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First Foray into CBD | Is it Any Good?


My experiences of CBD before 2020 were nil. It wasn't something I was particularly interested in mostly due to everyone I know who had tried it, had reported that they used it for 'pain' and to get a better 'sleep'. For me sleep isn't an issue, energy is and the fight to stay awake. For this reason alone I vowed I wouldn't be taking the CBD route. 

But like most things, I always backtrack and reassess my understanding. I realised over 2020 that the supplements I took affected me differently from others, that the typical energy products had no effect therefore maybe, just maybe, products that had no energy aim would affect me positively. Backward thinking but it led me to where I am today. 

I started off looking and questioning the products in Holland & Barrett but would leave empty-handed as I wasn't sure what was a marketing ploy and what actually worked. Most CBD products can be expensive and I hate to waste money. Literally at the same time as my research kicked up a gear, and I was isolated and working from home, Synerva contacted me to ask if I wanted to try any of their CBD products. 

This was a hard yes on my part. I really wanted to see what the results were and if they were worth the money. 


After discussing with the folks at Synerva what my needs were, we agreed that the 5% CBD oil was going to be the best bet for me. In this bottle alone there are 200 drops of healing power housed in an [reusable] amber dropped bottle. 

So what is 'CBD'? 

CBD is short for 'Cannabidiol' and does not have an intoxicating effect. Instead, it works on the endocannabinoid system has many functions including the regulation of the central nervous system, our mood, physiological and cognitive health and many other important functions. 

Is it legal? 

Yes! In the UK CBD products are legally allowed to be sold as long as they don't purport medicinal benefits however much like food, I assess everything I inject and apply for their overall effects on my wellbeing as a whole. For this reason, I have assessed the Synerva CBD oil in the same way. 

My experience

I could go into the long list of ailments and conditions that could benefit from CBD or at least, would be recommended to give it a try but I won't. All I will say is that if you are feeling off-kilter, or have symptoms then CBD may be a more natural option. 

I went into testing the drops with no expectations, I suppose I didn't think I would notice a difference and much like many of the supplements I take, I presumed it would take a few months to notice any change or improvement. At the time of starting, we were in the middle of lockdown, an old whiplash pain injury had flared up and I wasn't sleeping all too well due to the tightness and pain. 

No amount of painkillers, heat packs, massages from the hairy boy, warming creams, pain creams and supplements were making a difference. I was fed up of being in pain. Fed-up of not sleeping too well and it impacting me negatively. I figured I had nothing to lose at the point of taking the CBD. 

Opening the bottle it smells earthy and hemp like. I really love the smell of hemp but I wasn't sure how it was going to taste but I gave it a try. I applied one dropper of CBD under my tongue and held it there sublingually. I then swallowed and waited. There was no nausea (which is awesome as many make me nauseous), there was no weird feeling or negative side effects. 

The taste wasn't too great I will admit that. It reminded me of the taste of miso for some reason. But, if the benefits outweighed the taste I was all in. I repeated this for the rest of the week, my whiplash injury wasn't improving all that much but I was sleeping better. 

After having a dream about the Synerva oil (I know, so strange right) I woke up and decided to copy it. I took the oil, put two droppers full onto my neck and shoulder and rubbed it into the affected area and I kid you not, the pain dissipated!! Genuinely at this point, I knew this was a wonderful product. I had no other equal benefits from any other products at that point. 

The pain started to return around four hours later so once again I added half a dropper full to the area as a top-up and again the pain dissipated. I started to decrease the amount and today, I have no pain. I am still stiff and achy but the pain which was affecting my life in all areas has gone. I doubt I will ever be without the CBD oil because if it returns this will be my first port of call in treating and healing it. 

I am someone who can handle pain well, I'm not a complainer and tend to get on with things so when the pain affects my life and I find someone that helps in the way this did I want to shout about it from the rooftops. I'm also guessing that this may help most tissue or tendon aches and pains. I'd definitely recommend you try this if nothing else seems to be working. 

You can buy this and many other strengths over on the Synerva CBD Oils website. 


Elyse

Statement: PR Sample

3 Ideas When You're Stuck in the Financial Mud


Whether you're short on funds or you find yourself in a constant loop of paying off debt, it can feel like you're spinning your wheels and unable to get free from financial mud. This can have some severe repercussions for your health and happiness. While it feels tricky to break free, it isn't impossible, and although this isn't ideal, there are some steps that everyone, regardless of financial know-how or stability can do to give them a push in the right direction. 

