Thursday, 31 December 2015

One of those end of year posts...

Having logged on, I realise that I haven't blogged since May and that was at the very start of my journey with Invisalign braces! It does feel a bit weird typing this as I guess I've got out of the habit of writing down my thoughts but I'm realising pretty quickly why I used to enjoy it so much. It's very therapeutic!

I'm actually typing this from my new friend...Yep, finally got a Macbook! Those that know me well will know I've been eyeing them up for a fair few years now and I finally committed :) Will always be a gadget geek! <3

So, 2015. Yes it's the obligatory thing where everyone posts about their year- some saying their best yet, others saying their worst and then often with a few New Year resolutions thrown in. Or, those that like to point out they aren't making any.

Having scrolled down a few of my previous blog posts my stomach actually dropped. I cannot believe how I was starting my year last year. It was initially full of excitement and hope that my new teaching job would be everything I wanted it to be and I remember the butterflies I had before my first day. Unfortunately January quickly became a nightmare and I can honestly say it was the worst month of my life.

I've talked about it before but for anyone who suffers or who have suffered with panic attacks, will know exactly how horrendous they are. Stress is an awful thing and the feeling of drowning in it is unbearable. I still get a tightness in my chest when I think back to being in those moments of sheer panic, being so over-whelmed and the acknowledgement that I couldn't manage, couldn't cope and that no job is worth your health.

As I sit here and drink my tea, I'm smiling at the above quote. How very true!

At the time my life was a mess, my head was a mess and I felt like I'd disappointed everyone around me, including the people that mattered the most. Walking away from a career I'd trained so hard for should have been heart-breaking but I think your heart has to be in it to break. It wasn't. In fact the relief I felt when I handed in my notice was immense. I knew 100% that I was doing the right thing, despite differing opinions around me.

However, I have to say that the terrible situation gave me drive like I've never had before. It allowed me to fully throw myself into something I actually had a passion for, my business.

I get it. It sounds sooo cheesy for me to say "my business, Forever, changed my life" but it'd be the truth.

At the time I found it upsetting that people thought that I'd left my job BECAUSE of Forever. I wanted them to understand that I left because I had no choice. I was absolutely desperate! I'd have left with or without Forever, full stop! I was miserable. But I guess maybe the problem was, I was too good at hiding it. My Facebook was still full of positivity and happy selfies, with fake smiles. Not many people would see my mask slip behind closed doors, see me crying every day and know that when I went to bed I didn't want to wake up. Sad but true.

What Forever gave me was hope. It allowed me to channel my energy into something that I appeared to be quite good at and actually enjoyed. It enabled me to be around such lovely genuine people that were so supportive and positive that it allowed me to start feeling that way again.

And that's when everything started to work out. Things started to "fall together". And the promotions started to roll in.

February I hit what's called Assistant Manager in my business. It was around this time that I'll never forget a conversation I had with my Dad. I was really upset one night, getting a hard time about leaving teaching from what seemed like everyone and my Dad came and had a chat with me. I told him that I was most sad because I was a disappointment to everyone. And he said that I'd never be a disappointment to him and that he was proud of me. Proud of what I was achieving in my business and acknowledged that it wasn't a easy decision I'd made but that he wanted me to be happy and teaching clearly wasn't making me.

It was quite an important moment for me because I knew I had the support there from him and actually only my parents' opinions mattered to me. Shortly after, my Mum came around too and said she could see how much happier I was.

March was a biggy and I hit the important Manager position. Going up on stage in front of 1000s of people and receiving such fab recognition was unbelievable! It was also at this time that my income had completely replaced my teaching job + so I was able to stop having to do a few days supply teaching. Goodbye waking up feeling sick!

As I mentioned at the start of my blog, May was pretty special. I ticked off something I have been after for around 10 years! Braces! Although the first 2 weeks were agony and I wondered what on earth I'd done, they are so worth it! My teeth have improved so much and I'm nearing the end of my treatment. If anyone's considering them I'd 100% recommend. Yes, the price tag is steep but very worth it!

