3588234437_caab2c0924_oYour friend is pregnant and you’re over the moon! You want to hug and jump around with her (but you don’t because all of a sudden you feel your friend is like this fragile sacred vessel carrying the body of a new angel) and get pissed (but you can’t anymore so you buy a celebratory bottle of Schloer to pretend).

It’s not all growing baby bumps and little booties though – pregnancy is HARD – and you’re not even the one going through it!

Here are my tips on how to get through your friend’s pregnancy without a hiccup.

Be there

Okay, Captain Obvious. You’ve been there for her before but now things are different and she needs you in a different way. Sometimes she can’t complain to her husband or mother about new stretch marks and other odd-goings-on the way she can with you. Sometimes she’ll want to talk for ages about how crap she feels, how much her bloody bloody husband is pissing her off, how she can’t sleep. It’s best just to listen. There’s not much in the way of advice to give, so just being an outlet for a rant can be very conducive for her mood. It’s not all bad either. Sometimes you can talk for hours about names and bedding little babygros and was that a foot? It’s all super exciting.

Offer to help

But not too much. She’s not an invalid. Offer to go shopping with her, or to antenatal classes to support her if she needs it. Don’t be surprised if you’re turned down, a lot of this stuff is husband/wife/mother/in law territory – but it’s good for her to know you’ll be there if she needed you.

She might be bitchy

And hot. And stubborn. And annoyed. And ratty. I’d keep quiet if I were you. She’s not pissed of with you, she’s pissed off that she can’t cool down and that she’s put on half a stone and she had no control over it. It’ll soon pass when the miracle of life feeling passes over her again. But do expect the mood swings.

Don’t tell her how big or small her bump is

This is a big one and one I’d not have considered. Apparently it’s a huge deal. This lady even went to the papers because she was so annoyed with people telling her she was ‘huge’ at 24 weeks. From what I can gather, telling a woman how big the bump is makes her immediately feel all fat and gross, whilst telling her how small it is only makes her anxious that something might be wrong with the baby. Don’t do it. If you have to tell her anything, tell her how bloody good she looks.

Don’t rush into seeing her when the baby is born

You might be best-friends-do-everything-together-love-you-millions, but when the baby is born, the priorities go like this: the baby, the mother, then the father/other mother, then the immediate family. You are wayyyy down that list of priorities, sorry. Some women do allow friends to visit in hospital, but it can be a bit overwheliming, and often they don’t keep new mothers in long enough now for several visitations. Some women only allow immediate family to visit, and then go home with their husband or boyfriend (or wife or girlfriend) to start their lives as a threesome before allowing other people in. It takes a lot of getting used to, you know! Ask your friend way in advance what she thinks she might want, but be aware that this may change when the baby is born (even if she said she wanted to see you straight away). And no matter what, under any circumstances, do NOT arrive unexpectedly, no matter how much you want to squeeze new chubby cheeks!

 

Do you have or have you had an expecting friend? How much of this do you identify with?

 

 

shut-up-re-some-more-sx-197393-e1425907835474*Name changed to protect the bitchy.

Dear Miss Simpson,

I don’t know what it was about you, or why I felt you had it in for me. But you did. You were one of my favourite teachers throughout school, fun and interesting and one we could be ourselves around. Come Sixth Form, you’d been promoted (?) and were all of a sudden a ‘force to be reckoned with’. Why? What changed? Did you feel like you had to ‘play a part’?

Remember when you called a meeting with my mother to try to convince me to drop my fourth A Level and carry on with three, as you didn’t feel ‘it was the best direction’ for me? Remember how I cried and you sat there smugly?

Remember when you came into the common room at lunchtime and screamed at me in front of all of my peers because I was wearing ‘skinny trousers’? I was constantly called out and made to feel embarrassed, although looking around the room you could have pointed out another five or ten people who weren’t in the uniform that was up to your ‘standard’. Ugg boots, hoodies, trainers everywhere – but my black business trousers had to go, didn’t they?

