Monday, 5 December 2022

Piercing Self-Care: Before, During & After

I have had *many* piercings over the years, so I thought this collaborative post would be a really interesting one to share. Taking care of your piercings is SO important!!

Most people who have had piercings have all experienced that initial piercing pain, and as a result, may vow never to pierce anything else ever again. But sometimes, when we are looking to expand our sense of style, we may consider a different type of piercing, for example in the tragus area, but it's important to remember that you have to look after yourself before, during, and after you've undergone painful piercings in a sensitive area.

When we make changes to our style, there's that period of time where you need to allow yourself time to come to terms with the look and let it bed in, but in comparison to something like dying your hair, piercings can come with quite a bit of pain if you let it. This is why it's always a good idea to have some self-care practices in place. Here are a few things to consider.


Understand the Issues With Your Chosen Piercing


There are many popular options, for example, the earlobe, the tragus, and the helix, but there are also other parts of the ear that look great, for example, a rook piercing, which is the cartilage piercing in the uppermost ridge of your inner ear. A place like this can look fantastic but is very sensitive. Choosing your ideal location in relation to your pain sensitivity requires you to do a bit of research.

Opt for Needles, Not Guns


When you are undergoing a piercing, it is better with a needle because the piercer will have more control over the accuracy and the needle is sterile, because if you use a gun, it forces the earring through with pressure, resulting in a lot of unnecessary damage to the tissue.

Staying Hydrated


When going for a piercing, you need to make sure that you avoid additional trauma to the area, as infections can occur from accidental snagging on the new piercings, for example, during sleep. If you like to consume alcohol, be aware that it may dry the piercing out, and if it gets too dry, it can open the wound, resulting in cracking and bleeding.

Conducting Proper Hygiene


It sounds simple and obvious, but after you get a piercing you've got to make sure that you stay on top of your hygiene. There are many places you need to look after, especially if you are getting piercings in sensitive areas. This is why the aforementioned hydration can make a big difference, but also make sure that you avoid perfumed soaps, clean the pierced area when you take the piercing out, use a clean cotton pad dipped in a salt solution, and keep an eye out for any abnormal discharge with discolouration. And, of course, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water!

When it comes to piercings, a lot of us opt for the ears, but there's a whole world of options out there. But it's important that you go into it with the right mindset, as well as the right habits!


 

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Wirral small businesses to support this Christmas

With businesses across the country struggling right now, I thought it would be lovely to put together a big Christmas gift guide featuring some local-to-me small businesses - so without futher ado, here are a bunch of Wirral small businesses for you to support this festive season!

The Goddess Healing

This small business offer supplements tailored just for you. Plant based herbal healing and general wellness. Their sea moss gel is really popular, and is available for £20 per jar with free delivery to CH postcodes (limited time only). Capsules will be available soon too, and may already be by the time this blog post goes live! Perfect for the health conscious babe in your life. Order via their Facebook page HERE.

Concept Corner

Concept Corner is a gift shop located in New Brighton, and they offer a really wide range of unique handmade gifts. From salt lamps to shawls, trinkets to tumblestones... if you're looking for something really special you won't go far wrong, and you can shop some of their stock online now too. Visit the Seabank Road store or order HERE.


Sofia's Bows and Personalised Gifts

Mostly offering funky (glittery, patterned etc) hair bows, Sofia's is a really cute Wirral small business. Alongside bows they do some lovely personalised items like cups, make-up bags and so on. The prices are really reasonable too! You can shop their Etsy HERE!

Bee Kind Reimagined

From engraved wooden gifts to stunning cushions to 'grow your own' kits, Bee Kind offer a LOT of choice - these are really lovely, eco-friendly and thoughtful gifts. Plus they have 'bee' in the name so it's top marks from me! They have a website which you can shop through HERE.

Buckfish UK

For bespoke lampshades and really pretty cushions, this is where to look - perfect if someone in your life has recently bought a new home (frankly miraculous, given the state of the housing market on the Wirral, but you know). There are lots of gorgeous designs to choose from and you can buy on their Etsy HERE!

Collette Collinge Art

If you're looking for some beautiful fine art prints (or originals!) of the local area, then look no further. Collette's style is truly gorgeous, really unique, and the perfect addition to your loved ones' homes. She has some mugs available, too, and I'm definitely eyeing them up... Her website is HERE.