June was a pretty decent month. I saw Take That. Serious love for Gary B! Went to see the Dirty Dancing stage show (again). Perhaps had a bit too much wine, cocktails etc! Treated myself to a Michael Kors watch. A very defining moment may I add, considering I'd only ever had a £10 market stall watch whereby they'd last me around 2/3 months haha! :) And I qualified for the Car Plan incentive in the business which, unless you want a company car (which I don't as I love my mini cooper) you get a extra bonus each month for 3 years. Winner.

July was pretty awesome as it goes. It did heavily feature Netflix's 24, namely Jack Bauer haha! Much love Jack! :D Give it a watch if you haven't already, you'll be hooked! So maybe don't if you don't have hours upon hours to spare :P

Again, a lot of shopping, food, drink but then I did something pretty big! I changed my name. It's never been a secret that my birth name was Danielle but I'd been going about my life as Ellie since 6th form and only old friends and family members ever refer to me as Danielle. I never saw it as a problem until I started getting cheques through my door addressed to Ellie.

I had automatically signed up as Ellie to my business, never really expecting cheques. I decided the best thing to do was to legally change my name to Ellie, as I wasn't prepared to have my business under Danielle and let's face it, I prefer Ellie. Hello solicitor. Sure it was a ball-ache changing everything over, but I'm about straight now :)

I also went with my ex-work colleagues/friends to Centre Parcs. Absolutely loved it and will be going back next year for sure!

August was definitely the month for weddings! I turned into makeup artist Ellie and did one of my lovely friend's makeup. No pressure, only the bride and all haha! But safe to say it went well :) Later that month I went to another of my friend's wedding's...both were lovely!

It was also the month for slight randomness. Ended up in hospital with an extreme freak water infection LOL, nearly blew up my car by not giving her any oil OOPS and had the stupid idea of posting a sit-up/star jump challenge on Facebook resulting in me having to do 320 of each and my abs bursting into flames the next day haha!

My best friend, Hannah, also got promoted to Supervisor in the business YAY!

September definitely started on a high and I got recognised for the Car Plan I'd earned in June and I also picked up the famous yellow suitcase in the business, which meant I'd been a top recruiter basically!

The rest of September, according to Facebook. generally looks like it was filled with typical me stuff. Food, wine, food, shopping, food, shopping, seeing friends, food. Haha.

Ahh and then there was October. This was a great month. It was a month full of travels. It also seems to be when my Costa addiction really took hold! (Medium hot chocolate with cream all the way!)

The first weekend was spent in Warwick on a training event. They sound boring as most people assume work is, but when you are really interested and enjoy what you do you do actually look forward to them and enjoy it!

The second weekend was spent partying, a little too hard, with lots of the achievers in our team. Was a great evening and it's safe to say the heels came OFF! :P I also travelled to Warwick uni for some more training. A fab campus!

The third week was pretty great all round. For one, my family went on holiday. I LOVE the house to myself! :) On the Friday I had a jewellery party at mine, oh the luxury of being able to do that! Before jetting off to a weekend away in Milton Keynes, courtesy of Forever. It was such a great weekend and the party was fab too :)

And then there was weekend number 4! I won't go into great detail but I was able to tick off something that was really important to me and my stay in hospital was brilliant! For a further hint, let's just say bra shopping has become a lot more fun :D :D :D

November was a weird one for me. As a huge gym junkie and someone who likes to be busy 24/7, I found bed-rest a bit odd. Plenty of Netflix, resulting in me finishing the 24 series. Was actually gutted! :) I did however have such an enjoyable time in London with some of my team, go on a few shopping trips, do a cleanse and have a Black Friday party :)

And then it brings us onto this month, December. I took my gorgeous niece for her first pair of shoes. This was probably one of the funniest moments of 2015. She walked as if she'd had 10 pints lol! Super cute! In fact spending time with Brooke over 2015 has been pretty special. I know this wouldn't have been as easy if I was teaching and I'm grateful that I can go and visit her whenever I want to. Watching her grow is incredible! And she's learning to call me ELLIE haha.

Aside from that December has been pretty eventful. I took my Mum to the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham. Quality show as always! I've had a hell of a lot of Costa's! I went to the Forever Christmas party, 1920's style. I had my 26th birthday. And then of course there was Christmas. The first year I didn't actually have to worry and stress over teacher work!

