A whole new world (Lush Watford’s grand re-opening 30/09/17)

Written 30/09/17.

Today is the long awaited day. The small positivity radiating shop I am lucky enough to work in has had a grand make over. Our shop was cute enough before, but seeing the new designs of many other re-fitted shops our aesthetic could not compare.ย Finally, the precious little gem in my life most know as lush Watford (I’m honestly not even being over dramatic) has had a revamp and is open once more.
Due to set foot in there this afternoon , I am extremely excited to se the buzz of faces in awe at this shiny new shop, a totally new hub for lushies to explore. I can’t wait to see the buzz of amused faces passing in the intu centre wondering what the hype is all about. I cannot wait to work and explore the shop myself, and to sell the Halloween products a week early!
So, what’s all the fuss about?

For staff, the promise of a refit caused enough buzz for us to feel desperation and longing for a new shop.

For customers, with a new sink and accessible units, this shop is not only aesthetically pleasing but also something we can utilise to give people a better experience. Also,our shop was already pretty accessible, but we had unnecessarily large tables for our Fresh Face Masks and Soap, so with brand new, slimmer tables, it gives wheelchair users an easier access route which will be generally amazing but also vital at christmas.
Aesthetically… Well if I just show you a few pictures and I assure youyou’ll be blown away.

First, here is a time lapse posted by the one and only LUSHACKER (iconically famous apparently- not that I’m needy but no one ever gives me attention when they realise I’m friends with Jack.)

And now… the beautiful shop!!!

Massage. Photos taken by yours truly

Perfume

Bath


Plus, here’s a sneak peak of the dream teamย 

https://instagram.com/p/BZRngIMg0ZS/

If you’re local to Watford or in the London area, you should come down to see us…we have a lot of fun activities going on this weekend, and regardless of whether you get involved or not, it’s a beautiful shop. Plus… we have the Halloween products in a week early! Can I entice you with that? Pretty enticing to me.
I hope you have a very Lushie weekend and hope to see some of your faces, but if not, thank you for experiencing our shop visually…

Love always,



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A little rebrand (top tips for bloggers – on the aesthetic) // HAPPY 100TH POST!

A little while ago, you may have notice I somewhat changed the layout of my blog. I thought my blog needed a little bit of a rebrand, seeing as I’d had the exact same layout for two whole years. Two whole years. I started blogging when I was 16, so now I’m almost 19, you’d expect me to have changed a lot, and I have.

My old layout did somewhat catch the essence of my blog, but it was also very child-like and playful, and it felt more personal than lifestyle (and a crazy range of things posted on here…), so I wanted to make it look more like my blog.

This is how the change looked:

A tip to bloggers

This little change automatically gave me more traffic, made more ‘visitors’ become followers and blogless readers send external feedback (email, twitter, Instagram DM, etc…). This was not the reason I changed my theme, it was so I was more happy with my blog, but I thought mentioning this would be a handy tip for other bloggers looking for a revamp, with blogs new or old. Regardless, it is so important to remember to feel comfortable and happy with your own blog. I wouldn’t change my theme to something I don’t love.

I also found this helped me as a blogger. Whether due to tiredness, depression or external factors, it can be easily to lose motivation or energy to blog even if you really want to write. I found that this change gave me motivation and more goal-orientated, especially in times where life was harder. ย I had to keep it up for the blog and this new aesthetic has motivated me.

Other changes to STORIESCANMAKEUSFLY

The sign off

For 2 1/2 years, I have been signing off with the words ‘Love always, Lauren xxx’ written simply in the same font as everything else posted in the blog. After inspiration from many other bloggers and their aesthetics, I have decided to change that! Earlier this week I downloaded one of many sketch apps and designed my own sign off…


I tried to write my name in a similar style to my favourite font (who could’ve guessed it’d be Lush?!) and put three (being my lucky number) orange hearts at the end. The orange sort of represents me in many ways, mostly centred around autumn; autumn is my favourite season, I was born in autumn, I love PSLs more than life itself, and also totally separate from all this, I have ginger hair.

I feel this sign off, or dare I say logo, is very representative of me and adds to the aesthetic drastically. I hope you guys feel so too!

