Delving into The World of MLMs

“Hey babe! I’ve just been taking a look through your feed/blog/account and think you would be the PERFECT addition to my team. Are you looking to quit your 9-5 and make money from home?” if the latter rings a bell (a potentially alarming one), then you my friend, appeared to have stumbled across an MLM scheme.

Disclaimer: There are some legitimate MLM programmes available, and by no means am I tarnishing every person and every business with the same brush, nor shaming anyone if they want to participate. I just disagree with the fake-friendliness and programmes that have negatively affected people’s lives.

What does MLM actually mean?

MLM stands for multi-level marketing. It’s a controversial method of network marketing and the illegal versions are called pyramid schemes. The most common form of MLM is for a person to be ‘recruited’ into a team; to sell products/services to family and friends. Doesn’t sound too fishy just yet? Well, they can be fraudulent and can cause the recruited member to actually lose money rather than make anything back. Losing money can also consequently land people in debt.

MLM participants and recruiters can come across very friendly, approachable, likeable and honest. It is a clever technique to lure people into the depths of a scheme that can cause more harm than good. Often the targets of these schemes are students, stay at home mums and people looking for additional income.

It’s a system that preys on the vulnerable and makes a mockery of true, hard-working business owners. It takes advantage of those less financially advantaged and with little to no knowledge on the truth behind MLMs. It’s not dissimilar to a form of brainwashing.

So what does MLM involve?

From my research online, and vast personal experience of coming across these participants daily, is that it works by signing up, paying for a ‘starter kit’, and selling *cough nagging* your family and friends into buying your products and/or joining your team to gain commission and profit. Can you see how the cycle continues? It appears most money comes from the recruiting aspect and the commission gained from recruiting others into the business. This is where the ‘pyramid’ aspect starts to make more sense.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

 

So what is a pyramid scheme and how does this differ to MLM?

If you picture a literal pyramid shape, it starts at a point at the top and gradually widens out into a lower, wider level. So business CEOs recruit and enroll people at the top-level and work their way down continuously in a chain. All the while promising payments and rewards for recruiting others rather than selling a product/service.

An article by Randy Duermyer states; “To be legal and not a scam, money needs to be primarily earned from the sales of products and services rather than the recruitment of new members. MLM programs with no or a low-quality product or a focus on getting paid per recruit could be an illegal pyramid scheme”.

The lower level earns little to no money, and the big bosses at the top walk away with the cash. Some invest thousands into these businesses with the hopes that they can quit their job and get rich from home. But they don’t get rich, and they end up worse off. It’s a false sense of security.

So in short MLMs are pyramid schemes, just not always illegal ones.

How do MLMs/pyramid schemes work?

If you know what warning signs to look out for – you can become a pro at spotting an MLM recruiter from a mile away. I delete multiple DMs a week, which have all been from young women. They claim to be business owners, travel agents and “entrepreneurs”, but this could not be further from the truth. You may be enticed into what seems like a generic, friendly conversation. The second you reply, you are bombarded with over-friendly, pushy messages.

A few messages in, you may be hit with “have you considered earning extra money from home?” or “I’m part of an amazing business opportunity I think you would be great at, would you like to hear more?”. Their pitches are quite obvious, so shouldn’t be hard to spot. Voice messages are now a common form, which makes your invite look personalised when they’re more than likely following a script and changing the name each time.

The so-called “benefits” of these schemes can involve all expenses paid trips, winning a car and luxury prizes. So to people who are struggling to put food on the table and have no idea what MLMs are, it looks like a life-changing opportunity. The problem is how morally wrong they are, as well as financially.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Examples of MLMs that you may recognise are:

  • Avon (who have built reputability and personally, I have used and still use Avon as a consumer, as it’s a better established, legitimate business that just uses MLM techiques with its Avon reps)
  • The Body Shop has been a new and upcoming one
  • Arbonne
  • Herbalife
  • NuSkin
  • Juice Plus

How did it all begin?

