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[AD] My Hearing Loss Experience

The festive period is approaching — a socially and beautiful time of the year. But with Christmas just around the corner, for more than half of UK adults with hearing loss, the festivities are not such a social, joyous occasion. Hearing loss is often seen as a non-visible disability. Many people feel there is a stigma around the condition and find it hard to ask for help. There are 11 million people with hearing loss across the UK, (that’s around one in six people), so it’s a condition that affects a lot of us.

Please note this post is a collaborative post with Specsavers Audiology. All opinions are my own. 

Hearing loss

Hearing loss can have many different causes. For example, sudden hearing loss in one ear may be due to earwax, an ear infection, a perforated (burst) eardrum or Ménière’s disease. Sudden hearing loss in both ears may be due to damage from loud noise or taking certain medicines that can affect hearing.

With hearing loss, it can lead to withdrawal from social situations, emotional distress, and depression. Many people avoid social settings for fear of asking people to repeat themselves. Research shows that it increases the risk of loneliness, but only for those who don’t wear hearing aids.

Heard it Through the Grapevine

Christmas is just around the corner which means the party season will soon be in full swing. With the busyness of the festive period, we often neglect our health and rarely pay attention to our eyes and ears. These two senses are a significant part of whether we can enjoy the festive period.

Last week I was invited to a wine tasting event with Specsavers Audiology. The event honestly changed everything for me! It was an intimate wine tasting evening, where we were all asked to wear hearing moulds which stimulated hearing loss. The event was for Specsavers to raise awareness on the importance of regular hearing checks.

There are 11 million people with hearing loss across the UK, (that’s around one in six people).

The event started at 6 pm at which I am proud to say that I was for once on time. I was welcomed with champagne and canapes of which I indulged in fully. You know me now, guys! 

Later in the evening, we spoke to an audiologist from Specsavers who informed us on the impacts of hearing loss and the importance of having your ears checked regularly.

My experience of wearing hearing loss moulds

I remember the audiologist asking me a series of questions, such as had I experienced any pain or any ringing in my ears etc. All of which I answered no to. The audiologist then checked my ears with an otoscope and told me that my eardrums looked healthy. (This was surprising considering how loud I blast my music daily).

Me and the audiologist

One ear was done at a time. The ear was fitted with a spongey mould and then injected with a cold substance which replicated around 70% hearing loss. Meaning that I was unable to listen to people speak like I usually do.

How I really felt losing my hearing

The experience was rather emotional. So emotional that I cried. Honestly, I first felt like I was physically underwater, you know that feeling when you know conversations are happening, but you can’t pinpoint what it is. That was how I felt not being able to hear.

I also learnt that using a cotton bud in your ear is like rubbing sandpaper on your hand.

I couldn’t believe how much I had to concentrate and look at people when they spoke to me. The majority of the night was spent with me feeling like I was shouting, which was ironic because many people said that I had talked a lot quieter and softer. As I was the first to have the moulds in I could feel a sense of isolation when making conversation with others. Continually having to ask people to repeat themselves, was complicated with people I had only just met for the first time.

Feeling isolated

Several times I felt very isolated and ready to leave. If I couldn’t hear what someone said, I would feel conscious of asking them to repeat themselves, so I usually smiled and nodded for fear of being annoying and praying for them to speak louder. When someone moved their face as they talked to me or covered their mouth, I wouldn’t be able to hear a single word that they said.

Another thing I noticed was the sudden change in my taste buds. Food and wine tasted slightly different. It felt like my other sense became more pronounced when I couldn’t hear. My attitude has undoubtedly changed towards those that suffer from hearing loss. I don’t think I have ever spoken with anyone with real hearing loss, but this evening really opened my eyes and made me realise the difficulties one may have with their hearing.

Me trying to hear what others are saying.