Fix Your Credit Score

A credit score is not something you learn about at school, but it's arguably one of the most critical factors that can affect your financial well being and can feel like a quagmire that is impossible to pry yourself from. 

Bad credit means bad times. It disqualifies you from a wide range of things, including phone contracts, car financing, or even renting a property or buying a house, which can hinder your opportunities. 

It may be that you have nonexistent credit, rather than merely bad credit, especially if you're young. The good news here is there is plenty of time for you to improve it. You might want to avoid credit cards as much as possible, but using them for essential purchases, like food shopping, can help boost your credit score.

Ask For Assistance

It's almost impossible to get out of financial trouble all by yourself. It will make you overwhelmed, increase your stress levels, and lead to really bad times for you.  No one wants to ask for assistance when it comes to money troubles, but speaking with friends and family to help lighten the load or even explaining your situation to them to justify why you've not been around so often can help them understand and sympathise. 

A financial planner is also a good idea, but as these come with fees, you might not find it beneficial right now. 

Get a Quick Loan

Getting a loan when you're already in financial strife doesn't seem like a fantastic idea. However, options like Guarantor Loans from Buddy Loans can help ease financial burdens more rapidly and often come with immediate results. Naturally, all quick loans come with varied T&C's so please read these before deciding whether to go forward with a loan. 

With this, you have one less thing to think about, whether a debt or a payment, and you can start working out a way to balance your finances more effectively. You will need to pay this loan back, of course, but with enough discipline, you'll be able to do so while maintaining a secure and stable financial position. 

For many, a loan is the last resort but is something to consider when you don't know where else to turn. 

Breaking Free

Breaking free of financial worries and burdens is not easy, and it will take a great deal of discipline and determination. You can always get a little help from others to ensure you can navigate your financial troubles with more confidence, and once you get through to the other side, you can start to think about ways that you can change your relationship with money. While it is crucial for living and gives us a way to do the things we love to do, it can also cause some legitimate issues when considering our mental wellbeing.

Elyse

Statement: Collaboration

Home Decor | Feminine Style


When the hairy boy and I first moved in together we both have varied ideas about home décor styles. I loved modern simplistic designs that have a country cottage edge, the hairy boy just downright out liked antique and dark styles. Clearly, there was a clash of ideas but by talking it out I realised he didn’t understand home décor in the same way I did and couldn’t imaging specific concepts. In his mind, anything light wood, cream, white or light grey was ‘’ modern and unliveable’’ however, over time we found he also likes the country-chic style also.

In our second home, we made changes based on what we'd learnt over the years - cream carpets are nice but unrealistic for the long term and if you have babies or children you're throwing money down the drain; instead, we opted for a rugged wood type flooring and chocolate carpets. Walls we chose light grey and modernised it with some sunshine, white and teal pops of colour. The overall look was very fitting with the two of us.

Over the years, I realised I do love good lived in, but, organised design. Your house is an extension of your personality so rather than doing the ‘trendy thing’ why not opt to showcase your favourite items and your own style but remember to consider those who also live with you. You can do a whole host of things when it comes to creating a home infused with luxury! For the other areas in my home, I wanted to feminise it, after all, I live with men and boys. Nothing feminine about that so there had to be some balance. I've always loved colours, prints and feminine designs - so much so at one point I craved prints, pastels and glitter everything but like my wardrobe, I realise those younger girl decors are gorgeous but not suited to a thirty-something. Taking a step back to reconsider my options I realised there's a fine line between having a grown-up, feminine style and a younger feminine style. 

So, younger girls feminine decor typically consists of pink - lots of pink tones, fluffy textures, bold tones, heart and pretty furniture, gold, leopard and chandeliers. The grown-up decor looks take those aspects and dials it down, a lot. So, what's the difference? 

Colour 

Both styles may feature one very feminine colour - pink. The difference between the younger and the more grown-up room relates to how the colour is used. The younger room design has pink covering more walls space, it's bold, pink and monotone. The more adult styles partner their bold tones with cooler neutral walls or wall prints.

Clean colours always look chic and set a great base for all rooms, the key to keeping it grown up, however, is to take your base and then add layers - a layer in the form of textiles, another layer in the form of lighting and another layer in the form of accessories. Each layer should be in a variation of colours and textures rather than just one or two colours in the paintbox. 

