Pass On Plastics

The future of all life now depends on us.”

David Attenborough left this heavy and thought provoking statement on viewer’s shoulders in the concluding episode of Blue Planet II, sparking global shock and outrage as the full severity of the plastic epidemic sank in. The immense amount of plastic being discarded into the ocean has been a rapidly growing issue that has been largely ignored thus far. It’s so simple to purchase one-use plastic products and throw them away once we’ve finished with them. But where does our plastic go after that?



There’s that bag you used to carry last week’s shopping.



Over the last ten years we’ve produced more plastic than over the entire last century-but is it any wonder we keep producing when we needlessly throw away over 50% of the plastic we use? Is it really any surprise that due to our constant unnecessary manufacturing and disposal of plastic, billions of pounds of plastic now make up 40% of the world’s ocean surfaces? That’s right, billions.  The consequence of the millions of tonnes of plastic that ends up in the ocean annually is the death of 100,000 sea animals (penguins, dolphins, seals, etc.) and 1 million sea birds each year.

To summarise, our ocean, 70% of the planet, is quickly turning into a swamp of garbage, to the fatal detriment of its inhabitants.

And now, if you hadn’t acknowledged how urgent The Plastic issue is, you better start to, as it has also become our detriment. One of the most dangerous factors of plastic pollution is that plastics take centuries to decay at the very least, meaning the plastic we throw in the ocean, stays in the ocean indefinitely. As un-biodegradable materials, they instead break into tiny little pieces, the perfect size to be consumed by sea animals, and then by us.

Since extremely dangerous direct plastic toxins have been found in the fish we catch, it’s imperative we do something about the massive amounts of plastic we are using. Either that or close down all the chippy’s.fooood

Fortunately, if we act now, we may not have to resort to such drastic measures. As emphasised by Sir David Attenborough, it’s not too late for us to save our planet.

The good news is, it’s not all dire. Here’s some ways you can help.

 How You Can Keep the Blue Planet Blue

  1. Did you know 1 trillion plastic bags are discarded every year? Sign a supermarket petition to get rid of single-use plastic packaging.


  1. Plastic bottles are the 11th item found most frequently in the ocean. Sign a petition for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles~ It’s a scheme already implemented in other countries such as Germany, where it boasts dazzling success of up to 90% collection rates.


  1. You don’t have to save the planet by yourself. 42 UK companies have entered the ‘Plastic Pact’, promising to increase recycling and reduce plastic packaging. You yourself can take the plastic pledge and join thousands of others in your new common goal. Boost your recycling and decrease your use of one-use plastic materials by replacing the plastic items you use with an environmentally friendly alternative.


  1. Connect with other people and document your victories in the war against plastics on social media, inspire others around you!


A spectacular role-model for this is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apart from being a retired actor, he is also a vehement environmental activist, constantly broadcasting his love and respect for our planet. Though unfortunately not all of us have the means to sue environmentally destructive oil companies such as Arnold, luckily we can still Save like Schwarzenegger by making a plastic pledge and circulating your aims on social media.

If we work together to reduce waste and disposal of plastic products alongside the commendable 42 companies who joined the UK Plastics Pact, we’ll soon be terminating the ocean plastic epidemic as effectively as Arnold.


#Plastics #pollution #SaveOurPlanet #BluePlanet #wildlife #Nature #Oceans #Schwarzenegger



We should take more time to appreciate nurses. There are 19.3 million nurses word wide, valiant pioneers fighting against sickness and malady.

Did you know that the average nurse walks four to five miles in a 12-hour shift? Though good for the thighs, that amount of JKJbustling to and fro is definitely bad for your energy level.

Furthermore, nurses have to know everything there is to know about all types of illnesses and over 18,000 medications. That’s a lot to remember when it’s the middle of the night, you can barely keep your eyes open and though you’ve been running around all day you’ve still got four hours of your shift left.

Not to mention, if they forget or confuse even one little thing, someone’s life could be at stake. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could be brave enough to undertake that kind of responsibility, especially since we couldn’t even manage to keep our office fish alive (Sorry Nemo).

