For the last three month’s I have been trialling TOTM’s new menstrual cup when I am on my period, this blog post will give you a comprehensive overview of the cup itself, why using a cup is great, and whether or not I would recommend you buy it.

To start off with, before I got this cup to try, I was already using another menstrual cup called the Mooncup, which I wasn’t getting on with, so I was really hoping that TOTM’s cup would live up to my expectations, as I was unable to carry on using the other cup I’d been trying out.

First Appearances:

Amongst the many things you might be inclined to place inside your vagina, I personally think that TOTM nailed it on the aesthetic front, fuchsia is actually one of my favourite colours and I generally think the fact it’s pretty does make it slightly easier to transfer over to using one.

Unlike the previous cup I was using TOTM is made from TPE instead of silicone (commonly menstrual cups are made from one of the two), I actually prefer the texture of TPE with this cup, it’s must more malleable, and one of the issues I was having with the other cup that’s made from silicone was that it was hurting when I removed it. Here’s a comprehensive post telling you the difference between silicone and TPE.

It also comes in a really cute bag and mine says ‘Be Kinder To Your Vagina’ on it which is ace and definitely won them some brownie points!

How The Cup Works:

For a more in-depth explanation on how to use a menstrual cup and my thoughts in general, you can check out this YouTube video here.

The TOTM cup comes in three different sizes, and you can check which one you will need by reading their criteria on the website (please note that they’re rough and generic estimates, for example, I use Cup 1 even though it’s designed for under 18 year olds who haven’t had sex yet (major LOLs).

The cup comes with air holes that allow you to make and break the seal, and it also comes with a little stem at the bottom that you can use to pull the cup down. As my cervix is quite low down, I have fully cut the stem off my cup because otherwise I find it irritating around the entrance to my vajayjay (sorry there’s no fun or non awkward way to discuss this). Due to the texture and material it is easily foldable and I found it very easy to place the cup inside. I also find it very easy to remove it.

When you get it you need to boil it in water for 5 minutes to disinfect it, and I then do this half way through my period (as my period lasts for 7-9 days on average) and then at the end of your period.

Have I Enjoyed Using The Cup?

Yes definitely! It 100% took some getting used to and I kept wondering if I was using it right. I also initially ordered the Cup 2 which is recommended for me based on my age, but it was waaay too big, so had to then order a Cup 1, which fits perfectly.

I have to still wear a panty liner at the start of my period as I have a very heavy flow and have noticed some spotting, however TOTM do great organic cotton liners, or I have recently discovered these period pants, which are great!

I also notice that towards the end of my period, where I’ve been using a cup for over a week, I tend to get a little bit sore, which is something that didn’t tend to happen with tampons, so I am working on reducing my usage of the cup at night time towards the end of my period and using panty liners or small pads instead. Think about how long it took you as a young girl to accustom to wearing tampons, I imagine it will be a similar transition for us as adults!

Benefits of TOTM’s Menstrual Cup

  • It’s cute
  • It’s environmentally friendly – you reduce your waste
  • You save money – yes it potentially seems expensive to be spending £20 on a cup, but within a few months you’ll already have saved money and you will continue to save over the years
  • You get to understand your body and your period better
  • It’s far healthier than tampons which leave behind fibres
  • TOTM are an awesome company with some fantastic values that align with my own, you can read more here

Should You Invest in a TOTM Menstrual Cup?

The bottom panty line… (hehe), yes! If you are a woman/human being who has menstrual bleeding I would 100% recommend trialling this cup. There are of course loads of different brands, and I am not saying that this cup is THE best one out there, as we are all different, but this is just the one that I happen to get along with the best and I am happy to continue using it!

Do you use a cup? Have you thought about using one? Have you tried and decided it’s not for you? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below!

By Sally Gets Wardrobed

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved clothes, especially new clothes. Up until a couple of years ago I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say I thought about new clothes almost every day. In the last 2 decades spent way too much of my salary and far too many hours shopping. I can recall Easter weekends spent almost entirely curating wishlists on ASOS. But somehow I also regularly had “nothing to wear”. My wardrobe was bulging with amazing pieces, mixed with mistakes bought in a state of panic and items I loved and wore to death alongside things that I only managed to wear once before the weather changed. I often tried on 3 different outfits before deciding what to wear to work and always bought something new if I had an event to go to or had to do something that scared me.