Textures 

Feminine looks are all about soft textiles typically, in younger rooms, you tend to see fluffy carpets, cute shaped rugs, bright plastic lighting, accessories in sequins, glitter or fluffy boucle pillows, blankets and throws. Prints wise there tends to be less print but when you do it tends to be leopard print, hearts, animals, characters, polka dots or cute quotes. Again, the lack of colour and the huge dose of cute is too young for grown-ups. 

The more mature rooms have variations in the tones of colours, flooring tends to be neutral or wood, including wood effects. Cushions are normally in a variation of sizes and materials and it's best to clash your prints to get a personal feel for who you are and what you like. As for bedding you want to work your yin and yang - if you have bold accessories it's best to opt for more neutral-toned bedding, don't be shy about going for textures or prints as long as it's a neutral-toned set; this also works in the opposite way, if you have bold bedding you can opt for more neutral textures or a lighter palette for your textile accessories. 

Factor in your flooring, your headboard, any light shades or curtain treatments. Mixing light curtain voile's with heavier cotton curtains, mixing wooden flooring with tightly woven rectangular or circular rugs and soft faux cashmere or boucle blankets draped over a chair or the bed so not to take up too much of the bedroom's overall look. Glass, plastic, brushed textures, raw-looking Hessian's, nude canvas or wrought iron, beaten up metals, silks, satins, faux furs, leather, suede's and vintage woods or wood effects all look great together - yes you really can go all out on the amount of textural materials in your room, just consider the colours. 



Setting the Room 

Once you have your base down and you've decided what colour palette you're going for it's now time to set the atmosphere of the room. Children tend to set the room with toys, fun gadgets and computers - as an adult you want to steer away from lots of gadgets on show if you can. Photos and pictures in frames are a great way to add personality;  vases with flowers (faux or real) like these ones I found on LionsHome or, trays with your favourite bits and pieces, hooks to hang your favourite jewellery and shelving which showcases your favourite books and items.

Tip: If there's a dress, you adore why not make it a focal piece - hang it from a beautiful hanger on a hook so it takes pride of place on your wall. If it's a gorgeous outfit that your baby wore, why not frame it and hang it on the wall?

Scent 

The last thing to consider is a home fragrance. The scent of a room can really instil a specific emotion so considering the scent in your bedroom is key to setting the mood. Reed diffusers, candles, drawer liners and even burners are all excellent choices. I know you may be thinking, drawer liners - Is she crazy? I swear I'm not crazy and scented drawer liners are so perfect for adding that little bit of scent to your undies and knitwear (and junk) as well as protecting your drawers, they're even better in junk drawers and makeup drawers as you don't need to deal with scrubbing stains and marks off the base. You can get so many cute liners too these days. 

As for candles, there's nothing better than a heavily scented one that releases scent even when it's not lit - Yankee Candles, Hunter London, Diptyque and Jo Malone are all luxurious options which can be reused for storage once burnt, reed diffusers can be refilled and just left to envelop your room and burners can look chic but of course, are also the riskiest.

Tip: If picking more than one scent to try to consider how they'll smell layered up such as baby powder, white floral and amber scents smell amazing together, berries scents go with everything and floral notes tend to smell terrible with food types of scent. 

You can find basically everything you need for a décor overhaul over on LionsHome So, who's going to start their room re-plan for Summer?


Elyse

Statement: Collaboration

9 Ways To Improve Your Vision

How often do we think about our eyesight whenever we talk about our health

According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people are affected by vision impairments, out of which one billion of those impairments could have been avoided. Our eyes and eyesight are one of the delicate parts of our body. Yet, until we have reason to, most of us do not pay attention to their proper care. Don't take your eyesight for granted. Here are some ways to improve your vision.

Eat essential nutrients


Zinc, combined with vitamins C, E, and A are all essential nutrients that can help support better eyesight. They contain antioxidants that are important in preventing macular degeneration. These nutrients can be found mainly in vegetables and fruits such as citrus fruits, carrots, sweet potato, red peppers, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli. Additionally, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and salmon are very important for eye health.

Keep your lenses clean

Although contact lenses help to support better eyesight, they can also become infected by germs when not handled properly. Thus, it is very important to wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. Also, ensure that you disinfect your contact lenses as regularly as instructed. 