Network Experience state “The first direct seller that made the breakthrough was the “California Perfume Company” established in 1886. California Perfume Company was renamed as “Avon Products” in 1939 and is still at the top of the MLM industry. ” so they weren’t the creators of this type of business model, but they seem to have paved the way. In 1945, another company changed its name from the California Vitamin Company to Nurti Lite, which practiced MLM strategies still used today to sell their products.

It appears the earliest MLM business was JR Watkins Medical Company in 1886, explained by Tony on Quora.

But WHY can they be so bad?

The primary reason is because it’s a predatory method that preys on unknowing and vulnerable communities worldwide. It seemingly offers care-free income and great prospects which most of the time, is not true. A fantastic in-depth article I came across by Eliza Romero describes that “Using the language of third-wave feminism and borrowing quotes or phrases from real female CEOs helps recruiters and recruits see themselves as legitimate professionals, no different from a founder of a startup company”.

It’s all a facade and a beautiful lie. It is psychologically manipulative too, giving people sales pitches and leading them into a false sense of security. They have also kept going since the start of the Covid pandemic, which I think is a disgusting technique when people are facing so much personal and financial devastation.

It’s hard to locate UK statistics for MLM schemes, but they are vast across the US.

“Among the more than 20 million Americans who participate or have participated in multilevel marketing (MLM) organizations, 90 percent say they got involved to make money. However, nearly half (47 percent) lose money and a quarter (27 percent) make no money, according to a new study released by AARP Foundation.” – quote from PR Newswire

Where can I find out more?

I remember watching the BBC documentary by Ellie Flynn which gave an insight into the households directly affected by MLMs and it was shocking. One of the young women involved ended up £3000 in debt due to the false promises of an MLM scheme. She invested expecting to seek results, and gained nothing in return.

I, among many, find the fake friendly conversations by MLM recruiters insanely tiresome and annoying. I know family and friends that are involved who thankfully, do not seem disadvantaged thus far. There are some legitimate schemes, but please do your research if you are interested. I am not here to promote these models of “business” but to raise awareness into the dangers and toxicity of the majority of them. The truth behind the true earning success rates of these businesses needs to be shared more publically to avoid others falling into the same trap.

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts and experiences with MLM in the comments down below.

Until next time,

Emily x

Honest Personal Microderm Classic Review (Gifted)

As per my disclaimer; regardless of a gift or not, all views and opinions are strictly my own unless stated otherwise.

There’s no debate that skincare is a very popular topic in all sense of the word. At-home beauty treatments are more readily available than ever and this is where today’s product comes in. Kindly gifted to me is the Personal Microderm, which claims to match microdermabrasion treatments you can get in spas and salons. Now despite never having had this type of treatment before – I thought this would be an interesting product to try.

The kit included caps for both face and body and has 1 speed. I was pleased to see that the box came with a DVD which provides a tutorial on how to use the device; a good marketing idea for those that aren’t heavy on laptops etc. So we were off to a good start straight away, and after a few practice tries on my arm – I felt ready to go!

So what does it do?

It’s marketed at aiding with the following target areas:

  • Exfoliates
  • Brightens complexion
  • Boosts collagen
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Prevents spots from forming
  • Fades uneven pigmentation, sun damage, and age spots
  • Reduce acne scarring

The suction element pulls your skin against the spinning exfoliating disc.

I’m all for honesty and transparency when it comes to my reviews, so I will admit that I do not commonly experience the above.

So for a fair test and trial – I brought mother bear in to try the treatment too (I didn’t mind sharing the device with my own flesh and blood). Therefore, the testing journey became a 20 something vs 50 something experiment to see whose skin faired better. Results are expected at around 8-12 weeks; so there was no way I could write a review after a couple of uses.

You use the treatment once a week to allow your skin to regenerate between uses; and only go over the same patch of skin once during treatment – in outward motions typically. There are different coloured disks adhering to your skin’s sensitivity.

So does it work?

I don’t believe I have the skin type that correlates with this product’s target audience. I am blessed with naturally clear skin that isn’t overly spot-prone, but I did still want to work towards a more even skin tone and brighter complexion. Microdermabrasion allows your skincare products to really get to work under the surface – which I definitely noticed!

