Best Apps to use in Isolation

This is a tough time for everyone there’s no denying that. But desperate times do call for desperate measures and just because we are all stuck in quarantine due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak doesn’t mean we get to slack off. (Ok we do a little bit). Perhaps it’s my new found motivation since being on Trikafta… or perhaps it’s because I’m stuck at home with nothing else to do… or it could simply be my narcissistic personality shining through as I pretend to be a tip-top person. Nevertheless, as I have nothing better to do i decided to try and improve my exercise regime. I don’t have enough will power to do it on my own so I bless modern technology and use apps. Here are some of my favourites fitness apps that I have been using even pre-isolation:

  • Keep It Cleaner: Praise be this app! These girls turned me around. Prior to getting sick I used their HIIT routines and even though they were brutal they were bearable because I had Laura and Steph encouraging me along the way. They have so many different variations of exercise from yoga, to pilates, to boxing, HIIT sessions as well as meditation exercises, this app has it all. They also give you a food plan for the week with so many different meals which are absolutely delicious yet so so healthy. If you’re going to try any app…let it be this one.
  • Asana Rebel: I actually downloaded this app a few years ago after my new years resolution was to become more flexible. Little did I know that there was so much more to this app including high intensity workouts as well as core strengthening and mediation. The app is divided into 5 sections: Exercise, sleep, nutrition, meditation and music for focus. The beauty of these guys is it reminds you to do the little things like drink a glass of water or breathe in deep. They also have weekly challenges that relate to both fitness and diet.
  • Nike: I had this bad-boy when i used to be a little fit bit. It’s handy for those of you who still wanna get out of the house and up your step count. The Nike Run Club tracks your KM’s via GPS for a VERY detailed analysis of your route as well as tips on how you can improve.
  • Smiling Mind: During these troubling times, it is more important than ever to keep our mental strength every bit as strong as our physical strength. Made by professional psychologists and educators in an effort to bring mindfulness into ones life, Smiling Mind is perfect for those who seek relaxation, enlightenment, or simply want to give meditation a go.

My TRIKAFTA Journey

After catching the flu in August it’s fair to say that my little lungs never really recovered from it. After a very rough Christmas and new year both my lung function and weight dropped concerningly low and my Dr suggested that it’s time we looked at a transplant. . I would be lying if I didn’t say that I (and probably my family) had moments where I thought that the year 2020 would be my last. An overwhelming amount of fear resulted in me irrationally crying on my dads shoulder telling him that “I wasn’t ready to die yet”.
That being said he also mentioned a drug that had recently been approved in the US that he was going to try and get for me. Keep in mind my family and I had heard rumblings about this drug already. It was the next best thing to a cure and had been 10 years in the making.

Low and behold after an excruciatingly long 5 week hospital admission of not being able to breathe, walk or eat properly I was given my little pills of hope.
Thus I present to you a new Laura! Within 4 hours of starting my cough was loose. Within 4 days I was breathing easier. And now 2 weeks on I cannot only laugh until I cry but I can also breathe in deep! Something I haven’t been able to do since before my birthday last year! There are no words to describe the feeling of taking a deep breath, stretching parts of your lungs that you thought were long dead and having newly found oxygen travel throughout your body. I am so eternally grateful to vertex Pharmaceuticals, the Alfred hospital and of course my big beautiful family who have been there every step of the way.
Cheers to a future that I can now see.

Trying to Keep up with the Kardashians

All too often I find myself lost in the abyss that is instagram perfection and all to often I find myself feeling drained and almost “unworthy” with a serious case of fomo.

I’ve seen this issue raised in other social media platforms about how we “can’t compare someone’s highlight reel to our own behind the scenes”, but as I live vicariously through the pictures of others and the fashion/ lifestyle influencers of the world I can’t help but feel envious and inferior.

I feel like my life is a perfect example in the sense that I am a very lucky person to have been to the places I have been and see the things I have done. But social media has made such a presence in every day life that my first thought is always “take a picture and post”. I’m not going to lie I almost get angry when this thought surfaces. Am I not privileged enough to just enjoy my time and live in the moment? Why do I feel the need to splash it all over social media?

I inevitably realised that I am contributing to the problem but is that not because I have fallen victim to it and am now trying to live up to these standards?

Please take my advice with a grain of salt but during my years of Instagram and blogging I have learnt to also take the post of others with a grain of salt. What you posted was more than enough as you are under no obligation what so ever to post anything. Photos caption but a second and you get to live and breathe for millions of them.

In the Limelight: Game of Thrones S8

Ok so, I actually wasn’t going to write a review for the final season to Game of Thrones because contrary to popular belief, I didn’t actually mind the last season and disagree with a lot of the hoopla. But, one of my brothers insisted so here goes…

So here’s the thing, I actually don’t see how this show could’ve been done any differently. If they did more episodes then yeah maybe but overall, my only real dislike about the season was the fact that Arya killed the Night King. (I think we can all agree that Jon should’ve done that one.) Anyway, other than that I wasn’t too fussed with how it all concluded because I honestly couldn’t see it ending any other way. It was well acted, well directed and inevitable well written.

I guess the main issue I have with all the uproar about it it the issue so many people had with Daenarys being killed off. I feel like this had been something that the show had been pushing for a few seasons. It had been made clear that if it hadn’t been for Tyrion whispering in her ear she would have destroyed slavers bay and “return it to the dirt”. They also pushed this idea when her and Jon first met. She was reluctant to help him defeat the army of the dead if he didn’t bend the knee, which was a fight that benefited her as well. From when her brother died, right up until the end the writers had hinted subtly at the idea that the only thing that interested her was Iron Throne which in the second last episode became clear.

