Instajunction Picture Collage

IMG_0837Here’s my new picture that arrived in the post today courtesy of Instajunction, a website that allows you to personalise all sorts of memorabilia using your own photos downloaded from Instagram. It’s great because Instagram photos have already been tweaked with flattering filters and trendy borders so they are just how you like them. Magnets, coasters, calendars, posters, you name it, you can make it on Instajunction! I decided to go for just a regular picture frame to put on the wall and when given the choice of how many photos I wanted to use I chose nine. That way I ended up with a combination of pictures of my family, my boyfriend and pretty places I’ve been to.

IMG_0839Generally the Instajunction website is well laid out and easy to manoeuvre but it was a bit of a faff uploading the pictures! You have to log in to Instagram to access your photos and as you pick the photos you want to use they appear in a line on the screen so that you can see them. I was expecting to be able to change the order of the pictures around and see how they would appear as 3 rows in the picture frame, but sadly the website didn’t allow this. I think it would have been handy to do this as you can see the finished product before finalising the order. Being a bit pedantic about things like that it did bother me a bit but it wasn’t the end of the world! I am still really pleased with the product. The frame is lovely and modern and the whole thing looks really professional. It’s nice to have something special and personal hanging on the wall reminding me of the people and places close to my heart!

If you’d like to buy something from Instajunction, use this discount code: FRIEND25BN . This will give you 25% discount off any orders placed up until 8th December 2013.

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The Tower Gatehouse in Wales

Something I wish I could do more often is to go away on a romantic weekend break, especially at this time of the year. With the evenings getting darker, thunderstorms brewing and the air getting crisper and cooler, I can think of nothing more perfect than being snuggled up on the sofa in a beautiful cosy old ‘cottage’, completely relaxed and just having a lovely time!2013-10-13 17.58.54

The Tower Gatehouse near Chepstow in Wales seems like the ideal location to do just that. I popped in when my Mum and StepDad were there for a quick break a few weeks ago and came away feeling quite envious!  It’s a Grade II period property, over 700 years old which has been renovated to a really high standard.It has a contemporary feel inside yet the owners have kept all the impressive features like the beams, spiral staircase and stone encased windows. The floaty canopy over the bed on the mezzanine, adds even more charm to the place. A real fairy-tale bedroom!

2013-10-14 08.09.27The Tower Gatehouse has so much character I couldn’t help fall in love with the place. It’s the complete opposite of the many anonymous, bland, purpose-built self-catering properties that I have seen online recently when looking for somewhere to go for a break after my next placement.   It seems like lots of care and attention has gone into making this little holiday home special and luxurious, and it’s somewhere I’m seriously considering going for our romantic getaway.

PS.Oliver’s Travels has included The Tower Gatehouse in his Top Ten Quirky Holiday Properties

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Beginning to plan for my Medical Elective

meI’ve just begun my third year as a medical student at the University of Southampton.

After two years of lecture-based learning, this year will be spent on various placements in the Hampshire area including psychiatry, paediatrics, surgery, general medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology. Now’s the time to really get stuck in doing all the practical stuff and applying skills we’ve learnt over the past two years such as history taking and patient examination.

I’ve been on my psychiatry placement for five weeks so far and I’m finding it so interesting.  It’s great to be able to apply knowledge and skills to real patients in a medical setting.

After a whole year of working on different wards in various hospitals and medical centres I hope to have gained a huge insight into what life is like as a doctor in the UK. But one thing that I’m looking forward to most this year is experiencing medicine in a country with a healthcare system completely different to that found in the UK on my ‘elective’ next summer. An elective is a placement carried out in a field of medicine of your choice in any country and hospital.

Having the freedom to choose any country in the world to visit for my elective makes it extremely difficult to decide where to go and what to do! After much research and browsing Lonley Planet forums I’ve narrowed my options down and I’m focussing on the Caribbean.