Session 1 22/07/2020: Easy to figure out, no discomfort, strange sensation. Skin felt tingly but very smooth and soft, my evening cleanser glided over my skin.

Session 2 29/07/2020: Upped cap to most “abrasive” setting. Left little red streaks that did fade quickly. I did notice I gained a couple of spots after my 1st session, but this can be common as it’s drawing impurities out of the skin.

Session 3 05/08/2020: Same tingly sensation

Session 4 12/08/2020: My t-zone felt a bit more sensitive after use when using my skincare products. This was my check-in point and I noticed my skin felt the softest it’s ever felt and my skin tone looked more even.

Session 5 19/08/2020: Fully used to the sensation at this point. Red marks fade quickly, great if you’re not a big makeup wearer or have somewhere to be.  Pores didn’t look too reduced. Skin looking bright and polished.

Session 6 26/08/2020: I did get a few more blemishes so this was probably an indicator to go down a cap-level.

Photo by Christina Deravedisian on Unsplash

Now alongside this, I was also using the treatment on my mother who fitted the target criteria more for the product. You can definitely see a more noticeable difference on more mature skin. My mum has beautiful skin, but she does enjoy her treatments, creams and regularly uses a DermaWand.

On more mature skin the biggest improvements were:

  • Reduced lines around the eyes and on the forehead
  • Skin around nose less dry and red
  • Skin generally brighter

I didn’t quite fit the target group for this product; but I do think it will work well on those that are looking to treat the areas mentioned earlier in this post. If you’re looking for a luxury gift for a skincare lover – please do take the time to consider this product. PMD do also offer many other goodies that may take your fancy!

Thank you so much for reading and I do hope this has given you a better insight into at-home microdermabrasion.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

My Daily Routine Working From Home

Since March, my full-time office job has been transported into my bedroom/living room depending on my task for the day. Currently, I work for a pensions company and started at the end of January, so COVID hit pretty quickly afterwards. I’m part of the bereavements team – so one of my main roles is outbound calls on most days of the week.

The lovely Charlotte from Take a Paws recommended this post idea, so thank you as writer’s block hit this week! I’m quite a nosey person myself, so thought sharing a little snippet of my daily life might be interesting! However, my routine is not role-model behaviour in the slightest. You won’t catch me exercising or drinking fruit teas at the crack of dawn (or at sunset for that matter) because it just isn’t me – unless I’m really in the mood.

So if you’re looking for a realistic routine, please keep reading!

6:45/7 am

  • Wakey wakey eggs and bakey (if I can be bothered)
  • On a normal day if I were to be going into the office (which is a 5 minute drive), I’m awake at 6am so I can get a lift in with mother who works in the same building

7-8am

  • Regret getting a job
  • Morning skincare routine and brush teeth
  • Mum leaves a cup of tea on the wash basket for me every morning that I’ll have whilst sitting with the dogs downstairs
  • I’ll always have breakfast, but if I’m not hungry straight away, I can easily eat-and-go whilst working from home
  • Get dressed (what are jeans) and maybe apply makeup, but 9/10 I do not

8am

  • Work begins and continues until my first break

10:15am

  • I have my first 15 minute break which is usually spent scrolling through TikTok or sitting in the garden for some air
  • I’m guilty of eating my leftover takeaway before lunchtime sometimes

10:30am

  • Back to work until lunchtime!

12:15pm

  • As it’s still summer at the moment, I’ll have lunch with mum in the garden or watch a bit of telly. I could definitely be more productive on my lunch breaks but usually I just want a mental break until it’s time to go back to the drawing board

1pm

  • Back to work until my afternoon break

3:15pm

  • Time for my second 15 minute break of the day, which is the most needed one. I definitely peak in the afternoon so I’ll have a quick nap or grab some fresh air to wake myself up

5pm

  • Time to log out and shut down for the evening

At the moment I no longer have a commute home, so switch my laptop off straight away to get a break from screens for an hour or two. It can be easy to close my work tab and open a different one, but I do my best to insert blue-light-breaks into my days.