Remember when I got my A Level results, and you’d drawn a big star on the front of my envelope? You took me away from all my peers who were celebrating their results and made me open my envelope in a room ‘in case I hadn’t got the results I wanted’. Well, I did. I got into my first choice university, onto the degree I wanted. I wish I could have taken a picture of your face when I came out of that office beaming. Your mask slipped and in that moment I realised you actually had wanted me to fail. You made it so obvious. I went back to my friends and celebrated, just the way I was supposed to.

Speaking with peers who knew how I felt at that time, I realised you affected more people than just me. That’s awful. You could have been awesome and supportive and helpful, but you turned into this angry, stomping tornado who felt the need to bring people up to your ‘standard’ – which you tried to tell us was what we had to get used to if we were to go and work in a normal ‘business environment’. You were SO wrong. I was terrified to start my first real job in case I encountered people like you. Not once have I – and I believe someone behaving the way you behaved wouldn’t have lasted long either.

Have you ever heard that saying: ‘a boss inspires fear, a leader generates enthusiam’? No? Probably best you look it up.

I think you felt very important in your role and perhaps because of this, very under pressure. Maybe you were exerting your ‘power’ because you yourself were feeling nervous that you couldn’t live up to what was expected of you. The part you played has affected me for years. You made me feel like what I wore or said or did wasn’t good enough, something I struggle with to this day, comparing myself to other people and worrying about what others think.

However, you also affected me in a good way. You made me feel so crap about myself that I was determined not to fail and to be the very best I could, if anything, just to prove you wrong. I’m sitting here in my own flat, with my own money and my own bloody awesome job. Making a massive headway up the career and property ladder – MY way. The way everyone should do things – something you must have forgotten along the way.

I hope you found your peace and never made anyone feel the way you made me feel again. And yeah, I’m still wearing skinny trousers.

Ella.

 

 

I do love a new product and am a self-confessed impulse buyer! Adverts know what they’re doing, and all it takes is a quick stroll around Boots or Superdrug for me to come out with a whole hoard of bits and pieces (how did this happen, I only went in to buy one thing etc etc). I’m generally pretty happy with my purchases and am continually buying those cute little storage boxes from IKEA to keep them all in. However, there’s a few that don’t live up to the hype. All that excitement of a new product for something which doesn’t work for me.

When finding a product like this, I try my best to give them away to friends and family to ensure they don’t go to waste – I’m not saying they won’t work for everyone!

Here are the top five products I regret buying.

Max Factor Masterpiece Eyeliner

This one really annoyed me! I tried it on my hand in Boots and out came this wonderful jet-black liquid which dried exactly the way I like it. The nib was also really interesting and I thought it’d really help the construction of my cat-liner. No such luck. As soon as I did practically one swipe on my lids, the nib dried up and I ended up dragging it across dry, which really hurt! It seems to not work on top of eyeshadow which is rubbish. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt by pressing the nib on paper to ensure it was damp with liner before going in on my lid. This took ages though and I ended up using my usual liner over the top. Banished to the storage box, my friend!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 09.35.17

Rimmel Instaflawless Primer

No. Just no. I think I got distracted by the pretty packaging. I was excited about this one, because who doesn’t want to be bloody flawless? The slightly orange liquid slid around my skin and would barely absorb – it didn’t feel like a primer AT ALL. I tried different applications on different days – brush, fingers, beauty blender – and none of them seemed to work. Even worse, when trying to apply my expensive Dior foundation on top of this ‘primer’ it just smeared even worse – and I had to take it off! I’m sticking to my All-in-One BB Cream from BodyShop.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 09.46.18

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

Ooh, controversial. I LOVE Real Techniques brushes, don’t know where I’d be without them. But this one…meh! It just doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried different products, techniques and areas of my face to use it on and just can’t seem to find a way to use it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely and the bristles are nice and dense – I’m just not a fan. One of my friends LOVES this one, though.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 09.50.27

Mane ‘n’ Tail Shampoo

Often described as having a ‘cult following’, this shampoo was originally made for horses before someone decided it worked quite well on their own hair too. Oh no. Not for me. It practically made my hair feel like straw, no matter how much conditioner I used afterwards! However, another of my friends swears by it!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 10.11.49

Scünci Perfect Pony

Who doesn’t like an extra bit of volume for their hair without unecessary backbrushing? But unfortunately…this thing just does not work. It comes with a piece of plastic to kind of push up your hair when it’s in it’s pony tail. I’ll stick to my trusty backcombing brush!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.02.22

 

 

Are there any products you regret spending the money on?

