Breaking The Silence // Extending the Hand of Friendship

wasn't going to write this post, sometimes I feel like maybe we put too much of ourselves out there- but then I remember that I'm a blogger and that's kind of what I do! Even so, this post is super personal and the only reason I am writing it is because I was recently reminded that people sometimes need to know that they are not alone. I am also writing it because the world needs to talk about things like miscarriage and child loss more!
These are things that are so common in our world, yet are somehow still considered taboo subjects. I'm not suggesting you make them your next dinner party conversation topic but I am begging that you don't ignore people when they bring it up. I get that it is an uncomfortable topic for some to discuss, but your two minutes of discomfort is nothing compared to the lifetime of pain felt by those who have experienced the unthinkable.



I personally know so many women who have experienced miscarriage, many more who have had to give birth to a sleeping child, and even some who have had no choice but to terminate a much wanted pregnancy because there were major risks to their own lives. All of these women have suffered loss and all of them are struggling to adapt to their new normal.

These women (and their partners too of course!) have gone through so many emotions, emotions we all experience but could never imagine experiencing all at once. There is elation (or abject fear) when they see that positive test, and then their mind goes into overdrive, imagining a life with their child, a life filled with joy, laughter and all encompassing love. A life that involves play dates, football games in the park, ballet classes, tears, smiles, hugs and tantrums. A life that you pray your child will lead, not once in these first few moments do you consider that something might go wrong. But for so many it does go wrong, for so many they never get to experience that rush of love when they see their baby's heartbeat for the first time, some never even get to see their baby on a scan because they leave too soon. Some have to make difficult decisions and deal with the guilt that stems from them, and some have to deliver a baby they know will never take a breath.

So often when the unthinkable happens people don't understand why it hurts so much, I personally was asked "how can you be this upset about something you never actually had?"- can we just take a second to think about how ridiculous that question is? Remember that whole life I mentioned, the one you start dreaming about the second you find out you are pregnant? We mourn the life we expected, we mourn the expectation of a healthy pregnancy, we fight with ourselves internally, we blame ourselves and wonder what we could have done differently. There are a million emotions that run through you when you lose a baby, and at the core of it all is a deep, unrelenting sadness and pain. It never ends either, something like this changes you as a person, everything you do for a while will be tinged with a different kind of emotion.

One day you will realise that you smiled a lot, and then suddenly you will feel guilty for smiling! You will go a whole day or even two or three without feeling hopeless, and then BOOM it will all come rushing back and hit you all over again. It never really goes away, I think about what could have been every single day...I sit in a bar with a nice glass of wine and my brain tells me you couldn't do this so often if you had your baby, and I find myself wishing I wasn't sat in that bar drinking that wine. I get a twinge of jealousy when I walk past pregnant women, and then remember that I don't know their journey, I don't know if they struggled like I struggle, and then I end up just praying that all goes well for them.

That's what miscarriage and child loss does to you, it takes away your innocence, your naivety, it changes your priorities, it changes your entire outlook and it hurts.

I was lucky enough to find a woman who made it her life's mission to make the world a better place for women like me, and through her I found an amazing support system, and the strength to try again.
She has made me want to be a better person because of what happened, as opposed to being a sadder person. Which is the point of this post really, if you need to talk, talk to me. If you need to rant, rant to me! If you have experienced loss and don't know where to turn, turn to me and I'll do my best to help. I am not an expert, I am just a woman who lost a baby, like so many others out there. If I can empathise I will, if I can't I will introduce you to the people who can. At the same time if someone you know is struggling with this and you just don't know what to say, please ask me. I know it can be hard, but the most important thing is to make sure that you don't dismiss the feelings of a person who is trying to reach out to you. Say their baby's name, remember them, and remember that if a person feels like a parent it isn't up to you to tell them they aren't!

Sorry for being depressing today, I promise normal service will resume shortly, but today I'm choosing to remember our baby. Two years ago today our world changed, and I'm lucky that I've adapted to my new normal, but others aren't so lucky...this post is for them.

In memory of baby Pip -12th August 2013. 💙

Much Love
AJ
Xx



A Celebration // Wedded Bliss // Life and Love

So, on the 8th of August me and Damian celebrated one year of marriage and it was a blast!



