Tonsillectomy Journey: Part 2

Read part one of my tonsillectomy journey that was published on Wednesday *HERE*. That post talked about events leading up to the surgery and what happened on the day of the surgery. This post is a diary documenting pain and the recovery process. They say it takes adults approximately 2 weeks to recover from a tonsillectomy and for the most part I agree. For the first week I didn’t have much of an appetite but a week after the surgery I hit a turning point and things started to improve.

Wednesday October 7

The pain isn’t unbearable but my mouth feels dry so I make sure to drink regularly. I managed to eat toast and fruit salad for breakfast and I was given my discharge papers around 9am. Mum picked me up an hour later and on the way home we stopped at a pharmacy to fill my prescription. I had icecream when I got home but it wasn’t very enjoyable. I was still tired from the anesthetic and had a sleep in the early afternoon.

Thursday October 8

The pain is definitely more noticeable and I feel like I can’t talk very well and have a swollen tongue. There feels like extra saliva in my mouth which causes me to dribble in my sleep. I spent most of the day relaxing in bed. I caught up on a bunch of YouTube videos and listened to some podcasts. I also had slight bruises forming on each of my cheeks near the back. For dinner I had an omelette and mashed potato.

Friday October 9

This was probably my least favourite recovery day. I’d say pain was at the highest on this day and I had two tramadol capsules along with paracetamol and ibuprofen throughout the day. This was the first time I had taken tramadol but didn’t notice any side effects which is good. I brushed my teeth for the first time since Tuesday, I wanted to to give it a couple of days so I wouldn’t hurt my mouth or disturb the wound. I really didn’t eat much or feel hungry today but by the afternoon I felt sick and lightheaded and knew I had to eat something. I spent most of the day asleep. I managed an iceblock in the evening but even licking wasn’t easy with a swollen tongue.

Saturday October 10

I woke up quite early and went on my phone for a while. I was a little frustrated that I couldn’t eat much at this point and earache like pain started which made me a bit grumpy. Mum and I watched a movie in the afternoon then I went back to bed and had a nap. I felt well enough to have my first shower since the surgery in the evening and also started a new book.

Sunday October 11

This is the first day I didn’t need a nap since surgery. My tongue was still swollen and I had pain in my right ear when I ate/chewed. I was back on tramadol and took one capsule when I woke up. Mum and I popped out to vote and pick up our groceries. In the afternoon I watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and really enjoyed it. Perhaps I’ll check out the other films in the series too.

Monday October 12

I reached for another tramadol again today but it is the last one I needed to take during recovery. I woke up with a bit of pain but the regular taking of painkillers keeps on top of everything. I think I sneezed for the first time since the operation which was extremely uncomfortable. In the evening I painted my nails for the first time in months using Silky Negligee from Revlon.

Tuesday October 13

This was the pivotal day in which everything started to turn. Still taking painkillers at regular intervals and managing pain ok but my tongue didn’t feel as swollen. I placed a couple of online orders, one with MECCA (MECCA is like the NZ/Oz Sephora) and one with Colourpop. I had my first proper dinner in a week and managed butter chicken (cut the pieces up small), rice and naan bread and it was delicious!

Wednesday October 14

Yesterday was definitely the turning point. I was able to eat larger portions of food, had minimal mouth and ear pain but still a little sensitivity if having something cold. I posted photos of makeup items I’m keen to pass on to Instagram and watched the 2018 film Whitney about Whitney Houston. I love watching music documentary films.

Thursday October 15

This is the first day I noticed there wasn’t any pain with eating and the tooth and ear sensitivity had calmed down. The dribbling in my sleep seems to have calmed down too. It was really cold and wet weather wise. I finished my second book of recovery, I haven’t read as much as I would have liked but for the first week I was very tired.

Friday October 16

A relatively pain free day. Had to run a couple of errands; popped to the supermarket and picked up the bits I ordered from Mecca on Tuesday. I did give authority to leave the box in the mailbox but the courier didn’t see that instruction which was a little frustrating. Also treated myself to a couple of jewellery pieces from In the Frow’s Edge of Ember collection. I like simple jewellery pieces and I tend to prefer silver so I chose a dainty little ring with a white topaz stone and a birthstone necklace. The garnet pendant looks elegant on the gold chain.

Saturday October 17

Woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Pretty much pain free from this point on. Did a full face of makeup for the first time in almost two weeks. Listened to music for the first time properly in ages and even managed to sing a little.

Sunday October 18

I didn’t have a very peaceful sleep. Had quite a productive day getting a few jobs done around home like laundry and washing my makeup brushes. Picked up the grocery order in the afternoon and had fish and chips for tea. My appetite had well and truly returned by this point.

Monday October 19

I returned to work. My biggest worry was what to take for lunches as I’m still trying to eat food that’s easy to swallow and nothing too hard or crunchy. I coped fine and it was nice to see everyone again! One of my colleagues left a packet of my favourite chocolates on my desk which was so sweet and thoughtful. I spent most of the day catching up on emails.