Branching off from this I also take issue with the comparison people kept making between Sansa and Daenerys. A lot of people seemed disappointed by the fact that Sansa survived while Daenerys fell and a lot seemed to claim that neither character deserved that ending. I even saw a post that while Daenerys lost everything (life, lover, children, etc.) Sansa got exactly what she wanted………… Seriously?? This is where I have my biggest beef because this is so offensive to the character that is Sansa Stark and everything she went through.

When Dany first met Jon, she explained to him how she “had been sold like a brood mare, chained, betrayed, raped and defiled”, and a lot of people used this quote when she died because it had somehow been an injustice to her. Meanwhile, so many people forgot that Sansa went through every bit of trauma that Daenerys did as well. Abused by Joffery, sold to the Boltons, betrayed by Littlefinger, raped by Ramsay and tormented by Cersei. She went through every bit of horror and suffering that Dany went through and throughout it all remained good, kind and generous. She remained loyal to the North and only wanted what was best for her people. In contrast to this it was clear that overtime Dany’s perception of what was “good” became wildly misconstrued and almost selfish.

Overall, I do believe that Dany’s death is justified and while I understand why people aren’t happy about it, there wasn’t really another way. I agree in the sense that the last season did feel rushed but at the same time, believe that they did relatively well with what they had.

And now our watch has ended.

Feminist Instagram Pages you Need to be Following

March 8 had brought around another celebration of all things female! Politically, socially and economically, women have made advancements in the last century that would make any feminist smile with pride. All over the world women are banding together to promote empowerment and a sense of belonging, and with the ever-growing presence of social media it is easier than ever to be apart of that community.

Here are some of my favourite feminist Instagram accounts that are sure to amuse, inspire and simply delight you:

  • SHE THORITY (@shethority): GROW. EMPOWER. CONNECT. Empowering merch and in depth conversations about identity, overcoming and womanhood in general.

 

  • Femi Slay (@femislay): This page consists of blog posts, and quotes from inspirational female figures from around the world

 

  • The Everygirl (@theverygirl): One of my all time favourite pages! Basically the ultimate place for all things creative and/or career-driven women. Also packed with some awesome recipes, travel tips and ways to achieve all-round wellness.

 

  • Our Shared Shelf (@oursharedshelf): Started by living queen Emma Watson, OSS is a feminist bi-monthly book club to discuss all things empowering.

 

 

Why the Hustle Movement isn’t for Everyone

Over the years, social media has given way to many fads and online #trends. But one movement that has particularly struck my interest over the past few months is that of the “hustle movement (or culture if you will)”. The hustle movement is basically the mindset that every waking moment of your time needs to be dedicated to your work or your financial goals… In other words a workaholic x100.

When I was first presented with the idea I thought it was actually quite motivating. Shouldn’t we all work harder to achieve our goals? It wasn’t until later that I realised that this whole notion actually had the potential to be quite toxic. Maybe it was because I delved deeper into the idea, or maybe it was because the concept had started to take a different turn, I’m not sure. But it wasn’t before long that I started noticing some of the hashtags that were associated with #hustle and #grind. These included #outwork, #endlesspositivity and #whoneedssleep….Ummmm I DO!!!!

New York Times author Erin Griffith sums it up perfectly: “It is obsessed with striving, relentlessly positive, devoid of humor, and — once you notice it — impossible to escape.”

This was the moment where I noticed that this whole hustle culture thing had shifted drastically from applauding hard work to encouraging both food and sleep deprivation. Oh and it also required you to stay positive throughout the whole expedition regardless of what was going on in the outside world. My appreciation for the new profound hustle culture died within seconds.

Allow me to point out what is wrong here. I think any normal human who undertook this new pop-culture concept (or fad) would crash hard and fast both physically and mentally. There are some of us (particularly those such as myself who suffer from very debilitating diseases) who need rest in order to not only thrive but also survive (rhyme not intended). I need my food and the occasional nap to keep my sanity as well as be in a better mood all round which in turn benefits those around me. Believe it or not, I also need to bawl my eyes out occasionally due to the simple fact that life isn’t always fair and easy.   When I was first introduced to the whole idea of “hustle and grind” idea, I immediately felt like I wasn’t doing enough. That I wasn’t working long enough or hard enough. It made me feel inferior and that I wasn’t reaching my full potential. It took quite some time for me to realise that the pace I’m living at is perfectly fine and I actually am doing all the right things.

I am of the opinion to work smarter not harder. Time management is key. When you actually need to work within your hours then yeah do your hustle thing, but don’t bring it home with you, don’t deprive yourself of happiness and DO NOT deprive yourself of your mental and physical health. There is so much more to life than your financial status and if you are “hustling day and night”, then by default, you are doing something wrong.

The Beauty of Succulents

If you’re like me and kill every plant you come within close proximity of (be it indoors or outdoors) then caring for plants is certainly not your strong suit. So allow me to rectify this issue. If you still have a love for plants and horticulture, then may I suggest the most low-maintenance and perfect indoor plant there is…THE SUCCULENT!

Not only do these bad boys thrive in dry indoor conditions but they also require minimal care (both water and fertiliser). They tend to be at their best during the spring and summer seasons and can be either the size of a candle or the size of a… bigger plant.

Happy gardening… Kinda! xx