5pm-6pm

  • This is pretty much always dinner time in our house, followed by feeding the dogs and cleaning up

6pm-11pm

Some days my evenings are busy and productive, other evenings are lazy and I don’t tick much off of my to-do list. My evenings typically consist of:

  • Household chores that need doing i.e. cleaning, tidying, general bits and bobs
  • Blogging
  • Walking the dogs
  • Shower or bath
  • Take my makeup off and do my skincare routine
  • Watch TV with mum; usually a Criminal Minds episode and at the moment I’m watching Skins from the start
  • Driving practice for my test with my instructor or mum (thanks COVID for cancelling 2 tests)
  • Sometimes I just spend time on my laptop online window shopping and making future plans
  • Reading
  • Doing my nails

11pm

  • This is my usual bedtime, but as long as I get 6-8 hours sleep I can function the next day, plus I like making the most of my spare time.

I enjoy the simple things in life so can quite happily fill my evenings with anything and everything –  I just do what I have to do during the day!

I’d never worked from home prior to lockdown, but I had always wanted to. I feel much more comfortable at home and it’s kept me in a good mental state. Going into the office often really didn’t make me feel great a lot of the time, so it’s been a welcomed change.

As mentioned previously, I don’t live the healthiest and most enriching lifestyle at the moment – but I want my blog to be realisticIt’s not all sunshine and rainbows whilst working from home, it can be tough and battery draining. So I’m glad we can now do more at the weekends to rest and recuperate.

This is a different style post to what I’m used to, but I do hope you enjoyed a snippet into my daily life nonetheless!

Until next time, take care

Emily x

 

 

 

What is the ‘5 year plan’ and should you have one?

The notorious ‘five-year plan‘ question may send you into a cold sweat or be the easiest question you could answer. You may have first been asked this question during your final years in education or at a job interview. This is the question that would fill me with instant dread and pressure; are you really meant to know? Are you meant to be aiming for something in particular in 5 years? Do I just fall victim to societal pressures and say “job, house, kids”?

I’d like to disclaim that I am not totally against a 2/5/10 year plan – I am sure it holds importance for many people that actually find it useful and motivating. However, what about those that don’t have a 5-year plan? Do you not hire those that don’t have a suitable enough timeline planned out? What is the significance of 5 years? Theoretically, it is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

What is there to plan?

  • A change in mentality and perspective
  • Career progression, or even career break
  • Housing situation
  • Relationship status
  • Travel destinations
  • Personal achievements i.e. skydive or learning a language
  • Business adventure
  • Children

The list truly is endless. Personally, I view my life as being one complicated stencil I’ve drawn around on a piece of paper. There will be lines that I will want to perfect and make them as neat as possible, but there will be lines where my hand is shaky and I accidentally go outside of the lines. However, at the end of it, I will be mostly content with what I have created.

Life is renowned for being unpredictable. There are days when it may feel like a huge boulder has crashed down in the middle of your path, making it difficult to work around, but not impossible. Acknowledging that life will always have its curveballs, should help a life plan seem less intimidating. Things go wrong, but there will always be a way to get back on track and dust yourself off again. It is almost guaranteed, that if you were to ask anyone who is 5 years older than you, if they have got to where they are by sailing their way through life – they will most likely say no.

What are some pros and cons to having a 5-year plan?

Pros:

  • Gives you goals to work towards, no matter how big or small
  • Allows you to prioritise your goals in terms of when you want to achieve them
  • Can keep you disciplined and on track
  • Hand in hand with the above; can force you to start something you have been putting off
  • It can be comforting

Cons:

  • You may feel pressured and rushed
  • Your plan may adhere more to stereotypical achievements by default
  • May cause a feeling of disappointment if you don’t hit certain milestones within a certain period
  • It can make room for comparisons with other people’s success
  • You may become too attached to the plan and opposed to change

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

The logistics of a 5-year plan are so personal to each individual. What might be a mountain to one person, is a molehill for another. It can be exciting to share your plans with others – I don’t believe the intention of a plan is negative. If you are surrounded by decent people, you should hopefully never feel belittled by what you have set yourself, you should have nothing but support and encouragement.

