30 April 2015

GIVEAWAY | Win a bundle of Yves Rocher products!

Win with Yves Rocher

How lovely has the weather been lately? It's been so sunny and just plain summer beautiful here in the Midlands. To celebrate the upcoming holiday season (I'm going for a mini-holiday to Malta in two weeks! woop woop) Yves Rocher (and the little me) is bringing you a super simple sunny giveaway. As you know, Yves Rocher is one of my most favourite brands in the world so giving one of you a chance to try some of their summer range products without spending a penny is a no brainer. 

For those who are not familiar with Yves Rocher - it is a French brand, which at the moment you can get online on their UK website however there are quite a few high street stores in the continental Europe (eg in Czech Republic). Not only that Yves Rocher offers a range of beautiful products (their fragrances are da bomb), they also put a great emphasis on the ethical and environmental aspects of the brand. Yves Rocher have their own botanical garden in La Gacilly where they grow more than 1,100 species of plants which they then use in their products - how crazy is that!

Now what do you need to do to be entered into this giveaway? Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!

Just a few points to remember: 
✓ 1 winner (wins a bundle of Yves Rocher products)
✓ open to the UK only!
✓ the winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter
✓ the giveaway will close on 11/05/2015
✓ the winner will be contacted via e-mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As an extra treat for those who are just a little too impatient to wait until the giveaway ends and want to treat themselves to a shimmery dry oil or a Polynesian shower gel - you can use this discount code – 6OFF26 which is valid until the end of May and gives you £6 off when you spend £26, and at the moment there is also free delivery with that offer! Yet another pretty damn good deal from Yves Rocher, ay! 

27 April 2015

LIFESTYLE | How Cookie pulled his gluteus maximus: 4 reasons why you must get pet insurance

Cookie and I have been mates and co-habitants since 2012. We haven't spent a minute apart (apart from the obvious work hours of mine and an occasional holiday) and I dare say he's the best friend I've ever had. When I'm all happy and excited about life, he kindly allows me spin him in circles on the wooden flooring in our living room whilst he's lying on his back and pretending to be enjoying it. When I'm upset, he farts in my face or claws my toes to distract me from my life's misery. Just imagine the horror and sheer panic when one day I got home and Cookie was curled up in a ball shaking and crying like a little chicken.

This happened a few years back and even to this day I'm slightly traumatised by the memory of it. We got into a taxi and sped off to the vet's. After about 2 hours of stress, some scans and injections we got the verdict. Cookie pulled his bum muscle. What a bloody tosser! The vet said that he must have been playing and jumped off the sofa. So we got sent home. With a tub of painkillers, reassuring words that it'll go away in no time and £300+ lighter. What a bummer. Literally.

Little Cookie accidents happen to us more than regularly (from brief encounters with UTI to ripped out claws and concussions) and I have quickly learnt that pet insurance isn't a luxury - it's an absolute necessity. Why?

1) It protects your pet
Obviously, your pet (be it Cookie or your crazy husky pup) can become poorly anytime, just like you and me. On Instagram I can see so many cat mum's pleading for donations towards their pet's vet bills because they never took out an insurance plan and once their little munchkin got sick, it was just too late to do anything. Now they are struggling with money and most of all - their pets are struggling for medication and vet care.

2) ... and your bank account
One of the most obvious aspects of any insurance is the money matter. Had I taken out the insurance pre bum muscle incident I could have had at least 70% of the money still in my pocket. Paying a few quid every month is worth so much more than paying hundreds out of blue, and god forbid this could happen on multiple occasions within that once month (touch wood).

3) ... and you
The stress of having a poorly pet is tremendous. The stress of having a poorly pet and no money to help him or her is just unbearable. Just knowing that you are insured and that whatever happens someone (read: the insurance company) is there to help you makes a massive difference to your life.

4) ... and your vet too
Try not to forget that vets are just humans too. What a terrible feeling that must be when you know you could help an animal but you simply cannot because there's no one to pay for the procedure or medication.

To find out more about pet insurance - how it works, how much it costs and how to get it, go to the Argos Pet Insurance website.

What is your experience with pet insurance and poorly pets?

Share your stories in the comments below.