The Boathouse, New Brighton

Had to be something travel themed in here, and brand new holiday cottage The Boathouse is perfect - located a stone's throw from New Brighton prom, they offer perfect rental accommodation if you or someone you know is looking for somewhere to stay nearby. They've done the place up beautifully, and you can book or purchase gift vouchers through their Facebook page HERE! If you do, please let me know because I am *desperate* to stay there despite it being down the road from my house... You can also book it on Airbnb.

Empress Tattoo

Located in Liscard, Empress Tattoo have great reviews and you can buy gift vouchers if you're looking to treat someone to some new ink! They're doing a deal where if you spend £60 on vouchers for someone, you get a free £10 voucher for yourself too - perfect. Pop in store to get one!

Bouncing Bean Boutique

For personalised presents, Bouncing Bean Boutique offer a whole range of products - especially baby and children's wear. From teddies to bags to t-shirts there are some super cute pieces to choose from; 

Twisted Sista'z

For all things holistic and spiritual, get yourself to Twisted Sista'z or shop through their website - you'll find homeware, jewellery, oracle cards, accessories and more! I love the whole vibe of everything they offer, and I know it's the sort of thing a lot of people are getting into more and more.

Pages & Bows

If you've ever seen pebble art then you'll know it's adorable - and this small business does it so well along with scrabble family art, family trees and more. You can shop through their Facebook page and they offer collection or delivery. So cute!

Hair Necessity, Mad Hatter Nails and KeLeu Cosmetics & Aesthetics

For all your (or your pals') beauty needs this festive period and beyond, this trio of local businesses have you covered. They all offer gift vouchers, which make the perfect Christmas present. From facials to brows to manicures to curly blows... they can do it all. They're located on Poulton Road and you can find out more info through Facebook: Mad Hatter Nails, KeLeu Cosmetics, and Hair Necessity.

Luzon Life

If you want any Oriflame products, order through Chrissy's Facebook group - they do a whole range of different beauty products which are really well priced!

Choco'Mania

Handmade funky chocolate slabs, chocolate lollipops and personalised chocolate treats? These make the perfect stocking fillers and they look absolutely delicious. They are based in Hoylake, offering free local delivery too - check out their Facebook page to see all the tasty goodies on offer.

Healing Time

A wellness centre based in Birkenhead, Healing Time offer reiki courses, spiritual workshops and so much more. They are a lovely local business and giving someone the gift of peace is so worthwhile. Find out more here!

Waleys Cafe

Located in Bromborough, this is a cafe/deli which does some lovely looking food - they offer gift vouchers and I personally think a voucher for a meal out is an amazing present for when everyone's feeling the pinch in the months after Christmas.

Bootleggers Cafe & Catering

Similar to the above, giving someone a voucher for a nice meal will go down a treat - and Bootleggers in New Brighton are another fab venue to check out.

KelGel Nails

For the Greasby-based among us, KelGel Nails works from home and on Fridays she's based at Love Hair & Beauty Salon in Birkenhead - you can buy vouchers directly or from the salon! Offering BIAB as well as some funky patterns, her nails look fabulous. 

Teepees in a Pod

Why not book a teepee sleepover as a gift for your little one(s) - perfect for a cosy night in! They're just fabulous, and this local company cover the whole of the Wirral; for an extra fee they'll even put them up & take them down for you. You can choose from a variety of themes and create the perfect party atmosphere.

Stylish Miss

For a wide variety of clothing, Stylish Miss is a fab local business - they do adults and kids clothing, from shoes to dresses to slippers and more starting from £10! You can order online HERE.

LRH Fit

If you're buying for someone who's looking to start their fitness journey, Lauren Hall is a PT in Bromborough who also offers sports massages and online training. You can find out more through her Instagram, and vouchers can be purchased to give as a gifts!

The Literary Gift Shop

Perfect for book lovers (like me) this is just AMAZING. From tote bags to book ends, badges to jigsaws, they sell everything book related. I want it all! You can shop through their website, and you definitely should...

Calm at Church Farm

If you are buying for someone who's into yoga, Clare runs a yoga and wellbeing studio at the lovely Church Farm - this would be a lovely gift for someone in your life who needs a bit of chill time!

Hutchinson Therapy Solutions

Offering counselling, therapy and coaching, this is a very personal gift but one that might be really appreciated and make the world of difference to someone you love. Vouchers are available through their website, and they are located in Bromborough.

Poppy Willow Crafts

For more really lovely handmade gifts, check out Poppy Willow Crafts - they sell yoga mat bags, iPad stands, knitting caddies and much more. With lovely patterns and designs as well as reasonable prices, their products look utterly wonderful. Buy through their website!

