LilliesandLove Asks… Alyssa Smith

Alyssa Smith
International Jewellery Designer

I first heard of Alyssa on Twitter.  Journalist and TV Presenter Dawn Porter posted a picture of herself wearing a bespoke piece that Alyssa had made for her and it caught my interest.  I had a look at Alyssa’s website and started following her on Twitter, not knowing that soon she would be someone I would be proud to call a friend.

Despite her young age, Alyssa is a recognised entrepreneur – so much so that she is invited to events all over the country and is currently the resident entrepreneur at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy in Hertfordshire.  (She’s constantly rubbing shoulders with celebrities and takes it all in her stride!)

Barely a week goes by without Alyssa featuring in a newspaper or magazine article and she even had her own fan club – The Alyssa Groupies!

So, why all the attention for a girl who makes jewellery in the comfort of her little studio in Hertfordshire?  Quite simply, because her work is stunning and her ambition is infectious.

I myself own two pieces of Alyssa’s jewellery – one is a heart shaped ‘Wish Box’ locket and the other is a bird house with a little bird peeking out of the doorway.  Delicate, intricate and perfectly made, each item is made by hand with 100% concentration and dedication.  Alyssa accepts nothing but perfection in her work and this is clear to be seen in the quality of the pieces she produces.

As well as making bespoke designs to order (tell her roughly what you want and she’ll make your idea into a reality) Alyssa has several collections, the most notable being her Tweetie birds.  These were inspired by Twitter, the huge following she has on there and the amount of interest and support she has received from people she’s met through the site.  The Tweetie birds are a top-selling range for Alyssa and are often spotted on celebrities in magazines and on the television.

Aside from her work, Alyssa is also a genuinely nice person.  I’ve often seen her go out of her way to help those in need, once even arranging a Twitter-wide collection for one of her customers who sadly lost their home and belongings in a fire.  Alyssa’s kindness saw people from far and wide sending donations to help them get their life back on track.

Alyssa is a perfect example of what can be achieved if you have a dream and are prepared to work hard to make it a reality.

She’s not just a jewellery designer or just an entrepreneur; she’s a role model too.


HI ALYSSA, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS!

DO YOU ENJOY YOUR NEW ‘TWITTER-CELEB’ STATUS?
(laughs) Yes!  It’s crazy but totally amazing!

WHAT’S THE BEST FREEBIE YOU EVER GOT, SIMPLY FROM BEING ALYSSA JEWELLERY?
I actually get lots of freebies, which surprises me!  From jewellery hangers, facial creams, boxes of chocolates, to soya yoghurts!  I enjoy them all because I never know they’re going to arrive!

IF YOU WERE A BISCUIT, WHICH WOULD YOU BE?
Definitely a Jammy Dodger!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
I love anything Tapas style!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?
Oh, that’s difficult!  Non-alcoholic – probably Ribena.  If alcoholic – bubbly (with Ribena in it!)

DO YOU SLEEP WALK?
No…

IF YOU WERE ASKED, WOULD YOU DO A REALITY TV SHOW WHERE THE CAMERA FOLLOWED YOU EVERYWHERE?
Erm, do you know what?  I think I would!  As long as it didn’t follow me into the toilet and weird things like that!

CARS OR BIKES?
Cars.

DOGS OR CATS?
Pusskins.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE AT THE MOMENT?
Pretty much nothing, as usual.  Some goats cheese, a few peppers, a bottle of pink champagne, some garlic puree, salad dressing and some olives.  Nothing edible really…

HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DO YOU OWN?
I can’t even count!  But I like to line them up and look at them sometimes!  Anything sparkly is a must for me.  I recently bought some pink Vivienne Westwood ‘Melissa’ shoes and they smell of bubblegum – I love those ones!

ANY BAD HABITS?
Talking in the cinema?

IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I don’t know.  Maybe a pussy cat?  They sleep a lot and lay around in the sun!

WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU DREAM OF BEING ‘WHEN YOU GREW UP’?
A jewellery designer!  Once, when I was little, I got really into The Bill and wanted to be a policewoman, but that only lasted about a day.  I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a jewellery designer for as long as I can remember!  Even when I was 4 or 5, I was stringing up buttons and beads to make necklaces!

WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE?
I quite like cooking when I get the time and I enjoy going to my local spinning class when I can – strangely enough, I find it relaxes me!  I also enjoy going to museums and galleries – that’s something I love to do when I get a chance.  I also love architecture, so looking at old classical buildings is something I enjoy.  I like Hatfield House and go there a lot in the summer for picnics, to look around their flower gardens and exhibitions.  Spending time with my family, boyfriend and friends is also very important to me.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?
At the moment, Pram Face and Suits!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FILM OF ALL TIME?
I have a few – Step Brothers, Pixar’s UP, Despicable Me, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon…

WOULD YOU RATHER FIGHT 10 DUCK-SIZED HORSES OR 1 HORSE-SIZED DUCK?
I’m not a fan of horses, they’re so BIG!  Although I’d quite like 10 little duck-sized horses.  I’d dress them up and brush their hair.  May even put a little horn on them and pretend they were unicorns?

IF YOU COULD RENAME YOURSELF, WHAT NAME WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
I have NO idea!  I quite like my name, it’s unusual, plus my surname is a clue as to what my profession is – total coincidence though!

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
I haven’t found it yet!

WHAT SONG WILL ALWAYS GET YOU ON THE DANCEFLOOR?
‘Moves Like Jagger’ (recently) but I’m always the first one on the dancefloor anyway, so it doesn’t take much!

DO YOU HAVE ANY FEARS?
Growing up and dying, or having those I love die.

DO YOU PREFER A ROAST DINNER IN THE WINTER OR A BBQ IN THE SUMMER?
Can I have Tapas in the summer?

WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE AND WHAT DID THEY TEACH YOU?
My mum and dad, and my boyfriend.  They continuously teach me and spur me on to be who I am.

ARE THERE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON TO THE LILLIESANDLOVE READERS?  PERHAPS A QUOTE OR MOTTO?
My favourite quote is: “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about”.

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
Only 3?  I can’t choose 10 things, let alone 3!  Loo roll?

WHAT ARE YOU PROUDEST OF IN YOUR LIFE?
I have so many proudest moments, I just can’t choose!  I have some for my personal life and some for my professional life.  It’s hard to pick just one.

WHAT WAS THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?
(laughs) Same as above!  I’ve had so many good memories, some bad, like everyone does, but the happy moments outweigh the bad.  I’ve loved celebrating birthdays with special people, spending time with special people, I’ve loved moving into my own house with my boyfriend and buying my dream car, I’ve loved seeing my favourite celebrities wearing my jewellery on television and in magazines, I’ve loved meeting amazing people and feel so lucky, I loved picking up my two kittens for the first time (Blossom Ruby Sapphire and Merlin Casper Picasso) and taking them home to their new house, I’ve loved going for picnics in the park, being shortlisted for some amazing awards… I haven’t got engaged yet so I can’t say that one!  I do however cherish every moment of my life and live every day.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
Too many to list!

WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
One of my earliest memories is having a Sylvanian Family baby duck, hedgehog and beaver, and carrying them around with me everywhere!  I also remember I used to ‘bath’ my My Little Ponies and wash/brush/plait their hair… then my mum would have to throw them away because they got full of water and started going mouldy – yuck!

DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE LILLIESANDLOVE READERS?
No matter who are you, or what you do, always live life to the full!  I’d say that sometimes we need bad days to appreciate the good ones – if we didn’t have the bad days, we wouldn’t know when we were having a really good day!  Love those around you and don’t take anything for granted in life!

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LilliesandLove Asks… Carrie Lloyd

Carrie Lloyd
Writer/Producer
Carrie first came to my attention via Twitter.  I often saw her tweets ‘retweeted’ and when I started following her and reading her personal blog as well as her articles on The Huffington Post, she struck me as not only being interesting and funny, but also extremely kind-hearted and grounded.
Aside from her work as a writer and television producer, Carrie is an active philanthropist.  Currently, the main focus of her charitable work is her role as a voluntary advisor in a pregnancy crisis centre; an extension of this role being that she visits colleges and schools to discuss sex education, giving students the opportunity to learn important lessons about sex and relationships that they may not otherwise be able to.
Although the subject matter of her blogs are varied (relationships, religion, art, diet plus her own personal experiences, to name just a few) I believe the key to her success is simply that despite her success, she is a normal, down-to-earth woman with a huge heart.
As one of my favourite writers, I feel privileged to be able to say, “I know Carrie Lloyd”.
You too can follow Carrie on Twitter (@CarrieGracey) and be sure to visit both her personal and Huffington Post blogs – you won’t regret it!


HI CARRIE, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, ARE YOU READY?
No problem – I’m ready!

IF YOU WERE A BISCUIT, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Is popcorn a biscuit?

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
Popcorn.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?
Champagne, of course darling 😉

DO YOU SLEEP WALK?
No, but I do sleep-kick and sleep-talk.

