Getting my Helix pierced

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I am obsessed with my new helix piercing! I’ve spent hours browsing Pinterest for super cute jewellery. I want to share with you some info about cartilage piercings and my experience of the piercing process and aftercare. Hopefully this will be helpful if you’re considering piercing your helix, and if any of you have already had this done and could give this new-be some advice, I’d appreciate it 🙂

The Piercing Process…

If you’ve read my last blog post then you’ll know that I’m currently living in Nepal. There are pros and cons of getting a piercing in a country like this. A pro is that it only cost me 600NPR (4.50GBP)! If you’re planning on getting a cartilage piercing, it’s recommended that you get it done with a piercing needle, rather than your standard gun used for earlobes. Cartilage is a rigid structure, so there’s a risk of it shattering if a gun is used. When I went along, the piercing artist let me choose a ring and position it to the desired location on my ear. He then cleaned the area and pushed the needle through my ear from back to front.

So, how much does it hurt?

My helix piercing hurt more than getting my earlobes done. It was quite uncomfortable, but not too bad. The needle going through hurts a little, and then wiggling the ring into place was pretty uncomfortable. My ear ached for about half an hour afterwards, but apart from that, it doesn’t hurt unless I touch it. If the pain factor is what’s putting you off getting a helix piercing, I would say don’t worry. It’s definitely bearable. If you’ve had braces then you’ll have experienced more discomfort for sure! Prepare to not be able to sleep on that ear for some time. If you’re planning on getting both ears done, I would recommend getting one at once, for this reason.

Aftercare… 

I’ve read a lot of contradictory advice online about caring for a cartilage piercing. My piercing artist recommended cleaning the area twice a day with saline. I’ve been using a quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in boiled (and cooled to body temperature) filtered water  in a bowl and soaking my ear in there for 5-10mins twice a day.

Cartilage takes longer to heal than other piercings. It may take up to a year for the wound to be completely healed. So during this time you should have a ring or stud in there pretty much constantly, to avoid the hole closing. Wait 2-3 months before changing the piercing initially.

Aftercare is very important for cartilage piercings! The infection rate is about one in three piercings. Make sure to clean the wound regularly, avoid fiddling with it and only touch the piercing with clean hands.

That being said, I’m a new-be!

This advice has been given to me by my piercing artist. This is my first cartilage piercing, so if you have any tips and tricks for me, that’d be greatly appreciated! It’s only been three days since my procedure. I’d be interested to know how long others have found it takes for the area to not hurt when touched, or if you have any advice for me about avoiding infections and whether I should be moving the ring in the hole or leaving it alone?

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I really love my helix piercing, and can definitely see myself getting other piercings in the future!

Lots of love,

Hope x

 

 

 

Volunteering in Nepal!

Hello beautiful people! I know you haven’t heard from me in over half a year. Here’s a little life update.

Nepal! Yes, for the past 4 months I have been living in Kathmandu, Nepal. It has been so amazing. I’m going to take you through some photos of my time here. Let me know if you’d be interested in hearing more about my Nepal experiences!

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So Nepal is best known for being the home of a little thing known as Mount Everest. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to be so close to the Himalayas here. You can see fishtail mountain in this photograph. Nepal’s scenery must be the most stunning I have ever seen. You can never get tired of views like this!

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I spent a few days at a national park here. I went on a 1.5h safari- riding on an elephant! We saw two wild rhinos. I have completely fallen in love with elephants. They are so powerful, yet gentle and graceful and so intelligent. And don’t these babies just melt your heart?

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It’s been such a privilege to learn some of the language and hear the stories of the people here. Nepalis are incredibly hospitable and polite. One day I was working in a free first aid clinic for the homeless, and whilst attending to a cut on the forehead of one homeless man, he burst into tears. With his limited english, he explained to me his experience of the tragic earthquake that struck Nepal almost two years ago. His mother and brothers were killed. It was such a moving and humbling experience for me.

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I also spend three days a week at a Special Needs School. I absolutely love it, the children are so so precious. The whole place is filled with love and joy. This boy’s name is Rupen, he’s 10 years old. He can’t walk, so his father carries him to and from school each day on his back. Despite struggling with coordination, Rupen is such a bright boy. I’ve been teaching him the english alphabet. He has a great sense of humour and such a big heart.

