My contraception experience

The joys of hormonal contraceptions is something that most females are going to have to experience at some point in their lives. I was lucky enough to have to start going on the pill at the ripe age of 15, but that only lasted around 18 months before I had to move onto the implant.

I tried multiple different pills as forms of contraception and as an attempt to manage the horrific cramps I got as well. I first went on the pill 5 years ago so I can’t remember if there was any specific side affects except from the fact that the pills gave me horrendous migraines and didn’t help my cramps at all.

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THE IMPLANT 

There are some key positives from the time I spent on the implant – my period pains and cramps disappeared. I used to have to take combination prescribed pain killers to ease the pain from my cramps on the pill and before, but the implant completely mellowed them.

The change in my mood was gradual on the implant – I’ve always been someone who has struggled with low mood issues so it wasn’t as easy in black and white to tell if the implant negatively affected my mental health. Looking back, I do think it caused my mood swings to worsen and made me in general more short-tempered and irritable.

The most annoying side affect of the implant had to be the fact I more or less had a constant period. For a while I was happy to have got rid of my crippling cramps, but after a while I was fed up of more or less having a constant period. Some months I would bleed for three weeks then not for one, I would go through spells of bleeding for months on end non stop. It was an impossible cycle of irregularity that just became frustrating. Every time when it seemed like it was going back to normal, Mother Nature would hit me  like ‘surprise bitch’ and I would get a period for six months.

After 18 months of irregularity I finally went to the doctors demanding something needed to be done which was the worst decision ever. A lot of my friends had similar issues with the implant and to combat the side affect of constant bleeding, my friends were put on the pill by their doctors. I wasn’t allowed to go on the pill but the doctors offered to put me on a one time use of the depo injection. I accepted this but quickly regretted the decision as I have never felt so out of control of my own body and mind in my life. I didn’t even feel myself at all, I was angry ALL THE TIME. I don’t even mean a little bit grumpy, I mean full on raging angry and would snap at just about anything. I remember going to the doctors to try and beg them to get it all out of my body because I felt so out of control of my own emotions.

As soon as the injection wore off, I immediately felt better – it was a huge relief  that I finally felt like myself again. It was really scary not to feel in control of how I felt.  I more or less decided then I would wait until it was time to get rid of the implant (which was one year away) then go off contraception.

WHERE I AM NOW 

Fast forward a year, and it’s been two weeks since I’ve been off hormonal contraception for the first time since I was 15. That’s been five years –  many pills, an implant and an injection later.

Since coming off the implant, I almost feel lighter if that makes sense? I genuinely feel happier and I think this is definitely the right decision to make for myself right now.

I’ve had my first off the implant period and I can confirm my cramps are back to being horrendous, although not quite as bad as they were when I was 15.

The thought of having to go back to hormonal contraception one day really scares me. I don’t like how negatively it affects my body and my emotions, and it wouldn’t be so bad if I could rely on one which was the lesser of evils.

Right now it’s great for me to have to a contraception break, whether or not I go back on anything in the future is something I would have to really think about. Maybe by the time I will have to reconsider this, there will be some form of birth control for men.

Contraception affects everyone and their bodies differently – it’s not a one size fit all kinda deal. My experiences shouldn’t put anyone off the pill or injection. I know just as many girls who have had amazing experiences on the implant, and just as many who hated every second on it.

Have you had trouble on contraception?

I hope you enjoyed this read,

Siobhan x

 

 

 

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Why I have stopped buying new clothes

I’ve been planning on writing something about fast fashion for a while, because it is hugely topical and is an issue which greatly concerns me. My original idea was to focus on the high street brands which are making a difference. However, I don’t really feel comfortable promoting or condoning shopping with certain brands just because they turn down their lights in store during the day. I’ve made the decision to stop buying clothes, inspired by my dear friend Hannah, and this post explains why.

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Fast fashion is a huge issue facing the world now, and one I was not aware of the impacts of until embarrassingly recently. Personally, I never gave a second thought about where my clothes were coming from or how they were made. I was just totally ignorant but now I can’t stop thinking about how our buying habits are affecting the planet.

The fashion industry is the second biggest consumer of water, producing 20% of waste water as well as generating more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

I don’t like to sound preachy or stuck up but this is not an industry which I can contribute to anymore, at least for the foreseeable future. Shopping for new clothes is one of my favourite pass times: I love searching online for clothes, seeing new trends, looking for the new items coming in every season. I can still do these things, just without purchasing.

My decision has come from the fact that there are many other options to get new clothes if/when I need them. I can buy from reliable, sustainable online clothing stores as well as Depop and charity shops for second hand options.