Personally, I choose to live life day-by-day. I will happily write a to-do list in the morning and can stick to it pretty well. Stretch it further than a weekly plan, and I will probably struggle to stay on track. My interests and motivation levels fluctuate too regularly for a long-term plan to sit comfortably in my head. Knowing what I want out of life is important, but the route to get there can be as sporadic and spontaneous as possible.

So in terms of being asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” in a job interview, the intention behind the question is probably to cover their own backs. Is this person looking to be in a completely different position in a few years to what they’ve applied for? Can we afford to train someone who sounds like they are going to leave soon? I understand why the question is asked, but it can be a tough cookie to crack if you are not a natural planner.

To conclude

A 5-year plan is exactly what you make of it. It can be as intense or as mild as you like. There is no obligation to know the answer to this question, but I do feel like it crops up quite often. It offers food for thought in many different ways. Planning what I think is my ideal plan, can allow me to spot pitfalls and genuinely think carefully about the routes I wish to take.

Avid organisers may thrive by setting their goals long into the future, and to that, I say hats off. There is not a right or wrong answer. It is admirable to see how we all cope and work our way through this journey. If you are keen to know how to create your own 5-year plan, there are many resources available to help.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal”

What are your thoughts on the concept of a 5-year plan?

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before and After Bedroom Transformation & Homeware Items

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good bedroom transformation. In any shop, I gravitate towards the homeware section. I could probably spend more time than I’d like to admit planning rooms in my head. Therefore, the idea of completely overhauling my childhood bedroom was such an exciting task (but a big one too!).

My boyfriend and I spent 2019 living together in a shared house in a different city, but moved back into my family home just before Christmas 2019. Prior to moving, we knew we wanted a room that perfectly encapsulated us. We love anything cosy, relaxing and warm. Plus moving back home meant a fresh start was ahead, so a fresh room was needed.

So onto the makeover…

The transformation was gradual and took around 6 months to “complete”. Personally, I think it’s so important to have a theme for the room you are decorating. It makes shopping for decor much easier. Our vision was grey and white with accents of colour. Recently, I celebrated my 21st birthday and so a few items were gifts, but most are things we have collected over the years.

Bedroom before 1

Bedroom After 2

Bedroom before 2

Bedroom after 2

Whilst we were living away, a new fluffy dark grey carpet was fitted which was a great base to start from. To accompany this, we chose to paint our walls in the shade China Clay from Johnstones on one weekend whilst we were visiting. Our shimmer rug is from Studio and it’s surprising how much a rug can make a statement and pull a room together.

Bed

We purchased a gas-lift bed which is perfect for under-bed storage. It’s the Selena Ottoman bed in another shade of grey which is smart and modern; perfect for any colour scheme!

This bed did come with a mattress, which lasted us fine for a few months, but you could feel the wooden slats of the bed when you sat down. Having a comfortable night’s sleep is so important, so we purchased an orthopaedic sprung mattress and we’ve slept much better since. Decent pillows also make the world of difference, but as we prefer firm to soft, we chose extra firm memory foam from the Fogarty range at Dunelm Mill. Bedding is a good investment to make, think of how much time you spend in bed over your lifetime.

Walls

Our floating shelves are grey and pink and were picked up from shops such as B&M, The Range and Ikea. One shelf holds all of my boyfriend’s Pop! Vinyls which makes for a clean but cool display. B&M are also great for affordable photo frames that come in some lovely colours and designs. I purchased a pomegranate print from fellow blogger Zoe Ware’s store – it’s great to support smaller businesses too! A large station-style clock can be found at Wilkos.

Frames; including soundwave print for our “relationship song”

Station-style clock

We have a couple of canvases dotted around, from companies like Photobox and MyPicture (super cheap but still great quality!). Photos are a must for me in a room, I love having memories to look back on each day.

