Category: Life

Invisalign diary – My experience so far

So lets start from the beginning…

Years ago I had read about Invisalign online and liked the idea of it, (well as much as you can like the idea of any braces). If you’re thinking what on earth is Invisalign, they’re essentially a set of clear removable aligners that can straighten your teeth. Read more about them here (try and see past the 90’s web design, this is actually the most informative website on it I found!) 

As a kid or teenager I never had braces, my teeth were not considered ‘bad’ enough. However, they’re not totally straight either. Sometimes I don’t mind them, other times I don’t like them – you know what it’s like. I enquired about Invisalign it at my dentist and they recommended that if I wanted to straighten my teeth I should have traditional braces, so I totally put the idea to bed there and then. I just knew that personally I’d be too self conscious about it.

Fast forward to earlier this year and a couple of people I know recently had Invisalign or consultations. I’d also watched a couple of YouTube videos where different people had good results so I was curious, again. I also felt that if I was going to do it at all I’d rather go ahead with it while I’m younger and I don’t have a commitment like kids. But first there were a few things I wanted to know:

1. I didn’t even know if Invisalign would work for me I had also assumed it was mainly for people who had already had traditional braces but their teeth had slipped back over time. I didn’t know if it could move the teeth I needed moving.

2. The cost – it’s not cheap The cost is definitely prohibitive especially as someone who lives in central London where dentists tend to be rather pricey anyway. The costs also seem to vary a lot, and most dentists say ‘from £x price’.

3. Timescale – I also assumed it would take about 2 years. When I looked at other peoples blogs/stories online I just came to that conclusion and that was a bit off-putting to me, because I didn’t think I disliked my teeth enough for 2 years of any treatment.

4. No idea what dentist/clinic to use. I’ve had some private cosmetic dentist work done before and I trust my dentist but they are expensive, especially for Invisalign. They also hadn’t done as many Invisalign cases as a lot of other clinics in London (you can look this up on the Invisalign website). There’s so many places in London that do specialise in Invisalign and orthodontic work, with good and bad reviews. It’s hard to know where to even start.

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Fundació Joan Miró – Barcelona

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mirochairs
Hello, hello, is anybody out there?! A lot of the time real life is more fun than the internet, when things get busy it’s good to live in the moment and not update your online presence… ya dig? ~ mindfulness ~ etc. etc. Anyway, hello July! Hello blog! Jeez this year has flown by. ANYWAY…

Last month I went to Barcelona, and had a mini road trip up to Cadaqués (next post!). One of the first places we visited was the Joan Miro museum, located at the top of an amazing hill in Montjuïc, Barcelona. It was super fun and colourful. The architecture of the museum is very ‘Bauhaus’ & extremely similar to the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin (also an incredible place if you love concrete as much as I do!) The Miro museum is much cleaner, feels lighter and more airy though. I wish I could live in a building like this.
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sketches
The place is filled with amazing drawings, sketches (all by Miro) and also a very cool bar and two awesome museum shops.
colourfuloutdoors
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A photo every hour – Monday 12th October

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I’ve never hated Mondays. I always thought Tuesday the worst day, less enthusiasm for the beginning of a new week but so long until the weekend! I wanted to try and do this photo every hour on a work day, so here is an average weekday. Monday style.

Above: 8am: I woke up and my server had decided to revert this blog back to 4 days previous – had to save everything from the cache in a panic. I also woke up on top of a dead spider. Still, it was quite bright and I can never wake up and be sad when I look at this Moomin poster.
shoreditchgrind
9am: Walking to work, which is near Old Street. I work in a tech company as an online Community Manager.
breakfast
10.30am: First cup of tea of the day and some breakfast. Gluten free fruit bread with honey and a banana. I never eat at home as 1. I am not a morning person and 2. my stomach doesn’t wake up and I feel sick in the mornings so can’t face eating until later on.
waitrose
12.30pm: A trip on my lunch break to Waitrose to grab some groceries for dinner. Also got a piece of roast chicken for my lunch.
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Book review: Gut – Giulia Enders

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I noticed this book in the entrance display of Waterstones and as I’ve been going through the ~ motions ~ with my own digestive system for the past couple of months, naturally I picked it up.

