Friday, 26 August 2016

Anxious/Extrovert

People in my life who have known me longer than my Generalised Anxiety Diagnosis think it's really odd to think of me as struggling with anxiety. I was always the life and soul of a party, in the middle of a circle of people talking - I was always the one with the gossip, the one with the loudest voice in a room, the one that was in and out of friendship groups in school. I was never the kind of person that people typically think of as someone with anxiety - but here we are. So, what's it really like to be an extrovert with anxiety?


Anxiety is a really tough illness to live with - and a lot of sufferers actually display symptoms from early in their childhood; for this reason, a lot of anxiety symptoms are often mistaken as being personality traits. In my case, this isn't the fact - I've always had anxiety about speaking to people, but I've always wanted to have my voice heard. I've always worried how people look at me, but I've always wanted to go on adventures and meet new people. As I've gotten older, it's become much, much clearer that my illness and personality have often, and will often, go head to head.

My anxiety disorder doesn't stop me meeting new people, it doesn't stop me wanting to travel the world, or talk to strangers in the street - it doesn't stop my extrovert personality coming through. I can speak to someone without thinking about it, I can join in conversations with strangers - my head just deals with it in a different way. Whereas I am able to act on my extroverted thoughts, my head always has me thinking that I'm an idiot and everyone hates me afterwards.

I'm not the only person out there who is an extrovert with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. My symptoms make me appear shy, but that doesn't mean that I am - my illness leads me to struggle with uncertainty, with situations that I'm not in control of; this doesn't mean that I dread every social occasion or can't talk to people, just if they happen to cross over into a field my anxiety struggles with, I can struggle with them by default.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm an extrovert, I'm loud and bolshy and cheeky and I swear a lot; and that doesn't diminish the fact that I suffer pretty greatly from Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety disorders don't mean that you're shy or introverted, they mean that you have issues with anxiety - the clue's in the name.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

August Degustabox

You all know that I (not so patiently) await my Degustabox every month, but this one literally came yesterday and so I was really ahead of the ball on this one. Still though, I love a good box of food and so it's exciting for me every month, and if I write the post up sooner it means that I get to eat all the goodies sooner, which is always a bonus in my eyes! This one was more savoury, which I'm not against, but also had some cheeky products I was super excited to try.


Now the brand of the box seemed to be Geeta's, and I got their Tikka Curry Paste, Rogan Josh Curry Paste and Premium Mango Chutney. Now, honestly, curry really isn't my thing - but it is my family's thing and so these were promptly stolen out of the box and chucked into the cupboard for tea later in the week, so I'll undoubtedly keep you updated over on twitter (cheeky plug). Now, let's pretend I didn't send a picture of this to my group chat for the banter, the next product is Willy Chase's Fit Popcorn. No, really. Mine is in the Apple Cider Vinegar flavour and it's an odd cross between sweet and sour; I'm not against it, but I think it's a taste that would really have to grow on me to be the one that I reach for in the supermarket (worth taking to a party purely for the name, though.)

Next up the Rakusen's Snackers Mini Crackers - one gluten free and one not. Basically, these are crackers, and I don't really know how much I can say about that really. I do think that consistency wise etc. the gluten free crackers really hold their own against the "standard" ones, but all in all - crackers are crackers in my opinion. Then comes an old favourite, a holiday throwback - Mahou. The five star beer, and there's a reason that's the tagline. I am all about Mahou, it reminds me of being in Spain and I was so tempted to break into this as soon as the box arrived at 1pm yesterday but it seemed a little early (although, it's always five o' clock somewhere...)


Another old favourite, with a new twist, is the Tabasco Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce And Marinade and I honestly can't wait to put this to try on ribs at the weekend (I mean I probably won't eat them but I'll still taste the sauce on some form on quorn, I'm sure) and I hope I like it as much as original Tabasco which I add to just about anything that I cook. Dorset Cereals is another favourite, and I've already delved into this Bircher Mix of Raspberry and Blackcurrant - which is smooth, creamy and suitably sweet (which is what I need to keep me interested in anything vaguely healthy). Also, I suck at portion sizes and so the spoon to accurately measure it out was really appreciated. The Nutripots I haven't gotten a chance to try yet, but I'm so excited - I have Aromatic Noodles and Moroccan Couscous to try and I'm all about a healthy snack food that I don't have to put thought into. Expect a instagram post on these ones.