Most of the clothes we buy from the high street are simply not designed to last, new stock comes in weekly and we as consumers are urged to buy now before stock is gone.

“We used to have a traditional fashion calendar with two to four seasons a year,” explains Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. “Now we have new trends coming out every week — it’s a constant rotation of new styles.”

Everyone has been tempted by the fact you can buy full outfits in Primark and websites like Boohoo for less than £20. I’m not going to sit here like a saint and say half of my wardrobe isn’t currently from both of these stores. However, it gets to a point where we as consumers need to think about WHY these clothes are so cheap. What really is the cost of us getting £4 t-shirts?

The prime example of the cost of fast fashion is the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh 2013. This is what the fashion industry produces. Workers at these factories in third world countries suffer working in horrific conditions with very little pay to produce clothes for UK consumers. War on Want have various reports made to educate and inform people on what working in the garment industry is like.

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With both the impact of fast fashion on the environment and third world country garment workers undeniable, I will be stopping buying items from fast fashion brands for a pro-longed period of time. I could sit here and say I’m never buying fast fashion from the high street again, but that’s most likely a lie. At some point, I will probably need new underwear and have to go to Primark.

At the end of the day, nobody is perfect. We can’t all be super woke, environmentalists who are completely plastic free vegans with no carbon foot print. Everyone can only do their best. I’m all for realistic goals, so my realist goals for my clothing ban is to avoid the high street and fast fashion as best as I humanly can whilst aiming to not buy ANY clothes for a solid few months.

For anyone looking for more information, here are the articles I’ve used to inform myself on the issues I’ve discussed:

6 Ways to Quit Fast Fashion

https://www.unece.org/info/media/news/forestry-and-timber/2018/fashion-is-an-environmental-and-social-emergency-but-can-also-drive-progress-towards-the-sustainable-development-goals/doc.html

What’s Wrong With Fast Fashion + What You Can Do To Help

How To (Actually) Give Up Fast Fashion

Siobhan x

 

The F Word – Lilly Pebbles Review

I’m starting off the new year by writing my first blog post on the last book I read in 2018. Upon finishing this novel, I felt like I really enjoyed it but thinking back I think I just enjoyed the simplicity of this easygoing book.

The F Word by Lilly Pebbles is a very wholesome book describing the many types of friendships she’s had throughout her life highlighting the good and bad parts of friendships.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t followed Lilly or aware she was a blogger before reading this book. My favourite blogger, Hannah Gale posted a photo of it on Instagram and I bought it because I liked the look of it.

I was hugely pleasantly relieved when I read the back to see it was about friendship, because I hadn’t read anything like this before. It is such an interesting topic that could have had a book with such amazing depth covering it.

When I first started the book and Pebbles was discussing her long standing friendships with the girls she was friends with when she was 4, I didn’t think I could read on. I had to take a break from the book and think, “is this for me?” purely because it just made me sad thinking of all the friendships I had when I was younger that have fizzled out.

Friendships fizzle out all the time, and thinking back to when I originally read those pages, I was most likely just having a super emotional time. I can now say after completing the book it made me think back to all of my friendships, new and old, with fond, warm memories which is always a nice feeling.

The book offers a lot of advice about how to handle situations within friendships. The photo above which gives advice on how to handle friendships whilst either being single or in a relationship. This could potentially be useful to younger readers who maybe need advice on situations like this, but not adults as we have all likely navigated our way through situations like this before.

Overall, I’m not gonna say this book is a must-read because your life could probably continue to function if you didn’t, however, it was fun and nice to read. This is a book I would read on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea purely because it’s nice and not serious. It’s not hugely serious and doesn’t take a lot of effort to get on board with which I think is something the author was perhaps going for.

There has been a lot of mixed reviews on this book, some loving it whilst other disappointed fans of Lilly Pebbles were not impressed. I had no expectations coming into this which is perhaps why I’m left with a more positive impression of this. Despite my enjoyment, I would like to add this book is definitely for a primarily younger audience of teenagers and young adults who would probably appreciate the content more. It’s slightly insulting to assume women in their late 20s and thirties don’t know how to act around their single and non-single friends.

I can understand why fans would be genuinely disappointed by this book, as it has such an exciting premise (to me, anyway) because I really didn’t feel any wiser or better after reading it.

I don’t really like leaving negative reviews on things, but honesty is always the most important thing.

Have you read this book? What was your thoughts?

Siobhan x

Collaboration with Case App

This is a super exciting post to write because this is the first time I have EVER collaborated with a brand for content.

