Lifestyle

Lifestyle news and stories.

5 months after the treatment from Newcastle Foot ClinicMy feet are pretty much neglected for three quarters of the year, with the exception of summer sandal time and Christmas party frivolities, they’re housed in shoes or boots and barely see the light of day.

But for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve had a fungal nail infection that I could not get rid of. I know exactly when I got it. I’d bought a fabulous pair of Italian leather shoes from a charity shop, brand new and they were too small and nipped my big toenails. I only wore them twice.

I’ve bought all of the over-the-counter lotions and treatments (TOTAL waste of time and money) and nothing shifted it and in fact, all the picking and messing about made it worse.

State of my toenails with the fungal infection FEb 2016In February this year, I’d finally had enough. I was properly was fed up. Sophie’s wedding was in July and I wanted to have the option of wearing sandals. And varnishing over bad toes nails just wouldn’t cut it anymore. I wanted my feet back to normal.

A quick google search later and I was at the Newcastle Foot Clinic.

I was treated by Craig Burton, the owner of the Newcastle Foot Clinic. Patient, knowledgeable and lovely, he was insistent that he could treat my nails and there was a great chance that I’d not have to have the nails removed. He was also insistent that my story of foot neglect was not unique.

It was worth a go. It wasn’t until this point that I realised that I’d neglected a part of my own body for years; left it with a fungus infection no less! As I lay in the chair having my treatment, I really did wonder why I’d do that to myself.

The treatment that I undertook is called Clearanail  in which 50 tiny holes are drilled into each of your nails so when you spray them with the fungal nail treatment, it actually gets to the source of the infection.  It’s called Controlled Micro Penetration (CMP) and the drill is set to a specific depth meaning it never damages the nail bed.

Receiving the treatment at the Newcastle Foot Clinic

It doesn’t hurt at all. It was a bit of a weird sensation but it’s all done in less than an hour.

I was advised against painting my nails until the nail had actually grown out, which makes sense as you’d be defeating the purpose of the holes otherwise. I became a little obsessed checking the little holes in my nails (fascinating and odd), spraying my feet consistently every day. It was great when I spotted the holes moving and healthier nail following!

I had my treatment in back in late February ’16 and in 4 months I’ve got my nails back. They’re not perfect yet but they’re a million times better and I can see the new, uninfected nail growing nicely where my cuticles are.

I asked Craig’s permission to wear nail varnish to Sophie’s wedding; he said yes and that we’d check to see if I needed another course of CMP in the Autumn.

Looking down at my feet, I am so happy that they look normal again! I didn’t realise the impact that not getting them sorted was having. My feet were ugly to me for years, and now they look like my feet again!

I can’t recommend the staff at the Newcastle Foot Clinic enough. They’re really lovely and passionate about feet and general health. (I ended up getting orthotics for my shoes and my knee pain has completely vanished but that’s another blog post).

I’m off to paint my nails. If you want to find out more about the Newcastle Foot Clinic pop over and give them a Like on Facebook x

One of us has a shoe obsession (Nicola) and one of us has a packing obsession (Suzanne). Sargasso & Grey have just become our new favourite brand.

After an awful lot of ‘ooooh look’ we untied the ribbon on the beautiful, sturdy grey box and found our shoes packaged in their own dust jacket, a sure sign that the contents is worth protecting!

sargasso Nic wearing

Why are they different?

Sargasso & Grey’s shoes are designed by women for women. Ladies, we know how painful shoes can be. The blisters, the squished toes and the pains in our joints. Still, time and again, we’ll buy shoes because we just love how they look, how they make us feel and give little consideration to the long term effect they’ll have on our feet and bodies.

The Sargasso & Grey designers are determined to change this. They design for comfort as well as style.

They say…

Create beautiful and stylish shoes which offer a bit more width at the front, giving your toes more wriggle room and your feet space to breathe. We believe that shoes should be comfortable, fit properly and be beautiful. The smallest details such as padded insoles, extra width, slightly wider heel base on stilettos can make the world of difference.