Hand drawn

When using this app, I also decided to hand-draw some more things to add to my blog. Here is a sneak peak of one thing… star ratings to add to any reviews. In a test post (the next to come) I found this worked so well and made things look and feel a lot better.


Social media

Though I do have a specific tab for social media (see the menu at the beginning of my page and on the web my Instagram is along the side), as my presence on Instagram and twitter is high, I have decided to add links to my social media at the end of every post (it will usually be small, but noticeable for anyone who wants to give me a follow or drop me a message)



I am soon to add other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Bloglovin too!

These magic buttons will take you to my pages with just a simple click on the image!

As you can see, I the little ‘follow me on’ logo was drawn by hand… I’m happy enough with it at the moment but will be working on a better one in the near future.

So, these are the main changes that have taken place on my blog recently, and though there are not many, I have found they make a huge different. They make things look a little better and I can safely say I’m a lot happier with my blog.

I do hope you like them and it gets you thinking about your own if you’re new starting out or your blog is more simple and you want to jazz it up.

Also, HAPPY 100TH POST!!! This was unintentionally my 100th, but I guess a note on rebranding and making my blog better for the future is a relevant post!

I appreciate every single one of you reading this and those who have supported me in these past few years, even throughout my gaps and blips…

You’re amazing and I hope you continue to tolerate me (or even better, enjoy my writing, in the future).

Love always,

Everything changes- moving forward

“What I thought was so permanent fades…”

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Today marks the first day of the week my dear friends will have officially moved into their university towns. I’m over the moon for them, honestly, but I guess it marks the end of an era and is forcing me to accept we’re all moving on.

It was time, this weekend, for Chloe to move in to her university accommodation; img_7332Adelaide moved in last week, but until they were both gone, I couldn’t accept it.

Before I continue, I just have to say, i’m not excluding Louise… but as she’s doing London based training, and primarily because I’ve forced her to come and work with me part time, I couldn’t as such refer to her as having moved away. It’s hit me that I won’t see her every day, too, and that’s she’s doing other things now, but I am grateful to get to see her a little more than the others.

img_7338Seven years. Seeing people almost every day for seven years has strange withdrawal symptoms. I need to keep remembering something Chloe told me; We probably will see and appreciate each other more now anyway.

See– We barely shared lessons.ย Appreciate- In school it was easy to get aggitated, stressed or just constantly be tired. At uni, knowing we’ll only have that short period of time and knowing we won’t be able to just see each other tomorrow again may concentrate our friendship.

I think it’s just hard knowing they’re not around the corner anymore. I can’t ring them up and beg for company when I get a little lonely, or pop round for nourishment of the soul in the event of potential breakdown, or let’s be real, even phone them spontaneously now because uni students go out a lot and have a lot of work so things will need to be more planned. The only good thing is, thank god I live in this generation, because FaceTime exists and what would I do in this situation without?

I am eternally grateful for those I still have arounf- those on a gap year and my work people- but my girls… My girls are growing up and I don’t know what to do about it. My girls are moving on.ย We’ve gotta get the gang back together.

Despite this moving on, I know they’ll always be by my side, even if they are 100+ miles away, but I miss them tonnes and those last hugs were hard.

I love them so, so much.

Seven years is a long time, and I hope that seven years on we’ll still have our little group.

Love always, Lauren xxx

 

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Life as a commuter

‘Commuting’ is not an art i’m used to, nor have perfected. I guess living no more than 15 ย minutes from work walking means I never truly have commuted, unless you count my periodic trips into London for Theatre School and rehearsals a ‘commute’ (well, I did hit rush hour and have to get up at crazy o’clock). Last week, however, changed that. Of course i’ve been into London a million times before and in rush hour, so I knew what was coming, but life as a commuter seemed somewhat strange. I transformed into someone working in London and my mind was in another place; it wasn’t all fun and games this time, I had to get to work.

This became the case as my dear little Lush store is having a refit, and therefore is shut for three weeks, so to fulfil my working week I was sent to, or as I liked to say, was ‘on loan to’ South Molton Street, Oxford Street andย Northampton.

Each store was very, very different.

