Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Manchester Terror Attack 22/05/2017. We Stand United.

Isis. An extremist terrorist group, fighting for their Muslim ideals. 

No one should be targeted for their religion. Religion is a choice, possibly made for you at birth or adopted after your own life experiences. 

Those who are religious do not feel it is a choice or an option but see it as a calling. 

In the UK we have rallied to keep muslims safe. To not tar everyone under the same religious umbrella with the same brush. As a member of the United Kingdom I fully agree with this. We should not allow our Muslim community to fear for their own safety. 

The Muslim religion has nothing to do with extremist values. An extremist is defined as 'a person who holds extreme political or religious views, especially one who advocates illegal, violent, or other extreme action.'

A Christian can be an extremist, a Buddhist can be an extremist. Extremist does not mean Muslim. 

Despite our respect towards the Muslim community in our country. Despite us encouraging the safe practise of the same religion that Isis is fighting for, we are still a target. 

Historically the United Kingdom and many western countries are known as Christian countries. This thinking is archaic. We are a multitude of nationalities and races and religions and we should never be targeted for who we are as individuals or who we make up in a community. 

Isis attack vulnerable, innocent lives. Isis attack a nation that is rich in patriotism. Isis are trying to break a country which at its heart is strength and courage. 

Children have no choice, teenagers have no choice. 

This week we have seen the lowest form of cowardice we will see from this terrorist group. To take the lives of innocent young people who haven't even had the opportunity to form their own minds or forge their own ideals is quite frankly pathetic. 

We have armies. Strong, willing, adults who are more than prepared to take on Isis. Instead they choose to attack a group of people who are innocent and unequipped. 

They are scum. They are the scrapings in the barrel of humanity. They are not martyrs. They are a plague on each and every society they touch. 

But equally, they are powerless. 

They are powerless to the hope and courage and community WE possess. WE are the strength, WE are the fighters and the only way we can show their lack of affect is solitude. 

As a nation we must stand together. We will stand with our people regardless of gender, race, orientation, religion, abilities. We are one and we will not let them win. 

My thoughts go out to all those affected by the attacks. My thoughts go to the lives that were lost. My heart goes to the lives of the children that were not lived. My heart goes out to Manchester. 


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Vape Like A Girl With Vapelista

Hey again!

Another week and another exciting parcel in the post!! This time from a brand new vape company that does things a bit differently. I have been vaping for 3 years now, from the day I got my first vape I put down my last cigarette. I haven't smoked a cigarette since. 

The world of vaping is a strange one though, it can be intimidating, like walking into a tattoo shop. The atmosphere around vaping is one of grunge, edgy kids billowing competitive clouds like hipster steam trains. I'm not really about that. I started vaping for the sheer fact that I wanted to stop smoking.

That's where Vapelista come in. They supply a whole new approach to vaping that is far from intimidating. They take the hassle out of scouring the internet to find a 'pen', you don't have to worry about Ohms or wattage (thank goodness). 
So, Vapelista offer a complete starter package, then a liquid subscription service so continuing is easy as pie. You have the freedom to chop and change your flavours and nicotine strengths on a month to month basis. All of this started at just £19. Which is INSANE.
I was lucky enough to give one of these bad boys a whirl and I must admit, Let's me run through exactly what you can expect.

The Box

There are two package options when you subscribe, you can either get The Starter Kit which includes one liquid (£19.00) or The Personalised Discovery Kit (£29.00) which contains 4 liquids, this is the one I will tell you about.
So, the box comes beautifully packaged, it really does feel super special. Inside you get your instruction booklet, your pen (nicely wrapped in tissue paper), your 4 liquids and your velvet pouch.

The Discovery Kit is great for anyone just starting out to find out which flavour is perfect for you. The flavours are Casablanca (tobacco), Portofino (strawberry), Aspen (menthol) and Edinburgh (black cherry). My personal favourite is menthol, always has been, always will be.
The carry case is a really soft velvet case which is a great idea to include so as not to scratch or dent your pen, it also keeps anything gross getting in the mouthpiece when it's in your handbag.

The Pen
The pen itself shocked me actually. I was super surprised to see it was from a reputable vape brand that I know well and have previously used myself, E Leaf. E Leaf are one of the leading makers of vape pens so you really are getting quality for your money. 
The pen I received is red but you have a choice of colours including red, gold, cyan, black and white. So it's sure to suit every taste! The vape pen is super slimline, just thicker than the old school iPod Nano and really small! It's actually pretty adorable. It has a metal finish and feels pretty hard wearing.
 I'm a bit in love. I usually use a big bulky machine, which, can be quite embarrassing in public but this eradicates that issue entirely.
The pen isn't at all complicated, the instructions to fill it are simple as pie and written so clearly in the booklet. The window of the pen glows red when it needs a charge and then you simply connect it using the supplied USB charger. Awesome.
Inside the pen box you get one coil to start you off and a spare, which should give you plenty of vape time!