IF YOU WERE ASKED, WOULD YOU DO A REALITY TV SHOWN WHERE THE CAMERA FOLLOWED YOU EVERYWHERE?
I did do this for the TV mini-series ‘Big Silence’, but that was only down to knowing what kind of programme the producers made before, so I trusted them.  Otherwise, probably not.

CARS OR BIKES?
Cars for long distance, bikes for short.

DOGS OR CATS?
DOGGIES!

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE AT THE MOMENT?
A lot of nail varnish and feta cheese.

HOW MANY PAIRS OF SHOES DO YOU OWN?
I stopped counting a few years ago.

DO YOU HAVE ANY BAD HABITS?
Far too many – smoking being the worst.

IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A Chinchilla.

WHAT’S THE BEST PRESENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
An eternity ring on my 30th birthday from my boyfriend – who gave it to me at my father’s grave.  He never met my father so wanted to tell Dad he’d look after me.  I cried my eyes out.

WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU DREAM OF BEING ‘WHEN YOU GREW UP’?
An actress or a teacher.

WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE?
Dancing, playing with puppies, talking (a lot), outreach work (mainly for pregnancy crisis centre).

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?
Inside the Actors Studio.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FILM OF ALL TIME?
Oh wow – how do I answer this?!  I’ve got too many… Amistad, The Green Mile, Drive, Blue Valentine, Anchorman, The Tree of life, Requiem for a Dream.  I’ll stop, as I’ve changed this list 4 times already…

WOULD YOU RATHER FIGHT 10 DUCK-SIZED HORSES OR 1 HORSE-SIZED DUCK?
10 duck-sized horses – I’d probably try and make them pets.  Dress ’em up – and sell ’em on.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
St Peters, The Vatican, Rome.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FEARS?
A fear of throwing up.


DO YOU PREFER A ROAST DINNER IN THE WINTER OR A BBQ IN THE SUMMER?
BBQ in the Summer and warm evenings.


WHO WOULD BE YOUR 5 DREAM DINNERPARTY GUESTS?
Two of my friends (Dawn Porter and Jeffrey Kramer), Eddie Izzard, Judah Smith (Seattle) and Christine Caine (a huge campaigner and fighter against Sex Trade Slavery).

IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE IN THE WORLD (DEAD OR ALIVE), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
Jesus Christ.  I’d ask him “What’s life all about?”

WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE AND WHAT DID THEY TEACH YOU?
Probably my father who taught me to keep driven in life, to help those who are outcast from society and to use my skills for the benefit of others, not for myself.

ARE THERE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON TO THE LILLIESANDLOVE READERS?
Never settle for second best in love or in yourself.  Forgive everyone who’s hurt you, but learn from the mistakes and trust you made with them.  If you can’t forgive them, act as if you have, it’ll soon catch up.  Enjoy life, know the hardest times in life will end at some point and when you’re in them, rely on the friends who are offering to be there for you.  But, be wary of gossip and don’t get into it yourself.


IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
Music, the bible and my puppy.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUDEST OF IN YOUR LIFE?
Managing 8 days of silence.  Also, my need to be better… and curiosity to improve constantly.
That and when I saved someone in Lake Windemere by seeing a boat capsize through a tiny window of the Wordsworth musem.

WHAT WAS THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?
When I introduced my father to Paul McCartney at my graduation (Dad brought me up on The Beatles).  His face was a picture.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
When a doorknob came off in my hand on stage during a performance, locking the door through which I had to exit and I couldn’t get off stage.

WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
Orvil.

DO YOU HAVE A FINAL MESSAGE FOR THE LILLIESANDLOVE READERS?
Hi-de-hi Campers!  Oh, and love your lillies.  That is all.



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Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Words Can Break Your Heart