South Molton Streetย was a tiny little shop on a very fancy road in Mayfair. Mayfair though it may be, it also is just off Oxford Street. The shop was not at all busy, most customers spent a fortune in one transaction, and there were barely any children. I kid you not, the only child I met that day popped into Lush prior to her harpsichord lesson at Handel house and was extremely polite. The difference astounded me.

Oxford Street,ย Lush’s three story flagship store,ย was totally different to all the rest. I mean, of course it was, if the sheer size didn’t give it away. It was such a huge honour to work there and I came away with tips and tricks on improving my own confidence and a few training tips on helping others in my store’s confidence thrive, but it was just so crazy. Everything from the procedures, the staff, the sales.. was different.

Northampton. Northampton, Northampton, Northampton. What a family. I was lucky enough to work in this little shopping centre-based store for two days and I felt so welcomed. They were a wonderful little family and I felt like I was in the family myself after only a short period of time. I’ve honestly promised to go back just to see them because I loved them so, so much. Being a part of this shop was another experience entirely.

For those three different locations, I obviously had to commute in two directions. As I mentioned, South Molton Street is actually just off of Oxford Street so the commute to those two stations was not dissimilar, but for Northampton my commute was on a London Midlands train in the Birmingham direction.

Things I’ve learnt about commuters:

  1. Time doesn’t exist. I found it kind of distressing that commuters can turn up late and blame the tubes. You commute every day! You should know how long it takes on a long and short journey. I knew how long the longest journey would take, added a few minutes leeway and got the train before that. And by train I mean train, not tube, so instead of 2 minutes prior it’s a solid 20 at best. I arrived for my 9;30 at 8;45, sat down, enjoyed a coffee, and still had a large period of time to spare. Commuters, take a leaf out of the book of someone who doesn’t commute everyday. We may be paranoid, but at least we’re not late.
  2. Panic is always in the air. Commuters, as mentioned previously, don’t seem to care if they’re late or not, but always seem to be in a panic; out of breath, buzzed from too much or too little coffee, shoving people out the way… Leave earlier. Stop cramming. Chill. Of course, I too was anxious, merely due to the amount of people, but maybe no-one would be if we all practiced a little common sense.
  3. What’s a queue?ย Queues don’t exist. A commuter doesn’t care if you haven’t got on four tubes in a row, if there’s a space on the next one and he’s just turned up, he will shove you out the way to fill it. Even if there isn’t a space, someone will end up with body parts jammed in between the back doors and the train if it means he can get on.
  4. Common sense? Don’t know her. Like queueing, people are so self focused common sense goes out the window.
  5. Who’s polite?ย The basic answer is no one.200
  6. *Sigh*… Did you justย breathe?ย Did you really just breathe? Right infront of my salad? Memes aside, if you breathe, someone will probably try to kill you with a sharp eye-shot, a soft ‘accidental’ incident of standing on your foot or a swift knock of their backpack in your face. People are cruel and judgemental fro no apparent reason and apparently we just have to deal with that.
  7. Speaking of salad, my salad needs a seat more than you.ย Right, i’m not attacking people who put their bags on seats, because we all do, I do sometimes I must say. All i’m saying is you can’t in rush hour. You can see it’s packed and people are standing, so it’s just selfish. I don’t think I have some kind of undying right for a seat but as a disabled person, struggling and in a lot of pain, wearing a ‘please offer me a seat badge’ (again, not saying I have a divine right, but I do have it for a reason), you’d expect me not dislocating my hip would be more important than your salad box. Hell, regardless of whether people are disabled etc or not, if there’s a spare seat, you deserve to sit, and you’ve probably had a long day, so be kind.

 

So, I’m not saying my experience as a commuter was hell, but some people just angered me. Have a little common sense. Show some kindness. Heck, even just don’t be rude and that’s enough.

I’m definitely glad I have such ease travelling to my little shop everyday, but I definitely am glad to have had the experience as a commuter and would love to visit other shops again. I’m just glad normal mornings entail little stress.

Love always, Lauren xxx

Lush Creative Showcase 2017

September. For most people it’s the end of summer, they’re still living in the sunshine age. For Lushies, it’s Christmas. Not only is it Christmas, but it’s Halloween too, it’s every seasonal thing you’ve been sighing for come-early.