If I haven’t already convinced you just how smart, dedicated and hard-working nurses are, we know a few lovely ladies who will definitely change your tune.

Nurse Chantelle Diabate walked nearly two miles in a blizzard, selflessly facing the freezing temperatures and snow to get to her patients. Imagine that level of dedication. The humble nurse said that she treats her patients like her family and she was just happy to be needed.

Chantelle isn’t the only nurse of note on our list, 24-year-old Julie Stroyne performed CPR off duty and saved a woman’s life. Did we mention she’d just got married? She successfully resuscitated the woman, completely decked out in a gorgeous wedding dress, mere minutes after tying the knot. She’s definitely a keeper.

Let’s not forget Angela Weir, the nurse who fell 75 feet into a river when she was rushing to aid victims of a fiery car crash (don’t worry, luckily she was fine). These are just a few examples out of countless nurses going above and beyond, doing what they love, and saving lives.

Did you know that the word for nurse used to be ‘nourice’, meaning one who nourishes? I think you’d probably agree that’s a perfect description for all our amazing nurses worldwide.

Companies such as Vernacare know that these incredible nurses work ceaselessly to care for their patients and save lives, which is why they help them out as much as we can by adapting our products for their convenience. Vernacare’s disposable products mean that instead of having to clean plastic or stainless steel medical equipment over and over again to make them hygienic, nurses can spend less time scrubbing and washing, and more time focused on you and your health. Furthermore, the disposable nature of their high-quality products means that nurses can be confident that they have minimised the risk of their patients catching cross infections~ one less thing for them to worry about. But, not only are their environmentally friendly pulp products the best option hygiene wise, they cause wards to run smoother and more efficiently, making the lives of our wonderful nurses a lot easier.

If you want to read more about how you can support nurses, here’s a link so you can read about the RCN, a foundation which looks after the best interests of nurses, midwives and health care assistants as well as nursing students.

To summarise in a sentence…if you think there’s a chance you’re going to fall unconscious, you better pray there’s a nurse in a wedding dress somewhere nearby.

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Mama’s Maternity Guide


aFor most women, having a baby is definitely a big part of their future. Apart from our genetic predisposal to settle down and pop out babies, let’s face it, they’re just really cute. Also, there’s so many cool perks of pregnancy to factor into your consideration of starting a family. If you spontaneously burst into floods of tears, or randomly engage in a fit of manic laughter on a typical Tuesday, people generally seem stare and edge slowly away. Trust me.

When you’re pregnant however? ‘Ah it’s the hormones’, people say. ‘Poor girl. Someone go make her a hot chocolate.’ Basically pregnancy allows you act like a crazy person and get away with it. Here’s another thing. If you’re craving something, anything at all, people are actually obligated to go and get it for you. It’s as if there’s an unofficial universal law which dictates that if a pregnant woman is craving a pizza with bananas and anchovies on, you’d better already be on the phone bribing Dominoes to create probably the most disgusting pizza ever made. Want to know an even more amazing factor? That’d be your hair honey. Due to all the oestrogen you’re producing during pregnancy, your locks get luscious, thick and glossy. But before you start emptying your birth control out the window~ I’m not going to lie and tell you that pregnancy is all rainbows and unicorns. Here’s my quick, honest guide through pregnancy; weird, wonderful, at times painful, but all in all an incredible experience.

First Trimester (The Terrible 12)

The start of which is commonly signified by a missed period, your first trimester is the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, and will unfortunately have you experiencing a few, ahem, undesirable effects. Sorry ladies.

For example, during your first trimester it’s common to be extremely tired~ so you may be spending far more time acquainted with your duvet. The silver-lining is a pregnancy induced lie-in is a good reason to be late for work as opposed to your usual ‘traffic’ excuse. Also, you can crave some pretty weird foods and develop sudden aversions to others. I have to say, it’d be great to be able to choose what food you suddenly can’t stand to eat (Ah, I simply can’t stomach any salads or healthy food, looks like it’s just cake and takeaway for me, oh well).

