Poppy Apparel

Hi Beautifuls.

I thought I would share some exciting news. Last month, I was asked if I would like to be a Brand Ambassador for Poppy Apparel Clothing, based in Baltimore.

After looking at their website, I jumped at the chance. Their stock is so beautiful. I was a little wary at first as ordering only online can be daunting especially in terms of sizing.

I ordered a sports bra in small, a shirt (pictured below) and a pair of sunglasses. They all arrived at different times and shipped from China which I was surprised at. They came packaged in the same way as any other clothing store. It did take a couple of weeks for my items to arrive, so wouldn’t recommend buying if you needed the dress yesterday! The clothing is reasonably priced which is a godsend. Also… you guys get a discount code further down!

I fell in love with this shirt on the site. I love the way the shirt ties; it really creates a statement! I ordered a a size Small and it arrived true to size… however, the sports bra is teeny tiny. I’m not in any way busty. So probably won’t order the sportswear again even though it is super pretty. The sunglasses are so trendy and unique- I’m often sporting them on my insta stories! They are fantastic at blocking out the sun… they are now a permanent feature in my car instead of my Marc Jacobs ones! The materials used and clothing seems of good quality; the shirt washed well after wearing.

I’m yet to order trousers or dresses… waiting for spring weather to start before I make any final decisions!!

Here is a discount code for your 10% off your shopping. Be sure to enter LYMPH10 at checkout!!

Shop here!

I can’t wait to share my future items with you all!

Keep up to date with my latest looks and gossip via my Instagram!

Happy Shopping!!

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

Lymphoedema Awareness

Hey Beautifuls!

As most of you are aware, March is Lymphoedema Awareness Month. This week specifically has been Lymphoedema Awareness Week. This got me thinking… what is important to a Lymphoedema sufferer?

I managed to storms tens of ideas, but they all boiled down to 2 main things: Compassion and Understanding. Why these 2, I hear you ask…

Without these 2 qualities, no difference can be made.

Lymphoedema is a tough journey. You go through so much self hatred that it’s difficult to come out the other side. Only those with understanding and compassion can help.

You go through altering your lifestyle to fit your condition. Others with compassion and understanding can help.

However, compassion and understanding only become more noticeable when you speak out. Talking about your Lymphoedema triggers compassion and understanding from others such as friends and family members. It starts small. Talking to your nearest and dearest will help their understanding and will help you be compassionate towards yourself.

The biggest concern is the compassion and understanding that needs to be shown in parliament. I’m so proud of the many individuals who petition day in, day out, to make a difference for all of us.

I’m so proud of every single individual this week, who has shared a snippet of their life with the world, to try to raise awareness.

I’m proud of every single one of us who lives with this condition.

What have you done, I hear you cry? I’ve been advocating the cause over my social media platforms, I’ve contributed to articles, I’ve worn my odd socks, I’ve shared other people’s journeys as well as my own.

Lymphoedema awareLymphoedema Awareness

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

Xpandasox with Lymphoedema Review

Hey Beautifuls!

I was lucky enough to be asked by Sharon Thorp (of Xpandasox) if I would like to trial a free pair. Obviously I jumped at the chance and responded quickly with a Yes! Through setting me in touch with a stockist in the UK (for quicker delivery) and selecting my pair, they arrived quickly. Currently wearing them whilst writing this review…

A little bit about Xpandasox

Founded by Sharon Thorp, Xpandasox is a brand under the 2DAYGIF inc. Xpandasox were debuted at Full Figure Fashion Week in 2015 in NYC. With a stretchy sewn in panel, they Xpand (see what I’ve done there!) up to 24+ INCHES! Not only is the company thinking of those with wider athletic calves and wider limbs due to health conditions, they give back too. For every pair purchased they give to their Sock Bank which then are given to those in need!

My Experience with Xpandasox

The stockist I was put in touch with was Pebble UK. I had a choice of 3 pairs. I chose the geometric patterned pair which I believed to be the ones I’d most likely wear. The sizes are in keeping with your shoe size which is fab. I ordered a size UK 3/ European 36. When they arrived, they did so with a catalogue for other compression based items they sell. This created a lovely 5 minute flick through the booklet for future reference, especially as there was a set of measurement guidelines inside the catalogue. Winning!!

I loved the pattern and material mixture. It was ostentatious enough to be deemed trendy but the right blend of colours to remain neutral. I decided I would try them at different points in the day. I would also try hand washing as well as a cool temperature machine wash… both times they washed well with materials returning to original size and elasticity.