Boyfriend’s photography on a canvas

Furniture

My sister recently moved up North, and so my boyfriend’s gaming setup moved into her old room so that I could have a desk back. I have loved having it so much for getting ready, working and blogging. This desk has great storage and is the perfect size for the space we’re working with. My productivity levels have definitely gone up.

We have a tall, slim Argos DVD case next to the wardrobe which is actually used as a bookshelf as you can adjust the size of the shelves with pegs.

We forked out for a double dark grey sliding wardrobe from a local store, which has large mirrors on the front which reflects light that we didn’t have before.

My favourite purchase has been this bookcase from ManoMano. Finding furniture that wouldn’t encroach on our floor space was so hard, but this one is a complete gem. I love the wooden legs too – it’s the little touches! Most people wouldn’t have a hamster sat on top, but Dusty needs a home too.

Desk

Bookcase decor

Homeware Items

I’m going to list some bits and bobs around our room and do my best to link the exact item, or at least something similar!

  • Oil diffuser
  • Essential oils pack of 4 from TKMaxx
  • Initial candle from Fox & Ivy range at Tesco
  • Marble slate coasters from ASDA Living
  • ‘E’ Coaster B&M
  • Geometric hot pink tealight holder from Flying Tiger (tealights from Primark) here is one similar
  • White ornament from Flying Tiger
  • White wire storage basket from Primark
  • Hanging terrarium

Homeware items

 

Earring display and eyelash trinket pot

Giraffe doorstop

So there we have the bedroom transformation with a homeware haul thrown in for good measure! I’m really pleased with our bedroom now, it’s the perfect place for working from home as well as winding down in the evening. A room should be enjoyable to be in. Redecorating doesn’t have to break the bank either, more affordable homeware is much more readily available now than I ever remember.

Furniture was probably the most expensive part, but it’s not something we would purchase regularly, so I have no qualms with investing in certain items. Many highstreet shops including New Look and H&M have homeware sections that can be super budget friendly. I LOVE a bargain. Remember some great finds can be found in charity shops too, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation. Question: What home style do you like the most? How would your dream home look?

Until next time, stay safe

Emily x

 

Why and How You Should Check Your Boobs

*Statistics provided in this post are in conjuction with information shared at the time of posting. For updated figures, please do research those if you would like*

I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of not checking my boobs enough, or at all. I’ve always been told it’s important, but I have been lazy about it which I am not proud of. It takes a couple of minutes each month, so really there are no excuses. I’ve taken the time to educate myself and decided to compile a post about it for my fellow breast bearers.

Feeling your breasts is a key way of detecting breast cancer, so if taking some time in the shower to check around for anything anomalous – it could literally save your life. CoppaFeel! are the UK’s first breast cancer awareness charity with a sole aim of educating and installing the correct knowledge from as early an age as possible, to ensure that we are confident to check our breasts regularly.

So what do the statistics show?

It’s not just women that can suffer from breast cancer, it can also affect men. Statistics shared by Breast Cancer Now state “Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK” and 4% of those cases in women are from those aged under 39. As a woman in my early 20s, that is a scary statistic to swallow. Breast Cancer Now also added “Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the past 40 years in the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.”

So in reference to early detection, it is vital to CHECK YOUR BOOBS. It’s important to note that breast tissue also reaches under your armpits and up to your collarbones so do check the whole area.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

What if I’m forgetful?

Fear not, one quick and easy way to start checking your boobs today is to sign up to reminders. I’ve opted for the monthly text option, but will also make a conscious effort to do more in between.

So how exactly do we check our boobs?

If you’re more of a visual learner, CoppaFeel! have a short but sweet educational video that explains it all. It’s all about looking and feeling so there’s no definitive way of how to check, but here are some pointers:

  • Look to see if there is a change in size or shape
  • Look to see if any parts of your skin are puckering or dimpling
  • Feel for any lumps and bumps
  • Look for nipple discharge, redness or abnormal crustiness
  • Look for rashes
  • Notice any new pain or discomfort in one or both breasts (you can get boob pain on your period, but you will know if the pain is prolonging after your period or is unusually intense)

You can examine your boobs both standing up and lying down, so perfect for in the shower or before going to sleep at night. Ideally use three fingers to work in circular motions (also up and down) across your breasts, collarbones and armpits. Do what makes you comfortable, just as long as you are thoroughly checking all areas.