Tuesday October 20

Two weeks since surgery! I had an annoying headache most of the day, possibly due to not sleeping well the previous few nights. Nothing much else to report.


I hope you enjoyed reading these posts and getting an insight into what recovery has been like. In all honesty the pain wasn’t terrible and I’m thankful it was mostly manageable with paracetamol and ibuprofen. If you still have your tonsils and get regular bouts of tonsillitis it’s worth considering getting them removed. Give yourself a good couple of weeks to rest and take it easy. Regular painkillers are the key. You will be over sugar and sweet food by about day three but push through and be kind to yourself and your body. Everyone has a different rate of recovery and while I noticed a big change after a week it may take someone else 10 days or two weeks to start making progress. At the moment I can’t say whether the removal has made a difference but it will be interesting to see what happens the next time I get a cold.

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Tonsillectomy Journey: Part 1

I promise I will stop going on about my tonsils and getting them out eventually. I wanted to write this post as I thought it would be helpful to anyone else going through something similar. The post will be split into two parts, this part will give a brief history of my experience with tonsillitis and talk about the procedure and part two will be a recovery diary.

Up until this past year I didn’t have trouble with my tonsils, if I got a cold it was always my nose that was the problem. On March 1st I woke up with the driest, scratchiest throat I’ve ever had and no matter how much I was drinking the dryness wouldn’t go away. It turned into a cold and a few days later I went and saw a doctor who told me it looks like tonsillitis. I was given antibiotics which were too high a dose so I ended up with stomach pains and cramps and couldn’t keep the antibiotics in me. This meant the antibiotics weren’t effective and the tonsillitis didn’t completely go away. A few weeks later I returned to the doctor and was prescribed a different antibiotic which did the trick this time. Fast forward to the end of June and I come down with tonsillitis again. I had been fine all throughout lockdown but once you start mingling and being around people again you’re more susceptible to catching something. It was the same for lots of people at work, the week before I was off about eight staff were sick some days. At this doctor’s appointment I was referred to the hospital to get my tonsils out. I was all for it as it’s going to stop recurrent sore throats every few months.

From the time I got referred to getting the actual procedure it was 3 months which is quite quick in my opinion. I had my initial appointment with the surgeon in July, a phone call with the pre-op team in August and then it was a matter of waiting for a surgery date. Originally I could have had the procedure done at the beginning of September but my mum was in hospital when I received the call and I didn’t need that pressure. A couple of weeks later I got a letter in the mail with a new proposed date of October 6th – I accepted.

On the day of the procedure I was up early and at the hospital before 7:30am. I changed into a gown and robe and was told my surgery would likely be late morning, any children having the same procedure that day get done first. An anesthetist came over for a chat and then it was a matter of waiting to hear my name called. I went into the operating theatre shortly after 11am and was out less than an hour later – the operation itself is very quick. When I woke up I remember initially feeling pain in my throat and was very sleepy from the anesthetic. Most people are allowed to go home the same day a couple of hours after the procedure but my oxygen saturation levels dropped a little bit so they wanted to keep me in to monitor those.

I spent the next few hours dozing until I was more alert. My mum was by my side the whole time but left to come home at around 4pm. After she left I went back to sleep and shortly before 6pm it was dinner time. I was nervous not only to eat in case it was painful but anxious to see what food was on my plate. Dinner was pork and apple meatloaf with mashed potato and vegetables with lemon curd tartlet for dessert. For hospital food the meal wasn’t too shabby and it didn’t cause me pain to eat. I was offered an iceblock after the procedure but I was too sleepy so didn’t feel like it at the time. I wasn’t offered an iceblock or icecream after that.

After dinner I was wide awake so I killed some time on my phone (thank you hospital wifi) and did some crossword puzzles in a magazine I had with me. I went to sleep around 10pm but didn’t have a restful sleep at all, I woke up several times during the night and even started reading an ebook for an hour to pass time. I went back to sleep around 4am and woke up properly between 6 and 7. Breakfast came around at 8am and I ate most of a piece of toast and some fruit salad, I wasn’t brave enough to face the cornflakes. A doctor (coincidentally one of the doctors my mum had during her hospital visits) and a house surgeon came to discharge me just after 9am and gave me a script for three different types of painkillers. After that I was allowed to go home.

Stay tuned for part two which will be up on Friday and will document each day of recovery for two weeks after surgery and how I was feeling.

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Dear 15 Year Old Me

Back in July the lovely Jennie nominated me to do the ‘Dear 15 Year Old Me’ tag. The idea is you think of an answer for each of the five prompts that your 15 year old self would appreciate and give advice you wish you had heard when you were younger. The tag was originally started by Everyday Magic With Jubilee and Mom Life With Chiari.