I love a good tea and this Clipper Lime, Ginger and Green Tea is actually really good - little sweet for my taste, but the ginger definitely makes me feel like we're finally getting around to Autumn and so I'm excited for this to become a staple within the next few months. I've tried the Get More drinks in the past - but honestly, I'm seriously Vitamin D deficient (no jokes please) and so I can always grab something that's about to boost my multivitamins, plus these are really really tasty, and so I'm all in for this. Finally (there's a lot in this box, huh?) are the Oloves, which are already long gone, in chilli and oregano - which are tasty but could do with a little more heat in my personal opinion!


So that's what was in my Degustabox this month, and if you want a whopping £7 off your box you can use the code BLDEG15 (as usual, not an affiliate link I just love a good deal.)

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Disclaimer Book Review

I've been wanting to read Disclaimer by Renee Knight for a good year or so but I've just not quite gotten round to pushing it to the top of my to-read list but finally, finally - I've gotten right through to the end and I'm ready to speak about it. You know that I'm all about thrillers and so I had high hopes for Disclaimer (slightly let down by the fact that it's been compared to Gone Girl on the front as I actually really don't like that book) and so I was honestly really excited to get stuck in this week.


This story is essentially told in two parts - the third person part that follows Catherine, a woman who finds a book about herself (and a secret she thought that nobody knew) when they're moving into their new house, and the first person narrative that comes from Stephen - a man with a seemingly unrelated story who is telling us what it was like to lose his wife, and the events that lead up to there. Eventually the two stories meet in the present and we follow their intercrossing paths and see their shared history, and I have to say that it's not what I expected.

Now don't get me wrong, I've read better thrillers - but this is much better than the reviews online will have you believe. Much like Gone Girl I feel like it could realistically have ended a solid 100 pages earlier than it did, but it has a strong storyline and a way of making you question a character that you feel as though you should be able to trust. The swap in narrator, the swap in timings and the contrasting stories make it a rollercoaster ride wherein it's hard to put together the story that's right under your nose.


Is it awful? No, not at all - it did leave me wondering what was going to happen in the end, did make me wonder if the subtle clues were just red herrings; but ultimately, I had managed to piece together a serious amount of the story before I got to the big reveal. It's not awful as a book, I've just read better - but that's not to say that it was unpleasant or not worth the read, because it's a good thriller if you drank up Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train.

If you're read Disclaimer, I'd love to hear your views!

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

My New Favourite Ring

I'm all about a good ring - but very few make the cut, and so when ChloBo offered to send me a ring, I was intrigued to see what they had to offer. To be honest, I didn't even know Chlobo did rings, but I did know they did those hella delicate (hella expensive) bracelets and so I had high hopes. I'm a basic bitch and so I'm all about silver and rose gold and they didn't let me down, and after five minutes of browsing I came across the perfect ring to go alongside my silver/welsh gold Clogau ring - and that was the Luna Ring in Rose Gold.


I have to say - I was torn on styles, I love the solid Luna Ring and I think it's delicate and beautiful and goes with my usual style, but the elegant beaded rings had me torn too, because I'm never seen anything quite like them that's looks so effortlessly cool (seriously though, this Mini Cross In Heart Ring is actual life, even though I normally stay miles away from yellow gold.) I was also pleasantly surprised to see that these aren't as expensive as I'd anticipated, and the Luna Ring will only set you back £65 which, all in all, isn't that much when you compare it to Pandora and similar (and controversial opinion, but I do think this is better quality than my Pandora ring).