The reasons behind my choices are:

  1. I need to go somewhere English-speaking (my only other languages are French A-level and Welsh GCSE where we didn’t cover anything medical related so I don’t think I’d have much luck trying to understand what’s going on in a foreign hospital!)
  2. I want to go far enough away from the UK that I can experience a completely different culture (and hopefully better weather alongside that!) but not so far that it’s a forty hour journey which would ultimately be much too expensive for a student like me!
  3. I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before. This eliminated Asia and Australasia where I travelled on my gap year in 2010.
  4. By process of elimination (North America is too culturally similar to the UK; South America and Central America’s main language is Spanish) I was left with Belize, the Caribbean and Africa. Many people choose to do their electives in Africa but at the moment my personal preference is leaning toward the Caribbean.

university logo copySo it’s all well and good having chosen a destination but then comes the problem of which Caribbean island to choose?! Grenada seemed like a great place to start with, its University town of St. Georges renowned for its medical and veterinary courses. However after writing to Grenada General Hospital I was disappointed to hear that they were not accepting elective students this year.

Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenedines, Curaçao, St. Lucia and Belize in Central America are all options I am considering at the moment. Wherever I end up going (even if it’s not one of these places!) I hope the experience will really open my eyes to how medicine is practised in a country less economically developed than the UK.  

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Amphora Tea Tree & Manuka Cream

IMG_0551[1]My Mum’s drawers are full of all sorts of creams and ointments that she seems to pick up and never open, so she passed this one on to me. Recently I have been getting lots of tiny red spots on my chest area, almost like a rash. So I thought I’d give this a go because I’ve found in the past that tea tree cream is great for reducing redness when I get a spot or a bite.

IMG_0553[1]And luckily I was proved right. This cream has totally cleared up the redness on my chest and left it completely clear. On the tub it says ‘For all over body use, excellent for feet’ because of its anti-fungal properties. I haven’t needed to try it on my feet but I wouldn’t hesitate if I did ever need to!

A cute little pot, kind and gentle on the skin, a great little treatment for all sorts! Love it.

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Moroccan Argan Oil

IMG_0550[1]Since I’ve known my friend Frankie for the past 2 years she has always has unbelievably soft, silky hair. I asked her what her secret was and she told me she uses Moroccan Argan oil on it. So I went home and had a little look online but was disappointed to find that a small bottle costs between £20 and £30! A few weeks later during my daily Groupon browsing I was excited to find that they were offering a 100ml bottle for £8.99 – still quite expensive for me who usually only spends £1 on shampoo, but I thought I’d splash out on this little gem (or so I thought)!

I’ve been using the oil daily for about a month now and unfortunately I see absolutely no difference in my hair. The bottle states that the treatment provides ‘silky perfection for ALL HAIR TYPES’ but I have to disagree. For Frankie, who has thick, dark, wavy hair, this has worked wonders. But I had no such luck using this on my thin, limp, fair hair.

Worth a shot and I’m glad I tried it but I won’t be buying this again (especially for the full retail price!!)

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The All-In-One Company

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I thought I’d share some pictures of my new onesie which I got from The All-In-One Company where you design and create your own unique onesie. The website is really easy to use and there’s plenty to choose from whether you want a onesie for a boy, girl, adult and they even have really cute ones for babies!

When you click the link to ‘Build a Create Your Own All-In-One‘ you can choose your size and then customise your onesie with all sorts of extras such as a tail, hood, ears, pockets, feet, gloves etc. All of these things have an extra charge so it can end up being quite pricey!

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As you choose your fabrics, patterns and extras you can see an image of how your all-in-one is going to look, However, I warn you not to base your colour choice on looking at this picture – look at the name of the colour instead! I wanted to have half of my onesie patterned and the other half a plain grey. But after clicking on the colours and seeing how they looked on the image I settled for a colour called ‘Soft Caramel’ because it looked like a nice grey. When my onesie arrived I was a bit disappointed because the colour looked completely different in real life to what it looked on the computerised image. Obviously, the name caramel should have given it away that it was brown not grey, so that was a bit stupid on my part! So, I was quite annoyed with myself for that but nevertheless I still love my all-in-one. It’s so cosy (although in the heatwave we’ve been having I haven’t managed to enjoy it yet!) and really good quality. Bring on the winter where I can snuggle on the sofa in my soft, fluffy onesie watching a film and drinking hot chocolate!

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Models Own Artstix Duo

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For my birthday I had this lovely nail varnish – Models Own Artstix Duo Polish ‘Freak Betty‘ – as a present. . The Artstix duo range combines a different colour nail varnish with a different effect to put over the top. Freak Betty is a lovely deep blue colour (Betty Blue) with a glittery top coat called ‘Freak Out’ from the Mirrorball range. I absolutely love glittery nails so this one was the perfect choice for me! Hope you like it as much as I do!

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