The truth about the pressures of society.

A few weeks ago Meghan Markle gave birth for the first time. For those of you who don't know who Meghan is, she was an American actress on a successful show called Suits for many years and then in 2018 she married Prince Harry and became a part of the Royal Family, complete 180 right? As part of the Royal Family, she was expected to fulfil certain criteria whilst pregnant for the rest of the world. Usually, when someone from the Royal Family gives birth they will then show off their new baby within a few hours and Meghan didn't want to do that, which I think is fair enough, getting judged in front of the nation just after I'd given birth, I wouldn't want to do that. 

* This is a collaborative post* 

Although I feel like a lot of people begrudged her of it, when she finally did show off Archie, people started to critique her weight and the way her body looks. To me I was shocked that people could believe these things let alone saying them, and although, Meghan likely won't see the comments it does make you wonder what these people think of the rest of us in society. 8 out of 10 new mums suffer from the Baby Blues, which is completely normal after giving birth, but the additional pressures are never going to help with that. Smart Cells created a great set of cards to help cards to see parents through the first few weeks of parenthood. From Meghan to any person in the spotlight who gets pregnant, gains weight or even loses weight the people of the world will have something to say about it. When you look at magazines in the supermarkets you see the covers are filled with toxic rubbish about celebrities, this person has gained weight or been dumped, it must be soul destroying for the person on the other end of these articles. 

As someone who suffers from anxiety and other mental health conditions, I know exactly what it is like to feel judged by pretty much everyone and most of the time that isn't even the case. Logging on to social media like Instagram can be a dangerous game when you're going through a tough time as you spend hours comparing yourself and wondering how you can make yourself more accepted by society. The standards are so unbelievably high these days I feel like it is almost impossible for anyone to feel accepted.

Being a teenager and growing up with the internet was one of those things that had me questioning so much about the way I looked, what I should be wearing and how to feel accepted by those around me. Me being me and deciding that I was never going to be societies version of perfect had me taking the opposite approach and living for me instead of how others wanted me to be, it's a great feeling. It's one I still try to stand by now. But for those who are desperate to look like they're shown on TV or online, it must be hard to deal with as you aren't able to escape it as easily anymore as pretty much everyone has the internet. To be completely honest I don't think I will ever understand why we live in a world full of judgement and expect people to act and be a certain way as each person is an individual and life is too short to care what others think. Whether you're in the spotlight or not, the way you are and what society expects of you is too much and you're ok to step away from that in order to be happy. End of.   

5 "out of the box" Stag & Hen dos.

*This is a collaborative post* 

Out with the traditional Stag & Hen dos which are all about the alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol. Bring on the new, I am talking Don't Tell The Bride style, go-karting, boat trips, assault courses and tons more. Without the side of drama and lack of budget. Essential Adventure is a site full to the brim of fantastic Stag & Hen Dos. As most of you probably now know, I am engaged and hopefully planning on getting married in the near future and of course, I have wedding planning Pinterest boards on the go (which you can find here), as I am enjoying wedding planning I thought it would be fun to start to showcase some wedding based content on my blog, starting with Stag & Hen dos and today I am going show you my top 5 "out of the box" picks. 

Pizza Making Party:
Of course, something relating to pizza had to make it into my top 5, a pizza making party might not sound like most exciting thing from the title but once you find out what is in store you'll soon change your mind. With head to head challenges, prosecco, starters, your own pizza creation and pizza host with a private area to get creating your masterpieces. If you're interested in learning more about hosting your own pizza making party you can find out more by visiting the Essential Adventure site. 

Totally Wiped Out: 
Most of us have seen the TV Show Total Wipeout, It's A Knockout and Gladiators, this is a spin-off of that course that you can hire for your hen or stag party. With 6 action-packed activites including a sweeper arm and punch wall, the activities will last 3 hours in total, you can really let your competitive side out. It looks like such a fun day and not one you are going to forget in a hurry. It looks a lot less dangerous than Total Wipeout too, that programme was intense.   