I think I can honestly say 2015 has been the best yet. Yes, it started off extremely poor but turned into more than I could have imagined!

So what is 2016 going to look like? Well, I have a few New Year resolutions.

1. I guess the standard get in shape one! Having not been able to exercise properly since October, getting my fitness back is a must. Unlike most get-fit resolutions though I actually tend to stick to mine as I really enjoy it :)
2. A big one but... Get up earlier! I'm a terrible night-owl and often don't see before 10am anymore. My plan is to see more of the morning and go for a swim between 7-9am most days (starting around February when I'm actually allowed to go swimming again!)
3. Save for a house! I've spent lots on personal, sometimes material, things this year. Now it's time to get serious and start saving up so I can get my own place!
4. Gratitude. I'm so grateful for everything that has happened this year. Good and bad actually as it's made me stronger. (Another cliche I know!) So I want to make sure I say my thank you's every day to remember how fortunate I am. I think so many of us can take things for granted and not recognise just how lucky we are!
5. Do more of what makes me happy. It's my motto and I applied it to much of 2015, so this is more of a 'carry-on' resolution. Keep enjoying life and making sure each day is a good one. And even if it isn't, find the good in it!

Wishing you all a very happy New Year! x

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Update- Week one #invisalign

Hi. Ok so I've had my braces in a week now and I have to be honest it's been a rather testing week! I hadn't really heard anything about how painful invisalign could be and whilst I expected some discomfort, I wasn't prepared.

I think days 2-5 were possibly the worst. I'd go so far as to saying that I was in agony. I didn't know what to do with myself at times, although I didn't cry so that says something!

Although the dull aching of my teeth wasn't pleasant (ibuprofen helped there), my main issue was mouth sores. I developed a HUGE ulcer on the bottom right of my mouth under my lip/cheek area. The brace/tray seemed extremely sharp there and as I had been talking on day 1 it had literally scratched away at the flesh. I had to ask friends and google to see if this was normal. Apparently it is. I also read about using a nail file to soften the edges, so I had a little go at doing this but I hardly noticed a difference. The damage had already been done!


I found my Aloe Gelly became my best friend as it helped to soothe and numb the parts of my mouth that had developed ulcers and cuts, including my tongue which had took quite a battering too! Then I bought the Bongela Complete to cover the large ulcer on the bottom right of my mouth. Wow did this sting!!! The first time I applied it I actually shouted in pain and my Mum came to see what was the matter...assuming I was being murdered haha! However I have to say, it's helped immensely since!

Around day 4 I did start to wonder what the hell I had done and that I'd paid over £4000 for sheer pain! I did wonder if I had known how much it hurt whether I'd have gone ahead with them.

However, over the last 2 days they have started to feel somewhat comfier and I did wake up yesterday and check I still had them in! Definite improvement. When I woke up on day 2 the pressure of them really surprised me and I couldn't wait to have breakfast so that I could take them off. Also to point out the pain on the first few days when eating. My teeth felt extremely delicate and I found it hard to chew.

After wearing them now for 8 days, I'm getting there I think. There still is however the issue of my speech. I find it really difficult to speak properly. I have a definite lisp and find some words, particularly S's hard to say. I am very conscious of it and I have to tell anyone I speak to that I've recently had Invisalign!

Also for important parts of my work, like for someone's business launch I do find I have to remove them. Talking through the products and their benefits for 30 minutes in front of a room of strangers just isn't feasible at the minute to do with them in. My speech is THAT bad! However I'm hoping this improves!!

For now I'm happy that the soreness and pain is dying down and I can already see slight movement in my teeth which makes me confident that it'll all be worth it in the end!

As for the maintenance, it's not been too bad. My life now consists of eat, drink, brush, repeat but I can manage! I keep a foldaway toothbrush, toothgel, dental floss and my invisalign case with me at all times! 

So far my only complaint is the fact I can't drink anything but water with them in! I'm really not a plain water fan so this is difficult for me. I have to ensure I have a 'nice' drink whilst I have them out to eat or otherwise take my braces out in aid of a juice or something, which to be honest is more hassle than it's worth. I may just learn to enjoy plain water yet!