Quit smoking

As if there aren't enough reasons to quit smoking., here is one more. Smoking puts you at an increased risk of getting cataracts by damaging your optic nerve and causing macular degeneration. Instead, get more carotenoids into your system. Nutrients like zeaxanthin and lutein are important for the retina. Such nutrients can be found in eggs, leafy green vegetables, and broccoli. Although these nutrients are present in the retina as carotenoids, they can also be taken in the form of supplements.

Know your family's eye health history

In most cases, eye conditions are hereditary. Thus, it is important to know about one's family's eye health history to help take early precautionary measures to prevent future risks. Some of the hereditary eye health conditions include optic atrophy, macular degeneration related to age, retinal degeneration, and glaucoma. 

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is not only important for toning your waistline, but it is also profitable for your eyesight. This is because type 2 diabetes, a condition mostly found in obese people, can damage the tiny blood vessels located in the eyes in a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. This condition causes harm to one's vision. Regular exercise and adopting a healthy and fit lifestyle is essential in preventing the risk of being overweight or obesity.

Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule?

Just as our bodies need rest after a long day's work, our delicate eyes should also get the necessary rest. Too much strain on the eyes can (especially after working on a computer for long hours) can put the eyes at risk of developing some problems in the future. The 20-20-20 rule simply advises that one should take a 20-seconds break after staring at a screen for 20 minutes, by staring at something else 20 feet away.

Manage health conditions

Aside from diabetes, there are other conditions like multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure. Most of these conditions can cause chronic inflammation that can be harmful to every part of the body, including one's eyesight. For example, when inflammation affects the optic nerve, it can lead to both pain and loss of vision. And although some of the health conditions can be prevented, others require management with medication as well as healthy living.

Use sunglasses

As cool as sunglasses make us look, they are not only for fashion. Putting a pair of shades is one of the simplest and yet effective ways of protecting one's eyesight. Sunglasses are designed to block out harmful UV rays and radiation from the sun and the potential eye damage they are capable of causing. Aside from sunglasses, people that are suffering from certain eye conditions may be required to use prescription glasses. Visit eyeglasses.com for a collection of some of the eyeglasses available.

Invest in protective eyewear

We have already mentioned the importance of sunglasses and eyeglasses. But aside from those, there are other types of eyewear designed to protect the eyes during certain activities. For example, when you are involved in sports and recreational activities such as swimming, hunting, and shooting, having on a pair of protective eyewear can protect your eyes from unforeseen damage or accidents. Durable protective eyewear is also very important for people working in places with the risk of chemical exposure, or sharp materials such as shards of metal or wood shavings. 

Are there any other eye care tips you know of that could help? 

Elyse

Statement: Collaboration

Kegel 8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner | Let's Talk Taboo


I've never been one to shy away from taboo subjects in hope of inspiring or helping others. Today's subject is, of course, the female pelvic floor and the embarrassing and at times painful issues that come with it, especially when it's not toned, fit and healthy. Most people believe that these issues only really happen to older ladies but the reality is they can happen to anyone of any age but, more so to those who have had large babies or multiple pregnancies. 

I myself have had three large baby boys in quick succession (over three years, with my first two being only eleven months apart - shocking I know). My first pregnancy resulted in a double mediolateral episiotomy (two large diagonal cuts through the muscle) and my final pregnancy resulted in sterilisation twelve-weeks after my son's birth. The sterilisation preceded some pretty serious health issues also which of course meant that exercise was out of the question - dammit even walking was out of the question for a while. 

Long story short, my pelvic floor and basically every muscle, large and small, sucked quite badly. I definitely did see and feel the effects of having a pathetic pelvic floor and I tried to follow the recommended pelvic floor exercises daily. I actually struggled to hold one squeeze for ten seconds and started shaking all over. It was tough! 

Even when I managed to up my manual squeezes to ten for ten seconds I still had issues with my back, stomach and toileting habits. I really think that it's a shame that us ladies can't discuss these topics, don't you? Especially given how many of us will suffer from varying degrees of this over the course of our life? How are we supposed to know what to do unless we talk to each other, find out each other tried and tested methods and support each other?


Symptoms of weakened Pelvic Muscles Include...