The Vaping Itself
The experience I have had with this kit has been nothing but positive. The pen vapes really well and will only begin vaporising when you inhale which means no weird crackling in your handbag when a button is pressed by mistake.
The liquids work beautifully with the pen and create a nice amount of vapour, which in certain circumstances can be discreetly exhaled. The liquids have a really well made flavour, they don't taste like synthetic flavourings like some of the liquids I have tried and don't leave me coughing or with a bad taste in my mouth.

All in all I would highly recommend this vape to every and anyone. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie to vaping, you will really enjoy this kit.
The subsciption aspect takes away the hassle of remembering to buy liquids and the intimidation of going into a vape shop and the kits come with everything you need to get started in minutes! This company, their ideas and their execution is 10/10 for me.
Go on the website now to sign up so you can get your kit when they launch!!


Monday, 8 May 2017

Losing Weight With A Mental Illness

Hey you!

Right so before I start this blog, I would like to prefix it with some things; I am in no way qualified to give weight loss advice, this is what is working for me which is why I am sharing. Only you know whether you need to lose weight, it is about you and your health and I am not promoting unhealthy weight loss. This works for me, with my mental disorder, on my medication, it may be different for you.

Now all that fun stuff is out the way! I have struggled with my weight most of my life but it has fluctuated a lot thanks to different medications and emotions. I have a disorder known as BPD and I take Duloxetine. I am an emotional eater. Mental illness makes it hard enough to lose weight what with the lack of motivation and self worth, add on top of that medication that usually makes you gain weight, it can feel like an impossible task to lose weight but I think i've cracked it!

First and foremost, I have a few tips which I feel have made losing weight a lot easier for me. Don't weigh yourself, when I realised that my worth wasn't defined by a number on a set of scales, I became much happier. I measure my weight loss on how I feel and when I have to go down a dress size. The other piece of golden advice is stop putting pressure on yourself. You are going to have shit days, it's inevitable and if on one of those shit days you want to comfort eat, do it. Try and be good for the rest of the week but don't deprive yourself pleasure. Weight loss is a journey, not a quick fix. It took you however many years to put your weight on and it won't disappear over night. You can allow yourself a pizza in your darkest hour.

My mental illness means I find it very difficult to look after myself. I struggle to have the motivation to cook, or prepare food for myself. It's as if I don't feel deserving enough to be looked after. So with that in mind, I realised I needed to find a way to get the calories in, in a healthy yet easy way. Finding a way of doing that wasn't easy but then I thought about shakes. They're super easy to prepare, quick to wash up, contain a good amount of calories and protein and they are actually pretty filling.

So, I started with Slim Fast, which are great. The only issue I had was that they are pretty pricey and it was getting expensive. Onto the internet for some research and I found that Tesco do their own low calorie shake known as Ultraslim. Having looked at quantities versus price they come out a lot cheaper and they're often on offer. My preferences are Summer Strawberry and Vanilla. As I have a sweet tooth, I tend to add a little bit of sucralose based sweetener to make them perfect. My shaker bottles also come from Poundland, which are great because they have a bottom compartment for keeping powder in, ready to shake with your milk when you want it.

I have a shake for breakfast and one for lunch. Awesome.

Between those shakes, I fill myself up with things like fruit, veg and seeds. Luckily I quite like fruit and again for this I am going to recommend Tesco. They have a huge range of frozen fruit and veg which is awesome for me. I usually buy pomegranate seeds, watermelon balls and edamame beans. Edamame beans are my vice.

So in the morning before work, while I'm drinking my shake, I grab a couple of sandwich bags and stick a handful of watermelon in one and a handful of edamame in another. This way I can eat and 11am ish, then lunch time shake at 1pm and then another snack at 3-4pm before going home and having dinner. Obviously the fruit and veg is frozen so I just keep it out of the fridge to defrost for when I need it.

If it's not defrosted in time, boil a kettle, fill a bowl up with hot water and leave your bag floating in the water for 5 minutes. Hey presto!

Onto dinner. Now as I have said, I am a comfort food fiend and also a creature of habit. So for dinner, I have a microwave jacket potato every night. I usually have it with half a tin of baked beans, a teaspoon of butter and around 70 grams of mild cheddar. I'll sometimes chuck some coleslaw on the side as well. This is so quick and you only have your plate and saucepan to wash up. It's also super comforting and warming.
So far I have lost 3 dress sizes on top an two on the bottom since January. That is including maybe 1 takeout a week. I feel better in myself and have proved to myself it is possible. I will be looking to add exercise into the mix soon but right now I am happy.

I'd love to know what you think and also if you have any weight loss tips, leave them in the comments below. x

Friday, 5 May 2017

Storytime... I got CATFISHED!!!