As you can tell by the title I have been working with Case App for this collab where I received a personalised iPhone case and a personalised laptop skin.

I was so pleased when Caseapp reached out to me to create and review a custom phone case and laptop skin. I recently got a Mac so this was perfect timing.

The process for this is really simple and customisation is easy. Once you are on the Caseapp website, you just select whether you want to design a laptop skin or phone case then select the model of the item then use the drag and drop tool.

Phone cases start at £19 for a glossy case or £22 for a matte case, laptop skins are also £22. For me I thought this was a little bit pricey but when the products arrived I was SO impressed by the quality. I opted for the matte phone case and it is a really tough hard plastic. You can tell the Case is sturdy and well made but also has a really nice feel to it too. I am also really impressed with the quality of the laptop sticker too. It was a thicker type of sticker which is goods it made it easier to put on.

Here are the patterns I picked for my case and skin. I have to say the phone case is my favourite of the two, I love it so much and am so impressed by it.

I absolutely love this sticker as well. The colours from the photo came out so well and have resulted in such a nice summery pattern.

If you are interested in ordering your own phone case or laptop skin, go to caseapp.co.uk and use the code FOREVERSIOBHAN20 for a nice 20% discount.

Siobhan x

*disclaimer: these products were sent to me for the purpose of reviewing but all opinions are honest and my own.

Volunteering Abroad

Some of you who have been following this blog for a while might remember in previous posts id mentioned I would be volunteering abroad this summer. This is something I got a little tasted of a few years ago when I volunteered in Greece for two weeks, however this year I was away for 8 weeks.

I love travelling and wanted to feel like I made a difference somewhere in my summer break so volunteering with Plan My Gap Year was the perfect option for me. I’d had my trips to Bali and Sri Lanka planned since this time last year but yet it still feels totally surreal now that I’ve been and gone to both of these places.

My first trip was to Bali where I stayed in Tabanan with the most amazing family who opened their home and let 70 volunteers come and stay there. They cooked for us and made sure we got safely to project and wherever else we wanted to travel too. Bali is somewhere I have always wanted to travel too, more so since my obsession with Eat, Pray, Love began a few years ago. I never expected myself to fall in love with a country as much as I did with Bali. I opted for the wildlife project during my stay in Bali mainly because I love animals and wanted a relatively stress free project which it was. It was a nice break and often didn’t feel like working as we fed animals, cleaned their cages and got to spend all of our time outdoors mostly just in awe of where we were and what we were doing. Everyones favourite animal here was definitely Balou the sun bear who was rescued from an owner who trained her to fake cry for money, so unfortunately she can never be released. We were all amazed that for a bear, an animal which we have always taught to be afraid of, that Balou was just like a slightly bigger friendly dog. There were so many travel opportunities in Bali as well so even after volunteering I managed to see so much of the country. It completely breaks my heart to see such a beautiful place effected by the earthquakes that are striking the Lombok area.

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My second trip was to Sri Lanka which I had really high expectations for given that I had just had possibly the best month of my life in Bali before. Here we weren’t staying in a family home but a rented out villa area with multiple sort of houses in the grounds, this already made things a bit segregated. My room over looked the river below and had the most amazing views. It was one of those moments where I was sat on the balcony reading my book and looked out at the view and just thought, wow I can’t believe this is my life. I worked at the turtle sanctuary here for the same reasons why I chose the previous project. I expected myself to get bored of this project after a while as it was a little repetitive and didn’t expect myself to stick the full month at it, however once I was there it was so much more fun than I originally anticipated. The highlight of this trip was definitely the long weekend I spent in the Maldives which really was breathtaking. Photos don’t even do the place justice with the crystal clear water and blue skies as far as the eye can see. It really was one of the highlights of the entire trip. I don’t think I appreciated my time in Sri Lanka as much as I should have – I spent a fair amount of time moaning and not really seeing how lucky I was to be there. However, there is only so many times where you can find ants, spiders and cockroaches in your bed and food before it starts to get to you.

I think volunteering abroad especially with companies like PMGY is probably one of the best ways you can spend a summer.

Despite minor hiccups and annoyances this will forever be cherished as one of the best summers of my life.

It’s an amazing way for people to travel, meet new people and experience life in another culture.

So thankful to have had these experiences,

Siobhan x

Personal Growth

I’ve never really been a shy person or anything like that but recently I’ve been doing some soul searching and have noticed I’ve really changed. I always thought when I was around 16 that I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted to do (I still wanted to study journalism and now I do so I guess that’s something?). I wasn’t the most pleasant person really which I would like to blame on hormones but I think I was also just a bit of a bitch too.

