How to save a life

dogLast week, Mum and I travelled to Hereford for a day of First Aid training with St John Ambulance – why Hereford I hear you ask? Answer is I have no idea, my manager booked it and Mum decided it might be useful for her to use in her job so off we went at 7am for our day trip.

Pretty apt for a First Aid course!!!

Pretty apt for a First Aid course!!!

We had a few revelations that day:

  • First Aid Training should be compulsory for everyone, not just school children. Everything we learnt was so relevant to every day life and there are so many simple techniques that could potentially save someone’s life.
  • Hereford Town Centre has had a makeover and its gorgeous – I would definitely recommend it for a day trip.
  • We drove past Tintern Abby on the way home and by that point it was dark and lit up- it was beautiful. I definitely want to make a trip there in the light.
  • I have realised my mums memory leaves a lot to be desired…
Even though you know best, you always follow that automated voice!!!

Even though you know best, you always follow that automated voice!!!

The drive to Hereford was gorgeous, even though we were initially angry at the sat nav for taking us across the welsh bridge; the route through Monmouth was beautiful. As we pulled up at The St John Ambulance village hall Mums first comment was, “Don’t think we will be getting a croissant and coffee on arrival”. She was right.

So creepy!!!

So creepy!!!

We walked into the 70s style village hall and out trainer, Debbie pointed at the Morrisons carrier bag and then in the direction of the kitchen and told us to make ourselves a cuppa, which was well needed. As we entered the kitchen we were greeted by a number of human facemasks, which were terrifying, however Mum and I managed to find the funny side.

He is choking - can you tell?

He is choking – can you tell?

Despite the dodgy first aid videos (no Oscars awarded for acting) and lack of croissants the whole day was great and we were lucky enough to have a brilliant group of people doing the training with us. In our group we had a man called William and his friend from work Pam who provided mum and I with many giggles every time we did a role-play as Pam would shout, “Can you hear me Willy?” “Tell me where it hurts Willy”.

SONY DSCOur trainer, Debbie was brilliant. She referred to the book when needed; however she related all of our training to real life situations, which personally I found so much easier to remember. She was warm, welcoming and made me feel confident in what I was doing.

I do not want to give you a minute to minute account of what we did as I do not think you will read my blog again, so I have decided to make a shortlist of the best facts we learnt which I hope you might take away and share with your loved ones:

Emergency numbers

112

  • 112 is the European Emergency number which you can call anywhere in Europe and you will be put through to an English speaking person.
  • If you are in the UK then it is better to use 112 instead of 999 as it will connect with your GPS signal and be able to place your location incase you lose signal or battery (999 does not have this information.)
  • If you are in contact with any children, then make sure they know this number!!!

Burns

Self explanatory!

Self explanatory!

  • Leave burns under a cold tap for at least 10 minutes. So many of us just run a burn under the tap for 2 minutes and walked away, however at this point you are only cooling down the nerve endings. In order to cool the skin and prevent a bad scar then it needs 10 minutes.
  • If someone has burnt all of their body – get them under a cold shower/hose straight away and do not let them move for at least 10 minutes – this could prevent serious wounds and scarring.
  • If possible, remove any jewelry that may restrict circulation to the wound
  • When cooled cover the burn with kitchen cling film or a clean gauze.
  • When treating burns do not remove anything sticking to the burn, do not use lotions or creams and do not use adhesive dressings as these could potentially make the burn worse.

Choking

There are different ways to cure choking dependent on the age of the person you are helping.

abdonimcathrust

If the casualty is an infant:

  • Lay the body face down on your thigh whilst supporting their head and give them five back blows.
  • If this is not successful then place two fingers on the breastbone and push inwards and upwards towards the head. Check the mouth.
  • If the infant is still choking repeat the back blows and breastbone thrusts until the emergency services arrive.

