn’t seem like they cared. A lady took it back and all of a sudden the staff just turned around and stared at me. Sorry, let’s just remember who’s in the wrong here? I am not, YOU ARE. At this point I don’t even want another dessert because who else’s seconds am I getting?

Please please please tell me why you would serve someone, someone’s incorrect dish? Would you want to have second-hand food if you were eating out? I doubt it so don’t do it to me. After this experience I’m sorry but I will not be returning and will not be saying anything good about the Loughborough branch. I will accept it was stupidly busy, too busy for a ‘VIP’ event for bloggers but what happened yesterday is beyond disgusting and extremely unhygienic. I’m still questioning why this even happened.

At this point my plus one still didn’t have her dessert. My new one came and yes it was fresh because steam was coming off it, thank goodness. It was really tasty but I started to feel sick so I ended up leaving a quarter of it along with the ice cream.

I was really looking forward to this event because Heavenly Desserts has always looked delicious on Instagram posts but my visit was full of disappointment. My advice would be to have bloggers and special guests seated before the general public because it was just mayhem and not a nice experience.

*I was given a free dessert in exchange for an honest review.

Why should I cycle to work?

For the last two weeks I have been inspired by my brother as he has taken up cycling again. I have enjoyed cycling in the past but it’s never been something I want to splash out on until last week. For some strange reason I popped onto the Halfords website and started looking at bikes and ended up falling in love with a white Victoria Pendleton bike next thing you know, its paid and on its way to me.

I wasn’t able to build it until Saturday and decided to go out for a short bike ride around Swadlincote. This bike is unbelievably comfortable as the seat is fairly padded and the handle bars are also padded. It is about time bikes are more up to date with comfort as my last one used to bruise my hands and hurt my bum. As some of you know I am asthmatic and occasionally struggle whilst doing exercise so it was a relief to know I only needed to take two puffs. Pretty impressive for an unfit bird. Using Map My Ride it said I’d completed 4.5 miles which I applauded myself for, a small triumph but a great one at that.

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This is my new bestie

One of the embarrassing things that I do not admit is I live approximately 1.9 miles away from work and I drive. Why do I drive? We all know it is because it’s inconvenient but not anymore, I’m killing the environment, I need to get my steps up and get fit and it’s just ridiculously lazy.

I am quite looking forward to this change and I will be cycling to work at least three days a week. By doing this I am hoping to improve my asthma tolerance and to lose inches off my body – I think it’ll get my thighs which is a bonus. Let’s see if the change will be a positive one both for me and for the environment.

How does one get into gardening?

It is rare I come across a 25-year-old that is still living at home with their parents and ends up spending money on their garden. Well for the last few weeks I have been visiting garden centres within Derbyshire and had so much fun. I have always watched Love Your Garden on ITV1 and often felt inspired by the work produced.

We’ve recently replanted our hanging flower baskets at the front of the house and last weekend my dad let me plant a flower bed under the kitchen window. I think having my own projects to work on is really getting me into taking pride in the garden. Gardening has never really been a thing for me as my joints can’t cope with the extra work. Also I cannot stand having mud on my hands or in my nails, it freaks me out.

Flower bed under the window

I think working on the front and back garden with my parents has been such a great experience. We’ve had a lovely time bonding and we’re all coming up with ideas to improve the garden for us all. Who knew I would enjoy spending money on plants more than food? Yep, my bank balance keeps dropping because I’m going to Garden King or Planters at Bretby on the weekends.

Just an FYI pulling 4ft blackberry thistles out of the ground is a wonderful stress reliever even if you do prick your fingers a few times. We’ve cleared so many weeds out and the garden has improved massively! Onwards to the next step in the garden.

Plants in the rockery

Bioré Limited Edition Zebra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Review

Bioré nose strips are my favourite blackhead removing tool about! I only ever buy them from Superdrug when they’re on offer because I’m not madly in love with them for £9 and I’m a tight git. I use a Bioré nose strip once a month roughly as I don’t suffer too badly with my nose pores and I don’t want to waste strips for three blackheads.

My boyfriend has really large pores on his nose so we decided to do a little experiment with him. The first time I put a nose strip on him, the results were crazy. I am fascinated by blackheads (I’m sorry, I just don’t know why) and I feel like we emptied half of his nose. Poor guy, he must hate me! We were both impressed with the results but this left his nose quite flaky afterwards.

We left it around 2 weeks to do another strip as he had a job interview so I said he needed to look pretty for it! I thought the amount would be minimum because we did one not so long ago. After 25 minutes we decided to peel off the nose strip and here are the results.

Blackhead removal using nose strips

Apologies if this is not that clear but the strip was so full and some of the blackheads were quite long. Overall we’re both really happy with these and I would happily buy them again with a five-star recommendation. Superdrug usually have offers on and sell them for around £6 for a pack of six.

If you have tried these strips please let me know what your experiences have been?

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest is a trivial comedy featuring serious people falling in love trapped in a web full of lies. This is one of Oscar Wilde’s most successful plays and will certainly make you laugh. As we all know ‘earnest’ stands for being honest and truthful whereas this play is completely the opposite.

I have never seen or read anything about The Importance of Being Earnest but I saw that a local theatre group were performing it during April so I decided to get tickets. Going in and not knowing anything about the show let me be open-minded with no expectations.

The Ashby Dramatic Society are based in Ashby with their own little theatre. This gives you that professional feeling and a great evening out. Tickets were £9 each and off the play began.

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Jack pines after and wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen but she has one difficult mother to convince, Lady Bracknell. She by the way was played by a fantastic actress and had me laughing every time she said something. I love sarcasm! As the story unfolds more and more secrets come out. Jack pretends to have brother called Earnest who Cecily thinks she’s in love with. Cecily is looked after by Jack in their swanky house in the country.

Jack proposes to Gwendolen but to her his name is Earnest and she says yes! She’s always wanted to marry an Earnest not a John, not someone else so Jack has to continue to pretend to being Earnest. As the lies continue Jack speaks to Algernon about his fake brother Earnest and Algernon seems curious to meet Cecily.

Jack mentions that Earnest has passed away to members of his country house to cover up his lies. However, Cecily and Algernon (Earnest number 2) are already together on a walk and this is where it all gets messy. I won’t say what happens as it’ll spoil the story if you don’t know it.

I have to say the relationship between Jack and Algernon worked really well. The gentleman that played Algernon really got into character which made it more effective. He was so relaxed and pulled it off, his facial expressions were exactly how posh people portray themselves in films.

All of the cast did so well! There were minor hiccups as it was the first night but no-one fell out of character, it was great. I want to praise everyone in that performance because there were so many lines to learn and they really did pull it off. The set and props were brilliant and you can’t fault what they had put together. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will be keeping an eye out with what the Venture Theatre come up with next! A five-star performance from me.