Monday, 15 December 2014

Music Monday: Hana Evans

Back in the summer (oh how far away those day seem now!) I blogged about a very talented British singer-songwriter called Billie Marten. At just 14 years old I was completely spell bound by her incredible talent and musical maturity, and now I'm so excited to have discovered another teen with an similar insane level of musical sophistication. Let me introduce you to Hana Evans.

Hana is a Welsh based singer songwriter from a small coastal town called Penarth. At just 14 years old, Hana has been supported by BBC Introducing, as well as Huw Stephens and Dermot O’Leary. Hana was also one of the 'Teenstar' UK finalists and sang Live at the O2 last year. And it doesn't stop there, with Hana's music selected and featured on local and BBC Radio, with notable mentions on the Unsigned Radio Show and the Best of British Unsigned Show.

Hana's music is what I would describe as electro-pop, and perfect electro pop at that! If you're a fan of Ellie Gouding, and specifically Ellie's first album 'Lights', you are going to fall crazy in love with Hana's music. She is influenced by a wide range of artists from the likes of Sia, St Vincent, Bright Light Bright Light and Imogen Heap. Having had a passion for songwriting for most of her life, Hana performs live acoustic versions of her songs on piano and guitar regularly around Wales, the South West and beyond.

For your listening pleasure I've included Hana's track called, 'I Don't Want To'. This has Top-40 hit written all over. Hana's music is driven with addictive electro-pop melodies and complimented with lyrics that display the vulnerability, complexities and roller coaster of emotions and feeling that teenage life brings. But hey, don't we all feel like that sometimes? And so therefore Hana's music can be enjoyed, and should be, by absolutely everyone.

I've had Hana's little selection of tracks on her Soundcloud on contact repeat, and so I feel certain in saying that 2015 is definitely going to be very busy for this exciting new artist.

Is anyone else a fan of Hana's gorgeous music? Who would make your #musicmonday this week? To stay up to date with Hana's music head to her Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Invisalign Experience: My First Appointment, Impressions, X-Rays and Photos


Even though it's 2014 (nearly 2015) it's still crazy to think how much orthodontic treatments have changed and advanced. I have always been okay in the whole tooth department, but like all children and teens I have had experience with braces before. When I was 12 years old I had a little plate for my top teeth. To be honest, I'm not sure why exactly I needed this, although I know it did some good! This was despite me misplacing it once it in a cafe in Switzerland....but that's a whole other story (!!!)!

On my last few general dentist appointments I have been told that I have a Malocclusion and told that I really needed surgery on my jaw. Malocclusions are typically inherited (my Dad has this terribly as well), meaning that it is passed down from one generation to the next. Ideally, your teeth should fit easily within your mouth without any crowding or spacing and in addition, none of your teeth should be rotated or twisted. The teeth of your upper jaw should slightly overlap the teeth of your lower jaw so that the points of your molars fit into the groves of the opposite molar. There are three classes of malocclusions and I have a Class 3 malocclusion and it's also considered to be one of the most difficult and complex orthodontic problems to treat. The surgery sounded extremely drastic and I just feel my overall health couldn't cope with it, to be honest.

So, what followed was many, many appointments to orthodontist to find an alternative solution. I was shown a huge range of braces and in the end found a treatment which appealed to me greatly: Invisalign. You've probably seen a lot of talk about Invisalign, those magical, near-invisible braces.

First Appointment:

So first things first were some impressions/moulds/casts/*insert technical name* (!) taken of my top and bottom sets of teeth for the aligners. I've had this down before, and remember them tasting of vanilla ice cream (you know me, vanilla fend and all!) but vanilla these were not. If you've not had impressions before I'll be honest it isn’t a very pleasant experience, it's not painful in the slightest, it really isn’t all that bad and doesn’t last long. Firstly I had two lots of 30 seconds moulds: One for the top and one for the bottom. These had a lovely berry scent and so naturally not unpleasant in the slightest! After this, a tray filled with what I could only possibly explain as a blue-tack ish paste is pushed onto your top or bottom teeth, held in for 4 or so minutes and then pulled out, upon which is left an impression of your teeth. Finally a 30 second mould of centre of my teeth with a toothpaste sort of consistency.