Rules:

  • Post the tag and image above
  • Mention the creators of the tag and link back to their blog
  • Thank whoever nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers that you love and notify them by commenting on their latest post

1. Don’t be hard on yourself because…

You’re your own biggest critic. We are toughest on ourselves when we often don’t need that pressure. If something is not going to matter in five minutes or a month from now don’t spend time worrying and stressing about it. Those who are closest to you appreciate you for who you are.

2. The relationship you’re in…

You won’t be in relationship for a few years yet but don’t settle and worry too much, things will happen when they happen. Waiting to get into a relationship rather than forcing anything or being in a relationship for the sake of it makes you realise what you actually want and teaches you how look after yourself and treat other people. When it finally happens you will feel more grateful and it will be special.

3. You will get through this because…

You are stronger than you know! Music will always be there after a hard day too.

4. Don’t get caught up in thinking…

School life is how things will be once you have finished and left school. If you don’t feel like you fit in or you don’t enjoy each part of your day that is okay. Being independent, doing things for yourself, staying motivated and working hard will take you far.

5. These experiences will help you learn…

You are going through one of the most unpredictable times of life. Feelings change constantly, emotions are high and you’re still discovering and learning about yourself. Have hope that everything will work out how it’s supposed to. Take time, enjoy the small things, be kind to yourself and keep going.

I tag:


What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

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Lockdown Life

Hello, it’s me! (Chanelle, Adele – they sound similar right?!)

I haven’t posted for a few weeks and to be honest I was enjoying downtime when I could get it. The past couple of weeks I have been quite busy with work and preparing for my return to the workplace. I did want to write this post to check in and share what I’ve been up to throughout lockdown. New Zealand is no longer in strict lockdown and on Thursday, May 14th the majority of businesses and sectors started back at work in the workplace (including me).

I’m not going to lie, I relished lockdown life! I am quite a homebody so didn’t find the staying at home difficult. I didn’t find my productivity suffered and I found I probably had more of a work-life balance. I was less stressed, I was eating less often but better and I got to spend time with my loved ones (mum and Halo). I also kept myself distracted with the following:

Reading

It’s natural that as a librarian I enjoy reading and I got through a good chunk of books! I would sit at the table and read as I was waiting for email replies, on my lunch breaks etc. Over the past seven weeks I managed to get through eight books and I’m currently 48% of the way through my Goodreads goal for the year.

I finished:

  1. Twas the Nighshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay
  2. The Longest Holiday – Paige Toon
  3. The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley
  4. If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane
  5. I Dare You – Sam Carrington
  6. The Guest List – Lucy Foley
  7. She Lies In Wait – Gytha Lodge
  8. Our Stop – Laura Williams

Working

I was able to work from home and it was good to have a routine of sorts and a bit of distraction and something to focus on. I was able to do all the admin parts of my role including payroll, raising and receipting purchase orders, answering customer emails and phone calls and attending Zoom meetings as required. There’s lots of other little elements to my role as well and it keeps me busy.

Online shopping

I have possibly been more spendy than I should have during lockdown and I will share everything I purchased when it arrives in a separate post. Prepare for quite a few beauty bits!

Exercise

Along with eating less and eating better I was also able to start exercising regularly again. I’m probably not as ‘fit’ as I was a couple of years ago and my stomach and legs are certainly not as toned but I loved getting back on the exercycle and I will try to keep it up. Exercise helps stamp out any bad feelings and makes me feel more positive.

Singing

People most likely wouldn’t think of singing as exercise but it can help greatly if you’re asthmatic as it teaches you to breathe in different ways and gives you techniques that help with inhaling and exhaling. Singing has so many good benefits; it relieves anxiety, helps oxygen move and circulate around the body and teaches muscle memory when it comes to hitting the notes. I found during lockdown my voice was sounding better than it has for a while which I think is due to being less stressed which allowed the vocal chords to open up and created less constriction. I also like to sing whilst using the exercycle, proper little multitasker!

Playing with makeup

I didn’t wear makeup as often as I usually would but I did enjoy applying it and making myself look nice for Zoom meetings. I took some great selfies during lockdown too. (Shameless I know!) It was nice to take a bit of extra time to play with colours and products I felt like using on the day and apply my makeup in daylight again (usually I apply my makeup at 6am before sunrise).


I hope you enjoyed catching up with what I’ve been doing. I was actively reading blog posts and leaving comments the whole time as well as being around on social media.

Leave a comment and let me know if you’re still in lockdown, how you’re going and what you’re most looking forward to when it’s over!

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Yearly Highlights + Signing Off For 2019

Usually towards the end of each month I round up my favourite things but in December there hasn’t been anything new that I’ve come across that I haven’t talked about before. In lieu of December Favourites I’ve rounded up my favourite products of 2019. I will also be sharing some  highlights from the year. This is my final post for 2019 as I want to give myself a break from posting between Christmas and the New Year. Thank you to everyone for taking time to read and comment and for showing support. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you have the best day with your loved ones!