I chose to wear them on board my flight to Doha. I was wearing my skinny jeans and Tods. I wrapped my lower leg in my farrow wrap and rolled my Xpandasox over the top of the 2 layers with ease. The ‘sox are fine enough to wear with shoes but warm enough that your feet don’t get cold. They were so comfortable on my legs throughout the 7 hour flight. There was no cutting behind my knee or tightness.

I also wore them as regular socks for the day beneath my jeans. Sadly, due to my jeans being so skin tight they did show the outlines, but would be fine beneath regular jeans rather than the extra skinny, second skin variety. Again, really comfortable, so much so I forgot I was wearing them! Always a great sign, especially as socks usually dig in to my leg as it swells throughout the day causing discomfort.

Lastly I’ve tried them over the top of my sports leggings and farrow wrap. I used my farrow wrap on both my foot and lower leg. Again, the Xpandasox rolled over the top of both layers with ease. Again, so comfortable. The great part is that the foot of the Xpandasox stretches so easily to fit the shape of wrapping or foot allowing comfort. There’s an example of how well the Xpandasox fit in the images below.

Xpandasox Lymphoedema Xpandasox Farrow wrap LymphoedemaXpandasox

I’m excited to see how they fit over multi layer bandaging in future. I’m not sure how I have survived without these life changers! I’m already planning my next pair… hmmm which colour to go for!?

You can find the full range here!

Again, I’d love to extend my thanks to Sharon Thorp and her generosity in donating a pair of Xpandasox for me to wear and review.

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

Treat Yourself This Valentines!

Hey Beautifuls!

This month is the month of Love! Instead of just loving your SO, show yourself some love!

Whether you want to splurge or save, there’s something for everyone!

My top pink picks for this month:

Splurge on this stunning rose gold Pandora Band Ring. Perfect as an Everyday Essential at £90.

OR

Save on this equally stunning rose gold Jon Richardson Cubic Zirconia design at £18!

Splurge on Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine at £19.50 to brighten up the dull days.

OR

Save on this similar colour by Essie Gel Couture number 210 at £9.99.

Splash or save at Lush. There’s nothing better than treating yourself to some beautiful smelling bath and body products! Splash… £45 on this beautiful Believe in Pink goodies box!

OR

Save on buying one or two of your favourites starting at £1.95!

I love treating myself, especially if I’ve had a tough time with my Lymphoedema. Have a great February!!

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

How to make the most of this year…

Hey Beautifuls!

I’m going to start with a super cliché. It’s the start of a new chapter of a new 365 page book… let’s write the best one!! Yeah… vomit inducing… however, they have a point. It is a new year, it is a good time to make a plan for the next 12 months.

January is probably the worst month to look for positives as everyone is skint, still feeling fat from overindulgence at Christmas and it’s cold, bleak and miserable outside. So, make a plan for the next few months, create something to look forward to instead of having a focus on the grey moments.

How can we make this year our best yet!?

1. Make a plan. Write down your goals. Make yourself accountable.

2. Start keeping a gratitude jar or journal. Write down everything good that happens to you no matter how big or small to read on the down days. I’m loving the 52 Lists Project book for this reason!

3. Focus on some positive affirmations, these are known to increase self positive feelings. Take 3 minutes out of your day to talk positively to yourself… The Lymphie Life has created a list to get you started so hop on over there after you’ve finished here!

4. Take time each week to treat yourself kindly… it could be as small as applying a face mask, painting your nails, watching your favourite film or be as extravagant as booking yourself a spa weekend with the girls or a trip away.

5. If you’ve booked a trip away, ensure your medical appointments coincide to have new garments in time as there’s nothing worse than having new garments arrive just as you’ve come home!

6. Have a commitment each month to look forward to… even if it’s to meet friends for a coffee date. It’s something to look forward to.

7. Change something about yourself. But be specific. It doesn’t have to be something physical. It could be, I’m going to ring my brother weekly… then actually do it.

8. Decide what to get rid of from your life. Do you spend too much time on social media? Need a change from watching Eastenders? What can alter to allow you that extra motivation!?

9. Say yes more often. It could be a risk that turns into an amazing opportunity.

10. Recommit to an activity you miss. Perhaps you used to do yoga and miss it? Or miss embroidery and craft club. Perhaps rekindle a friendship. Go for it.

There’s only one person who can make your year better… that person is yourself. Start talking to yourself with kindness and see everything else start falling into place.

Happy planning.

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

New Year New Us…

Hey Beautifuls!

Happy New Year!!

How quick has this year gone!? My life has been so up in the air over the last few months I’ve neglected you. I’m truly sorry. However, new year, new me, new chapter. This is the start of a new 365 page book, let’s make it a great one!