I really didn’t like many people growing up which I stand by to a certain degree because I live in a really small place so you’re obviously not going to like everyone. However, I think a lot of my dislike for others stemmed from myself not really fitting in with anyone. I did have friends throughout school but never really felt like they were 100% my sort of people, you know? I guess it just made me bitter which is a shame to think back on.

I really began to notice a difference in myself once I returned home from Bali a few weeks ago but I think since moving away from home last September is where I really started to grow as a person. Throughout school I had a lot of resentment and bitterness towards other people which maybe through no fault of their own I held onto. I always felt really held back and restricted in my small home town and slowly after moving away I started becoming more like the real me than this watered down version I was at home.

I still love the little village where I come from as it will always be my home but perhaps one of the biggest factors of me being bitter was the constant gossip and small town syndrome that carries on there. Everyone feels entitled to know everyones business just because you know them. Things that are literally none of anybody else’s business become public knowledge for everyone to discuss. I immediately noticed a difference after moving away because nobody cares what happened to you in second year or how many boys you kissed because they realise its none of their business.

The biggest difference I can see within myself is my focus on positivity which has made me an undoubtedly happier person. I used to hold grudges forever and claim i’d take them to the grave but holding onto negative energy like that just isn’t necessary and doesn’t bring me joy. I’ve really been trying to practise a lot of forgiveness lately for my own benefit. Instead of being mad and holding grudges against people who have wronged me in the last year or two years ago or whenever just to forgive and let the anger go.

It’s easy now to sit back and think about the previous aspects of my life and personality which made me unhappy now I feel I’ve removed myself from them. I feel more confident, more self assured and so so much happier with the way my life is and the people I have around me and the things I am achieving.

My Favourite £6 Sunglasses

Sunglasses are an essential for summer fashion whether you need them because of the weather or to complete an outfit by sitting on top of your head.

The recent sunshine we have been having has inspired me to write this post about my new sunglasses.

I always buy cheap sunglasses for my holidays and summers because I really detest spending a lot of money on a pair.

The summer saviours I got for this summer are from Nasty Gal. They were originally supposed to be waiting until my holidays to be worn but unexpected sunshine has brought them out earlier than expected.

I am obsessed with all things pink in my wardrobe – every outfit has some shade of pink involved so these sunglasses were the perfect addition for the summer.

I adore the pink frame and the blue tinted lense on these. Perfect for going with an already bright summer outfit or brightening up a darker toned outfit too.

I’m keeping this post fairly short as there is only so much you can say about sun glasses.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short but sweet post on these sunglasses! This is my first fashion related post which I have really enjoyed writing.

I want to focus my blog on more fashion related things in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing these bad boys, you can do that here. Nasty Gal also have 50% off sale on right now if that isn’t tempting enough either.

Siobhan x

Recently Reading

One of my New Years resolutions for 2018 was to read a book per month and so far so good, I am succeeding.

Like many people I fell out of love with reading over the years but now I am getting back into it and really starting to appreciate the feeling of getting lost in a book once again.

I haven’t yet read as much as I would want too as I currently have a full shelf of unread books and more to get through but I am making a start.

Let’s start by discussing my most recent read and by far one of my favourite stories of all time.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 

This book just reminds me of high school in the most positive way possible. My drama class studied the play of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for our higher exam and I can recall everyone in the class practically being able to quote the play word for word. The book is about an eccentric, romantic and free spirited Edinburgh teacher Jean Brodie and her special group of girls, the “creme de la creme”. Miss Brodie preaches “give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life.” it is this exact reason which brings her downfall in her school, Marcia Blane. This is one of my favourite stories and will stay this way for a very long time as it is close to my heart and reminds me of such happy times, as well as being an excellent and well-written read.

Girl Boss 

I was originally going to dedicate a whole blog post to discussing this book but I decided against it as I am probably one of the last people to get round to reading it. Overall, I did really enjoy reading the book as I found it fairly amusing and entertaining. However, as many people note I would not buy this book if you are looking into getting good advice and insight into starting a business. It is like half memoir and half business guide but without the good advice. Girlboss tells the story of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso who went from making sandwiches at Subway, being a petty thief to selling vintage clothes on eBay and turning that into a $100 million business. Impressive, right? I LOVE the illustrations in this book and it is refreshingly honest and funny too about Amoruso’s journey to where she is today.