Spiritual Creations

For the most beautiful candles, crystals and jewellery, Kelly's shop is absolutely lush - and you can order via her Facebook page. Perfect for starting 2023 off on the right track... 

Vie Beauty

More nails - manicures, luxury manicures, gel nails, and some gorgeous nail art. Vie Beauty is home based, in Ellesmere Port, and some of the nails I've seen look absolutely LUSH. Christmas bookings are available and you can buy vouchers to gift to others too!

If you have any other Wirral-based small businesses to recommend, drop them in the comments below so everyone can show some support!


Thursday, 24 November 2022

How to spend a day at sea on a cruise

On my recent cruise, we had two days at sea - I love sea days, because it gives you the chance to really explore the ship. Ours were at the beginning and end of the cruise, which was also really nice to ease us into the holiday and then give us a day of relaxation after 4 days of crazy exploration. I thought I'd share some of my favourite things to do during a day at sea on a Marella cruise particularly!

Eat and drink

One of the best things about a Marella cruise is that you're all inclusive - so you can eat and drink to your heart's content during a day at sea. The marketplace buffet is open at breakfast, lunch and dinner times but it also offers afternoon tea during the afternoon, which we took advantage of on our second sea day: scones, little sandwiches, tiny cakes etc. The dream! You can also chill out in the coffee shop, drink cocktails on the pool deck, or head to the on board pub for a couple of pints. The pool deck offers food all day, too, and then of course at specified meal times you can eat even more.

Talks and events

On our first sea day there was a talk with with our captain, Steve, which was really interesting - it was an interview style, led by our cruise director Liam, and we really enjoyed it. Some of the audience questions were definitely a bit strange, but people will be people... On our second sea day there was a similar talk, an interview with the show cast who were all absolutely wonderful. I loved both of these events and would definitely recommend seeing what's on during your sea days on a cruise.

Entertainment

There are plenty of other forms of entertainment happening on your days at sea; from quizzes on deck and in the pub (my favourite way to spend the afternoon) to line dancing lessons, water volleyball to bingo... take your pick - you certainly won't be bored! There is also the onboard cinema, which was showing some really new releases as well as some older films while we were cruising. I didn't see any films, but my aunty did. Of course, in the evening of your sea days there will be shows in the theatre too - so don't have too many cocktails or you'll fall asleep and miss it all...

Sunbathing/relaxing

I'm actually not much of a sunbather at all, and I didn't sunbathe on deck - but we had a balcony, and I did spend the odd hour lying on our hammock with my book. We were so lucky with the weather during our cruise, and this was just lush. There are plenty of sunbeds, loungers, comfy seating areas and hammocks on deck, too, so if you do want to chill out in the sun then you absolutely can!

 

Of course, how you spend your day at sea is up to you - but these are some of my favourite things to do while you're sailing. If you have kids, the kids' club is excellent (I remember it from my first ever cruise, nearly 20 years ago) and if you want to spend the whole day napping in your cabin then you do you.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

5 Tips to Create a Restaurant Experience at Home

With the cost of living crisis hitting us all, a lot of people are making lifestyle changes - and one of those might be choosing to eat out less than usual. So with that in mind, today I'm sharing this collaborative post about how you can create a restaurant experience from the comfort of your own home: hopefully saving you some money!

It’s not uncommon to prefer restaurants to eating at home, and that goes beyond the food itself. The entire experience can be appealing, as it’s almost as if you can escape your responsibilities for a little while. You don’t need to go out and spend a small fortune to achieve this, however.

Instead, you can create a restaurant experience at home without needing to spend much time or effort into it. You could even feel more comfortable and even special with this, as you’ll get to dine in style and privacy with it. Using five particular tips helps make sure you can do this.

It’s worth diving into what they are.


1. Cook Something Special


Food will be one of the main things you should focus on when you’re creating a restaurant experience at home. You should go out of your way to make this special. It’s not going to feel like an experience if you cook the same thing you have all the time, after all.

Choosing the best Italian orzo salad recipe rather than the simple chicken salad you usually have helps with the experience more than you’d think. Be sure to put the effort in.


2. Set The Mood


Every good restaurant goes out of its way to create the right atmosphere for their diners. You’ll need to make sure you do this too, and there are more than a few ways you can. One of the more notable is to have some music playing in the background. You shouldn’t have this too loud, but make sure you can actually hear it.