I've been wearing this for a while because sometimes you get amazing jewellery, but at the first sign of water or scuffing, it's a goner. I am happy to say that ChloBo has the quality down to the same parr as they have their blogger aesthetic down. I've worn this to death, forgotten to take it off when I'm washing my hands, scuffed it locking the door - and to be honest, it still looks brand new. I know it sounds stupid but I have some rings that are so beautiful but so badly made that I'm scared to wear them on a day to day basis, and so I'm glad ChloBo isn't about to be added to that category!

All in all - this is worth the money (plus the packaging is hot pink and kind of amazing, so?) and more. This is easily knocking the quality of my pandora ring out of the water and I think I'd likely buy another ChloBo for my collection sooner than anything else. I think it's worth paying for quality, obviously, but it's also nice if you get the quality without breaking your bank balance and so I'm always pleased when I find companies like this that haven't compromised their quality for their price.


So heads up - ChloBo is kind of my new one; and to be honest I didn't see it coming. If you're looking for quality, good pricing and unique pieces that you're not going to find replicated in other brands, then ChloBo is definitely worth checking out. If you've got any other bits from ChloBo, I'd love to know what the quality is like (please don't ruin my love affair this early in the game!) My one downfall with this ring is, it only comes in small, medium and large and so if you're ordering online, it can be a bit of a pain (mine is a medium but it has a little bit of wiggle room still, so maybe I could have gotten away with a small!)

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Faking Orgasms.

I've been there. I've been sweaty, hot, not at all into the sex that I'm having and screaming my lungs out in order to make it end quicker. We all know if there's one thing guaranteed to end sex - it's an orgasm, and so by default many of us also know that to get out of bad sex, all you have to do is fake it. As much as I don't like to admit it, it's easy; screwing my face up, making the right noises, clenching some muscles. I've faked orgasms to end bad sex probably more times than I've not faked orgasms due to good sex - but it seems that I'm not the only one, and it's becoming a worrying pattern.

I am disgusted to say this out loud - but I know from experience that my faking of an orgasm is much, much more successful at ending sex than the word "no" is. I've learned safe words will never mean as much to some people as boosting their ego, and in fact a study taken recently shows that although women were invited to talk about faking orgasms in consensual sex, many of these women simply did not use the words "rape" or "coercion" despite the fact that is what their experiences suggest.


So I took to twitter to get opinions; and it was interesting. As women, we mark our orgasm as a finishing point - and it seems that many of us know that instead of asking to stop, it's much easier to make someone feel like they've succeeded. We don't want to offend, it's taking too long, we're tired - nearly every person I asked had a slightly different variant, and yet it all lead back to the same place; nearly everyone I had asked had faked an orgasm in order to get sex to end sooner.

As much as we talk about faking orgasms in the sense of bruising men's egos - it's so clear that it goes deeper than this. We don't feel comfortable to say no, but we know that orgasms will end the sex; we're not into it, we're too tired - it doesn't matter the reason, it just matters that we get out without bruising any egos. Why do we feel the need to boost the egos of people who can't sexually satisfy us? The women that I asked seemed to think this was a commonly done thing - and the more I ask, the more it seems that that's true. Whereas men seem to think it's a right to orgasm through sex, women know their pleasure is just a means to an end; and that's a dangerous position to be in. We're faking them with men, women, all manner of people in order to feel in control of the sex that we're having.

Interestingly, in the matter of fairness - I also reached out to some of the males in my phonebook; none of which had faked an orgasm, and all of which believe that they'd be able to tell if a girl was faking an orgasm (from personal experience, at least two of them were incorrect on that latter point). Also interestingly; it seems that as women, we're starting to take it back - a lot of women are starting to realise that if people can't pleasure us, this isn't something we should be faking in order to make them feel better. Gone are the days of pleasuring yourself whilst someone goes outside to smoke post bad sex, isn't it time we learned to tell people that, actually, they just aren't that good in bed?

I'd love to hear your opinions, and feel free to share any orgasm faking stories because whether yours adds to my point or goes against it, they're still interesting to read!

