What I Wore: Lunch With the Girls

22 August 2014

I went for lunch with my girlfriends last weekend and wore a few new pieces that I picked up from ASOS recently - that 70% off sale always draws me in - a top, jeans and necklace.




Boots: Topshop 'Ambush' Side Zip Ankle Boots (no longer available)
Necklace: Johnny Loves Rosie Ida Collar in 'Mint Green'
Bag: My mum's!

P.S. I apologise for these awful mirror shots - they'll have to suffice until I get a proper blogging camera and a willing volunteer to take outfit photos for me!

We decided to go to a cosy pub and spend our afternoon together as we hadn't reunited in ages and a catch up was well and truly overdue! As always, it was an absolute pleasure to be in their company and we were reminiscing on our teenage years and cracking up at the things we used to get up to within minutes. After you leave school and go onto college then work or university it can be really difficult to maintain relationships and make time to see each other when you all lead busy lives, but I think it's so important to hold onto your true friendships. Seeing them again reminds me of what funny, gorgeous women they are and I feel so lucky to have - for over a decade, in some cases - called them my best friends.

Love you, girls!


What would you wear to a lunch with the girls? How do you maintain your friendships?

Meg

What I Wore & FOTN: An Evening Meal

20 August 2014

In Week #33 I went to Prezzo with a few of my friends who were visiting home from university and we had such a lovely, relaxed evening. A few days prior I'd received a rather huge ASOS order and so my outfit was pretty ASOS-centric! I let my hair dry naturally and decided to focus on my makeup instead - when you're chronically ill with little social life to speak of, it's basically the law that when you get the chance to do something fun you have to get out your Naked palette and celebrate by wearing real diamonds. True story.

Necklace: No longer available - similar here
Watch: Omega De Ville - no longer available - similar (kinda) here



Face

Cheeks

Eyes
'Sin' all over lid
'Sidecar' in outer corner & lower lashline
'Virgin' in inner corners

Brows

Lips


What's your go-to outfit, hair and makeup look for an evening meal?

Meg

Meg Says Eat 4k - The Winners!

16 August 2014

Recently, my health Instagram Meg Says Eat hit 4,000 followers - yippee! - and I decided that I wanted to do something more than my usual milestone 'thank you x ten million' posts. I'd seen a few other people hold 'shoutout competitions', and I thought it was a really good idea and the perfect way of showing appreciation and giving something back.

I get a lot of 'sfs?' and 'can you give me a shoutout?' questions via email, private message and comments and although I'm not against shoutouts when they're genuine, I would never promote somebody's feed if I didn't actually follow them or enjoy their Instagram. Far too many people simply do shoutout after shoutout to gain a large following and in my opinion, it looks pretty fake and unappealing. For a while I had barely any followers and nobody liked or commented on my photos, but I consistently uploaded every day and put lots of thought and love into what I was doing - which is what I tell people who spam my profile for shoutouts and then I see that they've had their account for a day. 

However, if I honestly love a person's feed I'll happily feature their profile on mine as I want others to be able to see how brilliant they are, too - it isn't about followers, it's about an online community where we can share ideas, recipes and inspiration. With that in mind, I decided I wanted my 'shoutout' competition to be a 'share the love' competition. I wanted to be able to actually get to know the people who so kindly follow me and discover new feeds that I previously wouldn't have seen. Thank you to all of the lovelies who entered.

Here are the four winners, each extremely talented and deserving in their own right!

Mel

I was so excited when Mel, a designer from Sydney, entered as I've loved her feed for such a long time. If you've read my blog before then you'll know that wanderlust takes up a lot of space in my head and I'm forever dreaming of clear blue seas and palm trees - and Mel's profile is like wanderlust heaven. I get a slight case of envy whenever I see her toes dipped into a sparkling ocean - and not to mention that gorgeous body, have you ever seen someone look so fabulous halfway through a yoga pose? Her dairy, gluten and refined sugar free recipes all look stunning and I have to take my hat off to her for her photography.


Sophia

Okay, Sophia is just an absolute gem. As we both suffer from chronic illness I relate to her in so many ways, and her attitude towards continuing to live life with a smile regardless of the struggles we face with our health is both inspiring and encouraging. I find it incredibly humbling to see another spoonie - read Christine Miserandino's spoon theory here - trying her best despite her limitations, and if you're familiar with Sophia's blog - here - you'll know that she is so much more than her disability. As she uses food as medicine like me, I'm never lost for ideas when scrolling through her feed. Sophia is beyond lovely and always has a kind word to say. Her recipes are positively beautiful and I'm such a huge fan of hers!