What do I do if I feel like something isn’t right?

ALWAYS book an appointment to see your GP or gynaecologist as soon as possible. They will be more than happy to check for you, it’s their job after all! It is better to be safe than sorry.

Examining your own breasts regularly is an effective method of early breast cancer detection

T-shirt from Pink Clouding. Purchases from the Tits collection mean a donation is made on your behalf to CoppaFeel

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month each year, but awareness is, of course, raised all year round and I wanted to use the small platform I have to share what I’ve learnt and instil confidence in those that were unsure how to check their breasts. You are never too young to start checking and there is technically no right or wrong way. You spend the most time with your own body, so are more likely to know when something isn’t quite right.

You can monitor any noticeable differences for 5 days, but if they don’t change, please do seek guidance from your GP.

I hope this has helped provide a guide on how best to check the breast. Do you regularly check?

Until next time,

Emily x

Why don’t I have a “girl squad?”

Disclaimer: This post is in reference to friendships I’ve had in real life as opposed to online friendships. I have some lovely friends in the blogging community, but it’s time to switch off and talk about offline life.

I’d like to begin by saying I have no idea where I want this post to take me. It’s been a topic on my mind for the longest time now and I’ve debated talking about it due to not even understanding my own thoughts and emotions. This topic has made me laugh and made me cry, and it really hits home sometimes. I want to talk about what (the f***) happened to my “girl squad” and why I feel somewhat to blame.

I’m writing this post to really attempt to get things off of my chest. Most importantly, it’s to let you know that you are not alone if you too feel like this. I’m not a sympathy seeker, just a storyteller with some experience behind me. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Friends sitting under a tree talking

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Growing up, I always remember having a solid group of friends. I was never part of the “popular” group because I don’t think this really existed in my school. There was a true mix of friendships. However, I did have friends from the same sort of group for years and years. Despite growing up and changing from the ages of 11 to 18, we were always at least acquaintances with each other. I still talk to a few nowadays about what we’re “getting up to these days?” and “remember this funny moment?” *insert photo/video that brings back shocking waves of nostalgia and a yearn for simpler times*

School life was saturated with smiles, belly laughs and pinky promises. Eventually, that turned into drunken nights out, late-night walks and work shifts together after we’d put the pen down on our final exams. Looking back, the friendships I formed aged 14 and then aged 18, were the most significant for me. However, these friendships post-education were so different. So I guess my speel is more aimed towards that life change.

Genuinely, I did not think finishing school would affect my friendships that much, but boy was I wrong. Within 6 months of leaving school, I’d whittled my group down from maybe around 10 people I socialised with, to 1. It was heartbreaking to sit and think that it wouldn’t be the same if I were to message or call them. Our walks would now be awkward with little to talk about. Yet, it all felt confusing and almost accidental?

We didn’t fall out or have an argument, so what went wrong?

Did I say something to upset them and not realise?

Did 1 or both of us simply stop making the effort?

Why does rekindling the friendship not feel like the right thing to do?

These are questions that invade my thoughts on the regular. The reason for this being I feel so bloody lonely sometimes! I’m sure I’m more of an introvert and definitely enjoy my own space, but I have a non-existent social life and it’s so saddening at times. Without an online community to turn to, I don’t know what I would do.

I understand I’m sounding like a Negative Nelly here, but I just wish I had that friend who I could visit after work, go shopping with at the weekend and ask to be my Maid of Honour one day. (Honestly, I will have no bridal party at this rate). Making friendships once you leave the routine of education is really hard and something I wish I had been more prepared for. I have 3 friends from my old job that I still speak to and plan to meet up with soon, we just sadly all live quite far from each other and so meeting up together is difficult.

Photo by Yanapi Senaud on Unsplash

Is there something wrong with me?