With that in mind, I've started this post so many times and scrapped it almost as many! How do you write a post commemorating your first year of marriage without sounding like a total cliche?

I had thought about doing a "What my first year of marriage has taught me" type thing but one of my favourite bloggers has just done that! So instead I'm going to say, finish this post and then go read her's here.

Then I thought, maybe I could do a "10 Things I Love About You" post, but how do you narrow the love you have for your husband/wife down to 10 things!?!?! <<<< smooshy alert! Of course I've already shared our love story - so that's out! Then it occurred to me that I've made it a mission of mine to make this place on the internet a funny, entertaining, and interesting place to visit...so why stop now!! So welcome to "Thought's I've had while falling in Love with my Husband" told to you completely in GIF form :-p.

For the moment he made me realise that I was worth so much more...

I didn't know that I wanted to be a hat...but by God I make an awesome hat! (If you don't get this reference, you are way too young for most of the shit that goes down on this blog)!!

For that time where I played Impossible to get...
Until he reminded me that I can still do all these things AND be married to an amazing man!

For all the times he asked and I said no...
Oh go on then!

For the moment I realised he was the one...

For the day we became man and wife...
Yeah that's right, we even found time to have fun during our ceremony. 

For that moment we realised we'd have to spend two weeks of our first month married, apart...
So much sadness :-(. 

But then I came home and we had a PARTY!!...
With way more clothes, I promise! 

When you realise that it's not always sunshine and rainbows...
But at the end of the day you always have love and each other to get you through.

And after one whole year,..
Still madly in love! 

So there you have it guys! Hope it wasn't too soppy, hope it was at least a little bit funny. And I hope I figure out how to top this next year!! 

Tell people you love them, remember to love yourself (and no I don't mean like that ;-) but yeah you should totally do that) and I'm just gonna dance away in my mysterious fog of love, and look for more fun GIFS.

Much Love
AJ
xx





Save My Face // Skincare // Dermatique*

Hi guys!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret...all through high school I was called Frosty. Not for my ice queen-like disposition, or the fact that I refused to drop my knickers for all the "popular" boys (although I'd like to clarify that those things were both also true) but no, the awfully imaginative bullies (who shall henceforth be known as twatty-bastards) had decided that because I had dry skin I deserved to be teased mercilessly. Apparently flaky skin makes you a snowman...who knew?? Anyway, as strong as I am the twatty-bastards did get to me, so I made it my mission to "cure" my dry skin. It took me until I was 18 to realise that there wasn't really a miracle cure for something that is so prevalent and that you have no control over!! Of course, there were creams out there that managed to give me some moisture but I never actually found one that lasted all day, or for that matter for as long as it took me to add my makeup on top.

frosty the snowman, snowman, frosty, drawing
Photo Credit: ME! Thought I'd draw the little guy for y'all. 
THEN I discovered blogging, and alongside that a whole community of people who have the answers. I took to Twitter and asked the all-important question: What cream is best for extra dry and eczema prone skin? The resounding answer was La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluide-and do you know what I thought it was perfect...until I tried wearing it under my makeup. But hey, I was one step closer. La Roche Posay works on those days when I don't want to wear makeup, and I would highly recommend it. I settled into my almost perfect skincare routine and was quite content until one day everything changed...the day I was contacted by Dermatique.

Dermatique are a Scottish skincare company, and by that I mean SCOTTISH SKINCARE GENIUSES!! They very kindly sent me a tub of their Recuperating Cream to try out and I can't stop using it and recommending it.

Dermatique, cream, recuperating cream, local produce

Dermatique, recuperating cream, cream, local produce

cream, recuperating cream, dermatique, scottish brands

The cream is a lovely thick body butter type consistency, which reminds me of good old Astral, and much like a proper good thick cream it really doesn't take much to cover my whole face. It is a lot heavier than I am used to, but whilst this bothered me the first couple of days I soon got used to it and I stopped even noticing the difference. 