Mixed emotions

I kept the moulds in for just over an hour. Convinced that I had to keep them in as long as possible. I wanted to get a real sense of what it was like to suffer from hearing loss. When they were taken out, I was filled with tears and emotions. The experience was incredibly overwhelming, and the ability to be able to take the moulds out and hear again. Never in my life had I imagined what it was like to lose one of my senses. And for me, it was only for one hour! Realising that I struggled so much with the mould in. And then knowing that this is people’s daily life saddened me. It also made me understand the importance of proper communication and pronunciation.

There are helpful ways of speaking to someone with hearing difficulties:

  • Get their attention by calling their name before actually talking to them
  • Look directly at the person when you are speaking to them
  • Speak slowly and clearly. At the same time, don’t over pronounce the words, or they can’t follow what you are saying.
  • Never shout at someone with hearing difficulties
  • Don’t be dismissive, so things like ‘don’t worry about it’ is not a good idea
  • Be patient

Get your hearing checked

After my experience, I will be certainly getting my hearing checked more often. I would suggest getting checked once every two years. To find out more or book your next appointment head to your nearest Specsavers store or simply visit www.specsavers.co.uk 

I want to thank Specsavers Audiology for giving me such a life-changing experience. I left the event feeling transformed and more willing to understand the issues people may face with hearing loss. Think you could work with me – click here

As a travel blogger, it makes me wonder what it would be like to travel with hearing difficulties? Do you know anyone with hearing difficulties?

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[AD] What Happened When I Took CBD Oil?

You may already know that there is a lot of controversy around cannabis products like CBD oil because of recreational marijuana use. I admit when I first learned about CBD oil, I was very sceptical. My brain immediately turned to weed, and the thought of being involved was easy to dismiss. Of course, I did more research and learnt more about what CBD oil.

 Please note this post is a collaborative post with Mistatera . All opinions are my own.  

What is CBD oil? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product that has derived from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants. Even though it comes from marijuana plants, CBD doesn’t create a “high” effect or any form of intoxication — that’s caused by another cannabinoid, known as THC. CBD is thought to have significant therapeutic properties – but researchers are still working hard to understand the specifics. 

A study found that comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.

Is CBD oil legal?

For CBD oil to be legal in the UK, it must contain less than 0.2% of THC. Mistatera oils are within this limit. Many people are interested in taking CBD oil, but they are not sure what it’s like or how it feels after consumption. Well, I am here to tell you how and what it was like to take CBD oil.

First Thoughts on using CBD?

I decided to take the CBD oil for one week and thought it would be good to start mid-week. (I don’t tend to stick at things if I start at the beginning of the week). Squeezing one drop of Mistatera CBD drops and waited to see what happened placed it on my tongue. I made notes of how I felt about CBD oil during the week.

Day one –Pain in my neck 

I had been feeling some pain in my neck, but thirty minutes later of taking the oil, I was surprised by how relaxed my body began to feel. The oil simply relaxed my body and made it easier for me to think about other matters than the pain in my body. I can’t honestly say it was 100% the oil. An hour later, I drifted off to sleep.

The next day, I was surprised by how at ease I felt. I didn’t feel the pain in my neck, but because it was the first night, I considered that I should take my time and remain consistent with my dosage to experience the full effects. I continued taking the oil once a day during the week.

Day two – Exhausted 

Was surprised that my neck pain was still at bay. I wasn’t sure why my neck hurt. It could be a mixture of things like sitting at a desk all day. Either way, I was happy that I no longer felt the pain. Didn’t really feel a huge difference today, but I was hoping to sleep better due to my constant exhaustion.

Day three – Dealing with Anxiety 

I hate to admit it, but I suffer from anxiety and paranoia. At work, I have had several deadlines, and with a cold and wet gloomy day, I never know how to focus on doing one thing. I’m constantly distracted by emails, the people around me, to the point that I am unable to really focus on one thing. However, this week, I felt more at ease and in control of my work.