Johanna

In Johanna's profile she has the quote, "at first glance it may appear too hard. Look again - always look again" and I can safely say that her Instagram is nothing short of sweet motivating goodness. Just look at those abs. For a Pilates instructor you'd expect nothing less, but she truly outdoes herself with every post and I'm constantly looking like the loveheart-eyed emoji every time she uploads a new photo. As you can probably guess from her username she specialises in breakfast and oh boy, do her breakfasts look good. And she eats them tucked up in bed and always has cute bedsheets - a woman after my own heart. Johanna is nearly at 1,000 followers so it would be fab if we could get her there!


Maddie


Oh, Maddie. My little ray of sunshine. If you've ever seen '#eattherainbow' doing the rounds on Instagram before, I'm going to be bold and say that Maddie's feed could be the ultimate Instagram for that hashtag. Her page is bursting with colour and vibrancy, just like her personality - the comments she leaves me are seriously the cutest, nicest things ever and I'm so appreciative that she takes the time to support me and what I'm doing. I was over the moon when she entered and I could return the favour, as it's obvious how hard she works on her account and how passionate she is about healthy living. She's such a beautiful soul, inside and out, and I couldn't be more proud that she has hit 1k! You go, girl.



So there we have it, four gorgeous ladies and four amazing new accounts for you all to feast your eyes on! Meg Says Eat is now at 5,500 followers which I find pretty unbelievable, and I'd like to take the opportunity to say one last big 'thank you' to you all. 

Do you use Instagram? Feel free to leave me your links below!

Meg

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Jelly

12 August 2014

 When I received an email about the Indeed Labs launch in July, I RSVP'd the heck outta that invitation. The event itself was pure skincare junkie heaven - see how it went here - and I was lucky enough to have been gifted a goodie bag containing some of Indeed Labs' best-selling products as well as the highly anticipated new hydraluron moisture jelly, which I've been using twice a day religiously for nearly five weeks now.

If you've tried the famous hydraluron moisture boosting serum - I've got skincare queen Caroline Hirons to thank for that purchase - you'll know that its main aim is hydration. The same goes for this latest little addition to the Indeed Labs family, as the new moisture jelly is all about delivering a healthy dose of moisture to the skin to retain optimum levels. 


First things first, this packaging is the realest. I used my Origins Make A Difference Plus+ the other day and no matter how much I love that moisturiser, after singing 'pump, pump the jam, pump it up, while your feet are stomping' every morning and night whilst using the moisture jelly it felt almost medieval to go back to having to actually unscrew a lid and dip into a pot. The pump allows you to dispense the perfect amount of product making it waste-proof, and can we just take a second to recognise how much more hygienic it is?

My skin is quite dehydrated and as a result, it has been drinking this stuff up like there's no tomorrow. If you live in the UK like me you'll know how hot the weather has been recently and the moisture jelly has been an absolute dream in this heatwave as it feels slightly cooling upon application, sinks in immediately without leaving any tacky residue and the jelly formulation makes a brilliant priming base for makeup. 'Humidity face' - be gone!

As an eczema sufferer who's extremely blemish-prone and has a tendency to get shiny throughout the day, tackling all of those issues can be a real pain - often I end up helping one problem area and worsening another. The hydraluron moisture jelly is gentle enough not to aggravate my eczema but packs a hydrating punch which has actually cleared a few of the sore patches, hasn't broken me out and leaves my skin perfectly balanced and moisturised without any oiliness or feeling my complexion is overloaded with product.

As for its the scent, it's really mild and non-offensive. If I had to liken it to something I'd say that it reminds me a tiny bit of baby wipes - 'soft', fresh and clean. Overall, I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone as my skin is a combination of practically every type there is and I can't even think of one con for this product, only pros! The price is towards the higher end of the scale, but after visiting the Indeed Labs - here - I was able to see that they're a quality brand dedicated to providing us with high-technology skincare and 'real' results at the most affordable price possible. I'd definitely buy this - two big thumbs up from me!