Base

1. Trying higher end foundations from YSL and MAC – 2019 is the year I stepped up my foundation game and ventured away from the drugstore options slightly. I got a sample of MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation which applied beautifully each time I used it and made me start looking into other high end foundations. After finishing the MAC sample I purchased a bottle of YSL’s Le Teint Touche Éclat in B10 Porcelain and it is such a perfect colour match for me. A little goes a long way with this foundation and like the MAC foundation it applies and sits beautifully on the skin. I have still got a couple of drugstore foundations in my collection and once I’ve used those up I can see myself heading more towards bases that are slightly more expensive but perform better. It takes me so long to finish a foundation that I’d rather it be one that I really like.

2. Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light – I heard The Anna Edit talk about this product numerous times and I’d been curious to give contouring a go so I bit the bullet and purchased it. I wanted one shade that suited my skintone rather than purchasing a palette where most of the shades would sit untouched. This product is lovely to work with, the powder is soft and easy to blend and I don’t need to use much at all. I tend to use this over bronzer on days I want more definition.

Eyes

3. xoBeauty Heaps of Sweets Palette – This palette is a relatively new addition to my makeup collection. The layout and the number of different colour combinations excites me and makes me want to experiment with the palette. The pigmentation, formula and the combination of matte and shimmer shades is great and since the palette arrived I have not put it away, it’s sitting on top of my dresser within easy reach. Palettes like this that can be used for wearable everyday looks but also contain fun pops of colour are so versatile.

4. Zoella x Colourpop Group Hug Supernova Shadow Bundle – If I had to pick my favourite brand for 2019 it would be Colourpop! I hadn’t tried anything from Colourpop before and I remember asking on Instagram for product suggestions and someone mentioned that they didn’t like the Supernova Shadows. I didn’t purchase the Group Hug bundle in my first order but I am glad I picked it up in a subsequent order. The bundle contains the shades OG and Bellini and both are packed full of shimmer and glittery goodness. The pigmentation is stunning, especially Bellini, and they apply so smoothly and last all day. They are what I thought the Stila minis I have would be like but 100x better. Unfortunately this set has now been discontinued.

5. Colourpop Sol Palette – This is one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes in my collection and every time I use it I’m never disappointed, there’s not one bad shade. The warm, orange tones work really well with my hair and complexion and this palette is surprisingly versatile. If I had to pick one palette to travel with it would be between this and The Remix Palette from Shaaanxo and BH Cosmetics. One of the best nine pans Colourpop do in my opinion!

6. Colourpop Super Shock Shadows – One of the Colourpop products recommended to me were the Super Shock Shadows. This product is what the brand first started off with and having a creamy, highly pigmented texture with no fall out it’s easy to see why they are so popular. Across the four Colourpop orders I placed this year I purchased eight shades in total. My top picks are Slave2Pink (neon pink glitter loaded up with blue), Bouncy (cool toned bronze with gold and violet duo chrome), Nillionaire (bronze with pink and gold ultra-glitter), Dare (shockingly neon purple with hot pink and violet glitter) and I Heart This (taupe with silver ultra-glitter).

Lips

7. Revolution Jewel Collection Lip Toppers – These sheer, non-sticky glosses are packed with stunning shimmer to switch up your favourite lipstick. I have two out of three shades; Fortune (iced silver shimmer) and Exquisite (duo chrome sheer pink with cool silver shimmer). They can be worn alone or layered over lipstick for a high shine finish and colour shifting duo chrome effect. Fortune is my favourite!

8. L’Oreal – Bois De Rose Lipstick – A work colleague gave me this lipstick and the colour reminds me a lot of Syrup by MAC which I completely finished a couple of months ago. Bois De Rose has more of a rosy tone whereas Syrup has more of a purple-berry tone. The formula of this shade is lovely and creamy and it is such a lovely colour for everyday wear.

Accessories

9. YSL Black Opium – The 7.5ml perfume sample of Black Opium did not last me long at all, it’s finished already! I instantly fell in love with the scent and in the near future I definitely want to pick up a full sized bottle. The combination of warm, sweet vanilla and coffee with a hint of spice is extremely sexy.

10. Daniel Wellington Petite Melrose Watch – I purchased this watch last year and whilst it was an investment piece I love wearing it! My wrists are tiny (which I have a weird fascination with) and Daniel Wellington watches accommodate that. When you order from Daniel Wellington you can customise your watch by choosing the size of the dial, the colour of the dial and the colour of the strap. I chose the Petite Melrose in rose gold with a white 28mm dial. The watch goes with everything and looks dainty and elegant.

Top 5 personal highlights from 2019:

1. A personalised signed album from Claire Richards – Claire Richards has one of my favourite voices in the music business and she released her solo album in February 2019. Through Claire’s website fans could pre-order personalised signed copies of her album.

2. Securing tickets to So Pop 2020 – Speaking of Claire, Steps were announced as one of the acts for the So Pop 2020 series of concerts alongside The Pussycat Dolls, Jesse McCartney, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and others. It hasn’t properly hit me yet that I’ll be able to say I’ve seen my favourite band in concert even if they aren’t the headline act – 10 year old Chanelle never thought this would happen.