Why we love them…

Undoubtedly the shoes are lovely. Pretty and stylish.  You don’t just have to have wider feet to wear this brand.

The Ready To Wear collection (made in Spain) comes in a range of wide fit styles for just about any occasion. The Sargasso range is Handmade in England and come in EE width and half sizes between 36 -43.

No more squeezing your fit into shoes just a little too small and waiting for them to stretch or slightly too large so they slop off.

The nude court shoes that Nic is wearing in the photo above are cut higher up her feet than regular court shoes. No toe cleavage. The heel isn’t too high for discomfort, but high enough to be smart and raise confidence.

From the Ready To Wear range, there are a beautiful grey, pink and navy suede version on the website retailing at £125.

 sargasso suz feet

The wide fit sandal (from the Ready To Wear S/S 2016 collection) in navy suede that Suzanne is wearing above, is a lovely contemporary summer sandal that would compliment just about any outfit. They worked really well with trousers, but would be lovely with white jeans or any of the floral maxi dresses or jump suits that are everywhere.

And the heel means you won’t get calf ache. Find out more on their website and remember if you sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive 10 percent off your first order!

Suzanne’s off to get a pedicure, what colour would go best with these navy suede sandals?

 

 

Tupperware

So then, what do they have in common? They are both brands that we as consumers use on a daily basis to refer to vacuums and plastic containers.

Actually not one hundred percent true. When people used the word Hoover instead of vacuum I would shudder. It was a pet hate of mine but a couple of weeks ago when thinking about how much Tupperware I have in my life a lightening bolt went off in my realisation that I had been in fact been guilty of double standards all of these years (apologies to all those people who have put up with my wrath of branding), Hoover did a fantastic job of getting into the minds of consumers even though Dyson came first.

The featured picture isn’t really a true representation of all of the plastic containers that live in my cupboards but there is always room for more and the children do need their own (don’t they?)

babybowlsWe’ve been testing out these six bowls for £7.99 from Babymoov. Even though there are to help with our #stresslessweaning Emily my six year old decided that the pink and purple bowls were hers and not necessarily for food.

The bowls have a capacity 250 ml (perfect size), a rewritable surface and has an airtight cover.

These bowls came with instructions, I know right, who needs instructions to use the bowls? Ermmm, that appears to be me. After several attempts I simply couldn’t get the lid to make a safe fit so I enlisted the advice of a fellow Babymoov ambassador who instructed to place on in a circle action rather then putting them directly over the bowl and pushing down. Alas this didn’t lead to a perfect seal which is absolutely okay for home use but I may be a little reticent to venture into the picnic bag with any wet items but would use for dry items and hope that I get the lids on well enough not to dispense the contents all over the bag.

These bowls are really easy to get clean and are dishwasher friendly too.

Look out for the next #stresslessweaning #messisbest post which sees us trying the Babymoov lunch set.

 

 

 

First time Acupunture at Jesmond Natural Health and Fertility Clinic

Month by month the migraines were getting worse. It got to the point that I’d be in bed at least sometime each month, unable to see properly, squiggly lines jumping around my right eye, feeling sick, slurring and mixing up my words and unable to drive. On top of that my periods are no longer regular. Once a 24 -25 days cycle, they’re now 21 to 34 days apart.

Resulting in a heady mix of migraine nastiness each and every month.

Of course as women we all know about “The CHANGE.” At 39 it wasn’t totally inconceivable that I could be early menopausal. Ladies, have you ever heard of Peri-menopause? This is the name for the stage that is the run up to the menopause (which you’ve reached after your last period). When women talk about going through the menopause, they’re experiencing the changes that can last a decade or more until actual menopause.

I set about reading article after article, and headaches / migraines were mentioned so frequently, that I came to my own conclusion that there had to be a link between my periods changing and the migraines I was suffering. Oddly, my biggest problem with it wasn’t that they were actually happening or how poorly I felt, it was how it was affecting me at work. Running my own business means the impact of taking any time off is massive, but time off each month? Unthinkable.