At the launch in Mayfair I was given some press information, so I'll pop the key ingredients and benefits here for anyone who's interested in the science behind the moisture jelly:
  • PatchH20™ - helps provide immediate and long-lasting moisturisation through a molecular mesh that reduces water evaporation from the skin
  • Fucogel® - absorbed quickly by skin, Fucogel helps provide long-term binding of water and moisturisation to create a protective film on the skin's surface, which defends against transepidermal water loss
  • Hyaluronic Acid - a high-level hydration substance that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it acts as the ultimate drink for your skin, resulting in a longer-lasting feeling of softness, plumpness and hydration
  • Vivillume - helps to restore skin luminosity. Derived from the White Bird of Paradise plant, Vivillume is a skin revitaliser that promotes a radiant complexion
  • Hydrolite 5 - advanced skin moisturiser which enhances the bioavailability of the active ingredients
Available exclusively at Boots and www.boots.com, hydraluron moisture jelly retails at £24.99 for 30ml. The hydraluron range is currently on sale and you can buy Indeed Labs first ever moisturiser for £16.66 here - if you miss it however, this offer often comes back.

Will you be trying the new hydraluron moisture jelly? What's your favourite Indeed Labs product? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Meg

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The items in this post were gifted to me. All opinions and thoughts are my own and 100% honest.

So, I'm Doing The Whole30...

10 August 2014

...and yes, I've already received lots of "are you mad?!" texts from my friends and family. But no, I'm not mad, just very fed up with being chronically ill and looking for any way that I can to improve my health and symptoms. If you didn't already know, I suffer from multiple chronic illnesses but the 'big daddy' is called ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) - read my guide for beginners here and see the symptoms of the disease here - and it has been giving me real grief for the past six years, majorly so in the last one and a half.

I already strive to keep my diet as clean as possible for the sake of my illness and I've been eating 85% paleo - short for the paleolithic diet, see what that's all about here - with the remaining 15% consisting of still mainly healthy foods, with the odd treat here and there.

Day One

Even though I don't let much sugar pass my lips these days, ME is related to brain and spinal cord inflammation and if you hadn't already heard, sugar is extremely inflammatory. I wanted to cut it out completely, but then I heard about the Whole30 Challenge and thought, 'why not?' Why not cut out everything that could be having a negative impact on my health? It could be life changing and drastically improve the way I feel. On the other hand I could feel no better or no worse but even then, it's a win win situation; I'll have filled my body with nothing but nutritionally dense and wholesome foods for an entire month. 

Q. What is the Whole30?
A. A nutrition plan that eliminates "psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full thirty days".

Day Two

Q. What will I be eating?
A. "Meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they're totally natural and unprocessed".

Q. What won't I be eating?
A. Sugar (real or artificial), dairy, grains, legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. It goes without saying that I can't drink alcohol. Whole30, which is only slightly different from the paleolithic diet, also states that participants mustn't recreate 'approved' foods - for example, 'paleo pancakes' are strictly not allowed, even if the only two ingredients are eggs and bananas. The Whole30 Program states that "a pancake is still a pancake" and although I'll miss the 'healthy treats' that I make, such as gluten and dairy-free brownies, I wholeheartedly agree. This shouldn't be about 'bending the rules' or seeing how healthy you can make an unhealthy food, it should be about sticking to your guns and to the spirit and intention of the program. It's only for thirty days, after all - you'll live.

Day Three

I've cut out gluten, dairy, sugar etc before in the past but if I'm remembering correctly, I only did so for about a fortnight and haven't before been so strict about my eating habits - in fact, I've never been on a diet in all of my twenty years and as a result, I'm sure I'll find the Whole30 a little challenging. Not as challenging as living with chronic illness, however!

So far, I've been doing well - apart from one 'I CAN'T EAT THAT' outburst after being surrounded by my family all crunching Kettle Chips (my true food love and weakness) and one member having the audacity to offer me a handful - and am enjoying immersing myself in the community of Whole30-ers. Some people I've spoken to have been on the program for over 150 days (!) and swear by it, saying that it alleviates even some of the worst symptoms of autoimmune diseases and various other conditions, which is really encouraging me to persevere for the sake of my illness. I'm not hoping for any miracles here, but even a slight improvement in my symptoms or pain levels would be a huge help.

Day Four
My thought process at the moment is that at the end of the program, I'll finally be able to draw a line under food-related disease and nutrition issues. I have a health Instagram - Meg Says Eathere - and I can't tell you how many messages I get on there every day about how going gluten-free (etc) will rid me of fatigue, and it'll be nice to be able to say - "thanks for the suggestion, I've done the Whole30 though and it concluded that my illnesses aren't caused or worsened by the things I eat". Or, it could work out for me and I can say - "brilliant, isn't it - I feel ten times better". Time will tell - see you in 30 days!

