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

Swollen, Bloated, and Puffy: Book Review

Hey Beautifuls!

The gorgeous Kathleen Lisson offered me a free copy of her book in exchange for a review. Obviously I snapped her hand off as it was on my book list! Kinesiology taping book owners… I’m looking at you… you’re on my list too ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ hint hint ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ

I was so excited to open my package from Kathleen especially as she is a CLT. I couldn’t wait to discover her hidden gems of knowledge!


The book itself is so pretty. Each chapter is decorated with beautiful illustrations of herbs used for essential oils adding to the message of holistic health. The cover shows an image of berries on a branch reminiscent of lymphatic vessels and nodes branching around the body. The book as a whole is beautifully crafted with hidden messages to the reader, pointing them in the right direction- a direction that suits their lifestyle. If you need or want a book that will suit you or that you can tailor to fit your needs, this is the book you need.

Lisson’s book needs to be on EVERY Lymphie’s nightstand!

Her guide is a precious jewel for those who are new to managing lymphatic conditions and a great reminder for seasoned veterans! I wish I’d been given this when first diagnosed as a starting point to enable me to learn more about Lymphoedema and how to manage it daily without impacting on my spare time.

Not only does Lisson fill the book with information about Lymphoedema and the lymphatic system, it is full of handy hints and tips to approach conditions from an holistic viewpoint. Better still, she supports this with science and medical research… yes, all noted in her bibliography- great for nerds like me!!

From reading this, I’ve gained so much insight in to what else I could be doing to aid my Lymphoedema, for example deep breathing I’ll use at yoga but nowhere else. I’ve been encouraged by the book to want to incorporate this into daily life at lunchtime at my desk or in bed after a long day. These are things you forget to do over time or while spotting new ideas to try.

Lisson has taken the hard work out of trial and error. She knows time is precious and you don’t want to waste it. This handy guide is chaptered helpfully to allow you to dip in and out with ease. I was able to devour this guide in a few hours but have bookmarked what I want to read in depth (before handing over to my Lymphie nurse for a read… I did promise at my last appointment).

I love Lisson for not preaching. She writes with friendliness, dignity and class. As Lisson, too, has suffered with swelling she understands the frustrations that come with it. Also, it shines through that she practices what she writes which is refreshing compared to some of the more “stuffy” pieces of literature I’ve come across.

As a Lymphie I don’t care about how something works, I just want to know if it works. This book does just that! Obviously, you need some “how” but Lisson doesn’t overload you. She gives you enough insight without the tedious boring bits. It’s like the Tropicana OJ I’m drinking… full of sweetness and the delicious juicy bits, not the bitter pith like its competitors. It’s a breath of fresh air in the lymphiesphere. If you don’t already have a copy, you need one.

Here’s where you can find one!

Buy one here

Happy future reading fellow lymphies!

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

Hey Beautifuls, 

If you are on my Instagram you’ll have seen that this month I celebrated my 30th birthday. I thought what better way to reflect on my condition than to write a letter to myself… a la Victoria Beckham.  So, here’s what I wish I could tell my 18 y o self: 

Hey Lauren or L as you’ll be known,

I’m going to try to keep this short, leave out the lessons you’ll learn. You need to make those mistakes on your own! BUT… If there’s 1 thing I could say to you, it’s this. You’re life isn’t going to turn out like you thought it would. You go through the normalities… graduate with a degree in English Literature, you then work in Housing Benefits and a PRU before graduating with a PGCE in Secondary English Education. You don’t have an easy ride though. Although you aren’t going to be married owning a house and kids at 30… You will meet the love for the rest of your life at 28. By 30, you’re planning your life abroad, together. You’ll never guess, but you’ll be a relatively successful blogger in the Lymphoedema community… practically a household name. The best part is that you’ll have made the most amazing friends who have the condition too. 

In terms of your Lymphoedema, it’ll fluctuate. It will be larger than you’ll ever expect. This will be because you got lost in the system and will be left without garments. BUT, you’ll eventually get a referral to a clinic in Newport where you’ll receive Multi Layer Bandaging. It’s here you’ll meet the professionals who change your life, attitude and leg. They are fab, they become like friends where you swap details of each other’s lives at each appointment. This will mark the start of your confidence. You start a trend of cutting 1 leg off your jeans for bandaging. It will be the start of you wearing dresses and heels for nights out instead of knee high boots. You’ll give up your palazzos and give up caring what people think of you. Your leg will eventually stabilise after a lot of hard work. And you stop noticing the stares as much. 

