Monday, 26 September 2016

Let's Talk Femcare

In association with Veeda

Feminine care and sexual health are hands down two of the most taboo viewed topics in the world of blogging and social media today. Even in day to day life I feel it's an issue which I need to keep discreet. We say "It's my time of the month." or "I'm on.." God forbid if we were to turn around and publicly announce "Sorry I'm feeling a little unwell, I'm on my period."

I was on holiday with a few friends this month and when we arrived one of my male friends told me he couldn't wait to get into the pool. I said to him "If only..." leading to me then awkwardly having to explain to him I was on my period so it wasn't really convenient timing for me. The topic in turn made him feel awkward and he responded with near enough no response "Oh, I don't really know what to say back to that.. sorry." 

It's quite saddening that in society today that even with our friends the topic of female menstruation is still an awkward topic to discuss. Some of my female friends have told me that their biggest fear each month is either leaking in public or the constant worry that their towel/pad is visible through their pants. I now have a confession to make. You see the above photograph? I'm laughing away in a fairly short, white, skort. Well, I was on my period. I embraced all of the cardinal sins of menstruation. I wore white, I wore something tight and short. But instead of letting all the above worries ruin my holiday, I simply embraced it. 

Now we're past the 'why let it affect your day and attire' argument let's move onto ways of keeping our lady areas happy and healthy during this time of the month. I was recently contacted by the team over at Veeda; promoting only 100% natural and organic period towels and tampons. Veeda, translating as a combination of 'Vida' the Latin/Spanish word for 'life' and 'Veda' the Sanskrit word for 'Knowledge'; was an initiative surprisingly set up by two men. After noticing their female friends struggle to find many natural sanitation options and those that were available, were expensive; this led the two men to set out and change that. 

Another confession. Tampons have never really been my best friend. I'm fairly forgetful and always have the worry that I'll forget it's there and then it would have been left in too long and with all the fears of Toxic Shock Syndrome, beginning my periods at the age of 13 I think I just scared myself away from the mere thought of tampons. This however, is where Veeda are able to reassure nervous girls and women out there like me. 

Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by a bacterial infection which can attack the major organs. Resulting in kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and can even run the risk of cardiac arrest. Research has shown that almost 50% of all occurrences are associated with high-absorbency tampon use. Even though medical science and knowledge of such diseases has improved massively within the past couple of decades, the risks are still just as high as they were in the 1980's. Viscose rayon found in conventional tampons has been proven to promote toxin productions which can ultimately lead to TSS. In today's society, 1 in 100 women shall be affected by the disease. 

Using only natural ingredients, all Veeda products including tampons, towels and liners are free from chemicals, wood, synthetic fibres, additives and pesticides which make all 3 options the purest and most hypoallergenic products available to you on the feminine health market today. Additionally helping to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Everyday tampons which have made household names in our homes, are in fact made from blends of bleached cotton and/or synthetic products which may contain: Dioxins from the bleaching process, pesticide and herbicide residues, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes. All contributing towards a higher risk against TSS. 

Research has highlighted that there has never been a case of TSS when using 100% cotton tampons. And this is just why Veeda are promoting the education of all young girls and women to be aware of the importance of feminine care. And not only do Veeda tampons consider the importance of all natural ingredients but they consider the importance of comfort too. This is why the Veeda tampon is designed to expand width wise to fit comfortably to your shape and seal in your flow. Additionally a thinner string is used to avoid leaks.

Through using the towels and tampons myself, I am able to confirm that Veeda truly do place comfort and care at the heart of their products. The feel of the organic cotton in both the towels and tampons truly does feel softer and of a higher quality than the leading high street brand. As I mentioned above, I wore a short, white skirt and I did not suffer with any leaks nor visible panty line. If you're a woman with a heavier flow then have no fear, Veeda provide a colour coded absorbency chart in line with their tampons/towels to help make you aware of which product is right for you:

Absorbency of 0g-6g

Absorbency of 6g-9g

Absorbency of 9g-12g

Absorbency of 12g-15g

When it comes to disposal, Veeda have even considered the importance of biodegradable packaging. The towels and liners and made from a form of Biofilm packaging which breaks down in 6-12 months, making this much more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, the tampons themselves are 100% biodegradable making this a trio of products that are truly unstoppable both inside and out. 