It said it was an international bestseller – I know, an international bestseller about the digestive system!? It must be at least funny, if not educational I thought.

I’ve read before that the gut can have an effect on your emotional well being, and that the sayings ‘butterflies in my tummy’, ‘a gut feeling’, actually have some science behind them. However, I never understood too much about the subject, I just knew from personal experience that when I’m not having a great time mentally, my stomach issues are much worse.

I have also read that serotonin is mainly produced in our gut, which is an important chemical that controls our mood, I’ve always wondered what that meant – in terms of the connections it could mean are there.

There were a couple of things that really interested me in this book, from a perspective of mental illness and digestive issues so I’ll highlight a couple of the things I found most interesting. Moreover, I did find the whole book really charmingly written, I liked the way she wrote it like lots of little stories. I learned a lot about the whole of our digestive system, and it wasn’t boring! Here are a couple of main points that stuck out to me…

Why your tummy doesn’t like stress

When you are stressed, your brain wants to solve the ‘problem’. To do this it needs to borrow energy from our gut. The gut is informed via nerves that we are stressed, and so it decides to save energy on digestion to help with the stress our brain is going through. When this happens it alters the way our gut actually works temporarily. Enders explains how this situation is not ‘designed for long term use’. If our brains think we are in an emergency situation all the time it uses the gut to ‘fund’ this. She goes on to tell us that when the gut has to forgo energy in ‘favour of our brain’ it’s own health suffers and therefore our own. This can cause the gut to become more sensitive in lots of ways – including intolerance to food and basically, poopy problems. It can also mean the ‘bad bacteria’ has more chance of taking over – which can cause illness for us. Even after long term periods of stress or mental illness, the gut can still be negatively effected. Sort of like a ‘pay back’. Which is why you might feel ill even after the initial stressful times you had.

Wheat just wants to survive being eaten by insects! A reason lots of people are intolerant or sensitive to gluten

When wheat is growing in the wild, just hanging out – it doesn’t want to be eaten by predators. It makes it’s seeds slightly poisonous so that insects don’t want to eat it, the gluten has the effect of inhibiting an important digestive enzyme which causes the grasshopper to have an tummy upset. That puts them off doing it again and again.

These seeds are what causes gluten intolerance or sensitivity in humans too. Gluten can pass into parts of our gut in a partially undigested state, Enders tells us. Basically, that means it can end up in places that our body doesn’t want or need it. Some peoples bodies react really badly to this and it causes damage, others find it causes a bit of trouble, and some people are not affected by it at all.

So in simplistic terms, that’s why gluten can be a pain in the butt for some of us, and seemingly fine for others. The book does go into the subject in more detail if you are interested to learn more.

Gut bacteria is a contributing factor to our mood

There have been lots of experiments on mice in terms of depression. A well used experiment involves making the mice swim. This is to see how long they will keep swimming until they give up and die (I know, quite sad). The mice that are less ‘depressive’ will swim for longer before they give up. Scientists test new anti-depressants in this way and it tends to show positive results if they work.

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How to dress up like a Harajuku girl

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catbag
Recently my friends had a Japanese themed party to celebrate their engagement (it happened in Japan). At first I was like OMG best theme ever. But the more I thought about it, the harder it was! It’s actually a very vague theme, because there are SO many options. My attitude to fancy dress parties is that you should go as something that people will recognize, but something that’s not the immediate choice. I also think you should always put in 120% effort to your outfit, including make-up and hair. What’s the point in doing it at all, if you don’t go all out!

For the Japanese party I debated going as various animated characters, at one point I was even about to make a Pocky or Milky costume. As usual, time ran away so I decided to go as a Harajuku girl – I originally thought that maybe it was a bit too obvious, but it was actually quite a hard costume to pull together. Maybe harder than making a costume! There were so many parts to it..

For inspiration, I trawled Pinterest for days, which you can see on my Japanese themed board. Search terms like ‘Decora Girl’, ‘Pastel Goth’, ‘Fairy Kei’ became commonplace. As well as looking up classic Fruits magazine and book images.

inspiration
Above: Image sources on my Pinterest here & here.

The approach I took was to go as colourful, pastel and plastic as possible!
So here’s how I found my outfit…
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