Though this is mostly highly anticipated through the knowledge that Lush will bring out their Christmas products at the end of the month, a lucky few will have been counting down to the end of summer so they can experience no less than the Lush Creative showcase (I say few… it’s actually a rather large event).

This year, Christmas came early on September the 4th and 5th. Oxford Street already have the Christmas range up in collaboration with the showcase. This year it was bigger than ever.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work at the showcase; both in the Naked House a week prior, and doing ‘Bath Art’ at the showcase itself. Unfortunately I never was able to utilise the latter opportunity as I did end up in hospital, which is a huge shame, but I really enjoyed my time working at ‘The Naked House’ on the second day of opening so this post will be significantly heavy on this exhibition.

The Showcase

Though I wasn’t there myself, I managed to live it a little through three of my friends (links here, here and here to their popular Instagrams) and my good friend Steve brought me back some amazing patches, too. I also managed to get a tweet about it everywhere

It ended up in twitter moments, in the daily mirror and the daily mail. Crazy, right?

Anyway, if you hadn’t guessed from this tweet, Jeremy Corbyn was at the showcase on Monday and made his own bath bomb! As a strong supporter of both Lush and the Labour Party this excited me a lot.

The creative showcase this year was full of lots of fun things like a giant slide and jellies to play with, and the launch of new naked shower gels and much more, sliding us into a greener future. It also revealed Christmas to us and happy lushies were able to buy new and old christmas and Halloween products.

The Naked House

I was lucky enough to work at ‘The Naked House’ gallery on the second day of it’s opening.


Yep, the wall of bottle tops? I, along with three others, made that.


The Naked House was truly eye opening. As a art gallery-come-museum with the purpose of raising awareness and helping people transition into an environmentally friendly lifestyle, it did everything from wow you to open your eyes to truths you once may have ignored.

I’ve always been environmentally cautious and passionate about ensuring we look after our world, heck if you look back I was an ‘eco comittee’ representative throughout my school days, so working here really enthused me to do such again. Expect more eco-based content on here in the future.

The house was based on five floors:

  • A history of packaging
  • Art with plastic
  • Innovative boutique
  • Utopian sustainable home
  • The Ocean Room

These were not their exact names, simply phrases to sum them up.

Floor One: A history of packaging

ย This floor took you back wonderfully; from ancient times, the sixties and today, the exhibit explained the invention of plastic its prior use of tin, to those containers we now refer to as ‘eco packaging’.


This information was painted over the walls along with posters showcasing facts about packaging;

  • “Packaging is the main source of plastic waste arising accounting for approximately 2.2 million tonnes (59%).”
  • “Of the total energy used in food production; 50% is used in food production; 10% is used on transport to shops; 10% is used to make packaging; 30% is used by shoppers driving to the shops, storing and cooking food.””
  • “The average person uses 425 plastic bags per year.”

In the centre of this room, Lush were showcasing their new sustainable innovations. This included bath bomb and bath melt boxes made from recycled coffee cups (hey, the amount of coffee I drink means I’m doing my bit!), cork storage for shampoo bars (sustainably made) and Wash cards (a small piece of ‘card’ made from apple pulp you can use as a Naked form of shower gel).

Fun fact: You can tell if a cork or product made from cork is sustainable easily; non-sustainable production of the material shows when you can not see a straight line in the pattern of the material. A straight line means one piece of cork has been used (sustainable) and when you cannot see this many pieces have been used and unethically glued back together! The trouble with this is using one piece of cork takes much longer to produce an item than several tiny bits and is also much more expensive so many companies are lazy and exploit the unethical route.


Art with plastic

This exhibition was made of of works from 4 artists;

They individually created photography, sculptures and collections from items such as doll heads and pencil sharpeners found in the ocean.

Unfortunately we did not have access top all of their art du to other exhibitions happening at the same time but what they did was amazingly creative ad eye opening; you can view their work via the links above.

Innovations boutique

Though set up like a luxury shop, customers were not able to actually buy anything. Some products there were only two of in the world. I was actually the eighth person to ever see one of the products, behind only the constantines. ย Along with Lush’s knot wraps, which have been around for a fair while, the boutique was showcasing a range of naked products. Before the howcase, Lush already offered 60% products naked, and are looking to up this figure over time.

