It’s time for you to bloom and to flourish

Mental Health. A taboo that is finally being spoken of more. Words such as depression and anxiety either get used either far too cautiously due to the feeling of being unnecessarily embarrassed or as to not offend, or far too flippantly which can take away from the meaning and genuine insecurities surrounding the circumstances involved. As someone who understands and appreciates such descriptive words (through my own experiences as well learning from other people’s journeys) it’s important to ensure you’re following the right bloggers/influencers and using appropriate tools when it comes to all things mental health. Here on Flamingo Monroe I don’t try to be any kind of know it all or hardcore “influencer”, I justly try to be myself.

Via Instagram, I recently became friendly with Anna of Mama’s Scrapbook. Her frequent and highly amusing Instastories keep me rather entertained when I’m forcing myself to have 5 minutes of downtime to drink my morning coffee. I hope I don’t sound stalker-ish – I follow lots of bloggers and personalities and enjoy watching all their instastories! Anna is an accredited and experienced BACP Psychotherapist, a mother to two young boys, has a great eye for interior design, uploads Instagram posts providing confidence, guidance and reassurance to all and she also writes her blog – which has a strong focus on mental health and lifestyle.

She’s recently started a business venture with a close friend – bringing together her psychotherapy knowledge and her friend’s graphic design credentials, they’ve created Blöm Cards. Blöm [Bl – Om] is derived from the Scandinavian Word ‘Blomstre’, meaning to bloom, to flourish….

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Festive baby fashion from Next

With a son born so close to Christmas (23rd December to be precise – and trust me I did everything I could to get him out 15 days prior on his due date!) it would be rude of me not to embrace the Christmas spirit by bringing some festive fun to his wardrobe!

We’ve recently enjoyed a Christmas themed shoot celebrating his first ‘proper’ Christmas and also marking his upcoming first birthday. Here’s a selection I’m sharing with you, and I’ve linked to all of his outfits (all from Next)…

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15 Gifts for under £15 from Neal’s Yard Remedies

What I love about Neal’s Yard Remedies (beyond their ethical and organic credentials) is that it’s affordable luxury, and even more because a little goes a long way. No fillers are included meaning there is no need to use an excess amount – whether that’s skin care, body products or their essential oils.

The products look glamorous, but for good reason –  the packaging is recyclable, the blue glass preserves the product for longer and prevents UV rays causing damage to them – tick tick tick!

I’ve chosen 15 gift ideas, all for under £15 – whether it’s for a loved one, a Secret Santa idea or as a stocking filler.

Beyond skincare, Neal’s Yard Remedies is a lifestyle brand. With products for the body, mother/pregnancy and baby, hands and feet, essential oils, health products, teas, supplements, aromatherapy remedies,  mens products, hair care – the list is long and there really is something for everybody.

If you’re stuck for gift ideas, then hopefully there will be some inspiration here for you…

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Let’s talk vaginas with ease, with Eve…

How much do you know about vaginas? Yes that’s right, I just said the word VAGINA! Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother or father if they know what a vulva is! Your partner may have been down the “business end” during the birth of your children and still not know what a cervix is!

A shocking 25% of men aged 18 – 24 claim to know nothing about gynae health, or that gynae health is not a male issue.

Well, listen up boys! If your female partners, relatives and friends are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer, you will want to support your loved ones and be informed. Every woman who is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer has a man in her life who cares about her.

As sexual partners, you are relied upon to spot any symptoms your partner may be unaware of. It is then also your life-saving responsibility to inform your sexual partner (or for some of you reading this – partners!) of any findings – it could save their life.

Far too many men and women don’t know the signs and symptoms of gynae cancers or are too embarrassed to do anything about them and we need to be more open with each other. Regardless of how many years, months, days or hours (!) you have been intimate with a partner, just think, you could save a loved one’s life by finding the confidence to speak up, and this post will help you to do so…

Let’s talk facts. In the UK alone, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with a form of gynaecological cancer each year. This equates to 58 women being diagnosed every day. Sadly, 7,700 of these women will succumb to one of these cancers, which is of course is 7,700 too many. 😦

I have a long standing relationship with The Eve Appeal, the only UK charity raising awareness and funding research in all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal. It gives me such pleasure to continue working for them and help drive awareness of their latest campaigns – #IamAdam (for men to become more aware) and #knowyourbody (including a quiz for everyone to take part in).

Here I speak to Athena Lamnisos, Chief Executive Officer of The Eve Appeal who answers many important questions which will be useful for all of us. She talks signs and symptoms, how to approach a sexual partner if we’re concerned, why it’s important for men to be informed, how we can help spread awareness and get involved as well as an update of future screening tests for women (more than the cervical screening already on offer).

Thank you for reading. And please, to all men and women out there reading this post – share, share share!

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It’s time to face plant some strawberries and cream!

With summer finally here and with Wimbledon over in a blink, ’tis the season for strawberries and cream…in our tummies and ON OUR FACES! Yes you read that right.

Neal’s Yard Remedies have created an easy-to-make DIY mask to use at home to give our skin a fresher look and a radiant glow. It’s a 2-in-1 scrub and mask, and contains just three tasty ingredients… strawberries, cream and oats.

This scrub/mask combination is perfect for anyone with a super busy schedule, especially if you’re a relatively new mummy like me where getting out of the house for an hour long pampering facial can be challenging – there simple aren’t enough hours in the day.

It’s also a great idea to do with friends if you enjoy pamper parties. Perhaps with a glass of Pimms for the optimum summer treat…

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