To discover more about the brand including their mission, advice on tampon application and prices check out: 
Veeda tampons and towels are available for purchase in Boots stores nationwide.

Have you ever used organic femcare before?! Help to spread the message of femcare positivity in the comments below and let's educate a nation!post signature

Friday, 23 September 2016

My First Flying Experience

Hello, my name is Toni and I am 19 years old. Almost 20, in fact. And as hard as it may be to believe, I really did only experience my first ever flight this past month. And this is that story, of my very first experience...

It was around this time that I remember shuffling into a mini bus with my group of friends as we were ready to depart for the airport. The motorway journey to the airport flew by quite fast and with all my friends having flown before, they were undoubtedly excited and prepared for what to expect. I, however was freaking out on the inside. My ears were already popping on the motorway and so I dreaded how they would react against both the air and cabin pressure of a plane. 

Upon arrival at the airport, we could see some planes ready and waiting in the terminals in the distance. My first words were "They aren't as big as I imagined them to be. I'm quite disappointed." I felt quite silly for saying this once I became up close and personal with them a mere three hours later. 

Check in time.
Oh boy. This was a long and dreary process. Even though our flight was still over 2 hours away, the queue was certainly a lot bigger than what I imagined it to be. Half an hour later and once my bags were finally checked in, it was time to head on down to airport security. I actually found this to be quite a daunting process. Having to remove my hat, jacket, empty out my bag and place my case on the hold made me feel like some kind of prisoner! But hey, it's all part of the process! Finally, after putting all of my items back on I was able to enter in the world of Duty Free! Clearly every beauty blogger's favourite part about the airport right?! 

World Duty Free
I didn't actually end up purchasing anything in the end but just being able to look around and explore all that was on offer was quite exciting. Instead I treated myself to a Costa, which actually ended up being free as I had enough points on my card to redeem for a strawberry and cream cooler. By this time I was extremely tired as we waited on for our flight gate to be announced as open. Then the race to queue was on! 

This is where I began to feel like I was experiencing rather a luxury for my first flight as I hovered over to the priority boarding queue. Being able to board the plane faster and skip the regular customer queue was certainly a real blessing and the extra leg room on the plane itself was divine. If you're taking a long haul flight anytime soon I'd seriously recommend paying the little extra for this if you can, it's better to be comfortable than cramped! 

Take off.
I was terrified. I'm not even scared of heights but I just had no idea what to expect and I was so scared of the pressure build up I was about to experience on my ears. All I can say, is thank heavens my flight was only 2 and a half hours long because little did I know how sensitive my ears were actually going to be to cabin pressure. I had forgotten to bring some boiled sweets with me which was a serious mistake. My lack of swallowing made it much more difficult for my ears to pop and so by the end of the flight the build up of pressure on my ears was excruciatingly painful. I was in a serious amount of discomfort. 
A young couple sat opposite me noticed this and offered me a polo which was so lovely of them. I thanked them a lot when I got off of the flight and explained it had been my first time flying, the girl offered me some tips including making myself yawn which definitely helped a lot on my flight home. So to the young couple visiting Barcelona on the 7th September, shoutout to you! 

Besides the discomfort in my ears, the view was in incredible. I was lucky enough to have had a window seat on both my outbound and inbound flights. My first flight, as it was a morning flight, meant I was able to see the sunrise through the clouds which is a moment I will never forget. The blend of pink and golden orange tones bursting through the fluffy, white clouds was truly magical. And as clichè as it is, clouds really do look like marshmallows up close. Passing over the Spanish mountains was also another beautiful moment, the clouds appeared to rest perfectly above the cliff faces. I was simply in awe the whole time. 

Once I had landed in Barcelona, my ears were deaf for the next 24 hours. Thankfully, not completely. It was very similar to having water blocked in your ears after swimming. As my ears struggled to pop on the flight I had to pay the price for the rest of the day. 