 

At the end of 2016 I decided to enter the world of capsule wardrobes. The decision to focus on a simpler, streamlined style coincided with starting the Mel Wells academy, which is where I met gorgeous Hannah. I think the process of learning to love myself and explore the things that light me up helped me to see that I could spend time enjoying clothes without needing to buy them all the frigging time. I also realised I use clothes to hide – my body sometimes, my lack of confidence in stressful situations often. And I use the serotonin buzz shopping brings to numb and distract when I’m feeling an emotion I don’t want to feel – sad, stressed, tired, anxious. You name it, clothes hide it.

 

I’ve always admired women who have a very clear sense of style. Coco Chanel in her Breton stripes, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall’s fabulous uniform, Alexa Chung and her cool nonchalance, Olivia Palermo and her sleek luxey look. So I decided to give capsule wardrobes a try. A quick google led me to Caroline Joy’s Un-Fancy blog and then to Project333. The rules vary slightly depending who you follow but basically you limit yourself to a very small number of items (usually between 30 and 40) and you wear only those items for a 3 month season. Each season you introduce a new wardrobe. Depending on how variable the weather is where you live and the volume of clothes you own you might swap out the whole lot or just a few key things at a time.

 

I’ve followed the process of building a capsule wardrobe every season for the last 2 years. I’ve had really successful seasons and less successful ones, but in that time I’ve become a complete convert. It’s not stopped me spending money on clothes – in fact I probably spend more on the clothes I do buy because I need them to last longer, but it has helped me in loads of ways, some of which I didn’t really expect. I’d go so far as to say it’s been life changing.

 

3 Ways having a capsule wardrobe has changed my life and could change yours

You free up space to focus on the things that are more important

Spending less time scrolling the Zara app and fewer days wandering around Westfield creates more time for other things. More time to do yoga, more time to spend with the people you love and more time to focus on looking after yourself.

It takes a lot less time to get dressed in the morning. And even more life changing, packing for trips is ridiculously easy. With fewer things to choose from you’d think that a feeling of panic would descend if you don’t have the perfect outfit but instead you just go with what you have, and over time you become much more aware of the things you feel are missing, and then just go out and buy them.

When you do shop it’s a completely different experience

It’s still OK to go shopping and to really love shopping. Just like any other addiction, the urge to buy things when stressed or down doesn’t entirely go away but in general shopping becomes a completely different experience. You focus on searching for the perfect pair of jeans or the perfect top in a particular colour rather than getting so overwhelmed with stuff and buying things that don’t go with anything else or look very similar to something you already own. You get to know which shops are the ones that most reflect your style and you gravitate to them first. The whole experience becomes a bit like a treasure hunt.

Capsule wardrobes also work for people who hate buying new clothes. Whilst personally I can’t understand how someone could not want to spend their Saturday on Oxford Street!! I have loads of friends who absolutely hate clothes shopping. They hate it because it brings up insecurities about their bodies – the hideous mirrors, the random sizing and the sadness that comes on when the idea you have in your head doesn’t match what you see in the mirror. Or they hate it because whilst they want to look great they can’t stand looking for clothes, they have no idea where to start and just find the whole experience really really boring. Focusing on a small number of items, centred on a key set of looks, and in a core colour palette really helps people find the pieces that will most work for them.

Spending time understanding your style helps you love yourself more

When you start focusing on what clothes make you feel and look good you stop blindly following random trends and start focusing on how your clothes can make you feel awesome. It becomes much less of a big deal if a trend comes along that doesn’t work for you. You realise it’s nothing to do with your body shape being ‘wrong’. You get less panicked about being ‘out of fashion’ because you’re focusing on owning your own style. When you find the ‘uniforms’ that work for you, you also generally feel good more often. You don’t leave the house in an outfit you later regret.

The occasions when I’ve tended to feel most self-conscious in the past weirdly now make me feel most inspired style wise. Parties, weddings, scary work occasions are now things I look forward to more because I’m developing more of a sense of what will make me feel good rather than panicking about finding an armour to hide behind.

Where to start?

There are some fantastic blogs and books on this topic but the best way to start is to just experiment. Set a total number of items goal and go with it. Be strict enough to make it a challenge but don’t be afraid to swap things in and out if your selection isn’t working and remember it’s supposed to be fun.

I could write a whole other blog about the process of building a capsule wardrobe but here are some core tips to get you started.