You would also be making frequent trips to and from the bathroom as your need to urinate would become far more often. Also, you should seriously think of investing in protection of some sort for your chest because your breasts will become very swollen and tender, and trust me, if the confessions of these women below are anything to go by, you do not want to risk any accidental brushing, or even god forbid, an elbow to the chest.

Armour can become a fashion trend right?

Though you could lose a lot of weight (yes!) you could also gain a lot of weight (oh), and you will probably experience the commonly known ‘morning sickness’; nausea sometimes accompanied by actually throwing up. Ick. You may also be victim to constipation, headaches, and as I’ve already mentioned, crazy mood swings. So if you find yourself inexplicably crying at a toothpaste commercial, cut yourself some slack. It’s normal.

Second Trimester (The Fabulous Fourteen)

The next fourteen weeks is the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Your morning sickness will at worst lessen, at best bugger off completely, and ladies an adorable little bump with appear as your abdomen expands. Que lots of people fawning over your cute little swell and stroking it without permission. Your emotions will level out, much to the relief of everyone around you, and both your energy and sex-drive will return. Hmm. Maybe it’s actually the partners of pregnant women who dub this as the best stage of pregnancy.

This trimester for many women is the easiest, but unfortunately that’s not to say there aren’t any negative effects. You may find yourself hobbling about grumpily, feeling like a moody arthritic spinster and wishing for a walking stick as you suffer from aches in your back, groin, abdomen and thighs. Also, that very cute but rapidly expanding bulge could have a few side effects in the form of stretch marks on your breasts, buttocks, abdomen and thighs. Remember, stretch marks are natural and beautiful. like to think of them as pregnancy service stripes. Randomly, you may find your hands can become numb or tingly and your ankles, feet and face may swell. You may experience some itching on your abdomen, hands and the bottom of your feet. Though many of these symptoms may sound strange, be assured they are all completely normal, so don’t be scared. By the end of this trimester, you’ll be able to feel your baby moving around inside you! Pretty cool eh?

Third Trimester (The Not-So-Fabulous Fourteen)

This trimester is your third and final stage of pregnancy (woohoo). But beware, consisting of 14 weeks is one of the only similarities with the easy-breezy second trimester. By this stage you will be firmly in the ‘get-this-baby-out-of-me’ frame of mind. The swelling of your feet, face and fingers that may have started in the second trimester will continue. In some cases it can even intensify; which can make some mothers-to-be feel like they could entertain at a children’s birthday party, no clown outfit required. Your breasts will be extremely tender and producing Colostrum (pre-milk), so it might not be the best time to wear your fanciest bra. On top of all that, you can experience shortness of breath, heart burn, difficulty sleeping and you’ll be the size of a blip so basically, no~ this isn’t the most enjoyable stage of pregnancy. Not to fear ladies, because you’re in the home stretch, a few contractions later and you’ll soon be holding your screaming and crying bundle of joy in your arms.

Seriously though, despite the discomfort many women feel during the final trimester, most feel content that they will soon get a face to face introduction with the tiny little person they’ve been growing inside them. When your baby decides they’re ready to meet you, finally, your water will break, contractions will start and after that~ you’ll be in active labour around eight hours on average and then at the end of it, you’ll be a mother. Amazing right?

But what’s your baby been up to while you’ve been experiencing a physical andhah.png emotional roller-coaster for the past nine months? Apart from a few grainy ultrasounds that could have been a slightly misshapen cabbage for all you could make out, your kid’s given you no indication of what they’ve been doing.

Well get used to that, because it doesn’t change. Here’s a small window into your baby’s growth during pregnancy, and if you want to follow his or her progress more closely, you can read about baby development in detail below:

As you’ve seen, itchy dry skin is a common, and very annoying symptom of pregnancy, that means a lot of products don’t mesh well with the skin of expecting mothers.  Senset Foam is perfect for cleansing and protecting fragile skin, easily purchased from Vernacare.