Last month saw the union of two of my best friends in Holy Matrimony. That sounds mega posh.

THEY GOT HITCHED.

You may remember the Bride – Ellie – from my ‘How to organise an unforgettable Hen Party’ post. I can honestly say, she was the most calm, chilled and unflappable Bride I have EVER seen. Nothing phased her. I was doing a bit of nervous weeing and pacing about myself – and all I had to do was walk!

blonde-bride-in-detailed-white-trumpet-wedding-dress-on-wedding-morning

Far away from downing multicoloured cocktails and shots in Portugal, the Bride and the Bridesmaids were transformed into beautiful, classy, ethereal ladies, floating down the aisle. No but seriously, look how hot we all looked:

bridesmaids-in-pink-greco-roman-bridesmaids-dresses-outside-corfe-castle-church

In fact, have some more pictures.

bridesmaids-react-to-seeing-bride-in-her-wedding-dress-for-the-first-time

bride-in-white-wedding-dress-and-bridesmaids-in-pink-greco-roman-bridesmaids-dresses

 

The ceremony went beautifully, with Ellie gathering a massive audience of tourists and locals alike, outside the church. They even cheered when she got out of the car! There were a few happy tears when they said their vows – and all of a sudden they were man and wife.

wedding-confetti-photograph-at-corfe-castle-church-wedding

From the church it was on to Kingston Country Courtyard – an absolutely stunning venue. We’d spent the day before setting up, with plenty of fairy lights and birdcages covered in pretty flowers.

wedding-breakfast-in-the-barn-at-kingston-country-courtyard-wedding-photographs

wedding-birdcages-with-ribbons-and-flowers-at-kingston-country-courtyard-wedding-photographs

The speeches from the Bride’s father, Best Man and Groom were all brilliant, each one having us all in stitches.

bride-laughs-at-grooms-speech-at-kingston-country-courtyard-wedding-photographs

After a delicious dinner it was time for a few drinks and a dance. And God, did we dance!

bride-and-groom-dance-with-wedding-guests-at-kingston-country-courtyard-wedding-photographs

I didn’t quite catch the bouquet – check out my reaction!

13482968_1363582553658102_8572852996144644921_o

It was an absolutely brilliant day and evening – although it took a few days to recover from! The Williams clan do not shirk on the booze. Nothing was overlooked – Ellie had even put a little survival kit together in the bathroom for the girls, with hairbrushes, hairsprays and plasters for those wedding shoe blisters.

I can’t wait for my own day, but I can only hope it lives up to this one.

Congratulations Ellie and Dan!

bride-and-groom-with-corfe-castle-at-wedding-in-dorset

diamond-wedding-ring-at-corfe-castle-church-wedding

Imagery courtesy of onethousandwords.co.uk

It’s always irritating when you break a nail, especially when the rest are all so lovely and uniform and you’re going to be left with a stubby one!

However, I learnt a little trick that I’ve been using for years, which means you don’t have to cut the nail off. I thought everyone knew before I mentioned it to a friend and blew her mind! It doesn’t fix the nail – more creates support so you can keep it for a while longer to let it grow a little before you have to do the inevitable and lop it off.

Here’s how you do it!

Have a broken nail (boo!).

Excuse my gross cuticles...

Excuse my gross cuticles…

Remove nail varnish and get yourself a tea bag and some clear nail varnish (I use a hardening one but it doesn’t make a diff really).

IMG_1663

Cut the teabag open and get rid of the tea (BLASPHEMY).

IMG_1665

Cut yourself a little piece of teabag from one of the sides. Just enough to cover the break plus a little more.

IMG_0853

Put one coat of clear nail varnish on your nail and with tweezers, lay the teabag piece over the break.

IMG_1668

Once happy with the position, add another coat of clear polish over the top of the fabric.

Et voilà! A lovely new base which is protected and won’t catch. Go for your life with new colours and keep the fabric on for as long as possible.

IMG_1670