  1. Start with what you have. Pull everything out of your wardrobe and separate the things you love and the things you wear often from the rest. These items will form the starting point for your new style. Think about why you love them, test combining them in different ways. Throw out everything that makes you feel crap. Store everything else.
  2. Get inspired. Use Pinterest and Instagram to find people and looks that inspire you. Again, ask why – what is it about this person that gives me such a massive girl crush? What do I love about this look? Every season I create a mood board to help me focus on the overall aesthetic I’m looking for. Season by season and year by year I can see how my style is changing by the shifts in the overall mood.
  3. Find your colour palette. I’ve learnt that a capsule wardrobe works much better when you focus on a core set of colours. Things mix and match more easily and it helps as a quick way to filter when shopping. This takes a bit of time to work out, but once you understand what colours make you feel and look good the process becomes easier.
  4. Buy well. You end up wearing clothes more, which makes it more important to buy higher quality items. Many capsule wardrobe devotees focus also on sustainable brands. This seems easier in the US than the UK at the moment but times are definitely changing. It’s worth looking at the credentials of the people you’re buying from.
  5. Think about what you do in your real life not your ideal life. If you spend most of your time working from home and love hanging out in your leggings buy some gorgeous leggings and own that as part of your style. If you rarely go out to bars, you don’t need loads of clothes to wear to bars. See, simple!

 

Places to go if you want to know more…

Caroline Joy’s blog is a great place to start for advice on the process and gorgeous slow style inspo www.un-fancy.com

Courtney Carver’s style challenge Project333 is a good place to go for more advice on this topic https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/

The Curated Closest by Anuschka Rees is a fantastic book all about finding your style https://anuschkarees.com/curatedcloset/

The #whomademyclothes movement is a good place to start if you want to focus on building a sustainable wardrobe https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

And you can find me on Instagram @sallygetswardrobed to see my style hits, misses and moodboards

Okay guys, so as many of you may know my blog was down for all of August (sad face), so alas I wasn’t able to do an August favourites post, but instead you get two for the price of one as I’m bringing August and September together into a joyous of harmony of things/places/eats I’ve loved over the past two months, lucky you!

Travel – Santorini, Greece

I have just got back from an incredible trip to Santorini with my friend Emma and it was honestly amazing! I am going to be doing a separate travel blog about Santorini and what we did and what I would recommend, but the major recommendation is to go there! It was bloody beautiful and Greek people are so so nice, they were the nicest people I have ever met. We stayed in a place called Abrazo 8 in Imerovigli and it was honestly stunning!

Eats – The Potato Project & MiiRo Icecream

A few weeks ago I was invited along to an evening of potato tasting (sounds weird but continue reading) at The Potato Project in Soho, where they specialise in jacket potatoes. We were served the entire menu and oh my good lord I was in potato heaven! It gave me so many ideas for meals to make myself and also I now know exactly where I’ll be going for a quick but delicious lunch when I’m next near central London, they were all amazing but our favourites were the wild mushrooms, spinach, blue cheese and truffle oil potato and the mozzarella, tomato and pesto sweet potato! Incredible!

pic by @all.about.anika

Next up on the food front is a new discovery… MiiRO ice creams, which are basically vegan magnums! Their slogan is ‘nice without the naughty’ but I tell you what I think they’re way more than nice, these ice creams are bloody delicious despite being free from all the crap in your usual ice creams (I won’t list them all I’ll be here for ever), and they come in three awesome flavours, chocolate hazelnut, peanut butter and salted caramel (my fave!) and you can get them from Ocado, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and As Nature Intended.

Eco Purchase – Washable Makeup Remover Pads

I did a big eco haul in September and I think my favourite purchase are these reusable and washable makeup remover pads from Amazon. I use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup and decided to buy these instead of continually throwing away cotton wool pads. I am super happy with them, they’re not quite as soft as cotton wool pads which some people may not love but they work perfectly and come out pretty clean in the wash!

Calm App – Meditation

I have been finding sticking to meditation really hard lately, I think it’s because whenever I do it I just sit and squirm for the ten minutes I set aside. Needless to say I know that it’s good for me, and my inability to stick to it just proves that. So I decided to try out the Calm App and I really liked the first one I did and decided to go for a year’s subscription! There are so many different things to choose from and I particularly love the ones you can do just before going to sleep.

