Laser Eye Surgery with Optical Express

Something I've always dreamed of but never actually thought would happen in a million years is *actually happening* tomorrow - I'm having Laser Eye Surgery with Optical Express. I know this is a procedure that a lot of people, like me, have thought about having and for that reason I wanted to share my journey with you guys.

MY EYESIGHT...

I'm not 100% sure when it was that I first realised I needed to wear glasses. All I know is it's been a very long time. Too long in fact. I've just scrolled through my Facebook pictures to try and pin-point exactly when it was but as most of my FB photos are from nights out, and I NEVER wear my glasses on a night out, I'm struggling to find any pictures of me actually wearing them. You're not allowed to wear contacts for a minimum of 7 days prior to surgery, so I actually went out on Saturday night unable to see a bloody thing. I feel really un-sexy in my glasses, so only wear them to work, if I'm chilling round the house or hanging out with friends. That really is saying something isn't it, if you'd rather be visually impaired than wear your glasses.  

So a bit about my vision at the moment; I'm short-sighted, which means that distant objects appear blurred. This used to mean I only really struggled to read bus numbers until they were right in front of me (or I'd ended up missing it out of sheer panic of putting my hand out for the wrong bus) but the continued use of glasses to try and correct my vision has only made it worse. I can read my phone or a book without the aid of glasses or contacts but anything further away than that is impossible. At my most recent eye scan I discovered my sight is deteriorating at quite a rapid rate, I'm now -3.00 in my right eye and -2.50 in my left eye. I also have an astigmatism; quite a common, minor eye condition, which means my cornea isn't a perfectly curved shape, instead it's shaped more like a rugby ball. Having an astigmatism makes contact lens (Toric) pretty expensive, as I'm unable to take advantage of those super cheap £5.99 per month online deals. This is one of the main reasons I only wear contacts if I'm going out-out or doing something fancy with my day, as it's not an expense I can really justify for every day use.

THE SURGERY...

There are a few different types of laser correction procedures you can have and after my consultation & iScan appointment at the Shaftsbury Avenue clinic (where I will be having my surgery) I was told I'm a suitable candidate for iDesign Lasek. Lasek is an alternative to Lasik (the most common surgery) for people who have thinner corneas or play contact sport, as the surgeon doesn't create a corneal flap which can be damaged during the healing process if you take part in any sort of strenuous activity. Instead the surgeon places an ultra-thin sheet on the eye and a diluted alcohol solution is used to loosen the edges of the sheet. That sheet is then gently moved to one side to reveal the layer of cornea that will be treated by the laser. Reading up on the procedure kind of freaked me out a little but you're treated with anesthetic drops before treatment, so you feel nothing during. The surgery also takes a matter of minutes to do and I've been told the results of Lasek are fantastic. It's completely safe, nothing can go wrong and Optical Express treat thousands of people every year, so rest assured you're in safe hands if you ever do decide to have the procedure. 

MY POST-SURGERY PLANS...

There are so many things I'm so excited to do when I can see clearly, even something as small as looking out of the 3rd floor window at work and not just seeing blurred trees and tiny dots (people) below. If the sun starts shining mid-way through the day, I can put my sunglasses on without having to pop in a pair of contacts (I've always thought it was such a waste to wear a pair of contacts for half a day). Putting fake tan on and then being able to watch tv whist it's drying, without the (probably very irrational) fear of waking up with the pale, ugly outline of my glasses on my otherwise perfectly bronzed face. Having to clean my lenses all the damn time - they pick up dust & get dirty so easily, so I'm constantly having to wipe them clean. Having dusty, dirty glasses kind of defeats the purpose of wearing them doesn't it. And last but definitely not least - the embarrassment of coming indoors from the cold and my specs steaming up...

...I'm aware these are all total 'first world problems' and pale in comparison to some of the issues people in developing countries have to endure when their sight is impaired. This is another reason why I was so keen to collaborate with Optical Express on this, as not only is my vision being corrected through this procedure but I have also been introduced to an amazing charity called Sightsavers - who fight avoidable blindness and promote equal opportunities for visually impaired people. I've donated £500 of my own money to this incredible charity and Optical Express have covered the cost of the rest of my surgery. I want to be completely honest and transparent about this whole process, so letting you know that my surgery has been paid for by Optical Express is important IMO.

A donation as small as £1 per month for a year to Sightsavers is the equivalent of a cataract operation to restore a child's sight, so please please please do check out the charities site HERE and if you can spare any money at all, please know that the couple of quid you might have spent on a coffee in Pret before work could help transform the life of someone less fortunate. 

NERVES & EXCITEMENT...