If the casualty is a child or adult:

  • Encourage them to cough.
  • If they are clearly choking then ask then to bend over and if possible put their hands against a stable surface and give them 5 hard blows to the back in between their shoulder blades.
  • Do not be scared to apply a serious amount of pressure. If there is something blocking someone’s windpipe it will take a lot of strength to remove it.
  • If choking persists then you have to revert to an Abdominal Thrust (Heimlich Maneuver).
  • Stand behind the casualty and link your hands below their rib cage. Pull sharply inwards and upwards up to 5 times.
  • If the casualty is still choking repeat the back blows and abdominal thrusts until the emergency services can take over.

Heart Attack

Aspirin in a bottle

  • If someone is suffering from a heart attack and is breathing the best treatment is to keep them calm and reassure them until the emergency services arrive.
  • Whilst waiting for the ambulance, make the casualty as comfortable as possible by putting them in a half sitting position.
  • Make sure their head and shoulders are supported.
  • If possible place a coat or blanket under their knees for additional support.
  • If possible get the casualty to chew 300mg of aspirin. Do not let casualty take aspirin with water as this may prevent them from receiving surgery when they reach the hospital.

During the course we also learnt how to put a casualty into the recovery position and how to carry out CPR if the casualty is not breathing. Both of these skills are quite complicated to explain without a visual aid so I have provided links to videos, which will explain them better than I could:

Recovery Position 

Resuscitation

St John Ambulance app is available to download from Apple’s App Store. It contains first aid procedure so that you always have information available wherever you are. The app includes audio commentary for some of the protocols, so your hands are free to provide first aid in an emergency.

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keep-calm-you-can-do-it-18

 

One night in Paris – what to pack?

bonjourJust thought I would do a little post before I fly off to Paris for one night with work (I feel pretty cool typing that – such a loser!) We are all very excited in the office as all three of us are going, Bryony, Hannah and I. Office conversations over the last few days have definitely revolved around “What dress are you going to wear?”, “Boots or heels?”, “How do you say, I do not speak French?.” Hannah has also managed to find slots within our timetable for us to hunt down the closest patisseries and satisfy her croissant craving.

Anyhow, I thought I would write a little post before we go about what I am going to pack. I have tried to pack light, which I think has been quite successful and I hope to look professional, yet fashionable – success yet to be determined!!!

Clothing – Obviously I will be taking more clothes than this, but these are the main parts (not sure you want to see pictures of my pants…)

River Island Tank Top

River Island Tank Top

River Island Tank Top Around £16 (Last season). Not sure who says Tank Top anymore, but this is what RI call it. Looks quite cool with jeans and comfortable for travelling. It also says Paris on it which you will either think is lame or cute!

Awful picture - definitely better on!

Awful picture – definitely better on!

Topshop Drape Front Tunic Dress £40 (Available now). I have been saving this dress to wear for Paris as my lovely Mum picked it out when we were shopping a couple of weeks ago and then she even bought it for me because it “looks lovely on me” (what a result)! This picture is a bit dodgy and definitely does not do it justice. It is lovely,comfortable and classy and I LOVE IT!!! I hope with a pair of tights and heeled boots it will complete my professional, yet fashionable look.

My No.1 winter wardrobe item

My No.1 winter wardrobe item

River Island Cream Textured Relaxed Faux Fur Jacket £50 (Available now). This has been my absolute favourite purchase this winter. The fur can be removed, which is brilliant because you can dress the jacket down with a scarf and a hat or if you are feeling glamorous- keep the fur and strut around like a character from Game of Thrones. It is warm and cosy and for Paris I will definitely be keeping the fur!!!

Accessories – Again I will be taking more than these, but I wear the same jewellery most days.

All the accessories...

All the accessories…

Michael Kors Black Medium Tote Bag – This was my 2014 guilty present to myself which I purchased whilst I was on holiday in Florence with my family. I do not know if it was the warm weather, the beauty of Florence or just the fact that I wanted a designer handbag, but it is the best bag I have ever purchased. I have used it every day since and it is still in pristine condition. As I am going to one of the fashion capitals of the world then I think it will fit right in!! All bags and goodies from Michael Kors here if you dare.