With it’s moisturising quality, it reduces the risk of cracking and soreness, making cleansing easy and pain free. Actually having a baby will be irritating enough without having irritated skin too…Put down your pitchforks Mums. I’m joking. The happiness and healthiness of you and your little one are what’s most important.

Here’s Two Pregnancy Flourishing Foods we Definitely Recommend


Dairy Delights~ Dairy products are fantastically beneficial for pregnant women, as they help provide protein and calcium which a pregnant woman needs increasingly more. Cheesecake ladies?

rah.jpgSweet Potatoes~ Did you know vitamin A is important for the growth of your baby’s cells? Well, sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene which the body transforms into vitamin A! Hence why pregnant woman should seriously increase their orders of sweet potato fries.

For more tasty treats to benefit your baby, click the link below:

My bottom line is, remember that pregnancy is a weird and wonderful time, and many of the things your body experiences during it might seem odd, but are completely normal. I think I covered most of the common effects but if you do have concerns, make sure to voice them to your doctor. A good tip is that if you confer with other mothers, many of your fears will be alleviated. Here’s a link to Mumsnet, where loads of first, second and seventh time mothers go online to compare pregnancy observations.

To all you miraculous mothers (present and future) I hope you took something from this other than the thought that you should immediately purchase some armour and a walking stick.

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‘S’ is for Sjogren’s Syndrome

You’re probably thinking what the heck is a ‘Sjogren’ and imagining some weird type of growth. Though you may have never heard of the strange sounding syndrome, the serious and so far incurable condition affects at least 2000,000 people in the UK alone. I’m aware that Sjogren’s Syndrome, pronounced ‘showgrins’, hasn’t had much national attention, which is why I’m here to shed some light on the subject. By the time I’m finished you’ll know what Sjogren’s Syndrome is, who it affects and what you can do about it.

Before now, because of those pictures your co-workers put on Facebook, you’ve probably thought how fantastic it would be to be able to stop drooling when you fall asleep at your desk. Or at a couple of points in life, you may have wished you could stop uncontrollably sobbing over those bowls of Ben and Jerry’s. Well, as any sufferer of Sjogren’s syndrome would tell you, the alternative is far worse. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, which is when your usually on-the-ball immune system messes up and starts attacking your own body (cheers immune system, thanks a lot pal).

In Sjogren’s Syndrome, our glands are what receive the most friendly-fire, more specifically our lacrimal and saliva glands. These are the glands that help your body produce moisture in your eyes and mouth. So yes, there’d be less sobbing and drooling, but the major downside is a painful burning sensation due to dryness in your eyes, and a parched mouth, which can also result in discomfort and cracked lips. I think you’ll agree that Sjogren’s suffers definitely get the worst option. Especially a

s that’s not all. Sjogren’s syndrome can affect your entire body. Take a look at all the possible symptoms.


~Dry skin

~Muscle or joint pain


~Extreme tiredness

~Swelling between jaw and ears


Who’s Susceptible?

Though both women and men of all ages can get Sjogren’s Syndrome, 9 out of ten sufferers from Sjogren’s in the UK are women, and it’s most common in the ages 40-60. Now while yes, Sjogren’s is a serious long-term condition, you don’t have to let it control your life. Even if you’ve been diagnosed or suspect you may suffer from it, don’t let that stop you~ It’s still possible for you to flourish at whatever you path you choose to pursue. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this incredible lady. I think you may have heard of her.


Be as Victorious as Venus


I know what you’re thinking. Tennis star Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam Champion, has won Wimbledon five times and started her own fashion line in her spare time….and she suffers from Sjogren’s Syndrome? Heh?

I agree that it’s miraculous that Venus suffers from a condition which seriously effects your joints and energy levels, and she’s still accomplished all she has. When she was diagnosed in 2011, she was forced to take a brief break from her tennis career as she came to grips with her new reality. It was a big realisation for her~ so that was why she had been feeling so depleted and exhausted all the time. It must have been nice to have some answers. But finally knowing the truth of her condition was bittersweet, as in order to continue pursuing the career she loved, she’d seriously need to adapt her lifestyle to manage her Sjogren’s syndrome. When Venus returned to tennis, she was fully on top of her disease and was back to playing at the top of her game~ her first match back on the court and she only needed an incredibly short 1 hour and 12 minutes to defeat her opponent. Respect. But how does she do it? Here’s some tips I recommend for sufferers of Sjogren to beat the syndrome into submission. Game, set, match.