♥ Bladder Leaks | Coughing, sneezing and even jumping can result in embarrassing leaks. 
♥ Constipation & Straining | When the muscles are loosened things aren't held in as they should, this causes 'kinks' which can stop the poop from travelling down the normal route. 
♥ Tampons Not Working Perfectly | Again this may be due to looser muscles or prolapses altering the shape so the tampon can't sit as snug as is needed. 
♥ Pot Belly | When your muscles aren't tight your belly sticks out, this may make it look like you've put on weight as your muscles separate and poke outwards. 
♥ Lower Back Ache | This may feel worse around your cycle also, it can be debilitating for some. 
Trapped Wind That's Uncontrollable | Yup it's true, wind may accidentally slip out causing embarrassment. 
♥ Lack of Sensations or Pain | This really needs no explanation, the sensation can be lost in the vaginal walls if your pelvic floor area is looser, similarly, some ladies experience pain from having a prolapse. 
♥ Constantly Needing to Visit The Loo | When things are looser it can push down on your bladder and other organs, this increases the sensation of 'needing to go' even if you've just been to the toilet. This alone can stop ladies from getting good sleep, affects work and confidence. 
♥ Prolapse (Bulging into the Vagina) | This will look like a lump or bulge that pokes into the vaginal area, this bulge worsens when pushing on the toilet for example. 
♥ Increased Vaginal Discharge | When everything is been pushed on the body naturally increases lubrication to protect itself. 

Typically the pelvic floor muscles are weakened when they are stretched - being constipated, pregnancy, heavy lifting, health problems that lead to severe coughing or sneezing; weight gain and also hormonal changes can lead to overstretching and greatly affect this area. That's why many older ladies suffer once the menopause hits. 

Also, if you don't exercise that area then your age won't stop it from happening; you can be young, never having had any pregnancies, have a healthy BMI and no hormonal issues but the area will still slacken because it's not being worked or being put to use. 

The Kegel8 Ultra 20 Machine works in a couple of ways, it comes with both a probe and electrode pad set. The probe works by being inserted into the vagina and gets straight to the problem area by toning the muscles and tightening up the pelvic floor. If you can't use the probe or even need an extra boost then you can apply the four sticky electrode pads to your stomach, back, legs or basically anywhere that may need firming, toning or pain relief as it works in a similar way to a TENS machine. 

The unit allows you to run two things at once on different programmes - for example, you can run the probe at a very low beginners programme and the electrodes at a higher programme say for pain relief. I've tried a few programmes now and initially, I was really scared (having previously tried Slendertone machines that zap you *eek*) but the Ultra 20 doesn't hurt whatsoever. You can set it up then clip the unit to your trousers or belt and go about your day (in the house at least) as normal - I'm now happily on a 40MA (power and strength, this level really work your muscles) for around 45 minutes per day. I have used the pads alone for my stomach (to help cramps) and my back (to help backache). 

While I've only been using this for a few days I will be using this daily for the recommended twelve weeks so will be reporting back regularly on how well it's performing. It's important for me to really let you know the pro's and con's because (hopefully) this works in every aspect and can help others in a similar situation, there's nothing worse than having to alter your life or being too embarrassed to discuss this with your doctor. 

There are lots of products on the market to help improve this situation but my opinion was that an electronic product allows you to really customise your exercise to suit your personal tone and needs. Honestly, I'm much more likely to use an electronic anything than a manual when it comes to exercise and yes that includes intimate exercises, if you're similar or have issues relating to a weakened pelvic floor you may want to check out Kegel 8's range of electronic and manual products (for men and ladies) you can do so by visiting the Kegel 8 website. Plus side is they also offer Klarna so you can split your payments over three months. 

I understand that this might be out of the price range for some people, however, there are cheaper alternatives on the market. The following pelvic toners are reviewed highly, but I personally cannot vouch for them as I haven't tried them, so you should try them out.


Ladies let's not make this subject taboo any longer! Girl Power! 

Edit: OK so I used this machine daily for months. I used it with a variety of settings and found that I was starting to notice the benefits from around the 2-3 week mark. After 4-6 weeks of, use I found I could even manually hold a kegel without the pain, awkwardness and shaking. Now that it's been nearly two years since I originally published this review I can wholeheartedly say that this machine makes a difference, you need to also put in the work and use it as recommended but, if you do your pelvic floor will thank you. 


 
  

Elyse

Statement: PR Sample