Anyhow, that's my initial experience. I will provide updates along the way! Here's to week 2! :)

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

They're in! Invisalign Braces #4

 For better or worse...I have my invisalign braces! 

Saturday was the big day. If you read my last post you'll know I was extremely nervous beforehand and had butterflies all of Friday! 

When I arrived at the dentist he reminded me of some of the prep work he was going to do on my teeth before the braces could go on. I'd completely forgotten about this and rather anxiously sat in the chair. 

-On a side note, I had purposely sort after a top consultant and after several meetings I knew that I could trust him. I think this is very important! 

The first thing he did was show me the actual braces. He put them in for me then got me to practice removing them. It was easier than I thought but then this wasn't the finished product. He explained that tooth coloured nodules would be fixed onto my teeth and that some of my teeth would be filed down to allow room for movement. Some people have to have teeth removed to make room, however I could get away with a little bit of filing!

The process took around an hour and again he got me to practice taking them in and out. Once the nodules were on this wasn't such an easy task but I managed with my long nails anyway :) The filing didn't hurt one bit but it did smell like burning!

After the final touches I was told to rinse my mouth. I soon realised that my gums were bleeding. I wasn't in any pain but I did seem to spit out a lot of blood! Because of this, he advised that I shouldn't wear the braces until my gums had settled. I was a bit gutted to be honest as I wanted them on there and then but after waiting 10 years for braces I was sure I could go another day!

The nodules felt a bit odd in my mouth for the rest of Saturday but they weren't painful.

Sunday morning I woke up earlier than usual and felt sick. I was worried about what to expect really! After having breakfast and brushing etc I went about putting them in. I found this easier than I thought and they snapped in place quickly. Then came the gagging! Initially I felt as though the back part was hitting my throat and I did a lot of heaving! Nice

I then tried to talk to my Dad. Hello lisp! Haha. I still can't really say 'S's properly now!

After removing them to eat (I did struggle to get them out at first) again I gagged when reapplying. However since that second time I haven't experienced this reaction since. Thank god!

I had a fair bit of talking to do on Sunday for my business and I found my mouth became really sore and I developed ulcers. 

After having them in all night, Monday morning I woke up and my teeth throbbed. I couldn't wait for the release of taking them out to have breakfast! 

I've found a few new best friends since. The Aloe Gelly has been a godsend! Fantastic for helping soothe my sore tongue and painful ulcers! And I've been applying the aloe lips non-stop as my lips seem to be much drier now.

Day 3 almost done and at the moment I have to be honest and say I'm in pain! My mouth is sore, I'm a bit irritable and my teeth ache. But I know it'll get better and that it'll all be worth it in the end. I do keep joking and saying I've paid over £4k for pain though...but ultimately no pain no gain!!!

Here's to a better smile!


Friday, 22 May 2015

Invisalign #3 Tomorrow!!!

Hi everyone! Hope everyone has had a great week and is looking forward to a long weekend. I thought I'd do a quick post as my tummy is telling me something big is happening tomorrow! It's that nervous excited energy where you don't quite know what to do with yourself. Know what I mean?

Tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for, for possibly 10 years of my life! I'm getting my teeth sorted!!! Ok, so they aren't going to be how I want them in just a day but it's tomorrow I get my Invisalign braces! It's the start of fixing my smile.

When I tell people I don't like my teeth and that I feel self conscious every time I have to smile with them in photos, (trust me I've spent many years only smiling with my lips on photos and it's mostly resulted in me looking not that happy or a bit stuck up!), they always say 'there's nothing wrong with your teeth or 'I haven't noticed' or 'why? they're lovely'. But ultimately it's how you feel. And since the age of 15 I've been very aware that my smile wasn't the best it could be and I've developed quite a 'thing' about my teeth over the years.

However, braces or any work on teeth costs A LOT and I honestly never thought I'd be in the position to do anything about them myself. I naively used to think that being a teacher would mean I'd get a wage where I'd have plenty of cash leftover at the end of the month to save. Oh how unrealistic that theory was!

I am so incredibly grateful that I was introduced to my business which has meant I've opened up a world of new opportunities. Along with many other things, it's giving me my smile back!