I'm not going to lie, I am pretty bloody nervous about the whole thing. I had my call with the surgeon on Monday and it really put the fear in me, which I know deep down is completely ridiculous because i'm in safe hands - Optical Express are the UK's no.1 provider of Laser Eye Surgery and I've read testimonial upon testimonial of happy customers. But sometimes too much research can be the opposite of reassuring, so bear that in mind if you're looking to have this procedure in the future. I think the thought of something or someone touching my eye is the thing that's scaring me and the thought of feeling 'pain' in such a sensitive area. Note to self - stop being a whimp! After mentioning my concerns to the Optical Express team they put my in touch with one of their leading Optometrists, Amy, who totally put my mind at ease.

I've heard nothing but great things from people who have gone ahead and had the surgery, everyone I've spoken to has described it as the 'best thing they've ever done', 'life changing' and told me that they wished they'd done it sooner. So I'm sure my nerves will subside, the excitement will kick in and it'll all be worth it. Not only am I sharing my story with you guys on my little corner of the internet, I'm also going to be vlogging the whole thing for Optical Express' YouTube channel, so stay tuned for that.

Goodbye forever glasses - don't let the door hit you on the way out! I'll quite happily stick to a good ole Snapchat filter from now on...


Thank you for reading this post and if anyone has any questions at all feel free to comment below, I'm happy to answer any you might have :)

Ray-Ban Round Metal - The Perfect Summer Shades



Sunglasses c/o Sunglasses Shop
Blouse c/o Joanie Clothing 
Shoes c/o Boden 




I've long been on the hunt for the perfect pair of summer shades and I definitely think I've found them in these Ray-Ban 3447 Round Sunglasses from Sunglasses Shop. I know I'm a little late to the Ray-Ban Round party (shout out to my trend-setting bro who has been wearing these for time) but I'm not usually one to splash the cash on a pair of pricier sunnies. That being said, summer is well and truly on the way and I have some v. exciting things planned, so thought it was time I started working on my sunglasses collection. 

I chose the pink matte lens, with a gold frame to compliment my fair hair and couldn't recommend them enough. They're really easy-to-style, effortlessly cool and have a real rock n' roll vibe to them which I'm totally into.

I've already got my eye on the more classic Ray-Ban 3447 Gold 001 Arista for my next pair. Sunnies & bikinis are all that's on my mind at the moment but at least I don't have to work out to look good in a pair of shades...





Photography by Abbie Tanner

FARM GIRL CAFE - BRUNCH SPOTS OF INSTAGRAM




JUMPER (SIMILAR HERE)
JEANS (SIMILAR HERE)





Brunching at the weekend has fast become one of my fave past-times and I'll tell you the reason I love it so much - because if you're forever skint (like me) you can go to the fanciest of restaurants on a total budg'. Realistically, avo on toast + a coffee is never gonna cost you more than £20 ...it feels like you're having a total treat-yo'self-moment, whilst never actually breaking the bank. 

I ticked another must-visit off my 'Brunch Spots of Instagram' list a little while ago, which I'd highly recommend everyone checks out - FARM GIRL CAFE in Notting Hill. 

Situated right in the heart of Notting Hill on Portobello Road, this super 'Instagramable' spot has become really popular, due to it's perfect-for-flay-lays pink tables and photogenic food. 

I love an aesthetically pleasing brunch just as much as the next Instagramer, but a photogenic avo on toast isn't the only thing I look for when scouring Insta + Pinterest for the latest hot-spot. I want food that looks AND tastes good. Well, Farm Girl doesn't disappoint - the avocado on toast, with pomegranate (who'd have thought it ey), smoked salmon and poached egg comes highly, highly recommended by yours truly. One of the best I've ever had.

If you're in West London and fancy a coffee with an edge (Liquid Gold Latte's and all sorts), an Acai Bowl or Coconut BLT, get yourself down there. I for one, am super keen to take another trip there real soon. 


Expect more food reviews like this v.soon... I've been munching & brunching my way round London recently.


GORGEOUS GINGHAM






Jacket - c/o Boden (Old Season, Similar Here)
Top - Zara
Jeans - c/o Dr Denim
Trainers - Comme Des Garcons x Converse
Hat - Brixton (Old Season, Similar Here)
Glasses -  Bromley frames in Honey c/o London Retro


Photography by my talented little mate Amber-Rose



One of the greatest things to come out of this blogging malarky, for me, has to be all those amazing friendships I've made along the way - real friends too, actual IRL ones ...can you believe it?! People like my little mate Amber, who I just love spending time with. We hung out a few weekends ago - went for brunch at Bronte (which was DELISH - post coming soon), shot this look, did a bitta shopping and just generally had a right ole laugh enjoying each others company. It was a bloody great day! 

Now onto my outfit... 

Gingham is having a real moment right now, which I, for one, am SO happy about! It's something I've always had a penchant for. It takes me back to those summer school days (when we actually used to have a proper sunny, warm, summer) and I'd get to wear my green & white gingham dress - those really were the days! Well, it's time to dig out your primary school uniform, as it's fast becoming the fabric of the summer. I first noticed it had started hitting the high-street last summer when I picked myself up a couple of bits (see here & here) and now it is literally EVERYWHERE, in the form of dresses, skirts, trousers, jumpsuits - there's something for everyone, whatever your style. I've linked a few of my current fave gingham pieces below, if you fancy giving this wonderful trend a go.