After taking the oil for three days, I felt that it partially lessened my anxiety. It almost felt like a newfound sense of clarity and calmness that enabled me to focus.

Day four – Sleeping made easier 

I’m not much of a sleeper, maybe because I always have something on my mind. *Busy body* Taking this CBD oil made my body feel relaxed. I seemed to feel more comfortable and sleep a lot quicker than usual. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it helped me on a day-to-day basis.

Day five – Realisation

The instructions for CBD oil

Pretty much the same as day four. I felt more in-tuned with my feelings and thoughts. More interested in worrying about things I can deal with and leaving stuff I can’t change.

Day six – Monday  

Today was a weird feeling. I don’t feel like my anxiety completely vanished, but I felt more at ease than I’ve ever before. I felt a comforting, warm sense of calmness wash over me which is better than usual.

Day seven – Final Day

My final day, I decided that I would continue to take the CBD oil, mainly on days where I feel anxious or have muscle pain.

Final thoughts… 

After using CBD oil for a week straight, I will have to say that I am a true believer in the wellness of my mental health. Its calming effects are legit. The best thing is I get to sleep better and for someone that doesn’t sleep – this is a Godsend.

I would suggest giving CBD oil a try if you haven’t already. You can purchase you’re on the Mistatera website Wait, there is more! Mistatera has also recently launched sample size sized bottles of their 5% CBD oil of which they are giving away for FREE! Please note you may have to pay for shipping and handling charges.

Sounds of interest? Then click here.

After reading my take, would you ever consider taking CBD oil?

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MBV’s Christmas Party with Moon Pig

If you have been following my Instagram stories via @mybreakingviews, you will already know that I attended my first Christmas party of 2019 a few weeks ago. I have to give special thanks to Char of Memoirs & Musings who enabled me to attend such a fantastic eventin her place.


Who exactly are Moonpig?

Moonpig are a UK leading online personalised gifting, flower and card retailer. It’s incredible how well Moonpig have done in the retail industry. Over 17 million cards were purchased last year, and with a range over 10,000 cards with infinite number of ways to customise. It’s not surprising that they are an award-winning retailer. 

The event

A couple of weeks ago, they invited bloggers and influencers to enjoy a customised Christmas card making class,  flowers decorations and Christmas cocktail making. 

The event started at 6.30pm, but of course, I was stuck on the underground with multiple red signals (thank you TfL). Despite being late, I was lucky to have Hannah of Hannatalks.com waiting for me, so I wasn’t nervous about attending the event by myself.  
Upon arrival, I was warmly welcomed with a glass of champs (I love a cheeky class) and the Moonpig photo booth. I had left work, so I had my laptop and all sorts of work stuff with me, but all my stuff was stored in a safe place. There was lots of Christmas finger food floating around… ham, turkey, sausage rolls, cranberry sauce and more. I was told to help myself but I didn’t have to be asked twice. Life is too short to say no.


Getting crafty 

We were split into 3 groups one for Christmas card making, table flower decorations and of course cocktail making. Read below to find out how my evening went. 




Christmas Card Making 

We first made personalised Christmas cards. I was going on about how I didn’t have any lashes or makeup on. However, the Moonpig photo booth made the photos look pretty good if I do say so myself. Confidence is key, right?

 Table Flower Decorations 


The next thing we did was make table flower decorations. I had never done this before, so I was quite excited about learning something new. The instructor taught us how to cut the stem of a flower to fit the vase. We had three different jars a large, medium and a tiny one and was able to decorate with the assistance of course. It was lovely to learn a new skill and walk away with our creations in the evening. It’s nice to do something yourself for once too.   


 
Christmas Cocktail Making

 

The last activity was the Christmas cocktail making class. I think I enjoyed this class the most because I have always wanted to go to a cocktail making class, and Moonpig made my dream come true! We had little competitions on who could make the best cocktail, and I’m proud to say that I made the Gingerbread Mojito!! Get in touch if you want to book me. 