Have you tried or will you ever try the Whole30? Do you think proper nutrition is an important lifestyle choice for those living with chronic illness?

Meg

July Favourites

1 August 2014

How the blinkin' heck is it August already? I've bid farewell to the times of feeling like the school summer holidays are the equivalent of The Never Ending Story and entered the world of being a grown up, where the weeks pass in the blink of an eye and before I know it, I'll be another year older. I digress. Throughout this month I've loved quite a few little bits and bobs - so let's take a look at them before I have a nervy b over the date, shall we?



Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stains - £7.99 - read my full review with swatches here
As these vibrant tubes of vivid colour that feel beautifully balmy have been sitting on my desk for the past few weeks just staring at me, I haven't been able to help myself from applying a slick of colour every so often despite doing nothing but working at my laptop. They've got a hold over me. 'Barcelona Nights' is a bright, berry pink that's beyond gorgeous whilst 'Cannes Crush' is like no coral I've seen - tinged with pink and almost neon, but soft at the same time - safe to say, they've both been getting a lot of love!

SEVENTEEN Doll'd Up Mascara - £6.29
I picked this up on a whim in Boots as it came with a free eyeliner - one of those 'dotting' contraptions that I still haven't got the hang of - and I've been really enjoying it ever since. Promising 'doll-like lashes', the curved plastic brush grabs every lash and it's almost impossible to clump which I adore as I can get a little heavy-handed when it comes to mascara. The result in a word is 'pretty' - fanned out, lengthened and all fluttery. Now that my tube is drying up I've found that it's incredible for the lower lashes - mine are super long and so I haven't worn mascara on them for years, but this creates such a nice, subtle effect and gives just enough definition. Another bonus? The affordable price tag. Ker-ching

Rimmel 60 Seconds nail polish in 'Ethereal' - £3.69 - read my post here
I confessed my love for this little beauty in its own post earlier this week, and I had to include it in my monthly favourites as it has been seriously pretty-ing up my hands and life. A simple, ballerina pink with a shell-like lilac and silver sheen running through it - love.

#daclip - anyone who reads Essie Button's blog or watches her YouTube channel will know what I'm talkin' 'bout. DA CLIP. Every woman needs one in her life. Long live da clip.



Baylis & Harding Jojoba, Silk & Almond Moisturising Shower Crème - £8
When I was in my first year of university, I used to 'splurge' on Baylis & Harding soap as they totally look more expensive than they are, am I right? My favourite was the Wild Rose & Raspberry Cleansing Hand Wash and for £6, I could have a bit of luxury every day in my en suite bathroom in my university halls for a fraction of the price of what I wanted to buy, which was Jo Malone. It's the little things. This body wash has been taking me back to those Freshers days and leaving me smelling like a bouquet of flowers whilst it's at it.

Dove Purely Pampering Nourishing Lotion - £3.99 (currently on sale here for £2.66)
Body lotion is a product I'm a bit of a floozy about as my loyalties don't lie with a specific brand and there's no one product springing to mind that I've repurchased time and time again - but this might change that. Leaving the 'Coconut & Jasmine' and 'Pistachio' scents on the shelf, I added 'Shea Butter and Warm Vanilla' to my basket and to my surprise - it's really, really good and it really, really works! Usually I'm not too impressed by drugstore moisturisers but this one genuinely makes my skin feel softer for days on end, sinks in quickly and the scent is just heavenly. Dove have also introduced body washes to the Purely Pampering range, but what I've got my eyes on are the body oilsCome to mama.

Indeed Labs hydraluron moisture jelly - £24.99 (currently on sale for £16.66 here)
The weather in the UK recently has been absolutely scorchio and I have floor to ceiling windows in my bedroom - it's like a greenhouse, let me tell you. After cleansing and toning at night is the only thirty seconds of relief I get from 'perpetual hot face', and applying a moisturiser has been the last thing I've wanted to do. Enter this little gem with its beautiful gel-like formula! It feels cooling upon application and sinks in immediately, instantly hydrating and plumping my skin without feeling tacky and gross. Thank you, Indeed Labs

Are any of my favourites your favourites, too? Which products have you loved with all of your heart throughout July?

Meg


Some of these products may have been sent to me for review purposes. My opinions are 100% honest.
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