23 April 2015

FASHION | Borrowed from my boyfriend: 4 ways to wear a men's white shirt

shirt: New Look // top: H&M // watch: TKMaxx
The sexiest piece in man's wardrobe is hands down a crisp white shirt. Now let me give you a little history lesson. Did you know that the very first white shirt ever made was made in Egypt about 3000 BC? The sleeves were apparently finely pleated to give the shirt a form-fitting shape - how high tech is that? In 2015 some brands can't even be bothered to give their shirts a shape, let alone make them form-fitting! Yet it wasn't until the 20th century when shirts started being worn as a standard garment, rather than underwear - can you believe that? All that white shirt sexiness was considered too raunchy for daily wear! What! Just imagine the world without fit men in white shirts. Or maybe don't even. *shivers*

It wouldn't be us women though if we didn't want everything in the world for ourselves. Including everything in a man's wardrobe. Especially when it comes to ripped jeans, oversized hoodies, that dirty pair of converse and obviously - the white shirt. You know what's ace though? Unlike the jeans and trainers (which probably won't fit ya), every now and then you can sneak into your boyfriend's, husband's, brother's even wardrobe and nick their white shirt! Score! 

Check out these 4 ways how to incorporate such borrowed white shirt into your daily attire.  
 I made you a morning coffee dress
The most obvious and oh so movie-like way of wearing your boyfriend's shirt. It really doesn't matter whether your boyfriend is a buff hence his shirts are 10 sizes too big for you. You can just throw them on and lounge around the house, maybe even make that morning coffee/cuppa for him (note: please be sure your boyfriend is not overprotective of his creaselessly ironed shirt and won't throw a tantrum because you're wearing his shirt instead of your old Tee!). Either way, that white shirt will become the most comfortable piece of clothing you've ever worn.    

 Let's pretend it's an actual dress
There are some very brave women amongst us. I'm talking about those who wear their boyfriend's white shirt as an actual dress. They just tie up a belt around their waist, put their hair up in a messy do, throw on little ankle booties and are off. Bloody hell, don't you just hate these little French ladies who can pull this look off? I do, I do hate them just as much as I admire them. Little minxes.   

 The kimono/cardigan hybrid
Let's talk comfort once again. Shirts (not just the crisp white ones) are the easiest thing to throw on for a casual look. In fact it doesn't even matter what you're wearing - the chances are throwing a shirt over it will make it at least 23% more casual and 65% more comfortable. Shirts are your protectors from sun burnt shoulders and chilly summer evenings. Winner winner chicken dinner.    

 The waist accentuator
A slightly more advanced and on trend technique - wearing a shirt tied around your waist to accentuate the sexiness of an hourglass figure. Because wide child bearing hips and a tiny wasp waist is apparently the thing man dribble over. And you know, I ain't doing any crazy exercises to make my waist look thinner - especially if all I need to do is to tie a shirt around my waist instead! Ha!   

What is your favourite piece in your boyfriend's wardrobe?  

shirt: New Look // cap: TKMaxx // trousers: Urban Outfitters

22 April 2015

BEAUTY | The risks of medical tourism

These days, it is becoming more and more common for people to travel to foreign countries for the sole purpose of receiving specific medical treatments. There are a number of reasons behind this growing trend: it is often far cheaper to receive these treatments in developing countries, and people often find the idea of a relaxing holiday following their treatment rather appealing as well!

One of the most popular examples of medical tourism is travelling to countries like Thailand, the Philippines and India in order to receive some form of plastic surgery procedure. While plastic surgery is becoming common place in today’s society, it is still incredibly expensive in the western world. When you consider the price, it is easy to see why you may be tempted into going to countries such as the ones mentioned above.

While the lower prices associated with such treatments in foreign countries may be appealing, there are a number of factors that should be seriously considered before any decision to travel overseas is made.

One of the main things to be cautious of is the quality of care that you will be receiving in developing countries abroad. You should know that hospitals in these countries may not have hygiene and aftercare practices that are of the same high standard that you would find in countries like the US, UK and Australia. This means that the risk of catching a dangerous infection such as acute gastroenteritis or mycobacterial infections during or after treatment is dramatically increased.

Also, the quality of training for doctors in developing countries may not be to the same strict standard that is expected in the western world. For example, Dr Jeremy Hunt, who performs plastic surgery in Sydney, trained for over 10 years to earn his qualifications, and doctors in the US and UK will also have had to receive a similar amount of training before being able to practice. This may not always be the case in places like Thailand and India.
Another factor to consider is the fact that you will need to eventually return home after your treatment has been performed. If you have travelled abroad to receive surgery, the risk of issues such as deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms occurring will be greatly increased when you go to fly home.

However, when it boils down to it, there are going to be risks associated with any medical procedure – even if it is performed in your home country. The best thing that you can do is to research the treatment you intend to receive as best as you can. Talking to your doctor and anyone you may know who has visited the country you intend to visit is also a good idea. At the end of the day, the decision lies completely with you!

Have you ever traveled anywhere for medical purposes?
What are your thoughts on medical tourism?
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