Grease Dance Class: 
A huge fan of the film Grease like I am? The ideal Hen do for you is here. Learn some of the moves from the hit musical including We Go Together and also a traditional hand jive. It's a great start to any hen do and you get to feel the part with the pink ladies jackets being supplied for the class. If Grease isn't your thing there are a ton of other dance classes you can pick from including Dirty Dancing and Burlesque. 

Life Drawing Classes: 
Out with the strippers and in with the Life Drawing Classes which features a few drinks, a naked model (female or male) and a humorous experience. Plus it allows you to find out who really is skilled when it comes to art. This is an experience and perfect as an activity at either a Hen or Stag do and can be a great warm-up before heading off to do more activities.

Go Ape Adventures:  
The final activity on the list is Go Ape Adventures which has recently expanded to having 28 around the country so there is likely to be one nearby for you to visit. The classic Go Ape experience usually lasts between 2-3 hours and is set in a stunning forest. With zip-wires and tackling the crossings (just like Tarzan), you'll be having heaps of fun the whole time. 

I hope you enjoyed my post today about 5 out of the box Stag & Hen dos and I'd love to know what you did for your hen do/ what you plan on doing if you are getting married in the future. 

*Although this is a collaborative post, all thoughts are my own as always. 

CaseApp the ultimate phone case extravaganza!

CaseApp is a worldwide supplier of high-quality custom phone cases. They make cases for a variety of devices including iPhone, Samsung, Macbooks and Google phone. This isn't the first time I've spoken about CaseApp on my blog as I am a huge fan of them and their cases and they recently offered me the case to review some of their cases. If you fancy reading my first review you can check this out here.   

The CaseApp phone cases are available to buy in standard or as a hard case. The hard cases work with two layers, the first is a silicone case, and then the second layer is a hard plastic case. A case like this will protect your device from drops and falls, as well as looking fab. What's special about CaseApp is that it is completely customizable and you can even upload your own art and images to create a one of a kind unique case. If you're loving a design on the site but want to add something a little more to it, like a name or word you are able to edit most cases too. CaseApp offers premade clipart which is free to use on your own phone case. There are a variety of cute decals and quotes too.

I made two cases, one which is a collage titled 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' which I created in Photoshop and uploaded to CaseApp to be printed onto a phone case. I was impressed with the finished result, and the quality is amazing. I chose to have this case have a matte finish, but you can also pick to have your case with a glossy finish depending on your preference. The phone case feels very sturdy and smooth and when you hold the case you can tell it's good quality. The second case was one of the premade ones from the site, if you know me, you'll know there's a reason I chose it (hint, it's because I love pizza!) I felt like the design was completely me and had a girly feel to it. A few artists I'd recommend checking out on CaseApp if you're planning on purchasing a premade one. If you're looking for something a little more on the colourful and fun side, I'd recommend checking out the cases by Paul Fuentes as they are amazing! If you are after something motivational check out The Optimist and finally if you're looking for something more simplistic but still fun there is Elina Dahl who creates some fantastic pieces. 

If you're interested in buying a case (or ten) from CaseApp you can get 20% off your purchase with code '20DUNGAREESDONUTS' which is active for the next few weeks.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and do let me know in the comments if you purchase a case from CaseApp.

*This post contains gifted items*

The ultimate quirky gift guide 2019

*This post is in collaboration with The Gift Co and contains some affiliate links also 

1. The Personalised Smash Sweets Cup is made entirely from chocolate and filled up with gorgeous treats, similar to an Easter Egg once you crack it open the goodies inside spill out. The best part about this lovely gift from The Gift Co is that you get it personalised and you can also get it in a variety of colours too. It's a great gift for those sweet lovers in your life and the fact it is personalised shows you've gone the extra mile. 
2. Pixie Tears Gin for most adults alcohol can be a great present to receive, whether that's an expensive bottle of champagne, some pints at the pub or even a bottle of their favourite spirit. Thanks to Firebox you can get a variety of spirits with an additional twist. From Pixie Tears to Chocolate Orange and beyond. 