You go on holiday to Costa Adeje and take a photo of yourself in a bikini. This photo will go viral around the LE community of Facebook. You’ll be called inspirational and will trigger confidence in others. Your life completely changes over the last few years of your 20s- you finally take pole lessons and become rather good, you train in SHORTS at the gym, you drive an Audi TT convertible, have hand luggage always packed, a purse with 3 different currencies, a constant tan (real, not St Tropez) AND you go Brunette!! You change so much. So much so, you bump into your bullies and they don’t recognise you. 

By 30, you are so resilient and proud of yourself, you should be! 

You are a jetsetter… every school holiday sees you jet somewhere exotic- Dubai, Bahrain, Bali, Singapore, Paris… at one point you visit 7 new countries in a year. The places you travel are a little different to Ibiza and Magaluf with the girls. You eat at the most amazing restaurants- for Valentines Day your boyfriend books the Tasting Menu at Ossiano at the Atlantis in Dubai! Yep, you have so much to thank him for. He is amazing. You are so lucky! 

I’m sure you’re dying to know what you do for your 30th!? Put it this way, it’s so much better than your 18th! You wake up to huge, bright pink 30 balloons and banners through your kitchen. You have a Tasting Menu booked at Moksh, you have a Patisserie Valerie cake. Your gifts are insane- a Mulberry double Bayswater, tickets to see Lady Gaga in Zurich, a holiday to Mexico, an Olympus PEN camera… to list a few. 

Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff. Your life turns out amazing. Better than you had EVER imagined! Just let all the rubbish that occurs never dull your sparkle or your hope. 


Lots of Love 

L xoxox 

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Moisturiser Review: Palmers Coconut Oil Body Lotion

Hey Beautifuls! 

As promised… better late than never… my review of Palmers Body Lotion. The reason I chose Palmers is because So many people use coconut oil to moisturise but I don’t like the idea of rubbing coconut oil over leg. This seemed the perfect compromise! 


Looks

The bottle was a miniature trial size so looked very cute. The colours were those typical to the brand- white and brown, also reminiscent of a coconut. Doesn’t look amazing on my dresser, but it’s a classic brand to have on show in the bathroom.

First thoughts

On first application I loved the smell! It went on smoothly and absorbed well. It did stay tacky for a little while before it dried, but it wasn’t too long so that it was uncomfortable throughout the night and sticking to all surfaces and bedsheets. The next morning my leg still felt soft and hydrated. I didn’t need to use a lot for a small area which was lovely. A dollop the size of a 10p coin managed my lower leg- ankle to knee-without worry.

Final thoughts

After using for a few days my legs felt super soft. Definitely one I’m going to alternate with my usual Body Butter from The Body Shop. 

4.5/5

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Legology Air Lite Moisturiser Review

Hey Beautifuls! 

I wasn’t expecting to review this product. HOWEVER, The Lovely Kate from Legology offered a free sample via my Instagram page. Who am I to turn a free sample down, especially as I had been eyeing up this product for holidays! Although received for free, I’ll still be offering honest opinions about the product. I truly can’t thank Kate enough for introducing me o this product! 


Looks

As I opened my brown box I was greeted with this lovely personalised message on a gorgeous bright yellow postcard. I must admit, my heart warmed instantly to the up market, expensive looking pot of lotion. The packaging reminds of Creme De La Mer and I enjoyed keeping it on my dresser. I liked the pot as it had 2 layers of protection, one being obviously the container’s lid, the other hidden like a film to stop any lotion moving into the exterior lid and causing a mess. Big thumbs up! 

First thoughts

When I opened what is now thought of as the pot of joy, I was greeted with a summery citrus aroma. The texture was very jelly like, even similar to blancmange… but this made it easy to apply. It smoothed across my skin and absorbed well. My skin felt instantly soft. After around 10-20 minutes my skin started feeling invigorated making my leg feel lighter and full of life. It dried relatively quickly meaning no sticky and tacky feeling for long. The next morning my leg still felt Silky smooth.

Final thoughts

After a week of using, my skin feels soft. My leg doesn’t look different, but it’s nice to have the feeling that the moisturiser is working on more than one level. It would be interesting to see and feel the difference after a month of use! I’ll definitely be taking this on holiday with me and be using it before I put on my garment before flying! Really impressed, I’m hooked! 