I thought I’d share with you some New Years Resolutions for the blog…

This year I’m creating a focus on kindness. Not necessarily to strangers, but to ourselves. As medical sufferers we tend to focus on the negatives and we are unkind to ourselves. I’m hoping to change this outlook. Kindness starts with being kind to yourself. Cutting off what makes you unhappy and clouds your thoughts with negativity.

We are going to love ourselves. We are going to worry about ourselves first, for once. I saw a fabulous quotation pop up on my Facebook feed saying 2016 was the caterpillar, 2017 was the cocoon and 2018 is the butterfly. It really resonated with me that hardship is to make us stronger and more beautiful. 2018 is our butterfly year. Let’s spread our wings for new exciting adventures.

Finally, I’m going to try and make older posts easier to view and revisit some topics.

My personal resolution is to be more selfish and take time to do what I want to do.

What are your personal resolutions? I dare you to make one that encourages you to look after yourself. Cheers to a fabulous 2018!!

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2018

Women Always Know What To Do

Hey Beautifuls!

I’m yet again sorry for neglecting you. Always the same when work becomes busy.

However, I’m back. I recently came home from a week in Doha. I say recently… I mean at the start of November! As I sat for the outbound flight, in Pilots Lounge and Bar in Heathrow Terminal 5, I watched a post on my Facebook Timeline. It was Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year Awards 2015 featuring one of my favourite actresses- Reese Witherspoon. I watched with my earbuds in, G&T poised in hand and eagerly awaiting my beer battered fish with triple cooked chips.

I took on board one key message from her speech. Women ALWAYS know what to do next. Picture it…

Witherspoon stands with award in hand and tells the story of how she came to this conclusion. She talks of watching a film where the woman turns to the man and asks “What do we do now?”. She asks her audience “Do you know of any women in any crisis situation who has absolutely no idea what to do?”. She follows on saying “It’s ridiculous that a woman wouldn’t know what to do”, speaks of her outrage and wanting to change this in the film industry and looking back to something her mother told her “If you want something done honey, do it yourself!” So we did.

Witherspoon started to make changes via her own production company.

I hear you thinking… what’s this got to do with Lymphoedema!?? The answer… EVERYTHING!!

The “so we did” applies to us! We are changing the face of Lymphoedema. You need only look at the support groups WE set up!! These are mostly (Jeff excluded!) run by women. We are all aware of Vern, Amy, Lindsey (UK), Kala, the 2 Sarah’s, the up and coming shoe company- Pandere, Xpanda socks, EZ Wraps, Lymphediva sleeves. ALL WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!

This is an ugly condition. It makes you feel ugly, it makes you question your beauty and self worth. It plays with your emotions, confidence and self belief. It makes you question every single aspect of your life up until diagnosis and every life decision afterwards.

Really take a moment to consider the following:

We needed support groups- so we created them. We wanted prettier garments- we created them. Wanted shoes to fit- heck, we’re creating them.

Our ‘crisis situation’ was being diagnosed and dealing with the chaos afterwards. I don’t remember being diagnosed at 15 and my mother asking my father or the consultant “What do we do now?”… that was my father. My mum was asking “Who do we see next?” A very different perspective. Mum was ready for the next step- appointments, while dad was waiting to be told what to do. Even now, as an adult, I very rarely ask “What do I do now?”, I’m more likely to ask ” What can I try next?” Or “I was chatting to …. they tried …. how effective is it?”. Hardly ever “What do I do now?”.

Our community and condition breeds strong women (and men!). It defines us as positive characters with flaws to be embraced. We often feel defined by our flaws. We feel they define our character, our persistence and determination, and silhouette. However, we eventually get over the jump and tears (from hours of Googling images and then looking for a non existent cure) of being stuck with a degrading condition.

We suck it up, look for support and see a secondary gain of needing to buy all the shoes that fit!! We also make friends who we treat like family! A focus on the negative means we are accepting our hand that has been dealt and are powerless. But we have cards up our sleeve. We are probably the most strong and fierce women (and men) out of the individuals we know. Our battle isn’t just on the outside with our physical condition. But also an emotional journey from within ourselves. If you resign yourself to not having the fire to do more than survive, you’ll exist in a pity pool party. We all have battles we don’t always share with each other. That’s fine. It’s ok to not share every detail. But also remember that it is ok to ask for help!

I’ll leave you all with a question to ask yourself…

What are we going to do next?

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Beauty trends in fall 

Hey Beautifuls!

Here’s a quick low down on the easiest beauty trends to embrace this winter party season!

Beauty

From smudged red lips to rosy cheeked the runway offers a fresh take on iconic looks. 

Smudged lips were sported on the models at Giambattista Valli, Temperley and Topshop Unique.

The Banana crease was highlighted as on the models of Oscar de la Renta and Mary Katrantzou.