Accessorize Green Fedora Hat (No longer available, but something similar here). My brother bought me this hat for Christmas and on my recent trip to London I was brave enough to wear it. It went down so well, that even a couple on the escalators at Paddington stopped me and told me how much they liked it (huge confidence boost). It is especially handy if you are having a greasy hair day, providing you do not have to remove it. I think the hat and the fur from my coat might be a bit too much, but you never know Paris might make me crazy.

Accessorize Super Chunky Hat (Now on sale at £5.10 from £17). I have received many compliments for this cosy number. It keeps your head lovely and toasty and looks quite cool too. Also if you are like me and have a large head then it fits perfectly and does not highlight this unfortunate problem.

Fake Ray Bans. I bought these in Italy for 10 euros which was a bargain. They have UV protection and everything. Not much else to say about these other than they are perfect for me as I always lose/break sunglasses.

Electricals

Electrical goods...

Electrical goods….

My trusty travel hairdryer that is really useful because of its size and deceiving power (My mane takes a good 20 minutes under this bad boy to dry!!) I have also packed a cool adapter that I may or may not have accidentally ‘stolen’ from a hotel I stayed in before. It is really useful as you only need to take the lead part of your phone charger. Obviously need a normal adapter for the hairdryer.

Reading Materials

So studious & prepared!

So studious & prepared!

Both Hannah and I are taking our Wine Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 course this year and this is our bible. Our course starts in a few weeks time, so I am trying to get ahead of the game with the reading (so far I have read the first page). I have also packed my custom made notebook to take notes during our very important meeting with our client, along with a posh pen (probs also stolen) and business cards because that is how an international jet setting business woman rolls (I presume)!

So small and travel friendly!

So small and travel friendly!

I also just want to share with you my super cute mini OPI nail varnish. It is a lovely shimmery purple colour which goes with everything and the bottle is adorable!!

The Dream!!

The Dream!!

All I really want is to take a picture with a croissant upside down (replacing my smile) with the Eiffel Tower in the background – too much to ask? I think not. Check my Instagram for updates!!

I will 100% writing a little post about Paris on my return.

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VALENTINE’S DAY: GIFT & OUTFIT SUGGESTIONS

Valentines-Day-Tumblr-4-300x194Whether you like it or not, Valentine’s Day has arrived in a BIG way – every year it seems to get bigger, better and more Americanised than the year before.

I am one of those annoying girls/women (I never know where girl ends and woman begins) that say things like, “OMG It’s so over commercialised, I think people should just celebrate days that mean something to them” and then I would be genuinely quite upset if I didn’t receive a card (one of those classic problem solving situations for my boyfriend).

So I thought I would suggest a few Valentine’s gift ideas for your loved one or for yourself and include a couple of cheeky Valentine’s outfit suggestions.

GIFTS                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I do not think Valentines Day requires big extravagant gifts and expensive dinners; small token gifts to show someone you are thinking about them is plenty, whether thats for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or best friend. Here are a few ideas.

Home made gifts.

Vouchers that are much better than mine!

Vouchers that are much better than mine!

This year I have decided to explore (find) my creative side and I have made Matt a little voucher book which entitles him to things such as ‘the ability to trump my dinner suggestion with a Bolognese’ and ‘the final decision when it comes to choosing a film’ – do not worry I have included a terms & conditions page. I would include a picture, but don’t want to ruin the whole thing if Matt reads this. Other ideas for homemade gifts – bookmark or a coaster?

Home baked goodies.

I would be pretty pleased with these...

I would be pretty pleased with these…

Baked treats are always a winner when it comes to creating a relatively cheap present that shows how much you care. My housemate Sophie is a cupcake queen, the Mary Berry of a beautiful sponge and swirly icing! Unfortunately I am more like the first contestant Mary throws off in bake off, so I may go for something simple. BBC Good Food has a great page dedicated to Valentine’s baking recipes which look amazing!!! I will let you know how it goes if I take on the challenge!!