4/5

Lots of Love 

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Dove Body Oil Review

Hey Beautifuls! 

As mentioned previously, I’m going to be reviewing some of the moisturisers available out on the high street. This week I’ve tried out Dove Dermaspa Goodness Silky Body Oil. The reason I chose this was for the idea that dry brushing works well with oils… so why not try an Oil that purposely moisturises your skin! The products are bought by myself, I have not been asked to advertise any products. Views are my own and not influenced in any way. 


Looks

The packaging is typically Dove branded in the blue, white and transparent package. It’s a trusted brand by the 30s age demographic. I can’t say I was excited to use the product but I was intrigued!! I found the packaging very awkward to use. The bottle has a screw top. This means after you’ve applied the Oil you can’t screw the top on without spreading Oil on to it meaning messy bottle for future use. A flip top would be much easier and fuss free. The Oil itself is a beautiful yellow colour and shimmers. Yay sparkle! 

First thoughts

As I was applying I found the Oil easy to manoeuvre over my skin… perhaps too easy. I didn’t need a lot of the product for it to go a long way. However, I also found that it remains as a slimy layer on top of your skin rather than being absorbed efficiently. 

Final thoughts

Over the week my leg remained soft but it felt a hassle having to apply the Oil. I didn’t automatically want to use it due to the slimy texture. On the last night I used it as an aid when dry brushing (there’s an article coming for that!) which worked better than just using as a moisturiser. I won’t be hurrying to buy another bottle! 

2/5

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Moisturiser Reviews

Hey Beautifuls! 

On one of the Lymphoedema Support Groups on Facebook, a friend of mine, Kelly, asked people about which moisturiser lotions people used on their limbs. 

The top 5 were as follows: 

  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Aveeno
  • Diprobase 
  • Dermol

This then inspired me to see what is on the market! My favourite has always been The Body Shop’s Hemp Body Butter. But a change is good. 

I picked up 3 different moisturisers (paid for by me)- Palmers Coconut Oil Body Lotion, Dove DermaSpa Goodness Silky Body Oil, and Soap and Glory Hydrating Moisture Mist- that I thought I would road test for around 3-4 days allowing 2 days for in between testing.

Firstly looking at Soap and Glory then the other 2 over the next few weeks! 

SOAP AND GLORY MOISTURE MIST “SPRITZ ME QUICK”


Looks

I’ll be honest, I was drawn to it because of the packaging. The packaging is the typical Soap and Glory style… 1950s style housewife; pink and white and bold fonts. Importantly, it does look good on your dressing table, also it is easy to store. I like that I can store it standing up or lying down and it doesn’t affect ease of use as it’s liquid and not a cream. It reminded me of the spray sun creams and cooking oils! 

First thoughts

I was excited to try this one first as my friends Rave about Soap and Glory products. I also already possess their Hand Food and Body Butter. It was really easy to apply. The spray is so simple and works whichever way you hold the tube. Only downfall is that it disperses into the surrounding area too. It absorbs well into the skin without much effort. It smoothed over large areas easily, both sprayed into hand and over limb. It is very light in feeling, not heavy or thick like body butters. It instantly made my legs feel silky to touch and not too sticky whilst drying. Although, it does take slightly longer to dry than I would appreciate, especially if I used it in the morning before applying my stocking. 

Final opinion

The more I used the product, the more moisturised my skin became. I would say my skin was average after 4 days of use. I did enjoy using the product and I would use it again for a longer period. I think it works great as an overnight moisture kick. 

3/5
Keep your eyes peeled for the review of Dove Dermaspa Oil! 

I have in no way been asked to write this review in exchange for products or payment. The above views are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017 

The Pain Gain

Hey Beautifuls! 

All the jetsetting and working on my feet in this warm weather has caught up with me and I’ve been suffering with extra aches and pains recently due to this. It got me contemplating on the subject of pain and why we feel guilty. 

Pain is still a taboo subject. If you’re in labour, it’s fine to admit you’re in pain. Same goes for wisdom teeth coming through…. knocking your toe on a coffee table… stepping on lego… All of these are ok reasons to say you are in pain. If you are disabled, however, your disability should be suffered in silence… is this for you to feel better or for others to feel better about not having to deal with you and your awkward pain? Because, if you don’t mention it then it happily doesn’t exist! 