The Woman In Black 

This book was a birthday gift from my flat mate for my birthday. I’m not going to lie this was the first book I read this year and that was because it got right to the end of January and I hadn’t yet started another book, let alone finished one and I didn’t want to fail my New Years resolution in the first month. I saw the film for this already when it first came out so I went into this book knowing the storyline. The book is reasonably short but still manages to pack a punch with all the creepy details it entails. The book has all the elements of a perfect ghost story – tragic back story, ghost seeking revenge, bad stormy weather and a creepy old house.

The Sun and Her Flowers

I am probably going to write a more in depth review of this book later on as I did with Milk and Honey but I want to mention this in here anyway. I was such a big fan of Milk and Honey so naturally when this came out last year I was super excited, this was a birthday present from my mum. This book is a safe haven for those who are hurting and want to nurture themselves. The book has an enticing table of contents, like a flower cycle: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The Wilting section contains poetry relating to the early stages of a break up and how the person wants to get in touch with themselves again. Falling is the downfall containing poetry describing feelings of loneliness and depression. Rooting has poetry relating to the process of regaining strength and self love as the soul re-energizes itself. Rising details how the person rises from the ground and moves on and leaves toxicity behind. Blooming is the last chapter in which the person realises that they need to put themselves first and take care of their own happiness.

These are my four recent reads, as well as the pile of magazines I now have to get through. My gran has been posting magazines like Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire down to me in Glasgow as she knows I like them, how cute is that? Let me know what you’ve been reading and if you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned. Hope you enjoyed reading,

Siobhan x

20 Things I Want To Do Before I Turned 20

Hi everyone. I’ve been trying to think of a list of things I wanted to achieve before I was 20 for the past four months since my birthday. It’s a lot harder than it looks I just want to add.

I was totally dreading turning 19 for some reason and my logic is in creating this list it will make turning 20 a little bit less painful. I don’t know why because I love my birthday and always have a great day every year but I always get the fear about growing old.

I’ve created this list of big and small things I want to do, some things I probably won’t achieve but some things I already know are happening later in this year.

1) Get another tattoo.

2) Travel to 2/3 more countries.

3) Find a form of exercise I enjoy.

4) Improve my photography.

5) Find a job in Glasgow.

6) Read 5 books.

7) Save £1,000.

8) Visit Achmelvich beach.

9) Start trying to learn a foreign language.

10) Make a scrapbook.

11) Go ice skating.

12) Get another piercing.

13) Fill my photo album.

14) Visit Smoo Cave.

15) Pass first year at uni.

16) Go on holiday for my birthday.

17) Learn to meditate.

18) Go to another gig.

19) Learn to budget and stick to it.

20) Get a proper camera. 

I love being optimistic and although I think some of things will be a stretch for myself for whatever reason I am so excited to try and get all these things done.

Hope you enjoyed this post, have any of you made lists like this coming up to your birthday?

Siobhan x

Blogging Goals 2018

Hi everyone, I’m determined this is gonna be the year where I really start to make my blog mine and totally own it. I want to get back to posting regular, great content and become more involved in the blogging community.

I’m gonna stop setting myself monthly goals for my blog every month because I just don’t seem to have the time to follow through and complete them. I’ve literally had the same blogging goals for the past however many months now. I’m going to make a list of goals for the whole year, then re-evaluate in June to see how I’m getting on.

I totally suck at growing my followings on accounts. I spent so much of my time this summer using Facebook groups to help grow my accounts following and they were so helpful but I just cannot find the time.

1) Increase blog following to 500. 

This is just over double the followers I have right now and I believe this is achievable to double my follow count in a year. I know it’s not all about the number of followers you have but it is a nice feeling to see your following grow.

2) Post at least twice a month. 

I think this is a realistic goal to give myself and I am confident I will manage to post twice a month most months. I hate not posting regularly on my blog.

3) Improve photo/content quality.

I can see a difference in my blog photography from when I first started blogging which is quite encouraging. I know my photos are nowhere near to the standard that I want so this is definitely something I want to improve on in 2018. I want to branch out and do more lifestyle content as well this year. I just struggle thinking of new ideas and putting my spin on things to make it original and interesting.

4) More travel and lifestyle posts

This blog is primarily a beauty blog but I have a lot of exciting road trips and travel plans for later this year I can’t wait to post about. I’m hoping to write a couple fashion posts as well but I am totally awkward in front of a camera so maybe if I get over that fear I will branch out and cover some fashion stuff too.

These are my four main blogging goals for 2018. I can’t wait to prioritise blogging again and get back into posting regularly. I don’t want this to ever feel like a chore but time management is not one of my strong points.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this post, I’d love to hear about your blogging goals for this year too.

Siobhan x