Solid Liquid Naked Soaps

Whoa, that’s a mouthful. Solid Liquid, huh? Confusing, isn’t it?

Most people buy liquid soap for their overwhelmingly antibacterial qualities and essential oils you can’t find in your average high street block soap. This. is primarily due to the base and despite using a palm-oil free base for their soap, Lush hadn’t cracked it for your average soap, either. Now they have. Made the same as your typical liquid soap in recyclable moulds, a solidifying ingredient (sodium sterate) is added at the last minute. to make these liquid soaps ‘solid’ . As you lather it on, though, it feels just like liquid soap.


Naked shower gels and haircareย 

Once made from recyclable shower gel bottle shaped moulds and now silicone moulds, the naked shower gels follow the same idea as the Solid Liquid Naked Soaps. It is a shower gel with added sodium sterate at the last minute; same formula as Rose Jam bottled sg would be the naked. Smells the same, works the same with its gel-like quality giving you two lathers (in which the gel turns into a gel your hands and then lathers as any other gel would), this is merely a gel without packaging, and is certainly not a soap.


Naked facial oils

Not dissimilar to your already naked ย full of grace serum‘, this includes products including full of grace itself and the new Amazon Primer. This range also features Million dollar moisturiser, a recently discontinued potted moisturiser, but in a naked form.

Naked essential oils

Finally! Lush are launching essential oils! It’s been a long time coming. Many Lush fans tend to be obsessed with wax melts and candles too, and ad primary use for these oils is the ability to melt them down over a oil burner. ย They can also be used as massage bars and melted down for other oil uses.

The Naked essential oils, also in the punny bottle shape, come in two forms; pure and blended. Pure oils that have so far been revealed are Ylang Ylang, Gernium and French Lavender, and the blended oils revealed have been called Open Your Third Eye, Pride and Anger Management. Anger Management, for example, has black pepper to signify the rage but is primarily lavender and chamomile based to combat this one of the seven deadly sins the oil was based on.


The Utopian Sustainable apartment

This ‘apartment’ (the uppermost floor of the Naked House) was a room of totally sustainable items. It is an idealistic place on how we’d live in a sustainable world. Some products amongst it were lush, such as naked shower products, but all else had tags so customers could view such products online and consider creating a sustainable lifestyle.

Here are some pictures of this dreamhouse:


The Ocean Room

The ocean room was on the lower ground floor, but reccomended last. The room, scented of big blue, was spotted with comfy cushions and it’s spa-like feel chilled you out beyond belief. It made you feel the serenity the seaside gives us and transports you to the waves. Meanwhile, however, you were shot with facts about how our wastage is impacting the oceans and how you can change that. The way it was set up was extremely eye opening and really got people thinking.


So, that’s it for my showcase experience but I have had the chance to try some of the Christmas stuff and pop down to Oxford St…. more about that soon. Love, Lauren xxx

Volume IV launch (Gorilla Perfumes)

Today is the day that Lush have launched Volume IV (volume 4) of their Gorilla Perfumes range. To be quote honest, Lush perfumes are truly the only ones I’ve ever been interested (as of becoming more mature- I do admit to buying many of those packs filled with Ted Baker-esque companies sampling 10ml bottles in the Boxing Day sales), first of all because of the assured ethics,  but also due to them not having that overwhelming perfume-alcohol ‘I can’t breathe’ scent as soon as you get near the perfume section. Don’t get me wrong, some people suit mainstream perfume a lot, but personally I prefer that fresh scent gorilla perfumes give you rather than synthetic smell.

So, what’s different?

As lushies will know, a lot of perfumes have been discontinued and a vast amount moved to the ‘black label’ range available in six stores, notably Lush Oxford Street, the flagship store, and Lush Spa Poole, the place where it all started.