My leg has a constant hangover. It’s sluggish. It’s chubby and squeezed into all sorts of garments all day. Imagine wearing a swimming cap all day the next time you have a headache from drinking too many cocktails! Welcome to our life! I have a disability…so of course I suffer pain. 

So why do I dislike drawing attention to it!? 

  • I’m pretty much always at a 2.5 on a scale to 10. This means I’ve internally normalised my pain, therefore feeling I have no right to say I’m in pain because I’m now accustomed to it! 
  • The aches grow throughout the day. I don’t take painkillers, thus it’ll obviously grow worse! 
  • It’s self inflicted… if I’ve had a manic day running from one part of the school to another, then to the gym in the night… it’s surely my fault! 
  • I wear heels. People would assume my legs and feet ache from heels. I find walking in heels less painful as my ankle doesn’t fold over on itself. People would assume I feel the same ache and pain as girls who wear heels on a night out and need to remove them to walk into the kebab shop. Wrong. Entirely different aches. 
  • I choose to go to a gym. Surely that can’t help…. 

The pain I suffer grows worse depending on many variables. It could be from walking around in hotter weather. It could be from going on a night out. It hinders aspects of life you’d never think of! I’m planning my Mexico holiday itinerary around the likelihood of pain. For example chichen itza can’t be done the day of or day before coco bongos, just as coco bongo will be a no go the day before chichen itza (no, not just because I’ll be hungover!). The reason I do this is not ruin mine or my other half’s holiday. 

If you follow my Pinterest, you’ll spot I’m a believer of spoon theory. It takes so many spoons to do activities such as washing, going to work, doing the ironing. Heck I even cook like a flamingo (stood on one leg) to not create more pain for myself and to use one less spoon!! 

But still, no matter what I face I’ll plaster on a fake smile (unless around immediate family) and get on with it. I no longer see the point in complaining and holding a pity party everyday! 

How do you deal with the aches and pains of being a Lymphie? I’d love to know. Please put your answers in the comments section!! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

Lymphie Life Balance

Hey Beautifuls! 

My last post was relating to healthy eating and swapping out those pesky processed foods! I decided to keep on a similar track… prepping for day to day life! 

People ask me, how do I do it? I PREP!! 

How do I prep? I PLAN!! 

How do I plan? MY BULLET JOURNAL AND LISTS!! 

I used to get caught up in ‘what do I fancy?’ Now I plan ahead of time. Today I’ve prepped 3 days worth of dinners and 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches. Tomorrow or Tuesday, I’ll prep another 2 days worth. It eventually becomes a habit. I break up my days, my clothes, my food in to manageable sized chunks. 

I’ll break my week in to 3 sets of 2 days and then Sunday. 

On a Sunday I focus on Monday and Tuesday. I’ll have notes for Wednesday-Saturday but they aren’t my focus. I’ll plan what I’ll be wearing, what I’ll be eating and what I’ll be doing on those 2 days. I’ll prep as much as I can over the Sunday and finish off on the specific day. For example; I’ve prepped 3 days of dinners- 2 enchiladas and sweet potato chilli. The filling of the enchiladas is the same as the chilli. I’ll add the cheese on top of my enchiladas before putting in the oven. I’ll boil the rice on the day I’ll eat the chilli. This frees up my time. I’ll then repeat this process on Tuesday. 

I’ll decide my outfits the night before and pack my gym kit the night before too. The only thing I need to add on the day are jackets, hoodies or cardigans weather depending. 

  • How do I manage my leg? Below is an insight to my usual routine.

My typical day: 

5:45- shower

6:00- check social media, emails while leg dries sufficiently to wear garment

6:15- make up and hair

6:45- eat breakfast (usually partially prepped day before)

7:10- change for work

7:30- out the door to work. 

8:10-15:10- working/ bullet journal on lunch break. 

15:45/16:00- gym.

18:00- shower, change into older garment 

18:30- eat pre planned meal. 

19:00- prep meals.

20:30- relax, massage, dry brush, remove any make up etc. 

21:00- hour or so of TV 

22:30-remove garment and sleep. 

REPEAT

I change my routine on a weekend to suit my needs.However, I find that keeping a routine is helpful in maintaining consistency with my limb. The more habitual it becomes the less pain the bum it becomes! It’s all about the planning!! 

Hope this aids your planning of your Lymphie balance! 

Happy organisation! 

Lots of Love

L xoxox

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2017

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