3. Finding a denim jacket – I knew that when I purchased my denim jacket from Pagani it is one of those timeless pieces that goes with everything. I often pair it with leggings for simple, casual outfits when I’m not sure what to wear and it’s a great layering piece that can be dressed up and dressed down.

4. Purchasing new perfumes – Halfway through the year I purchased a couple of new perfumes and I’m really pleased with all the scents in my collection at the moment. Girly, vanilla based scents are my favourite and you can’t go wrong with Juicy Couture in my opinion. The fragrances next on my list to buy are Viva la Juicy Rosé and a full size of Black Opium.

5. Being more social – I am by no means a social butterfly but I have been on my fair share of dates, attended a few quiz nights and been out to dinner with work friends this year.

December’s Spotify Playlist:


I hope you are able to look back on 2019 and the decade with fond memories. If 2019 didn’t go the way you planned I hope 2020 will treat you better and bring plenty of happiness ❤

I will still be reading posts and commenting but this is me officially signing off – see you in 2020!

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Favourite Instagram Accounts #2

A couple of months ago I shared a handful of accounts that are some of my favourites to follow on Instagram and I’m back with another installment! Currently I follow around 700 accounts so there’s not just a select few that are my favourites. I’m always looking for new accounts to follow so feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments and I’ll check them out.

1. Elle (Account: missjanebeauty)

Elle is also from New Zealand and I don’t remember how I came across her feed but it is incredibly beautiful! The majority of her posts are makeup flatlays but she does also share empties with mini reviews of each product and FOTD posts. Her feed is #goals!

2. Apartment Edit (Account: theapartmentedit)

The Apartment Edit is the home account of Sam Chapman (Real Techniques) and her boyfriend Ryan. I find with some home accounts they look too staged and the same as each other but this apartment is quirky and has colour and is not just white on white with chrome or gold accents. Sam’s cat Jojo also features in some pictures and Jojo even has his own Instagram account @cattojojo which I also follow.

3. Polished and Inspired (Account: polishedandinspired)

I love to follow makeup and beauty Instagram accounts and support my fellow bloggers. Polished and Inspired also has a blog by the same name – click *HERE* to visit – and is a Canadian beauty enthusiast. Her Instagram captions are thought provoking and informative and her blog posts are well written and well thought out.

4. Nadine (Account: nadine_blewett)

Nadine is one of my oldest blogging friends and such a beautiful soul that I have grown very close to over my blogging journey. Nadine is so supportive and kind and a genuinely lovely girl inside and out. We’re always there when the other needs a chat and is having a rough day or to leave sweet comments on each others pictures. If you love fashion and cute dogs, hit that follow button, you’ll find both of those in abundance from Nadine.

5. Katie (Account: katesvanityblog)

Katie is like the older (hope you don’t mind me saying that), American version of Nadine. Katie is another blogging friend that I have known for years and is one of the kindest, gentlest souls around. Katie is a fellow makeup lover and also posts cute pictures of herself and her boyfriend Ron as well as pictures of her cat Allie.

6. Taylor (Account: taylorjanelifestyle)

I wish I was as stylish and looked as good as this girl! Her accent is so cute and her stories are very entertaining. Usually on a Wednesday, Taylor will post ‘The Wednesday Wishlist Edit’ on her stories and followers pick whether or not they like each item. Sometimes it will be fashion, sometimes it will be homewares and it’s unique and a bit of fun, I don’t follow other accounts that do that. Taylor also has a blog which you can find linked in her Instagram bio.

7. Sophie (Account: sophielaurablog)

Look at all those gorgeous warm tones! Sophie is a beauty and lifestyle blogger from The UK and her photography is seriously stunning. There is often a mini story behind Sophie’s pictures and she is able to fit so much into her images without the image looking cluttered. Sophie is also an avid reader so I particularly enjoy her bookish posts and seeing what she enjoyed. Her stories are an extension of her feed and I love flicking through those too.


Let me know which Instagram accounts are your favourite to follow in the comments!

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What’s In My Bag?

This is such a classic post and I haven’t actually done one of these on my blog before. I did something similar in a post for a fellow blogger years ago and I thought it would be fun to throw it back and share what I keep in my bag. I am a minimalist when it comes to my handbag, I don’t like to carry more than I need and I’m not a fan of big, oversized bags because I don’t have much to carry.

I have had my current bag for around three years and I often nickname it my Mary Poppins bag, it can fit my lunch when I go to work, a book and all the daily essentials. My bag is shaped like a doctor’s bag and is made from soft black material. It features two short handles and came with a longer strap which I can attach if I want to wear the bag cross body. The bag has a zip closure and features three internal pockets. Attached to the outside is a light pink pom pom keychain. I remember how hard it was trying to find the perfect pom pom that was the right colour, shape and texture. A lot of pom poms weren’t soft and fluffy and looked matted.