Check out the cocktail menu:

  • Gingerbread Mojito – Rum, Mint, Lime, Gingerbread Syrup, Soda 
  • Port of Call – Gin, Port, Cranberry Sauce, Cinnamon Syrup 
  • Christmapolitan – Amaretti, Lime, Cranberry Juice, Champagne 

The event finished off with photos with Santa Claus, even more champagne, more food and a lovely wrapped Christmas gift from Santa.
Final thoughts…
The event really got me into the Christmas spirit! I would like to give a special thanks to Moonpig for starting my Christmas right for 2019! 


Find out more about the products used on the night below: 

Personalised Christmas cards: https://www.moonpig.com/uk/personalised-cards/
Flowers used for the table decorations: https://www.moonpig.com/uk/flowers-and-plants/all-flowers/
Gifts section, including the spirits we used for the cocktails: https://www.moonpig.com/uk/gifts/

Are you looking forward to Christmas? What are your family Xmas traditions?

Ade xo 

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[AD] Series: A Day with MBV In Brighton

Welcome to my series: A Day with MBV In Brighton. I believe this is my fourth addition and hope you are enjoying my series. Read Series: A Day with MBV…

If you have been following me on my Instagram, you will know that I went on my first press trip with Visit EnglandVisit Brighton and Traverse Events

What is #MYMICROGAP?

Well if you have been keeping up with my Instagram feed, you will already know! I had to say that again lol! MyMicroGap is about squeezing the best bits of a gap year into a few days somewhere in the UK.  

The trip in Brighton was about switching off from the usual bustle of life and unwind in Brighton for the day. It’s funny how I never really explore a different city in England. What I can say after now is that leaving London for a day was an excellent idea for me. I’m often looking on Skyscanner for the next plane to catch. When instead, I could just have a look at my doorstep. 7 Fantastic Tools That will Have You Solo Travelling with Confidence

Where is Brighton?

Brighton was granted the city status in 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II. The city is located by a seaside resort on the English Channel, 51 miles (82 km) south of central London. The city is famously known as London-on-Sea. This is because so many people commute daily from Brighton to London for work.

I have always made a visit to Brighton to see friends at University, but I had never explored it in the same way as I did with traverse. As this was a press trip, I will write the post in a different style compared to my usual format.

First things, First… Tour Guide

We started the day with a tour around the city by a tour guide named Julian. Julian knew so much about Brighton, even the small alleyways. The things we saw:

  • The Royal Pavilion
  • Brighton Beach
  • Quadrophenia Alley
  • Brighton’s Kissing Spot
  • Brighton Lanes

I was certainly impressed by how patient Julian was with us taking pictures of the sites he showed us! The tour lasted about an hour and made me think more about travelling to other towns and cities in England.

Second Stop… Food Glorious Food

We then went to do my favourite thing in the world after travelling! Yes, you guessed right we went to eat some food! Lunch was kindly hosted by Terre à Terre restaurant in Brighton Lanes. The restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant where vegetarianism is more about indulgence than abstinence. I have been vegetarian in the past for other reasons.

We were given a sharing platter between two of a taste of what’s on the menu. It included battered deep-fried halloumi cheese with vodka spiked tomato and pickled quails egg, Korean fried cauliflower with a chestnut puree, kimchi underneath and crispy kale on top, summer thyme socca with a tomato salsa, tofu in a wasabi crust with a black bean and red cabbage hummus and a seaweed takioyka rice cracker, a spiced Indian potato ball with black lentil dhal, coriander pesto and mango puree and a Arame Wakame vegetable thread salad. See the pictures below:

Third Stop… Yoga 

After eating, we headed to the beach to get stuck into our activities for the day. I first had a class with Bridget from Yoga in the Lanes. I have never done Yoga before, so was keen to try something new in a peaceful location by the beach.