Oh and can I just mention the smell.. some other reviews I've seen have said the smell is horrible but these people are crazy! I couldn't quite figure out what I was smelling at first but one day, when I got the sudden urge to lick my own face, I realised that it's OATMEAL!! My face smells like breakfast, and I love it!!! I'm guessing this unheard of smell (for a cream) comes from the fact that this cream is completely natural- NO PARABENS, NO ADDITIVES, NOTHING!

I put A LOT of faith in Dermatique because their products are specifically formulated for people with eczema, dry skin, psoriasis etc, and boy did they deliver! Are you ready to see the results? First up I give you my pre-Dermatique face (fully made-up)...
You see all the dry, flaky bits across my brow line, and tip of my nose?

Wait for it...
GONE!! Completely fucking GONE! My skin is so clear, and practically glowing. 
I give complete credit for my skin transformation to Dermatique and their Recuperating Cream. I know that £29.50 may seem a bit steep for a tub of cream, but seriously look at the difference! This isn't just a moisturiser, this is a miracle CURE for a "Frosty", "Flaky" "Weather-beaten", "Bully Fodder" complexion!

If you suffer from any skin complaint like eczema, psoriasis etc, then please do yourself a favour and head over to Dermatique and grab yourself a pot! And if you still aren't quite sure then you can now pick up a sampler size for just £4.99...don't just take my word for it, try it for yourself. 

Let me know what you think, or what your miracle products are in the comments. I'll just be sitting here licking my face, and taking wonder in the softness.

Much Love 
AJ 
xx

p.s. This product was gifted to me, but all opinions are my own, and 110% honest. 


OOTD // BIG FLOOPY FUN // ENGAGEMENT PARTY

Heeeeeelo!!

It's not often I get to dress up and have fun nowadays so I was super excited to raid my closet and come up with the perfect outfit for my brother (from another mother's) engagement party. Before we get to the nitty gritty I would just like to say a huge "congratulations" to Dave and Fiona, and wish them all the best for their upcoming nuptials and the future. But hey y'all just really wanna see what I wore don't ya?!?

OOTD

Excuse the unmade bed, I was too busy trying on half my closet!!

It even sits right when I'm sitting down! Just wish my necklace wasn't back to front :-(

I freaking love this bag! Ted Baker is my go-to guy for night out clutches. 
What I wore:
Ruched polo neck, cropped sleeveless top- Primark (old as the hills so no idea how much it cost)
Bonded Full Midi Skirt- Topshop (£20 in store sale, get it before it's gone!!!)
Black croc effect courts (not pictured) - New Look (24.99 I think)
White PVC Quilted Ted Baker Clutch- Cruise (£51) 

I managed to keep my face out of all these photos which is rather surprising!! Lucky for you I took a "getting ready" mirror selfie (because my front facing camera is buggered) and here's a massive close up of my face just for all you special people :-p...

FOTD

Oh My God...what colour do my eyes look to you?? Answers in the comments if you please!
Are you guys ready for this, because it takes a lot to make me look human...

What I wore on my face:
Recuperating Cream- Dermatique (£24.50 ON SALE!! Usually £29.50 for 100ml)
That Gal Brightening Primer- Benefit (£22.50 for 11ml)
Complexion Rescue in Opal- Bare Minerals (£26 for 35ml)
High Beam Highlighter- Benefit (£19.50 for 13ml)
Bronze Glow Shimmering Powder- Collection 2000 (£2.19)
Brow Satin in Medium Brow- Maybelline (£5.99)
Focus & Fix Brow Kit in Medium/Dark- Makeup Revolution (£2.50)
Iconic Pro 2 in Silk & One Way- Makeup Revolution (£6.99)
Soft Kohl Kajal Pencil Eyeliner in Jet Black- Rimmel (£2.99)
Diorshow Black Out Mascara- Christian Dior (£25.00) 
Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Nice'n'Spicy- Mac (£15.00)
Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Hypnotist-Bare Minerals (£16.00) 

WOW!! Does it seriously look like I have that much on my face? I bloody hope not, do you people see what blogging has done to me. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a fucking brow kit until I joined the blogging community!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed a peek at my outfit and face for the night. I'd love to know what your go-to products are, and if  your "natural" face takes as much as mine lol.

Much Love 
AJ
xx







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