This was originally posted on my old blog on 20 March 2011 but I have re-posted it here as I intend to write a more detailed account of the stalking element of this story at a later date (I didn’t really talk about it here).
I was a late bloomer when it came to relationships. I dropped out of school when I was 13 as I was being bullied, so I missed out on some of the most important years of a persons life when it comes to learning social skills. In order to gain acceptance onto the college course I wanted, I had to prove my determination to them, so I joined a Hospital Radio station in the local area. It was there I met Charlie. I was 15, he was 24. He took an immediate interest in me and spent a lot of time helping me and teaching me what I needed to know. I felt no attraction to him, but as I felt he was the only person I had to look after me, I eventually became his girlfriend. 
I still remember now the boredom I felt in his company, the annoyance I felt at him always being around, and the repulsion every time he kissed me. I hated him. But, before I knew it, and without me realising, he managed to emotionally batter me in to believing he was all I would ever get. He told me I was ugly, he would show me women on the television or in magazines and tell me I couldn’t even begin to compare to them. He would ask me why I wasn’t as pretty as them or as talented as them, and, knowing no different and thinking this was the normal way men treated their girlfriends, I accepted it. Worse still, I believed him.
Months passed and my first day at college came around. I was really nervous being with all these new people and hardly spoke to anyone, but within a week I’d made friends and was having a really good time. I noticed other girls with their boyfriends, being showered with affection and gifts, and wondered what I was doing wrong. When I saw Charlie I would tell him about my days at college and tell him about my new friends. Whilst I was at college, if I didn’t text him back within a few hours he’d have a go at me and ask what I’d been doing – being in a lecture with my phone on silent wasn’t a good enough excuse and he would make me cry, telling me I was a terrible, selfish girlfriend. Although I hated him, he’d told me no other man would ever be interested in me, and I believed him. Then things took a turn for the worse. One day when I was at Charlie’s we were in his room talking (I never slept with him, I made excuses not to – just the thought of it made me feel physically sick). I was telling him about the people in my class, recounting a story of something that had happened that week, when he pinned me down on the bed by my arms and gave me a lovebite on my neck. It wasn’t an action of romance, or of passion, I was telling him to stop because he was hurting me, but he wouldn’t. I wore a roll-neck to college all that week. This happened a few times, the worst one being when he bit my bottom lip so hard that my lip swelled up, bruised, and my chin was bruised too. When he’d done it he said “Now everyone will know you belong to me”. I wore a lot of make-up that week and managed to hide it from my family and friends at college.
I didn’t want to be with Charlie, but I knew no other man would ever want me – I was disgusting and should have been grateful that Charlie was willing to be with me when there were so many better girls out there. Then, walking down the corridor at college one day I saw a guy walking towards me. As he passed me he smiled and said hello, I literally stopped in my tracks. My friend’s couldn’t understand why I was so shocked, but they didn’t know what was happening to me when I wasn’t with them. This boy – Jon, as I later found out – was like a shining beam of light, he had shown me with that single smile that other men did notice me, I did exist and I wasn’t repulsive.
My friend’s found out Jon’s name and arranged for him to be at our regular pub the same time as us later that week. I was terrified going for that drink – Charlie was going to hit the roof when he found out I’d been out after college. As I walked in the door I was terrified, then Jon saw me, smiled and came over to say hello. He gave me a huge hug and said he’d get me a drink. Later than night I saw a guy I used to go to school with, Mark. I spent the night going between my friends, Jon’s friends and Mark’s friends. I had an amazing time. At the end of the night, both Jon and Mark asked if they could take me out. I honestly could have passed out – two men wanted to see me, TWO! Charlie was wrong, I wasn’t going to spend my whole life alone and I wasn’t hideous to look at.
When I got home that night I had several text messages and missed calls from Charlie. I ignored them all and put my phone on silent. The next day he sent me a message asking why I wasn’t replying to him. I text him back saying it wasn’t working, I didn’t want to be with him anymore and I was sorry, but it was over. He continued texting me numerous times a day, every day for weeks afterwards, but I didn’t want to speak to him – he had been awful to me while we were together and I didn’t need him to be a part of my life.
A few weeks later, I was online going through my emails when I noticed a message I hadn’t clicked on yet was showing as ‘read’. Each of my emails was being ‘read’ and then ‘marked unread’ while I sat there looking at the screen. I told my mum what was happening and that there was only one person it could possibly be – Charlie.
Mum and I set up an elaborate plan, with mum emailing me every day as ‘Deano’. The back-story was that I had met ‘Deano’ at college and we had started seeing each other. ‘Deano’ would talk about meeting up and told me about going out with his friends and doing drugs. We watched as these emails were read, and within a few days my mum had an email from Charlie saying he knew it was no longer his business as he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore, but he thought she ought to know I was getting in with the wrong sort of people, and possibly getting into drugs. Gotcha! He’d landed himself in it and we now had definitive proof it was him hacking into my emails.
I was furious. I phoned him to confront him and, of course, he denied it. When I told him ‘Deano’ didn’t exist and was created by myself and Mum to catch the hacker, he went completely silent on the end of the phone. I told him that if I ever heard from him again I would call the police.
I know I have been very unlucky, having this as my first experience of a relationship, and I know all men aren’t like this, but as much as I may have grown up and moved on, the scars of my time with him are still there.
I know I’m a nice person and I know I’m not completely hideous, but I don’t feel pretty, and I don’t think I will ever feel good enough for anyone. A few years ago I had plastic surgery in the hope it would make me feel better about myself. In a way it did and it has helped a bit, but I still feel massively inferior to most women out there. My friends are all beautiful and I know I’m the plain one in the group; when we have group photos I feel I stand out like a sore-thumb, I just don’t belong there. I watch television and it seems like everybody is better than me. I walk down the street and I see beautiful girls with amazing hair, stunning smiles, and perfect figures. There is so much pressure in the world for women and men to look a certain way and, quite often, it is unachievable to the normal person, working 9-5 and having a social life at the same time.
I know I’m not the only person that feels like this, everybody has doubts about themselves, and I don’t know if that will ever change. I’d love to have a man be proud of me and to want to show me off – I’d love for him to look at me and think I’m beautiful just the way I am. But, I don’t know if it’s realistic to think that is ever going to happen – isn’t all of that romance just in films?
If I would ask for anyone reading this to take one thing away, it would be this: Be aware of what you say to the person you love – male or female. Don’t put them down or say harsh words to hurt them in an argument, instead, tell them you love their eyes/their legs/their hair, tell them they look nice when they dress up for a night out, and make them feel special.
They say sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. I can tell you first hand, that just isn’t true.
LilliesandLove xx
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The Dark World of Thinspiration