Anyway, I altered my diet, drank more water, tried different foods at different times and did a bit more exercise, all of which helped me feel better but did nothing for the migraines. Stubborn as I am, I couldn’t face the doctor just yet; I made do with off-the-shelf migraine tablets.

Through an event I was running for Sparkle Communications, I met Louise and Laura from Jesmond Natural Health and Fertility Clinic. We were starting to work with them on their Digital PR and Marketing plan and, in the course of conversation, I told them about my migraines. The clinic provides a comprehensive range of treatments including Acupuncture, Reflexology and good old massage, and the team have undertaken specialised training in Fertility, IVF, Pregnancy and Pain management.

This service opened up old hurts; my one and only round of IVF failed. But sitting with Louise and Laura, there was something about Louise’s no-nonsense approach “I can cure them for you” that made me take note (and eventually cry with relief that someone ‘got it’). Being honest, until we all met, alternative medicine has never had a place in my life but as Louise has a BA, PGDip Acu and MBAcC it’s safe to say she knows more about Chinese Medicine than I do.

But when someone sits in front of you and resolutely says that they can help, it’s got to be worth a try.

After an introductory session to find out about my migraines and lifestyle, Louise got stuck in! The image at the top is of the first time I received acupuncture. The tension was so bad in my shoulders and neck I yelped as the needles were inserted, and the pressure in the front of my forehead grew at an alarming pace. After 30 minutes or so, when the needles were removed and I got up to get dressed and I’ll never forget that my head felt like it could fall right off my shoulders. It was so incredibly strange. Something had definitely happened. The next day, I spent in bed. I was head-achy, emotional, exhausted.

Me in month 3 acupunctureThe next session was just as exhausting. And I do mean exhausting. What ever was happening was wearing me out. But the tension in my shoulders and neck was different. I felt different.

In the first two months, I suffered a headache. I also suffered incredibly itchy skin on my back and legs for a couple of weeks. That was odd. But it passed (and Louise invested in some hypo-allergenic needles for me) I’d had four or five acupuncture sessions. But in month two, even though I felt rotten, I took tablets and stayed at work. No bed for me. That was a major improvement.

In month three, after  six or seven sessions of acupuncture, I didn’t have a migraine. At all. And you can see the difference in my body’s reaction to the needles. No angry red skin. I don’t feel any discomfort from the needles now, unless I am super tense in my neck or the base of my skull.

I can say, with certainty, that acupuncture is making a difference to me in my life. I understand that it helps release the tension in my neck and shoulders, which is turn makes me feel better. And I know that last month was the first month I’d been migraine free for years. I was sceptical for many years about alternative therapies. Now, because of the actual difference it is making, I am open to exploring these methods of staying healthy that have been used for thousands of years.

And Louise, Laura and the team are wonderful, lovely ladies whose only aim is to help us feel better. I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Nic x

For further reading try the British Acupuncture Council and 34 Menopause Symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week 6 to 12 June

Hello everyone. How is your week looking? 

This week our stories are coming from Central Healthcare, Northern Stage, and Il Mulino.

Monday I’m heading to Central Healthcare in Newcastle to see what colonic irrigation is all about. This treatment doesn’t seem to be talked about as much as it once was. It’s something I’ve NEVER tried but I’m happy to put myself in the capable hands of Gill.

Tuesday we have a double bill. Nicola will be sparkling at her networking evening for the ladies of Derwentside! I went along to the first one and I often feel uncomfortable networking but I felt right at home here. I also found my much wanted cleaner in Reliant Robson and it was Claire’s first networking event. So get your #SparkleON! and click here for more information.

Also on Tuesday I will be heading to Northern Stage to watch Julie. Julie is the young and complicated mistress of the estate and is drawn into a dangerous tryst with her father’s butler, John. In the oppressive heat of Midsummer’s night, the couple hurtle towards an explosive conclusion that will shake them and the existing order to its core.

We’ll keep you updated with everything.

Suzanne x