At the same time, you should set the table the right way. Aim to recreate a restaurant table as much as possible. Even some flowers and a candle can be recommended for this. While these seem small, they add to the whole experience.

3. Dress The Part


Going to a restaurant always involves dressing up a little, even if that just means putting on your best shirt. Why not do this when you’re trying to create a restaurant experience at home? While it means putting in a little extra effort, it helps create the experience much more than you’d think.

It’ll make it feel like more of an occasion than you’d think, and you’ll feel more like you’re at a restaurant because of it. Make sure your partner does the same to complete the effect. It’ll be as important as when you’re actually going to a restaurant.


4. Have A Signature Drink


It’s not uncommon to want to have a drink when you’re going out for dinner, and there’s nothing wrong with it. For many people, this could be a cocktail or some other kind of signature drink, as it adds to the overall occasion. It could be worth adding this to your restaurant experience at home.

All you’d need to do is choose a drink you think would be perfect for the occasion. If this is a cocktail, you’ll naturally need to put a bit of effort into making it, but this could be relatively easy to do.

Make sure you leave it to chill for a while before serving, and you’ll save yourself some hassle during the dinner.


5. Add A Bread Basket


Waiting for your food at a restaurant is never as boring as it sounds. You’ll not only make small talk during this time, but you could also be given a few things as you wait. A bread basket is one of the more notable of these.

As minor as this seems, it plays into the experience more than you’d think. It’s something you could recreate without a lot of effort. If you’ll be waiting a little while as the food is cooking, then there’s no reason not to add this.

Consider it a nice final touch once you’ve put everything else together.


Create A Restaurant Experience At Home: Wrapping Up


If you want to create a restaurant experience at home, you could think it’d take a lot of time and effort. You wouldn’t want to deal with the stress you might believe is involved with it, so you simply wouldn’t do it. You don’t have to settle for that, however.

A few particular tips can make sure it’s easy and straightforward. Making the right food, having a signature drink, dressing the part, and some other tips and tricks are all you’d need for it. With a little work, you’ll be enjoying yourself before you know it.

Monday, 21 November 2022

Taking an Alternative Approach to Skincare

If you know me, you'll know I love skincare - today I'm sharing a collaborative post on that very topic. Read and enjoy!

Many of us know the importance of caring for our skin. It’s not only something we do because it’s good to have soft, supple but durable skin, but also because breaching out in rashes, spots and other undesirable outburst is not something any of us wish to experience. Moreover, if you have sensitive skin, then this could even be considered healthcare to a degree, not just self-care.

Most of us know the basics of skincare - exfoliate your skin, shave with high quality razors after the skin has been steamed or warmed in the shower, moisturize correctly, and apply face masks if this is something you wish to do. This is a simplified look at the process, but it should be enough for most people.

But what if you wanted to take an alternate, or supplementary approach to skincare in kind? Perhaps you’re looking for a few new means to clear breakouts that keep occurring due to stress, or you just want to flip the script with something new, see what products are out there.

Let’s consider that, below:

CBD Oils & Creams


Cannabinoid oil can help you soothe yourself after a difficult day, or potentially settle your anxiety slightly before a big day. This positive supplement can be restorative to skin, which is why many CBD tonics currently exist, too. Perhaps you wish to try something a little newer, and to enjoy the fully natural isolates or full spectrum blends that even mainstream fashion brands are putting out now. Thanks to their completely natural hemp ingredients, it’s a good, vegan alternative to some of the products you might have been using.

Towels & Pillowcases


It might not be applying products to your face in order to improve your skin is always the default way to do to it. Taking an alternate approach to skincare might mean simply buying more pillowcases than you usually need, washing them through the week, and rotating them. It’s a little extra work, but in the long run it may mean you have a fresh piece of fabric to rest your head on each night. This can prevent the buildup of dirt and oils on your face, and that will make a difference. In the same way, clean towels can make a difference also.

Consider Your Diet


It’s good to consider your diet ahead of time, also. Our skin isn’t a separate organ from the rest of our body that we need to care for, it is us, and what we eat helps replace the cells that comprise it. For this reason, it’s always good to consider your diet, and how it might be affecting you. Greasy foods, high fat content, low proteins, high carbs, and no good, fresh vegetables can lead to poor looking skin, worse sleep, and overall poorer health. Your skin is often a reflection of your health, so don’t be afraid to try and make healthier decisions instead of paying for a new product.

With this advice, we hope you can take an alternate, but better, approach to skincare in the best way.