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So there’s a quick insight into my time in Nepal so far. I’d love to share more stories with you all, from squashing 18 people into a jeep, staying the night in a wooden hut with nine people in 4 beds in the Himalayan foothills, to hanging onto the back of a tuktuk with three other people!

I wish you all an amazing day,

Love and greetings from Kathmandu,

Hope x

Self Care Ideas

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 16.33.44.pngIt’s great to have a bit of me-time now again, especially if you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.

I’ve compiled a little list of ideas to inspire you to practise some self-love ❤

  • have a bubble bath
  • light some candles
  • do a facemask
  • paint your nails
  • make a cup of loose leaf tea
  • bake something new
  • do some mindfulness (I recommend the Calm app)
  • do some yoga (Yogawithadriene on YouTube has some great videos to follow)
  • put on some music and dance
  • write letters to friends
  • colour in
  • take a walk outside
  • call a friend
  • play a musical instrument 

Above all, remember to love and accept yourself for who you are ❤

 

Hope x

Goodbye wisdom teeth

It’s been a week since I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. I’d like to share my experience with you guys, to hopefully help some of you who perhaps will need to get them out in the future and are wondering about it.

The Extraction 

If I can give one piece of advice, it would be GET GENERAL ANAESTHETIC! I’m so happy I did. I lay down on the dentist chair, a nurse took my blood pressure and fitted oxygen tubes up my nose. The dentist then fitted an IV and injected the anaesthetic. Next thing I knew, it was all over! I was very happy to be oblivious to the whole ordeal!

Day 1

The first day was pretty painful. I would recommend taking ibuprofen regularly and using ice packs on the area. The wounds bled quite a bit despite the stitches. I was able to drink through a straw and eat some soup with a teaspoon.

Days 2-4

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Day 4: the bruises on each side made me look like I’d been beaten up!!

The swelling was pretty comical. I looked like a chipmunk! The rest of my teeth began to ache as well, as they began to adjust to the increase in space. I can see that my bottom front teeth have begun to straighten up a bit, which I’m very pleased about. Eating was still tough. I was living on juice, porridge, soup and yogurt. I began to crave Chinese food and cheese! My cheeks began to turn a lovely shade of blue too!

 

 

Days 5-7

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Day 7: bruises looking much better 🙂

On the fifth day I was able to eat some solid food again. Oh, I can’t tell you how great bread tastes after not eating it for 5 days!! The swelling began to subside, and by the seventh day was unnoticeable. I was still taking painkillers now and again, but the discomfort was much more manageable. By day 7 I was able to eat pretty much anything, smiling and laughing still made my cheeks ache quite a bit. The bruising looks much better now. Now it just looks like I haven’t washed!

 

All in all, getting my wisdom teeth out has been a rather uncomfortable experience!

The best advice I can give is:

  1. Opt for general anaesthetic if possible
  2. Ibuprofen will be your best friend 😉
  3. Use cold packs
  4. Don’t have a jam-packed schedule for the following week, as you’ll probably be quite tired

The best part about all of this, is that I got to keep my teeth! Haha.

Love,

Hope x

 

 

 

 

 

I think I’m becoming a minimalist..

Pinterest where would I be without you? Althoug63d4dcdd2e700207440873cf41297581h I do not currently own my own house, I get so excited by strolling through Pinterest’s Home Decor tag, making plans and refining my taste for the far-off future when I will hopefully have enough money, and an actual house, to realise all these fantasies.

And my most recent love has been for minimalist home designs. With a touch of boho here and there. I love how it opens up the space and the cleanliness it conveys.

My staples include neutral shades (lots of whites, greys and blacks) and terrariums… I am in love with terrariums!

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I am in love with terrariums!

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Loving this touch of boho

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Alas, I am currently not in possession of a house to express this creativity. I have, however, made steps towards giving my bedroom a more minimalist feel. I’ve spent hours decluttering, tidying drawers, putting away clothes I don’t wear, clearing surfaces. It is so refreshing to be in this space now. I find tidiness extremely calming.