3. A gift which is pretty much certain to be unique is the David Attenborough Activity Book filled to the brim with amazing puzzles which are a tribute to the British Icon David. If an animal Wordsearch isn't your thing, don't worry, there are plenty of other surprises to come including David Hattenborough. It's only £8 so the perfect gift for those who are fans of Sir Attenborough. 
4. The Andy Warhol Soup Can Jigsaw is a fantastic gift for those puzzle enthusiasts out there or just for someone who enjoys something a bit more quirky as a present. This 100 piece jigsaw is an out of the box gift designed by Andy Warhol who is of course known for his pop art style. 

5. Grow Your Own Sunflower is a treat for anyone who doesn't have a garden or who fancies a little project over the year. With these grow your own kits popping up all over the internet, with everything from chillies to your own Christmas tree, there is one out there for everyone. Sunflowers are great as they're associated with happiness.
6. Top Trumps was my favourite game as a child and more recently Top Hunks has been in my top picks, however, make way for the Friends Edition of the game. Perfect for any friends enthusiast. As it is based on the friends top moments, we have to wonder what is on the cards. It better have Rachael getting off that plane (one of the tensest moments in TV history!) 

I hope you've enjoyed this post and I have a variety of other quirky gift guides if you fancy checking them out, including gifts that every student wants* and not your typical health and beauty guide.

National Vegetarian Week With Haribo.

Vegetarian Haribo
*This post contains gifted items, however, this does not impact my opinion on this post or the items which were gifted to me* 

May 13th-19th is National Vegetarian Week as well as Mental Health Awareness week, two things which are close to my heart. Being a vegetarian for the majority of my life and seeing the huge shift in the opinions of those around me who are also now living or trying to live a vegetarian life. So this week is about celebrating us vegetarians and embracing the lifestyle. In recent years I've seen the number of vegetarian options in restaurants soar from 1 or 2 basic choices (it's always the veggie burger) to a massive variety, some places even offer a menu packed full of goodness. It's not just restaurants who have upped their game either. 

There are plenty of companies who are taking the step to offer meat alternatives, most supermarkets now have their own range of vegetarian/vegan food, some of the bigger chains are stepping up too and offering meat alternatives to their well-sold meat products. I'm sure most of you know about the Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll that took the nation by storm and even had Piers Morgan 'throwing up' in a bin *eye roll*. Quorn who has been the meat alternative from the start have started offering so many more products than their sausages and mince, they're offering bacon, scotch eggs, chicken nugget and many more alternatives which is amazing. 

Vegetarian Haribo 2019
Vegetarian Haribo 2019

Recently Haribo has released a huge range of vegetarian sweets! When I think of sweets my brain instantly goes to gelatine and for those vegetarian sweets on the market they just don't have the same taste as their non-vegetarian siblings. However, Haribo has managed to change this, I wouldn't have believed it either without trying them. But I'm actually shocked how good they taste and you'd never be able to tell the difference. Haribo have offered Strawbs for a long time which I didn't realise were vegetarian either, but with a ton of new exciting options in their collection what will you pick. With everything from mini strawbs, to new and exciting flavours of Jelly Beans and a twist on their classic star mix, which they have named their funny mix.

I'm excited to see what is in store next for Haribo and their vegetarian range as it keeps extending to new products and also improving previous products. I appreciate being able to enjoy more sweets now as the range was super limited prior to this. My favourites are the Jelly Beans as they have some amazing flavours such as candy floss and popcorn, yum.

Vegetarian Haribo  
Vegetarian Haribo Funny Mix

Thanks, Haribo for sending me these goodies, I am enjoying munching my way through them whilst writing this post. I am loving the miniature versions of their vegetarian sweets too, it allows you to snack easier whilst on the go. I'd love to know in the comments if you're vegetarian and what your favourite meat alternative is.