I had done a teeny bit of Googling on the impression process prior to my appointment, and the general consensus seemed to be that people said they wanted to gag, that they advised getting numbing spray and all this sort of thing but with delight it really was absolutely fine. There's a series of intricate Kadinsky esques paintings on the wall and I just counted the amount of colour in this. You can tell the art history student, eh? ;). But in all seriousness, if you have a sensitivity of your gag reflex speak to your orthodontist about this. Like I said, it isn’t all that pleasant but it doesn’t last too long and I kind of went in a little anxious for absolutely nothing at all (and also teaches me time and time to take reviews with a pinch of salt, and I hope you do the same with mine! We are all different).

Next up final thing I had to have done were photos and X-Rays of my mouth, which were super easy and, as you might expect, absolutely pain free. And to finish a range of photos. Some I had done plastic face-stretchers inserted, and one with mirrors to see the whole mouth. I think this is either going to be sent a lot with the impressions or simply for me to see my own progress.

So right now my little impressions are off to be created into my custom made aligners. It takes six weeks for them to be made, so I booked in to start my treatment in late January of next year. Also at this appointment I will be shown a video of how much teeth and jaw will change. I was also told my treatment will take at least 15 to 18 months, because of my malocclusion, but I believe for simple tooth correction it can be sorted in as little as 6 months (you lucky, lucky things you!).

And there you go, that's my first Invisalign diary post. I'll write another update in January. Meanwhile, is anyone else getting Invisalign treatment? Has anyone else had it? I'd love to know your thoughts and opinions. Excited yet slightly nervous to start this treatment! Feel free to ask me any questions about the impressions, X-Ray and photos stage.

For more information on Invisalign click here.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

My Northern Lights Experience

First things first it's the 12th December as I type this out, and I haven't really opened my Blogger all month, elk! But really, how is it nearly Christmas already? Oh time: Where do you go!

Life has been incredibly busy and hectic and mostly so because as anyone who works in retail knows Christmas time is a little bonkers. But good bonkers! Since my birthday I've just been a little glitter ball getting my orders out to all my wonderful Beauxoxo customers but every spare second I have had I've been daydreaming blog post ideas so I'm good to go with content for a very long time.

Firstly, I need to tell you about my Northern Lights experience. As some of you know I was recently blessed with this incredible Northern Lights experience for my birthday this year. If you want to follow my journey to the stars join me after this cut because this is a little photo heavy!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beauxoxo Xmas and Etsy Merchandise Giveaway

Dearest readers and blog chums: We have so much to catch up on! This past week has been so crazy busy since the infamous Black Friday and whole Cyber Weekend, but I have a whole lots of things I hope to blog about soon. And especially my Northern Lights trip from last week for my birthday! Meanwhile I have something exciting I don't want you all to miss out on.

As some of you know, this weekend I will be taking Beauxoxo to the Etsy Dorset Christmas market. I know most of you aren't local to me so probably won't be able to make this but I do have an exciting opportunity for you to win something from Etsy! Because of the market, Etsy HQ, all the way in the USA have gifted the Etsy Dorset Team with lovely merchandise to celebrate this market in Dorset. So, I'm fortunate enough to offer one of you a chance to win this super cute Etsy canvas bag. It's a perfect size for taking to town to carry your essentials home, or like me, you could stash your new craft supplies in there no problem! So, if you're an Etsy fan and want to have a chance of winning this click right here to re-tweet for a chance to grab this prize. Open internationally and ends 5th December 2014 at 11pm GMT.

And in other news, I'm doing something I did last year called Beauxoxo Xmas (#beauxoxoxmas). Every single day on my Beauxoxo social media I either offer a giveaway, discount or other treat every single day up to Christmas. I'm so excited to build the prizes up each day to a pretty spectacular end! Trust me, amazing stuff is to come yet! To follow everything that is going on my Twitter is the best chance to keep up to date. I also have a few days where you'll be able to enter through my blog as well.

Good luck to all that enter the Etsy bag giveaway!