Bridget, our teacher, was excellent. I can’t say I was terrific, but you can go and check out my moves on my latest IGTV on my Instagram page. One thing I did really enjoy about the yoga class was the focus on getting my breathing right. I learnt lots of movements for people who sit at their desk on a daily and think I might take up Yoga after this session.

Fourth stop… Sauna

This was a fantastic treat after a session of Yoga. The Beach Box Sauna was quite the experience! Now I have been to many saunas before but nothing quite like this one. The Beach Box allows you to connect with your body. We were first asked to drink lots of water – which I was grateful for and given a hat to keep our heads fresh. I have never worn a hat in a sauna, so I was really excited. There were two sauna sessions, one of which I experienced a special treatment haha!

I really enjoyed the sauna treatment. The staff treated me to a body scrub and fed me some the tastiest oranges I have tasted in my life. I felt so relaxed after that I couldn’t believe I was still in the UK.

The sauna is something I would suggest for anyone to do and it’s not expensive at all. You can have treatment as cheap as £10 for 60 mins. Things you might want to bring with you

  • Swimwear
  • 2 towels (one to sit on in the sauna)
  • Beach shoes, recommended in all outside areas
  • water bottle (water provided)

I hope you enjoyed my reading on my first press trip! I would like to give a special thanks to Visit England and Visit Brighton for hosting me on a well-needed Switching Off Day. 

It’s incredible how we don’t value a city close by to us. After taking this trip, I will be making more of an effort to see other cities close to home. What about you do you explore your own country? Give me some tips!

Read:

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Tips On How To Prepare For An Interview

Let’s face it interviews are not easy. If I am honest with you, I absolutely hate them and wish you could get a job by telling the truth. By the truth I wish you could say … look I need this ace this interview because I need the experience to move up further in the world and oh yeah, I need to pay bills – this is very important. But no. you have to sale yourself in what I would call in quite a superficial way.

This can be very hard for several people. Having an interview is like a game; you have to understand the game and once you do – you’re in!  

There are several types of interviews:  

A Telephone Interview 

Many companies request an initial telephone interview before inviting you in for a face to face meeting. I have done this in the past when I worked in recruitment, it is usually to get a feel of the type of candidate you are. The benefit here is that you don’t have to change, and you can have your notes in front of you. 

A Face-to-Face Interview 

This can be a meeting between you and one member of staff or more members. 

A Lunch / Dinner Interview 

This can depend on the company; these type of interview gives the employer a chance to assess your communication and interpersonal skills as well as your table manners! Luck I have never had one of these interviews because when I eat, I don’t care about table manners! 

A Group Interview 

This can involve several candidates present at this type of interview. I had lots of these interviews whilst at college and working in retail.  I have also in the past had group interviews with PwC or JohnLewis this can be difficult because you have an exercise/task where you are required to use your brain. You may have to also interact with other candidates. 

A Formal / Informal Interview 

This interview can again depend on the company. Some interviews can be very formal, others may be very informal and seem like just a chat about your interests. I had one of these recently, they can last about 30 mins; there basically there to see if you will be a good fit for the team.  

A Portfolio Based Interview 

I have never had this personally so please correct me if I am wrong! This interview I understand to be for design / digital people! I have friends that work in this industry and they have explained that the interview is usually being asked to take your portfolio along or show it online.  

A Competency-Based Interview 

This interview is structured to reflect the competencies the employer is seeking for a particular job. Since my career started, I have been asked to prepare for a competency-based interview.  

These will usually be detailed in the job spec so make sure you read it through and have your answers ready for questions such as

“Give me an example of a time you worked as a team to achieve a common goal.” For more examples of competency-based questions click here

For the purpose of this post I will be focusing on Competency Based Interviews. Competency interviews are so not easy! It took me a while to get it before I did and as I said before once understood the process of the interview.  I was in. the trick about interviewing is practice, practice and more practise – but I want to share below a few tips on how to get you started: 

1. Practise  

I have been lucky to have managers, mentors who are happy to do a quick run through interview with me. Ask someone for a run through and take the feedback that is given, honestly, I wouldn’t have my current role if someone didn’t suggest to take the time out and do a run-through interview with me. 