I think the concept of minimalism goes deeper than interior design. It’s a lifestyle. As I’ve been decluttering my wardrobe, I’ve also been decluttering my mind. Identifying and ending toxic relationships and reflecting on who I am as a person and what makes me happy. I find this state of mindfulness and awareness extremely healthy, it helps me to express more gratitude in my life and avoid stresses too.

If you’re someone who thrives in an orderly environment, I encourage you to give it a go. Put on some energetic music (a personal recommendation:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdceHLurO50&index=4&list=LLQCDeKXQM-cnyWPZhk-Dxwg) and have a massive clear out of your room.

Hope x

 

 

 

 

 

Having a boyfriend has changed me..

It’s almost half a year since my last post.. And I have changed immeasurably since then..

I am such a different person to the girl who last updated this blog. I have been through so much, learnt so much about myself and about the world. I feel stronger now than I ever have felt before, and I’m so excited for the adventures that lie ahead of me.

It’s my hope that this post might encourage some of you out there. Two years ago I was held captive by my anxiety and depression. The smallest task took so much effort. I lived in a constant state of fear, stress and exhaustion. I hardly ever saw friends outside of school, it just took too much energy for me. To go a single day without crying was a big achievement. I looked to the future and only saw stress of exams and eventually having to live on my own.

And what has changed? I am now in a happier place than I have ever been. I’ve graduated school, finished my IB. In October I’m travelling to Nepal to do charity work there for six months before heading to Uni. I’ve even begun to reduce my antidepressant meds 🙂 I’ve integrated into a new group of friends, we hang out several times a week..

And, I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost three months now, it’s my first proper relationship. He is such a blessing. A constant support for me (he once sat outside in the middle of the night with me for 2.5hrs whilst I cried and had a panic attack). He is simply amazing. And I feel that I have grown so much as a person since we got together. My self confidence has really improved.

When I think back to the anxious girl I was six months ago, I am so proud of how far I’ve come. I feel strong and more independent. Sure, I have bad days, but they are now few and far between.

So I want to encourage you. Recovery is possible. You just need patience. I know it’s hard. But just keep going, climbing one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll look back and realise you’ve climbed the whole staircase.

Hope x

 

 

 

 

2015 in Review: 7 Questions

It’s the last day of 2015! What a crazy year it has been. I’ve compiled a list of questions to help me reflect on this year’s events. I would encourage you to answer these questions for yourself. It can be very healthy to take some time out to reflect now and again.

  1. Describe 2015 in three words: challenging, exciting, developing. This year has pushed me out of my comfort zone, I’ve done things I never thought were possible. Although I’ve been fighting my anxiety and depression, I feel like I’ve really developed as a person and changed my mentality. This year has got me really excited for the future, as I’ve applied to university and for a gap year.
  2. What single achievement are you most proud of? The thing that really stands out for me is my month-long internship in a UK university. I learnt so much about psychology, and became much more independent and confident in myself.
  3. What book or movie affected your life the most? This is a recent one for me. On Christmas day I began reading a book about Bonhöffer, a famous Christian who stood up against the Nazis. I’ve found it so inspiring, and I would really recommend it.
  4. Who or what are you most thankful for? My God has been incredible as always in 2015. Sticking by my side and helping me through in my darkest days. I’m also so grateful for my sister. Although she is unaware of my mental challenges, she is always there to laugh with me and cheer me up 🙂
  5. What healthy habits did you adopt? I might have been a bit lazy with my eating, but I’m pleased that I made a commitment to workout at the gym twice a week, and having been keeping it up since August.
  6. What is the most important lesson you learned? Keep on moving because the sun will rise again. Don’t get too caught up in the worries of today, but take a step back. Break down challenges into bitesize chunks and keep walking forward, one step at a time.
  7. What things did you do for the first time in 2015? I stayed away from my family for a month, went in a limousine, went clubbing, applied to university, became a vegetarian, started blogging, cooked a three-course meal for the family, went to a spa, took part in a Colour Run, made a tie-dye top, saw my brainwaves on a computer screen and caught the bouquet at a wedding.

I can’t believe this year has passed so quickly. I can’t wait for the adventures 2016 will bring!

Hope x