The perfumes have also been rebranded packaging wise, with the above mentioned black labels and white labels; the range which all stores will have. Solids are also in cute little glass containers which I find I get on with much better, if I’m honest. They firstly look so much better, but are much easier to use and carry too. Plus, from the point of view of an employee, hopefully people will stop comparing them to lip balms now…

Washcards are now offered on a wider scale. Washcards have always been an exclusive to Oxford Street, and came as an almost-A4 size sheet, until the ‘kiss me quick’ smaller version of the apple pulp based shower treat was released for Valentine’s Day this year. More info about these ‘washcards’ will be in my Naked House post, but the basic description of a washcard is a plant based shower product which requires no packaging. They look a little like this and at ยฃ2 a pop (for something you only need to use 1cm of at a time, too) they’re perfect to try out a scent on your own body. I also think they’re great for travel and cant wait to bring one of mine down to Poole this weekend.

Another great thing about the new range is the new packaging; both ‘gift’ packaging and general packaging. The packaging that comes with all perfumes is a clean looking Gorilla box which, again, adds to the professionalism of the range but for people like me truly feeds our aesthetic. Even better, the gift packaging is beautiful. Colour coded knot-wraps for each perfume mean with the wider range it is easy to put a perfume based gift together. Previously, this wasn’t as easy in lush. For example, the Karma gift (wonderful though it was)  had not only perfume but bath and body products, too. This was a pain for my mother, an avid Karma fan who doesn’t bath and truly did just want a perfume gift. She loves the perfume, she loves the washcards and the knot wraps, so suddenly this gift is easier for someone life her. Plus, it doesn’t totally disregard people who love other aspects of the range too as you can still put together your typical knot-wrap of gifts.

A place where people got to experience these first was the Gorilla event in Edinburgh. Desperate for Amelie Mae and a whiff of the other perfumes, I lived this through Helen who was at the event. If you want to check it out, she has a tonne of photos and more recently showcase photos, too.

A little life hack

Because of the concentration and natural base of these perfumes, they’re great for adding to things. My first spray of Amelie Mae was on my tea towel of Amy Winehouse, because just returned from work, I smelt of lush already and planned to bath, but after wearing it now for a week straight, I tried what a lovely lady at Oxford Street suggested; adding it to your conditioner. As a usual American Cream fan, I decided not to mix the two, but I added a few drops to Veganese and it scented the conditioner well. Hours later, as I’m tapping away, raspberry lavender and roses lingers in my hair. What a beautiful idea.


The Perfumes themselves

These perfumes were designed around the concept of ‘home’ and te question ‘what does homemean to you’?

 

 

 

 

‘Whether you’re a wanderer or a nest builder’

 

I have added a * to those I own myself, pre-launch. I must add that I own all the washcards but are yet to use any from Vol. 4.

Rentless

 

 

 

 

“I’ve ever been a homeless man. I’ve only ever been a rentless man.”

 

Tachowa Covington also known as Rollerball, is the inspiration for the perfume rentless. He too residence in an empty water tank and made the tank his own, homeley and as he himself referred to it, a work of art. The above quote is what truly resonates about this story. It comments on perspectives, and Tachowa had a truly wonderful perspective on his living situation. Unfortunately he had to move out when Banksy tagged his tank with ‘this looks a bit like an elephant’ and suddenly his home became a tourist attraction, but his story, therefore, is now much more widespread. Despite moving into somewhere less improvised, Tachowa still works on making his living space more homeley like he did in the tank.

Rentless perfume is packed with patchouli and grapefruit oil, and sweetened a little with Vanilla absolute. It’s a sweet and citrusy uplifting scent and feels extremely homely to me.

Amelie Mae*

After Imogen Rose had a scent made for her, Simon’s younger daughter wanted a perfume named after her.

Dancing on tiptoes, Amelie Mae selects each petal carefully, letting them fall around her in the gentle breeze. Light on her feet, fancy free. Bumblebees scatter from the lavender, and she plucks juicy raspberries from the canes. Her sister passes her a rose, letting the scent skip between them.

Amelie wrote on a small piece of paper ‘raspberry; blueberry; roses; lavender; flowers’. Despite only being made up of Rose, lavender and ylang ylang , you intensely still smell raspberry hints.

I’m Home

 

 

 

 

It will ‘always bring you right back home to your honey’

 

In my opinion this smells of freshly baked cookies. It is such a winter scent and brings a certain comfort with it. The two main ingredients in I’m Home are cocoa and vanilla absolute, so you can imagine how sweet this scent will be. I do promise though, it’s actually not too overwhelming.