I do feel eternally grateful for what I do have; my mum who is my best friend, my boyfriend that is my soul mate, online friends I know that are there for me and a handful of people that still check-in. I’m alone, but I’m not alone if that makes any sense? I hope I’m not coming across badly, but I think this feeling is quite common. Instagram is riddled with girl squads and physical friendships and it’s understandably difficult to not feel left out.

Comfort is gained in knowing that my old best friends and I didn’t argue to the end, we literally just stopped speaking. It was nature taking its course because what is meant to be will be. We took different paths and our pace at life didn’t match anymore.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t have those 1 or 2 people I can visit around the corner who are more like family than friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have 1 or 2 genuine friends than a large group that is disingenuous. Unfortunately, I do doubt and critique myself and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Where are my girl’s trips to Ibiza? Why don’t I have tapas nights? Why do I feel like the stray sock that gets lost in the wash?

Despite this, I’m determined to come to terms with the fact that not having a girl squad is perfectly okay. Societal pressures do not help, but I’m not going to let this eat away at me like the last slice of pizza. I can’t shame myself for not being a massive people person or eager to join clubs and groups. I hope in years to come, I meet more likeminded people that I can look at and say; “you’re a bit of me”.

“Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget” – G.Randolf

Thank you if you read my rambling to the end, I really appreciate it. Having an online community is something that will forever amaze me. So thank you to those that have made my days feel less lonely with kind words or just a simple “have a good day!”. If you relate to any of this post, I’d love to open up a discussion in the comments. My blog is a safe space where we can all be friends.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

21st Birthday Q&A

I’m 21 today! I was born at 6:45am on Thursday 24th June 1999 (we should be celebrating our mum’s surely?!) I think this will be my last birthday related post for a fair few years as I feel like turning 21 is the last “big birthday” until you’re 30. Lockdown undoubtedly ruined any potential plans, but we’ll see where the day takes us and make the most of the situation!

In celebration of waving goodbye to my turbulent teens in 2019, I wrote about 20 things I’d learned in 20 years, which still reads very true to this day. To honour the age of world-wide legal drinking and the real step into my roaring 20s, I thought a Q&A would be a fun way to kick it all off. So I’d like to firstly thank Charlotte, Millie, Shannen, Paige, Gemma Jayne and Laura for their questions! They’re a great bunch who you should definitely check out.

 

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5 Ways to Keep Your Long Term Relationship Alive

Looking for ways to reignite the fireworks of a long-term relationship does not necessarily mean you are looking for relationship guidance or are at breaking point with your partner. When you spend a prolonged period of time with someone in particular, it’s easy to fall victim to routine and feel confused on how to spice things up again. Life has its ways of wedging itself into relationships like the third wheel nobody asked for. One day you might find yourself asking “what changed along the way?” or “why aren’t things the same as they were at the start?“.

These are completely normal and rational feelings to have. People grow every day, but growing alongside somebody else means putting in double the hard work. Romantic relationships are one of life’s most beautiful happenings when you are with the right person.

Think of relationships like a new car; they’re super exciting and shiny on the day you pick it up, but over the years you may notice the odd thing isn’t working like it should, so you take it to the garage to get fixed. This fixture may have been faulty and didn’t fix your car like you thought it would, or maybe it set you driving off into the sunset like the good old days. As long as you are willing to put the time and effort in to make it work, you will often be rewarded with the results.

So if you’ve been with your partner for what you would consider a long time, but things are feeling a bit flat, here are 5 ways to keep your relationship alive.

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Trying $1 makeup from Miss A – Review

I’d seen a tweet with some screenshots from Miss A’s website and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first. Now I love makeup and I LOVE cheap stuff, so I was hook, lined and sinker from the start. 

They sell makeup, brushes, lashes, self care items, jewellery and accessories. I had a bit of a field day adding bits and bobs to my basket as I just couldn’t believe the price. Low prices don’t always guarantee quality however, but stay tuned for my opinion on the products I tried….

My order from USA to UK took just over a month, but I think it’s important to note that there were no missing products and no damage to what I received. It was packaged really well in bubble wrap and a few other layers of packaging. I had been worried about items arriving damaged so this was a bonus.

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