Let’s dive in!

The Essentials:

1. Wallet – I have had my wallet longer than my bag and the yellow colour has gathered a few compliments over the years. The wallet is by a brand called Bluebird and the unique colour is what drew me to it in the shop. There are of plenty card slots, the pocket to keep notes in is roomy and there is a zipped section for coins. I keep coins in a separate little purse which most of the time I don’t actually keep in my bag.

2. Phone – At the start of 2019 I purchased a new phone, an iPhone 6S + in Space Grey. I previously had an iPhone 5S in Space Grey. The bigger screen didn’t take me long to adjust to at all, the camera quality is better and having more storage space is greatly appreciated.

3. House key – I keep my house key on this adorable pug key chain.

4. Pen – I don’t keep my favourite or fanciest pen in my bag in case it gets lost.

Beauty:

5. Compact – In case I need to reapply my lipstick and there’s not a mirror around I keep this gold one from kikki.K with me.

6. Lipstick – I don’t keep one particular lipstick in my bag, I tend to place the one I’m wearing on my lips that day in my bag and swap it out the following day. The lipstick that happened to be in my bag at the time of the photos is Nam Jai by xoBeauty.

Health & Miscellaneous:

7. Ibuprofen – Normal paracetamol are not as effective when it comes to relieving headaches for me so I always carry ibuprofen instead. I get migraines occasionally and paracetamol don’t touch the sides. Most of my other headaches are stress/tension related and ibuprofen helps a great deal.

8. Asthma reliever – I have had asthma since I was a child and I always carry my blue reliever. Usually I only suffer from asthma if I have a cold but being exposed to cold air in the evenings or feeling panicked could also trigger a breathless spell. It pays to carry an inhaler at all times.

9. Feminine products (not pictured) – No one wants to be caught short!

10. Staff ID card – I wear this when I’m at work and when I’m not it sits in my bag. It’s good as a form of ID if I have to collect a parcel as it has my full name and a photo on it.


What’s the number one essential you keep in your bag?

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Tips For Staying Safe On Tinder

Hi, my name’s Chanelle and I use Tinder. People will make jokes about others who use it and yes at one point I was embarrassed to admit I use it for that reason but I’m not ashamed to say I’ve put myself out there and would like to meet someone new.

Honestly, I’ve never gone into using Tinder with expectations and whether or not a friendship or relationship comes from it, I don’t mind either way. I use it simply because the world has become so digital. As well as potentially looking to meet someone day to day, it’s not doing any harm looking online too.

I’ve talked briefly before about not wanting to use Tinder for casual hookups (there are people who do use it for that, which is fine – I’m not going to shame somebody for wanting a bit of fun) but I’m the type of girl who prefers to be exclusive and focus on giving my all to one person. I also think using the app makes me feel more confident and I’m not afraid to message guys first and initiate conversation. Dating is surprisingly one thing that I don’t stress about a lot, I’ve got quite a relaxed attitude towards it. The dates I’ve been on have never ended with animosity or made me feel like I was in danger – they just haven’t worked out and that’s okay.

I’m lucky that the dates I have been on have always made me feel safe and I don’t associate negative feelings with meeting a guy for the first time. There are horror stories out there, not everyone is trustworthy and things do go wrong but if you take precautions to keep yourself safe the positive experiences outweigh the negative ones. I like to think I’m a sensible girl and I make logical decisions. I wanted to impart some of my Tinder dating wisdom to ensure other people like me who are looking to meet someone genuine do stay safe.

TIps:

Tip #1: Don’t Meet Straight Away (I.E. the day of the first message)

You’ll know by having a few conversations with a person over the course of a week or two whether you do actually want to meet them. You’re able to ask questions and gauge their responses and if they disappear for days on end or different things they say don’t add up you haven’t rushed into meeting them. If someone really wants to meet you they won’t mind waiting until you’re both ready.

Tip #2: Don’t Reveal Personal details on your profile

I don’t share the location of where I work or any links to social media on my Tinder profile. If I’m messaging someone and they ask what I do for work I will say but it relates to Tip #1, you’re able to gauge the conversation and decide who you let know where you work. Workplaces are an obvious location for stalking to start and for people you haven’t matched with to be able to see that information makes you more readily available to them.

There is an option to link your Instagram account so Tinder can show recent photos but I don’t want my pictures getting taken and I don’t want everyone to follow me on Instagram. Instagram usernames aren’t included on Tinder profiles and if I’m talking to someone, we get along and Instagram comes up as a topic, I can decide whether to give it out or not.

Tip #3: Always Let Someone KNOW if YOU Plan To MEET up With a Tinder Match

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE I want you to take from this post! Every date I have ever been on my mum has known about. It doesn’t have to be a parent but telling a friend, family member or a co-worker where you’re going ensures if anything goes wrong they have an idea where you are or where you’ve been.