I'll let you all know how I get on when I have them!!!
:D :/ :P


Monday, 4 May 2015

April Favourites 2015

Hey! Here's my April favourites. If you'd like to watch them instead, just click on the photo above :)

First up, is the Aloe Moisturizing Lotion. I love this stuff! It's definitely a product that I reach for everyday. It applies well and a little bit certainly goes a long way. It makes a perfect base for my foundation and sinks into the skin straight away! (I can't stand those sticky moisturisers!) Also contains collagen and elastin...every girl's best friends! :P

The next one has been such a lifesaver over the past week! After teaching children for just 2 days, I sadly invited in some germs! Charming! Anyhow, keen to soothe a painful sore throat I reached for the Aloe Vera Gelly. Within minutes of swallowing a bit of the gel, I felt the aloe working it's magic and helping with the soreness. It doesn't really taste of much either in my opinion so it wasn't difficult to use. Winner!

Next up is my FAVOURITE blush palette. I'm a big lover of Benefit anyway but their blushers smell so good they make me want to eat them! This is part of the Sweetie range and I got this for Christmas. I love them all but my favourites are Rockateur and Bella Bamba!

My go to lipgloss in April has been Dior's Dior Addict in shade Princess. Perfect for adding a bit of sparkle to your lips! It applies nicely and it remains on the lips for a fairly long time in terms of gloss. Pretty :)

My next favourite is a book! Yes, I don't usually include reading material but I feel this is worth a mention. It's definitely for the deep thinkers! It's based around mindset and the law of attraction. What you put out into the world, you attract more of the same back. Positivity is key! Since last summer I'd already been thinking along these lines anyway and this book is confirming it for me. LOVE IT!

Last but not least, haircare! The Aloe Jojoba Shampoo and Conditioner are amazing! I've been using these for several months now and the results have been brilliant.

The condition of my hair is the best it's ever been and the length is longer than ever before too! I haven't had a haircut for ages (definitely overdue) yet the ends of my hair are fine! The shampoo lasts a really long time as you only need the tiniest bit to create some serious foaming! And the conditioner smells great and leaves hair silky smooth. Big thumbs up for these two! :)

Link in your favourites bloggers...I'd like to see!


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mid-week mini haul!

Hi everyone. If you follow my blog or Youtube channel you'll know I love a good haul (a haul being where you reveal what you've been buying) and here's another! All be it mini.

Like many, I love to shop and will often take myself on random retail therapy sessions! It still feels a bit naughty to be out and about on say a Monday afternoon or a Thursday morning enjoying myself whilst others are at work. My typical week has so drastically changed since I left teaching full-time.

Anyhow, sometimes, just sometimes, I get bored of my own company (sarcasm detected) so I was thrilled when one of my best friends said that she had this week off work. YES! Someone to shop with me! 

So on Wednesday me and Gina naturally decided to indulge in a bit of retail therapy in Nottingham. We of course started our shopping trip with a Nando's. You just have to! :) Standard. 

Here's me literally bursting with excitement over anticipated chicken!!! :D
After demolishing our Nando's and adjusting my waistbelt...we hit the shops!

I cannot remember a running order so I'll just talk about my purchases from left to right of the haul picture...

Katie Piper's Beautiful Ever after. I have so so much admiration for this girl! She is truly one of the bravest people I've ever witnessed and I find her very inspirational. I loved her first book, despite it being a true tear-jerker and I'm sure this one will be just as great. WHSmith's were doing a offer where if you bought any magazine you could get the book for £2.99. Gina was buying a magazine anyway and so I simply couldn't resist :) 

Cotton pads and wash cloths. I actually bought 3x cotton pads and 2 wash cloths (pink and cream) for the above reason. I'm giving friends/family/local people the chance to try some of our great skincare products for a few days in the form of this Pamper Box. <3

Elemis Tan Accelerator. I've talked about this product many times and it's been a favourite of mine for around 5 years now. It does as it says and accelerates a tan like nobodies business! Also helps prevent prickly heat and sunburn. And have I mentioned it's scent?! Wow does this smell good! I purchased mine from John Lewis and a offer in store meant it was £20.70. It's usually not far off that pricemark anyway.

Plasters. How exciting! I've been trying to get my feet used to dolly shoes and the likes again now that summer's approaching. They do the job. Boots £1.79. Bargain.