The flight returning home despite my extra efforts still had its fair share of problems. Unfortunately, the plane was delayed for 3 hours due to an excessive amount of air traffic in Barcelona and further down the skyline in France. In other words, too many planes were in the sky at once and therefore our flight had to take a back seat until the skies were clear. If I had been waiting in the airport it wouldn't have been so bad, at least then I would have been able to explore the shops. But unfortunately for me I was stuck on the plane for 3 whole hours. Thankfully me and my friends had a pack of cards to help pass the time!
This time I was sure to have a packet of sweets on hand for the flight. Werther's Originals incase you were wondering! I yawned as often as I could and I had a drink too. Take off and the duration of the flight was definitely less painful than my outbound flight. However, the last 20 minutes of the flight still affected my ears in the worst way possible and of course, I was left being semi deaf.. again. 

And that was my first time flying. There were ups and downs with incredible views and memories that I'll never forget. I hope you enjoyed reading my little story and if you were old enough to remember your first flight I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below! 
If you have any tips on how to make my ears in a little less discomfort during a flight please be sure to leave that advice below too!
Until next time,

What's your favourite part about flying?!post signature

Monday, 19 September 2016

DIY Polaroid Notice Board

In association with Ocean Finance & John Lewis

This summer, John Lewis and Ocean Finance challenged me to get snap happy and save memories of the world around me using the power of the polaroid. With back to school season in full swing I decided to add a personal touch to this DIY cork board, showcasing a few of my memories from summer 2016 whilst moving forward into the latter part of this year. Want one for your own office?! Then here's what you need to do:
First off, you'll need a cork board. These are usually fairly easy to find and are quite cheap too. Hobbycraft currently have a selection on sale for just £2.50!! Take your cork board and wrap around one layer of tissue paper in the colour of choice. I've chosen blue as it's a colour that works quite well all year round and really let the colours of my polaroids 'pop'. 
To design the polaroid photo wall you'll need your polaroids (of course!), string, wooden pegs and some tape to keep everything in place. Simply measure out a couple widths of string, long enough to reach the back of your cork board, attach to the two back corners of the board and keep in place with a few pieces of tape. Once this is secure, attach your polaroids to the string using wooden pegs. I purchased a set with a diamante finish for an uber simple yet effective added touch. To finish, simply decorate with stickers of your choice and use pins to attach any to do lists or reminders for yourself each week!
I'm not a DIY queen in the slightest and so this is such an easy yet cute way of vamping up your office noticeboard. If you do recreate this please feel free to tweet me any photos of your designs @ClarkeCouture  or use the hashtag '#toocouture4school'. 

A polaroid camera is something that has been on my wish list for the longest time. As an avid photography buff, this quirky and updated vintage find is something that everyone should own for holiday snaps and days out alike. You're able to take a moment, capture and print it all within seconds. It's rather quite magical to watch the film develop before your eyes. 

The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 is available to purchase from John Lewis for just £64.95 which features a 2 year guarantee, 10 shots of film, one set of batteries and a hand strap. This truly is a bargain price to pay for memories which are certainly worth saving. 
When setting up the camera simply slot the batteries into the holder, open the film pack and place into the larger holder at the back of the camera. Once this is slotted in correctly do not open again until you have used up all of the 10 shots of film otherwise the film may become over exposed to light leading to damage and your prints producing plain white shots. 
The camera itself is extremely easy to use, simply push in the panel button by the side of the lens to switch the camera on. The lens settings shall then light up orange, highlighting the recommended setting dependant on the lighting within your location. This added feature to the camera makes it super easy to produce high quality shots time and time again. 
Visiting Barcelona this month was believe it or not my first ever holiday abroad and being able to capture these moments forever in time on my polaroid made my trip a whole lot more memorable. From now on, I'll be sure to always have my polaroid on hand for any future trips and adventures.

Do you own a polaroid? Where's the craziest place you've taken some snaps?!
Until next time,

Shake it like a polaroid picture!
post signature