2. Give solid examples  

I recently did some interviewing myself and was surprised by the lack of depth that went into the examples when candidates were answering the question. Don’t get me wrong I have been there and I know when I have given an example and it hasn’t been great. Hence why it is important to give one solid example for each question and if you sense a number of questions following then maybe think about another example which can answer the question. The point is to get the role so think about yourself already in the job and what examples you can give which can link to that role and use STAR. 

S-situation  
T-task  
A-action  
R-result  

3. Take your time 

Some people are so nervous in an interview they avoid or mishear the question. Let’s face it if you don’t answer the question you are very unlikely going to get the role. Be sure to answer the question and if you don’t have the answer for it think about the role and how you may act accordingly if you were given the role. As an interviewer they want to again that you are using initiative.  

4. Avoid using the word ‘we’  

Another pet peeve of mine is candidates using the word ‘we’ rather than I. another thing I noticed when the interview is candidates using the word, we! Just don’t do it!  I don’t want to hear that we did this I want to know what you can do so I want to hear I organised a meeting, I then liaised with my colleagues or I took the incentive. It sounds so much better than we organised. Of course, there will be times where you have to use the words, we because let’s face it no one does everything by themselves. my point is that – the panel wants to understand what you are capable of doing.  

I may have missed other types of interviews, so please let me know other interviews you may have faced! 

Also Read: ‘If You Are Not A Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant Or Engineer, You Don’t Have A Good Job’!

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How to Make My Breaking Views Banana Bread

Thanks to DiyWithJoyce, I have got back into the baking and have been experimenting with new food. I don’t know if you know, but ever since I was a kid, I have always had a liking to baking and making cakes. And while I am not travelling, I usually like to keep myself occupied with other things like making banana bread.

I remember as a child making lots of fruit cakes, don’t ask me why because I hated a fruit cake and still do now, but I was good at it. I also made a right old Victorian Sponge, M&M cookies and little old muffins – these were my specialities. It’s a shame I didn’t really stick to it because who knows where I would be with it now. As I got older, I guess I lost interest and stopped baking as much. I can’t exactly remember why I stopped, but I didn’t pursue it thoroughly, and I think I just lost the confidence.

I have recently moved into a new place and decided that I would like to get back into baking cakes again! Lucky me, my auntie was nice enough to gift me with a weigh scale, and so I decided to make banana bread. If you are already a baker yourself you will know that there are a million in one way to make banana bread, so I thought it would be good to share how My Breaking Views made this amazing banana loaf!


ingredients:

  • banana x2 (soft)
  • 150g butter softened, plus a lil extra for the tin
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder

You may need time to prepare your ingredients, so I would suggest giving yourself around 15- 20mins. Don’t rush it you want this to come out really good! Pre-heat oven your oven 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

It will roughly take around 40 –45 mins to bake at around 180C.

  1. Mush your bananas I do this with a fork, but I know there are more exclusive tools which can be used.
  2. Soften butter & peanut butter. I only eat crunchy PeanutButter, but I am sure you can use any PeanutButter. I usually add this to a bowl and put it in the microwave for like 15 seconds, I wouldn’t suggest this, but it does make it easy to mix!
  3. Add sugar to butter with Peanut Butter (Remember the peanut butter is optional).
  4. Make this mix nice and fluffy.
  5. Add the flour and eggs
  6. Butter your tin
  7. Add mixture into your tin
  8. Place in the oven
  9. Let it Cook
  10. & Enjoy

And mix! Hopefully, your mixture looks something like this:

And it’s as easy at that!

Hope you find the recipe easy and if you find time to make it, share a picture in the comments section below.

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