White pumps. I wasn't actually planning to buy any shoes but whilst at the till in Select I happened to see these on the side. My feet are pretty delicate so the first thing I do when looking at shoes is feel the back of the heel to see if they are soft. These particular pumps felt amazing and I could tell they'd be a comfy wear. As luck would have it they had my size out of the only two pairs left in the store...I took this as a sign. They were also only £10.99.

Black leggings. You can never have too many black leggings right? Well recently my collection had dwindled down to one pair! So I had this purchase in mind from the start. I find Select ones really good value for money at 2 pairs for £8. 

The Veronica's new album. Although not pictured, I also bought this CD. This purchase was actually for my Dad. He loves the song 'You ruin me', as do I actually, and I planned to get him the album for his birthday way back in January! It was only recently released so it's been quite a wait...but finally got it! :)

As I said, it was just a mini haul! Hope you've all been having a great week too!


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Promotion recognitions and celebrations!

Hey everyone! I'd thought I'd start today's blog post with a shameless Sunday SELFIE! :) I have no idea where to begin with this post, but I'm aware that if you've been following my blog for a little while then you'll know my "story". If you aren't familiar and are interested in a little more detail then have a read over some of my previous posts.

So here I am with the UK's Managing Director of the company which has come to mean so very much to me over the last 8 months.

And on stage receiving my third promotion in front of a mere 5000 people!

I honestly cannot tell you what a rollercoaster my life has been in recent months. Everything has gone so fast that I'm only just starting to catch my breath.

A long story short, made a little bit shorter... I trained as a primary school teacher. My dream job since I was 11. I became a full-time primary school teacher. I struggled to stay afloat of the workload and pressures.

I didn't know it at the time but a message from an acquaintance was about to change everything. In August 2014 I signed up to a company called Forever Living Products. Did I know what I was doing? No. Was I skeptical? Yes. Was I brave enough to take a chance? Yes.

In just 2 months, as my teaching job began to make my more and more miserable, I decided my business was good enough to allow me to drop a day in teaching and go part-time. I honestly believed at this point, and I must stress, that I thought this would be my perfect solution to my problems.

But by January I had already drowned as a teacher. The workload and pressures almost killed me, quite literally. Either I had to quit the job or my mind and body would quit on me!

Sounds perhaps a bit dramatic? I agree. But it's the truth.

It's been beyond tough. But I clung to the business and it has been my saving grace. Days when I felt lower than low I would receive a call from one of my team members or I'd get a big order or something...and I'd smile. It's the only thing that kept me going. And I wanted to get to Manager with everything I had.

It's amazing to say I DID IT! Above is a picture of me with one of my best and oldest friend's, Gina. It meant the world to me that she wanted to spend a precious Saturday watching me get recognised on stage as Manager. She didn't need to but she was there without question. I've realised that support really is everything.

My team have been incredible and I could not have done it without them! It hasn't been all plain sailing. People around me have been negative and told me that it wouldn't work. You can imagine how my family reacted to me packing in teaching. Granted some of them saw what it was doing to me and were initially quite supportive but even then I've had to soldier through the 'bad press'.

Let me tell you. Leaving something I'd trained so hard for. Worked towards for 4 years of my life...a lof of which was damn well HARD work aswell...all for what? It makes me feel sick. I get that kicked in the stomach feeling even whilst writing this. But, it wasn't meant to be!

I had the BEST day getting recognised and was so proud to see so many of my team receive theirs too!... I DID IT! And I think that it just goes to show that anybody can. Despite all the dramas and personal battles behind the scenes, I came through it.

And the celebrations didn't end there...


As an extra treat (as if the recognitions weren't enough!) a few of us were taken out to a gorgeous Indian restaurant! Upon arrival we received a special message from 2 amazing people in the team to say another big well done along with complimentary bottles of champagne!


The food was lovely and we then continued the fun with cocktails in a nearby bar!

I've never had a 'pornstar martini' before but it's certainly become my new favourite! YUM :)

It was such a great way to finish off celebrating achieving an important level in the company!...Now, to unlock all of the fabulous incentives the company offer!!!

Do more of what makes you happy  <3