Seven Steps to Silence Sjogren


m1. This is Just the Veganning…

Yeah I know giving up the trips to Burger King is going to be a toughie, but trust me, evidence suggests it’s for the best. Many doctors have linked the types of food in raw vegan diets to anti-inflammation~ Which may help with the swollen joints people from Sjogren’s suffer from. Since this is a lifestyle Venus adopted to manage her Sjogren, I definitely don’t think going vegan is a missed-steak.

  1. A Brush a Day Keeps the Dryness Away

Turns about brushing your teeth has further benefit than stopping people from cringing away when you speak to them. Taking especially good care of your mouth is extremely important because a healthy mouth produces a healthy amount k.jpgof saliva, and with a condition that attacks your saliva glands, you need all the help you can get. I recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and anti-bacterial mouthwash to keep your mouth healthy with less chance of drying it out more. Stick with me and you’ll soon be producing more saliva than a pug with its head out the car window.

  1. Ice, Ice Baby


    Little things really do mean a lot~ these great tricks are just what you need to keep your mouth nice and wet. Both chewing sugar free gum and sucking on ice cubes are fantastic ways to generate some moisture. If the dryness extends to your mouth, simply use some lip balm to keep your mouth soft, healthy and free from cracking. And I know this one is obvious, but keep drinking water. Just don’t guzzle it all day or you’ll start to slosh when you move.


  1. Bin the Booze


Alcohol is a big fat no for suffers of Sjogren’s, (sorry guys). As you know from all those hungover mornings where you’ve woken up feeling like a dried out husk before stumbling to the sink and sticking your face under the faucet, alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Consequently, you can see why Sjogren’s and Sangria do not mix. One sip of alcohol can have extreme negative effects for people with Sjogren’s condition so best to stick to gin and tonics…without the gin. Once again, sorry.


  1. Say Yes to Drugsr

Alongside all these other tips, there is medication that can help too. Pilocarpine is a medicine used to help your eyes and mouth produce moisture and it has worked wonder for some patients with Sjogren’s syndrome. Just make sure you discuss it fully with your doctor, as it’s not for everyone and you need to find the right Sjogren management for you. For swollen joints I recommend anti-inflammatory medication such as trusty ibuprofen. When people ask about your pill popping just tell them that you suffer from…actually, don’t say Sjogren’s Syndrome, it totally sounds made-up.

  1. Don’t Try to Cope with Soap

The dry, sensitive skin that often comes hand in hand wcith Sjogren’s can be a real pain, especially when so many washing products have the potential to irritate delicate skin. Avoid strong, perfumed soaps like the plague, as they are sure to dry out your skin and cause extreme discomfort. Use products specifically tailored for your skin-type, like Senset Foam, specially designed to cleanse, moisturise and protect dry skin, reducing cracking or soreness.

  1. Exercise, not Extra Friesd.jpg

No wonder Venus is acing it (pun intended). When you get diagnosed with a condition that benefits from exercise, it’s great if you happen to run around all day for a living. But since unfortunately not all of us can be Tennis Court Queens, you could start exercising those joints by a mixture of aerobic exercises like some cycling. If you want to set up a top notch exercise program that’s best for your individual condition, seeing a physiotherapist would be a fantastic idea. If you do suffer from swollen joints and soreness, you could try a product designed to give your joints some relief, like Comfigrip Bandages. Like the name suggests, they’re super light and comfy and but support your joint, allowing you to continue with everyday life.

Remember that while these tips will definitely help you manage your Sjogren’s Syndrome, it’s best to discuss which possible treatments will be best for you, as almost every case of it varies. If you want to read more, you can find out further information on Sjogren’s here:

If you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned, I hope you benefit from this guide, keep positive and keep Sjogrinning.

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