Rose tinted from blush to magenta was the go to look at Bora Aksu, H&M, Oscar de la Renta and Temperley.

A Pared Back look ideal for daytime was seen at Dior, Dries Van Noten and Marchesa.

Smoky Eyes were the ideal choice at Elie Saab and Chloe.

As you can see below, the looks are so easy to achieve. I can’t wait to rock a smoky eye this Christmas… especially with glitter like Elie Saab!



Hair

The key looks that stood out were the beautiful back combing at Chanel, a crimped low pony at McQueen and a low scruffy chignon at Elie Saab. I love that the backcombing and the chignon allows for decoration to pimp up for a party style!


Have fun testing out the latest looks for your Christmas and New Year celebrations

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Autumn Winter Trends 2017

Hey Beautifuls!

Been doing my homework of reading magazines and websites, and watching strangers on the street… here’s my low down of the latest trends you’ll be spotting around town… and which are the easiest to include in your wardrobe updates! Best of all, there’s plenty of ideas to play about and have fun with! 

Street style

Denim skirts and shirts

You’ll spot this summer’s denim skirt teamed with tights and a chunky knit jumper for cosy Chic. Denim shirts are also back. Perfect under a jumper or with chinos.

Love these looks from Hiteoffashions and This is Glamorous

Oversized cardigans and jumpers

Oversized cardigans and jumpers are in. Whether it’s long and slouchy, chunky and thick, or a huge blanket. They can make a simple pair of jeans, a skirt or a dress autumn ready. Oversized slouchy style instantly updates that summer metallic maxi skirt, or Aztec mini teamed with a pair of converse or ankle boots.

Love these looks from Champagne and Chanel, and Luvv it


On the catwalk

Oversized has been spotted on the runways of Johanna Ortiz, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Temperley, Eudon Choi, and Brunello Cucinelli.

Opulent Floral was noted on the models from Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior, Gucci, Erdem, and D&G.

Red was a hit with Fendi, Max Mara, and Victoria Beckham.

Plaid was checked out on the catwalks of Stella McCartney, Mulberry and Daks.

Metallics shimmered on the runways of Isabel Marant, Christopher Kane and Temperley.



The designers have utilised more than one key trend in their pieces to highlight how the pieces can be worn in more than one way or take you from day to night. I love how these key trends can be mixed with items already in your wardrobe for a quick update rather than needing an entirely new collection of clothing! These trends allow you to be as daring or a coy as you wish! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017



Dry Brushing For Lymphoedema & Why You Should

Hey Beautifuls!

Today I’m looking at the concept of dry brushing. If you have heard the term but haven’t got a clue, you are NOT alone!

What is Dry Brushing?

It is exactly what it sounds like. It is the use of a natural bristle brush over the skin in a particular pattern, usually towards the heart, mostly before showering. The reason you move towards the heart is that lymph drains around the chest and digestive areas.

Why do people Dry Brush? 

In the beauty industry, dry brushing is said to rid you of cellulite. However, it also boosts circulation, removes dead skin cells, stimulates the lymphatic system and removal of toxins.

How often should I Dry Brush? 

Some say every morning. My personal preference is around 3 times per week otherwise my skin feels too sensitive. Trial and error to suit you and your lifestyle. Start once a week then build up.

Do you use any products while Dry Brushing? 

There are 2 main ways to use products with Dry Brushing. The first is to shower before dry brushing using an oil on skin while brushing. The second is to Dry Brush, then shower then apply an oil or lotion. Again, it boils down to time allowances and lifestyle as to which suits you.

How do you Dry Brush? 

  • Don’t press too hard. You should be gentle and not break the skin.
  • Start at you feet and move in an upwards motion.
  • For you arms, start with your fingers and hands and move towards chest.
  • Use small, firm strokes in an upwards or circular motion.
  • When at your stomach, work in a counter clockwise motion.

Are there different brushes? 

There are different brushes. It’s recommended a medium-soft cactus bristle. If you are going to work on your face, buy a specific face Brush. If you buy a long handled brush, you can easily reach your back.

My preferences…

This is my personal preference as it suits my lifestyle and my needs. It is not me saying to you that you should do exactly what I do. Research and experiment what works for you!

  • I have a hand sized round brush which suits my tiny hands and is easy to store.
  • I prefer to shower or bathe first then brush with Oil. Lotion tends to soak too quickly to brush effectively.
  • The Dove Body Oil that I tried and tested worked really well for me when Dry Brushing.

I use this brush…

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I love this following Infographic that details about how to Dry Brush.

You can find more about this topic on my Pinterest board. Always consult a medical professional before starting any new treatment.

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

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