What Would Love Do?

 

 

 

 

The course of true love never did run smooth

 

This embraces you in a warm hug of citrusy sweet flowers, like love. With tangerine and lavender oil, this scent is calming and beautifully uplifting all at once. I guess it’s how love makes you feel

Cardamom Coffee*

‘The perfume of autumn rises from the ground

This perfume makes you feel like you’re sitting under a tree amongst the autumn leaves with a cuppa in hand and the spices with transition you away from summer. It’s packed with cocoa, cardamom and rose oil for a comforting scent.

The running order

How could I proceed without ranking them? I hate to have to choose but I do have my favourites

  1. Joint first place has to go to Cardamom Coffee and Amelie Mae
  2. Rentless 
  3. What would love do?
  4. I’m home

As you can see I’m more of a citrusy person, but I think for autumn I may have to switch into I’m Home mode.

I’m so excited for everyone to be able to try these scents as they truly are beautiful band none alike to old Lush scents. I hope this guide and few stories helps you decide your most wanted and you can smell the inspiration.

Thank you 

Lauren x

Ambulance: A social issue

TW: Elderly/social care, suicide, death
On Monday evening, I was attended to by our hardworking emergency services. I was going to comment on my luck but couldn’t decide if ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’ was a more appropriate word; ‘lucky’ that the NHS provided such wonderful paramedics to aid me in an unlucky time of ill health; ‘unlucky’ that my chronic illnesses caused a collapse at work and issue with my heart causing my admission to hospital following. 

But I think lucky maybe is the word. NHS cuts are spreading across all areas like a wildfire, so I’m more than grateful that I was treated by some wonderful clinicians named Matt and Eamon,if I correctly remember (though things truly were foggy and their names are the least of my worries).
It took a while for me to fully come round,post collapse, but when I did, one of my paramedics was talking about his career with me; he truly has crammed a lot into his life, being in the police, armed forces, ambulance service and even going back to uni this year. On the topic of his current job, the TV show ‘Ambulance’ was raised. I’ve been totally hooked on this real life programme (and it has always made me feel emotional about the fact one of my best friends is going to be training to be a paramedic soon) and it turns out my paramedic commutes from the Midlands himself and actually knows Mel from the show. 
One thing he did was talk me through the workings of the show.Although we may not want to believe it, we know the paramedics are likely handpicked, having backstories and cases of convenience, but that’s not what I’m here to speak about. 
When chatting, the storyline following a man who was rescued but ended up dying of secondary drowning cropped up. It was a storyline that really got to the nation; first, we thought he’d been saved (the paramedic went on to explain drowning and secondary drowning to me and it’s unpredictability); second, the circumstances.
A lady called 999 after a man supposedly fell in a lake whilst fishing due to a heart attack. Later it was suggested he was having a fit, and when they fished him out to find him in an electric wheelchair, they presumed he fitted whilst driving by the lake and navigated himself in by accident. Both of these theories were proven wrong when it was revealed neither happened and the man shouted things such as ‘I want to die’ ‘don’t let me live’, ‘I don’t want to live anymore’. The poor eighty-something man was trying to commit suicide. 
Now, this really got to me. For reasons of mere human emotion, and because it made me think about my grandma of that age. Luckily my grandma is supported and surrounded by love but what if she didn’t have us?
Upon discussing this, the paramedic sitting in the back of the ambulance told me this is a growing issue. I was told of the amount of call outs the ambulance service faced to elderly patients trying to end it, or having a mental earth crisis. This scared me. We tend to forget about mental health in the older patient; we seem to forget about mental health enough generally. 
After discussing this sad revelation with friends once out of the hospital, it was the general consensus that this was a social issue. Elderly patients with no family or financial support due to the state’s lack of support and it is NOT acceptable.
Although many people may know of the state’s general inadequate support service, they likely will not know of the many attempts elderly patients have carried out to end their lives as a result of this. That’s why I wanted to write this post. 

I hope this will become a visible issue soon enough and we can work together to make people feel less lonely in this terrifying world.

Love always, Lauren xx