Mel Well’s Self Love Week 2017

Last week I joined in with absolute babe and author of the best selling book The Goddess Revolution (read my review here) Mell Wells and her Self Love Week she was running on Instagram. Each day we had a challenge and I absolutely loved it! It definitely improved my relationship with myself that little bit more, and the fact that I didn’t find it all too difficult really showed to me the steps I’ve been taking over the past few years to truly love myself, although I still have a lot of work to do!

Wanderlust Event

My favourite event I went to over the past few months was most definitely Wanderlust which was held in Victoria Park in London a couple of weekends ago! I went along with my friend Poppy and some other yoga pals and it was such good fun. Doing yoga and meditating with thousands of people was an incredible experience and one I won’t forget. I hope they do more events like this in the future so check out their website and maybe see you as one very soon.

Hey there guys! I am back (post blog hack which had me down for a month!) and I am bringing you five easy tips to becoming more eco friendly. It makes me so happy that bloggers have started to push the idea of being eco friendly and helping our environment out to their followers, and as it’s something I am super passionate about I thought it only made sense to do the same! So here are five really simple ways you can be more environmentally friendly:

1. Buy a Reusable Coffee Cup

Ditch the takeaway coffee cups, they’re not recyclable here in the UK as to make them waterproof they have a plastic lining within the cup, and whilst places like Costa have started to recycle them themselves, chances are most people don’t make the effort to hold onto that skanky used cup until they reach another Costa. So it’s best to invest in your own cup or flask that you can use everyday.

I have a KeepCup and I loooove mine! Also, loads of places like Starbucks, Costa and Pret give you a discount on your coffee when you use your own cup. Obviously there are other brands out there but this is just one that I’ve been recommended and have invested in and haven’t regretted.

2. Avoid Buying Plastic Bottles and Get a Refillable One

Every year the average UK household uses around 480 plastic bottles, that comes to 35 million, YES MILLION, bottles per year used in the UK. And whilst you may be like ‘well actually Hannah I recycle all the ones I use’, my response is ‘recycling uses electricity, so maybe let’s avoid the entire thing altogether and just buy a reusable bottle’ ha! Got you there! I don’t really need to tell you where or which bottle to buy, there are loads of types, aim for BPA free, coz BPAs are the devil, but really as long as you are refilling your bottle and not forever buying a new bottle of Evian/Highland Springs/whatever, then you’re one step closer to being a little greener.

Credit: @reamaesherman | www.bearwarner.com

I splashed out earlier this year and bought a S’well bottle, I went for plain white because I am boring and monochromatic but they have sooooo many designs. So if you want to look super fancy and also have an amazing water bottle (that keeps your water super chilled but ALSO can house hot water/alcohol) then head to S’well and have a look online, or go to Amazon and buy a cheaper less showy off version.

3. Recycle Correctly

Now I know what you’re thinking, if you’re reading this blog post chances are you care a bit about our planet, and you probably already recycle. The issue is that there’s still a lot of incorrect stuff being put into recycling bins here in the UK, and it’s been rising. So get clued up, check on your local council website to make sure you’re putting the right things in the right bags (and are using the right bags too!). Here’s an interesting article on the BBC all about it if you’re interested.

4. Reduce Your Consumption of Meat/Animal Products

I’m not going to tell you to go full blown vegan, I’m not preachy (kinda), but even introducing say two meat free days a week is not only going to save our little planet, but it will also keep your outgoings down (meat is ‘spenny you know), as well as probably make you feel a bit better. There are soooo many bloggers and cookbooks out there at the moment for constant inspiration!

Credit: www.elsaswholesomelife.com

5. Say No To The Straw

Straws are PURE EVIL. They aren’t recyclable, they get stuck in turtles noses in the ocean (if you haven’t seen the video and want to be put off straws for life then Google it, it’s HORRIFIC), and they’re thought to stick around on our planet for 200 years, no doubt ending up in the stomachs of amazing animals. It’s so easy to say no a straw, we use them once and then they’re thrown away. My amazing friend bought me some bamboo straws from Bali when she went on holiday recently I’ve loved using them at home, I recently also bought myself a metal straw to take around with me in my bag (a lot of people have started doing this), it also comes with a straw cleaner which might not be something you instantly think about when you get one but that is vital.

Credit: www.urbanoutfitters.com

Have you got any tips? If you do leave some ideas in a comment, I’d love to hear more!