SHOP MY GINGHAM PICKS:
                             

SISTER JANE SHIRT, PINK ACCESSORIES & PASTEL WALLS


BAG (ON SALE)
SHOES - NEXT







HNY errrbody! I know we're well into the month now but since this is my first blog post of 2017 it wouldn't feel right not to wish you all a Happy New Year :) How's your 2K17? So far, so good?!

I shot this look towards to end of last year but Christmas kinda got in the way and I was too busy enjoying some well deserved time off work, festivities with the fam and a lot of lie ins. I'm a big fan of doing absolutely nothing ...and I do it bloody well too! 

So, yeah, this outfit was shot before long before sub-zero temperatures set in here in the UK. You'd have to be absolutely mental to step outside sans coat and socks at the min', so rest assured I'd wear a big fluffy faux-fur jacket and a more weather appropriate choice of footwear if I left the house in this now.

I love me a little Sister Jane number, so had to bag this Western Embellished Shirt as soon as I spotted it on ASOS. They do vintage-meets-modern really bloody well and their blouses & shirts are some of my favourite things to wear as of late. I've popped a few, similar to the one I've styled up in this post, below for you lovely lot to check out. Desp' to get my hands on this leppy print blouse but it's Jan and I'm trying to be frugal :( 

Hot Pink is a key colour for SS17 - spotted all over the Paris catwalks (ValentinoBalenciaga, Celine) and it's a trend I can totally get on board with! The girly-girl in me has always been drawn to it, so I'm all over adding a pop-of-pink to my outfits this season. You don't have to go head-to-toe fuchsia, you can always incorporate it into your outfit through accesories for a more subtle take on the trend. This Radley Millbank Bag is the perfect way to do just that and it's also on sale RN, so you CAN be trendy and thrifty too!

SHOP MY SISTER JANE SHIRT PICKS:

NAVY KNIT AND BAKER BOY CAP


JUMPER (20% OFF)
BAG 







This is an absolute fave everyday outfit of mine - a comfy knit, Levi jeans & DM's. I'm as lazy as they come so I like to make v. minimal effort where possible. Plus, comfort really is key and of huge importance to me when it comes to my morning outfit selection - especially since the godawful drop in temperature we've had recently. The last thing you wanna be when it's -5 degrees outside is uncomfortable in your OOTD ennit!

I talked a bit about a couple of my fave colour combinations in my last post and here I am wearing yet another love of mine - navy & black. It's always been regarded as a real fashion no-no, something my Mam used to drill into me years ago. I have to whole heartedly disagree with wor Phyllis on this one though ...soz Ma' but I'm ALL about this colour combo. An all black outfit with a navy coat, or in this case, an all navy outfit with black boots - both absolute winners in my eyes. 

...now onto the footwear... I'd just like to start by saying - you cannot beat a good pair of Dr Martens IMHO! Once broken in (that does take some doing - ouch!) they're the comfiest pair of boots you'll ever wear. The more battered they are the better, so if you're thinking about getting yourself a pair definitely persevere with them, it's definitely worth it (blisters an' all). This pair in particular hold a v. special place in my heart, as they've been to a couple of Glastonbury festivals with me and still have a little bit of Worthy Farm cemented in the soles. They'll most definitely be coming to Glasto '17  with me! 


SHOP THE POST...

KHAKI TRENCH AND RED SUEDE BOOTS



BLOUSE (ZARA) SIMILAR HERE








Red and green is one of my fave colour combinations EVER. Along with red and pink, or anything and red really, I just bladdy LOVE the colour red. No more so than during the winter months; a pop of colour is an outfit essential when the temperature drops - anything to try and brighten up my otherwise black and grey winter wardrobe. There's also something super festive about red and green - they're the ultimate colours of Christmas aren't they?!

I'd been lusting after these Topshop Maggie Flared Heel Boots for the longest time, like wayyy back in August when I first laid eyes on them, and finally thought (after 3 months of deliberating) it was about time I treated myself ...because #YOLO ennit. They so remind me of the Saint Laurent Babies 70 but at a way more affordable and justifiable price, for me anyway. I actually think I might like them a little bit more than the Saint Laurent ones ya know, purely because of the super-chic flared heel. 

Of course this ensemble had to be accessorised with my oh-so-gorge Radley London Millbank and the epitome of blogger Christmas cliches - the Starbucks red cup. It's exactly the same shade of red as my boots, it just had to be done didn't it... 

I've popped a few different red boot options below, if you're on the hunt for a pair yourself. There's something for everyone... Saint Laurent if you're ballin', Missguided if you're on a budg' and everything in-between. 


SHOP THE POST...


SHOP RED BOOTS...


PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIA BAZHANOVA