Tip #4: Meet In a Public Place

I don’t like to meet someone for the first time in a secluded area or a quiet part of town where no one is around. Usually I will be the one to suggest where to meet and generally always pick somewhere to eat where there’s guaranteed to be other people and witnesses around. I haven’t had to do this but if you’re in a cafe or restaurant and you do feel unsafe you can make an excuse to head up to the counter and let a staff member know what’s going on. You could even arrange with a friend before the date to casually ‘bump into them’ where you’re meeting so they know you’re okay and help you get out of the situation if you don’t feel right about it.

Tip #5: Arrange Your Own Transportation

I have been offered to be picked up on dates before but I have never accepted for the simple fact of getting into a car with a stranger. If you make your own way there via bus or driving yourself and the date doesn’t turn up you know the person’s intentions weren’t true and you are still safe and you can turn around and go home. I have let a few dates drop me home as I’ve spent a couple of hours with them to know I don’t feel uneasy in their presence. My mum always offers to pick me up or tells me to call her if I need anything and I know I can rely on her.

Tip #6: You Don’t Have To Give Out Your Phone Number

This relates to Tip #2 – if you don’t feel comfortable giving someone your phone number, don’t! If someone tries to question you, be honest and upfront and explain you only give out your number to close friends and family members. If someone wants to keep talking and getting to know you, it won’t matter and they won’t make you feel guilty. In time you can decide to change your mind.


I hope you found this post interesting! There are plenty of other safety tips out there like carrying a whistle or pepper spray or downloading an app that tracks the location of your phone so friends and family can see where you are. The ones I talked about are personally things I do and I would love to know if you have any tips of your own – leave them in the comments!

Happy dating!

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Chatty March Update

The first quarter of 2019 is almost over. I wanted to do a catch up post and check in with you all and update you on how things have been going. I figured the easiest way is to divide the post into categories and write a few points under each. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Work

  • I started my admin job in November 2018 and I’m four months in now. I am definitely a lot busier than I was before but I am starting to finetune my routine and get to grips with everything. I have been tired lately but I put that down to a combination of working hard, starting a new job right before summer and this summer being so warm. I am here for the cooler weather!
  • I’ve got my first proper lot of time off since October coming up in April around Easter which I’m excited for. I plan on taking it easy, catching up on my Goodreads target and going through my wardrobe and clearing out clothes I don’t wear.

Blogging/Social Media

  • At the start of year I mentioned I would be blogging less. I have still been keeping active by commenting on other people’s posts and reading blogs and I’m finding one post a week is working at the moment. It’s enough to keep me inspired without feeling pressured to churn out content.
  • Instagram is my favourite social media and it’s where I’m the most me. I was thinking about my habits recently and how I tend to use the platform. I post a few pictures a week and I tend to gravitate more towards posting on my feed than uploading to my stories. I use stories for quick in the moment pictures I can still look back on as well as polls and sharing any thoughts I want to get out.
  • In my bullet journal I am tracking my Instagram followers to see how much they increase throughout 2019. I don’t have a goal or get obsessed with numbers but I’m curious to see the change.

Beauty

  • My lipstick ban is going well, I haven’t been tempted to buy any new shades at all and it’s surprisingly easy. I am enjoying using what I’ve already got.
  • The makeup low buy is also going well. This year I have bought a MAC pigment in Melon, some eyeshadows from Colourpop, a Zoeva makeup brush and Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder in Light – I’ve been wanting to try contouring for a while now and know this powder is well loved.

Personal

  • I’m not feeling great with the way I look lately, I don’t know whether it’s the heat making me feel sluggish or having more of a sit down job but I feel the heaviest I have in a while. I nearly always take my own lunch to work instead of buying it but I’m not walking around as much as I was.
  • I stopped taking the contraceptive pill in December 2018. I have been keeping notes over the past few months and seeing if there are any noticeable changes in case I decide to write a post about my experience taking it and coming off. I’m not adverse to going back on the pill in future and I stopped taking it because I’m single, not for health reasons.
  • I have been in a pretty good place so far in 2019. I have a mood tracker in my bullet journal and the amount of days I’ve had that have been difficult or I’ve felt nervous/anxious, sad or angry have been outweighed by good days. I still write down one positive thing about each day and keep monthly gratitude pages in my journal as well.

Exercise/Diet

  • I want to take the stairs more at work if I don’t have anything to carry instead of using the lift. 90% of the time I walk down the stairs but going up is harder. Over time it will get easier and be beneficial.
  • I aim to use the exercycle to cycle 10km three times a week and I would like to get back into yoga. Yoga always makes me feel calm and is good exercise that doesn’t make you sweat but you can see the benefits if you keep up with it. I will try and aim to do yoga once at the weekend in addition to the cycling.
  • Beginning April 1st I want to consume less sugary treats. Over summer I had more sugary drinks than usual and I want to cut them out too.