If you could see the state of me right now you'd see that this is all still a bit raw, so bear with me. I might end up doing a video on this. It will probably be easier to explain. Anyway it's probably time for me to explain...

Back in January, I had been single since September but my ex had only just moved out (tenancy agreements blah blah). I will be entirely honest, I'd never lived alone before and I was pretty lonely. So, upon other friends successes on the site I thought I'd give Plenty Of Fish a go. Yes, I do now see the irony!!

So, I was having a couple of conversations and it was okay, nothing to write home about. They have this thing at the top with just random people on it, I don't think there's any consensus as to who pops up. Either way, up popped this guy, he has this massive beaming smile, tattoos and a blue french bulldog on his lap. Of course (thanks to the bloody dog) I fell. I dropped him a message, not knowing whether or not he's respond, I thought he was pretty out of my league. I simply said 'Hey buff ting' by now you know what i'm like (socially awkward) and I thought it was funny. He replied.

We messaged for hours. We had really good chat and he made me laugh a lot. We decided to exchange numbers. From there we spoke on the phone. Every day. He had a great voice and laugh and I really was falling for him. He told me that he was a marine, the dog was called Sam, his ex girlfriend had cheated on him while he was on deployment. He had pictures in uniform and I suppose in my head it all made sense. I did try and video chat but he always said he couldn't get his camera working on his phone (red flag right there, I know). When you like someone that much, you don't want to believe it.

He didn't have any social media and said it was because of being a marine, I knew no different so thought, okay. Around March we decided to meet. He was going to pick me up and we'd go from there on a Saturday. So, Friday evening i'm messaging, no response. Then Saturday morning, i'm calling and messaging etc and still nothing. So, I've been stood up. I spent that Saturday moping about and didn't hear from him again for a week.

When I heard from him again he said that he had been posted to Austria at the last minute and that he didn't take his phone on deployment as it was all pretty hush hush. Obviously, not having any experience with the MOD I thought fine. I didn't see why it couldn't be plausible.

Again we went back to messaging and he told me he was going away for a month in May fishing in France. I said look, it's been nearly half a year now, we have to meet. I asked if he'd see me before May. He said yes. So we're in April and slow and steady the first weekend passes, then the second, then the third. I said next weekend is the last, will you see me. He would always go silent when I mentioned it but eventually said yes. But of course he didn't see me.

All during the 'relationship' I was trying to find out exactly who he was. I've seen catfish before and I'm aware of internet safety etc. I reverse image searched pictures he sent me to no avail. I scoured facebook. I googled and googled. Nothing. I thought it was quite impressive that he had absolutely no internet foot print. I realise now why.

It wasn't until yesterday that the bug of doubt got me again. Niggling. I looked at photos he'd sent me again and saw one with Jimmy Carr and him. I thought well there's more chance of getting hits if it includes Jimmy Carr and why would you take the photo if not to put it on social media. So I looked and it got a result: Webstagram under the hashtag #comedian. Got ya!

The hashtag was far too vast to even contemplate going through but it meant the picture was tagged. Surely it would be tagged Jimmy Carr! I searched it thinking it would be less popular. Damn you Jimmy for your internet fame!! There were thousands and all pretty similar. Problem is, when I put my mind to something, I do it.

I scrolled through 3 years worth of photos until I found it. The guy I was head over heels with, there, on instagram. The image lead me to his brothers page and then finally to him.

The guy I found was legit and not the person I had been speaking to. It was clear. He had a girlfriend, photos of his place, what he ate, where he went, what he wore.

My heart fell into my stomach.

I initially thought the guy I was speaking to was just lying about having a girlfriend and a seperate life so I said, you have half an hour to explain or I will contact your girlfriend (not in a mean way, I was really nice to her, none of this was her fault). So he didn't reply and I messaged the girlfriend. I asked her about her boyfriend, if the numbers matched up, if she'd seem certain photos etc etc. She basically confirmed it, I was being catfished.

I was glad in a sense, that she wasn't being cheated on because that would be awful. But regardless. It hurt.

I questioned him and he tried to lie his way out of it, he told me he loved me etc. In the end (this morning) I've blocked him on everything. He knows about this blog and is probably even reading this. In which case, Hey!

Being catfished hurts. Pure and simple. I feel like someone that I was crazy about has died. I'll never get to speak to that person, as I knew them, ever again. That really hurts, like throwing up kind of pain. I didn't sleep last night with all of it going on.

I am so cynical now about the internet. Not much good in my life has come of it. The issue is that people don't meet 'the old fashioned way' anymore. I don't go anywhere that i'd meet someone, maybe that is just me.

I hate to say this because it's stupid but I honestly hoped this was it. Case in point, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Sorry guys, remember to do your research and keep safe.

Love ya x

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