Flowers.

I would prefer a bunch of Daisies.

I would prefer a bunch of Daisies.

I am not a huge fan of roses, however I do know that both Aldi and Lidl are selling gorgeous bunches for under £5. I know Waitrose are also offering a good flower delivery service for under £20. I cannot speak for womankind when I say this, however if I were to receive flowers, I would also really appreciate a nice vase. Nothing posh, just something cool such as an old milk jug or jar with a ribbon around it – just me?

Beauty Treatment.candle

I always think a gift should be something that the recipient would not purchase for themselves and for many women this can sometimes be time to let someone pamper them. This is why a voucher to a beauty salon is a great idea as they can sit back and relax whilst they are having a manicure/pedicure/massage or facial. I may be biased, but any Bristolians out there I do not think you can beat my wonderful mother’s beauty place – The Beauty Retreat. You are taken care of from the moment you walk through the door. With a cup of tea/coffee in hand you cannot help but feel relaxed with the soothing music, gorgeous scents from oils and candles and warm reception from all of the therapists. Exclusively for Valentine’s Day The Beauty Retreat is offering a number of special therapies such as a 40 minute massage to unwind the mind and soothe the muscles with custom blended oils to suit your mood for just £30. If you can spare two minutes take a look at the Facebook page for all the latest promotions. 

Dining In.

Dining In AKA making a mess...

Dining In AKA making a mess…

If you are looking to make a 3 course meal for two, but cannot really be worried about cooking or do not want to give your loved one food poisoning then I have had a little scan of the best supermarket offers. Mark & Spencer’s is my favourite with Gourmet dining in for 2 for £20 this includes a starter, main course, side, dessert, box of chocolates and bottle of Cava or wine (individually this would cost £36+)!!! Let me tell you the options are also divine – take a look for yourself!. Both Tesco and Morrisons have also put on great deals for Valentine’s which will also save you money.

Miscellaneous.

Don't panic there is more...

Don’t panic there is more…

If none of the above are appealing to you then I have spotted a few little gems which I absolutely love and would make gorgeous little gifts, such as a Lily-flame scented tin (They are my absolute favourite and I have mentioned them before in a previous post) or the Primark cushion below which is so fitting for anyone who loves cake as much as I do.

Lily-flame Rose Petals Scented Tin £8.50

Lily-flame Rose Petals Scented Tin £8.50

Primark Cushion £4

Primark Cushion £4

Outfits for the perfect Valentine’s Date – day & night options (sorry the pictures are so blurry, you can see the individual items better if you follow the links):

Day:

The perfect outfit for a daytime date...

The perfect outfit for a daytime date…

Sheinside Green Batwing Long Sleeve Cable Knit Sweater SALE £18.48 

Topshop MOTO Black Joni Jeans £36.00 

Primark Camel Trench Coat £25 (out now)

River Island Black Felt Fedora Hat £25.00 

Urban Outfitters Circle Triangle Double Pendant in Silver £12 

Topshop Leather and Suede Shopper Bag £42.00 

Topshop MERIBEL Ankle Boots £75.00

Night:

A feminine and chic look for an evening date or night out with the girls.

A feminine and chic look for an evening date or night out with the girls.

River Island Black Textured Bardot Bodycon Dress £35.00 

Topshop **Blige Duster Coat by Another 8 £75.00

Accessorize Small Hammered Hoop Earrings £10.00

Accessorize Grace Embroidered Ziptop Bag £29.00 

M&S Stiletto High Heel Platform Court Shoes £25.00

So whether you are out with your friends, on a romantic date or just having a cosy night in, I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Even if it is a money making, marketing ploy; it is an excuse to receive a present, drink nice wine & eat nice food and I will never turn down any of the above!