2019 Goals Progress

  • The lipstick ban is going well.
  • I haven’t made any recipes from my cookbooks but I have made a list of ones I’d be interested in making – maybe I’ll get to one during my time off.
  • I am a few books behind on my Goodreads goal but it’s still doable.
  • I have only driven once this year and my goal is to drive at least twice a month. I’m still finding it hard to feel comfortable and pick things up.

Thank you for reading – I hope you are all keeping well! Let me know you’re doing and how you’re finding 2019!

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Story Time: My Recent Dating Experience

If sharing something makes me uncomfortable momentarily but is able to help another person I consider that a good result. I see my readers as friends and I like to treat you that way and keep you informed.


Over the past 10 months I have dabbled with dating; I’ve been on four dates with four different guys in that time, all with varying degrees of success. I take dating seriously and one of the most important factors is feeling comfortable around someone. I have always been an anxious person – though not always when it comes to dating – and the past year has magnified that. I do know my own mind and the kind of thing I’m looking for but I can also be laid back and I’m not judgmental. I find I don’t actually get nervous about dates until the day right before I meet the person and once the initial small talk is over I’m fine.

I have a somewhat relaxed attitude to dating, if a guy doesn’t like me for me I can’t change that and I don’t get too worked up and upset if it doesn’t work out surprisingly. My last date however left me disappointed in a strange way. First, a little bit of a backstory. We matched on Tinder in early February and by the time we met we had already been messaging for a couple of weeks. We messaged frequently throughout this time and there were certainly quite a few points it got more in depth than “Hey, how’s your day going?” This guy wasn’t arrogant or self centered, could hold a good conversation, take and make jokes and genuinely seemed interested to learn about me and I them. I am an open book and will talk about nearly everything, I’m not afraid to be honest and I will say if I feel a conversation is heading down a road I’m unsure of or I feel uncomfortable. We talked about break ups, shared a ton of personal thoughts and followed each other on social media.

Fast forward to date day, Saturday February 22nd. I was working my 6th day in a row and I had arranged to come home, get changed and meet this guy after work for dinner – I was looking forward to it. He lives in a different city and traveled to meet me which was admirable. I wasn’t thinking too far ahead and while the distance may have been a hurdle, when we were talking he didn’t make it sound like a problem. He was on time, we sat down and talked before ordering dinner and he was exactly how he had been when we messaged. He told me I looked nice (which I’ve never had on a date before) and I smelled nice and conversation wasn’t awkward. I ran up to the counter to order my dinner and pay before he could do it for me (which he later said was cute) and we both enjoyed our meal. Afterwards we went for a walk around town and had dessert and he invited me back to where he was staying. I’m not going to go into full details but there was some kissing. I didn’t do anything I regret and I didn’t spend the night.

The next morning we messaged each other and made plans before he went home. He picked me up and we went out for breakfast which was nice. We went for another walk, this time a 30 minute track through the Redwoods (a well known location where I live). I started feeling uneasy and nervous, I don’t know why but it wasn’t because of him. I sat down and was exhaling slowly and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I told him I felt uneasy but not about the panic attack feeling and from then on I became quiet and feel like that’s where I blew the date. After the walk we played mini golf and I didn’t quite feel right through that either but we completed the game. At the end he kissed my forehead and dropped me home. He thanked me for the weekend and said he’d message when he was home safe. I sent him a message when I was through the door apologising for my nerves and said how I’d been feeling then went and had a nap.

I woke up to a message saying he was home and he also said he was tired which was understandable from driving and he hadn’t had the best sleep the previous night. I noticed the change in dialogue, tone and message frequency and prepared myself for what eventually followed two days later. On Tuesday night, February 26th, he sent me a DM on Instagram. He apologised for any pain caused and said I was too shy and too different and he’d only end up hurting me but that I seemed like a “great chick.” I knew it was coming and I don’t know why it was prolonged 48 hours, why couldn’t he have told me in person or said something when he got home that night? If you’re not feeling something there are signs and gut instincts. I asked a few questions and I don’t know how true his answers are or what his intentions were compared to what we talked about when we first messaged, but the two impressions didn’t match up. The previous week he’s telling me he doesn’t half ass things and we’d talked openly about personal topics and now he’s saying he’s not for me. I get personalities may not match in person and distance may have been an issue and if that was it, say – I’m an adult, I can take it. After the messages he unfriended me. Even if things weren’t going to progress and you tell someone you had a good time and they seem like a great person, could you not stay friends in the online sense? I’m not possessive or jealous and that shows more respect rather than feeling like someone’s experiment and as soon as you’re not required, you’re erased. I didn’t develop feelings for this guy but he said all the right things that I can see how I could have. It was definitely one of the better dates I’ve had and I did feel relatively comfortable in his presence.

Part of me feels like I’m making a big deal out of nothing and at least he messaged me and told me what he was thinking. I wasn’t sure whether I should write this post. It’s not a kiss and tell story or meant to hurt the other person involved in any way. I wanted to share and see whether something similar has happened to one of you before and how you dealt with it if it has.

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