Sammy xo.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

#LivHelps

Truthfully, I'm writing this with a 10pm hangover on a low after all of the adrenaline from #livhelps has worn off - but I want to write this whilst I'm still so full of love for the community around me. Today I didn't even take that many photos, I did however get really drunk, get to know the bloggers from in and around Liverpool and generally I laughed until my sides hurt, did shots and was so thankful that after everything shit that people have to say about the blogging community I had the chance to sit in a room full of people that so completely proved that to be wrong. It's been 4 months of hard slog but truthfully, it was worth every tantrum to get to here.

(quite literally the only photos I remembered to take probably because the middle one is of a Long Island Iced Tea.)

After so many dramas - our venue falling through, our cohost pulling out, the bags clearly not being strong enough to carry the amount in them - on the day it worked out fine and the venue that (amazingly) stepped in at the last minute was the truly phenomenal Dough Bar, who actually made the event everything that it was and so, when life closes a door and all that. Truthfully, you can check the hashtag for venue pics because I was too busy running around but we all know you're really only here for the goodie bag anyway, so let's get onto that. Shout out to Noble Gift for providing our bags which were gold and boss.


Thank you to all the brands involved - including the amazing Love With Food box who donated a box for each bag and also another load to people in need. Furthermore, keep an eye out for the raffle prizes people won because they were fantastic! I had an amazing day, thanks for coming and I'm off to sleep in order to finally sleep this alcohol induced haze off!

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

(TW:SH) The Reality Of Self Harm

It goes without saying that there's a Trigger Warning for Self Harm attached to this post and so please don't read if you think it'll negatively affect you in any way, always take care of yourself.

Self harm has this weird view from those people outside of it, people who have never really suffered from it. It comes with this perception that it's something that all kids do, an emotional release for angsty teenagers, something that we grow out of. When you have to admit to people that your scars actually came from anywhere between the ages of 11 and 22, when you have to admit to people that as an adult you still struggle with this addiction that makes you want to hurt yourself every single day, it makes people feel awkward, uncomfortable. The fact is though, self harm is a huge symptom for nearly all mental illnesses, and the idea that people still treat it as though it's something that you can laugh off isn't only upsetting, it's actually harmful.


Nearly anyone who's ever suffered with self harm will tell you what it's like to sit through a group of people joking and laughing about the thing that's tearing your life apart, not knowing what it's like to hide pieces of metal away, not knowing what it's like to scream at your parents because all they want is for you to be safe and all you want is for this incessant emotion, or lack of, to stop. That's the ugly truth of self harm - it's blood on your favourite clothes, constantly worrying about whether your jeans are sticking to the injuries on your legs, it's boxes of plasters hidden away even though you know there's a point when they become completely ineffective.

The reality of self harm is that it makes you a liar, fluent and unthinking - you'll have a repertoire of excuses, of reasons, or justifications and you'll get so good that you're not only fooling everybody else but you start to fool yourself. The reality of self harm is that you reach a point where you think it's normal, fine - if you're living with it every day then can it really be that bad? You feel in control of not being in control; this addiction rules you every minute of every day, it's suffocating and it's one of the worst feelings that I've ever felt, it plagues you every day and still tricks you into thinking that you're in charge. 

It's the only part of my mental illness I wasn't sure I wanted to recover from - in the same way that alcoholics know they have a problem but crave that burn in their throat, I knew I had a problem but needed that feeling, needed that control. At some point in my illness, the truth became this really ugly confession that self harm was no longer my worst enemy, at some point it had become my closest friend, my best confidant, the kind of friend that is nice to your face but rips you apart behind your back.

The reality of self harm is you don't always grow out of it, it plagued me as much as an adult as it did when I was a child - it's not a call for attention, it's a means to get through, to survive. The truth of self harm is that it's ugly, and it takes over your life; but it's something you can at least part way recover from. The truth about self harm is a little understanding, moving towards breaking the stigma would help a hell of a lot of people who are suffering. The truth about self harm is it's something I'll have to live alongside for my whole life; my mental issues with regards to it, and my physical scars - and the truth is about self harm that many of us do, and more people need to understand the truth of the illness.

Sammy xo.

If you're struggling with self harm you can find help through The Samaritans
 
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