“All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t”

~ Marilyn Monroe ~

I have always been blessed with good genes; you know, the sort you hear celebrities saying they have and nobody ever believes exist?  I’ve always eaten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to, done absolutely no exercise and still maintained a size 6 figure and a weight of 7stone 8.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known how lucky I am not to have to go without sweet treats for fear that a moment on the lips would last a lifetime on my hips, however, I always wished I could be just a little bit bigger.  I hated how people would tell me how skinny I was and some people would even tell me I looked like I had an eating disorder – that hurt a lot; people would never dream of telling a fat person they look horrible, so why was it ok to tell a slim person like me?
Anyway, having reached my 20’s I started putting on weight and I’m now a size 6-8 and my weight sits around 8stone 3.  This, I know, isn’t big but I’m conscious that the parts of me that used to be rock hard now aren’t quite so tight and I have a little pouch on my stomach.  Although I’m still slim, I don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror – as far as I’m concerned, unless somebody is actually going to give me a baby kangaroo to look after (which would be awesome) then I have no need for a stomach pouch!
So, having reached my late-20’s (sob) I decided it was time to start taking action so I don’t gradually loose control of my body.  I started eating healthily, not drinking alcohol during the week, cutting down on sweet treats, and I’ve even started exercising.  I don’t want to lose weight; I just want to be toned.
To keep myself motivated I decided to set myself a programme of fitness so that I would stick to it.  I made a little sign for the wall so I could see what I had to do each day and I decided to put some pictures on it of celebrities who had figures I would love to have – Gwen Stefani and Pink have abs of steel, so they were my first two choices for inspiration.  To get some pictures I went to Google – this is where everything changed.
Being slightly naïve and not really thinking about what I was doing, I Googled ‘thinspiration’.  This term is used in magazines so I thought this would be a great place to find some more photos that I could use to keep me on the fitness trail.  I thought I’d find some good photos of people with toned stomachs, women with feminine yet strong bodies and that it would keep me focussed on the goal I had set out to achieve.
Little did I know that by Googling ‘thinspiration’ I was going to find myself in a world I had never seen before.
What I found was pages and pages of shocking photos.  Pictures of women, men, young girls and young boys, all with every ounce of fat gone from their bodies and their bones jutting through their skin.
Just some of the shocking images I found online

I’m not a complete idiot, I know anorexia exists, of course I do.  Although I’ve never had an eating disorder myself, I do know that I see something different in the mirror to what everybody else sees – I’m always being told that.  But, I don’t think I’m any different to any other woman – I think we probably all look in the mirror and what we see as our ‘faults’ suddenly seem to shine out like a neon light.  (This may be the same for men, but obviously I can’t comment on that).
When I look in the mirror, I see a big wobbly jelly-woman with a big round stomach and a flat chest (in fact, I had a boob job in 2006 and am now a 32D-32DD – but my eyes don’t see that).
My sister in particular gets really annoyed with the way I see myself but I know that’s probably never going to change, the godsend is that I know my eyes are lying to me because of the size of my clothing, the size bra I wear and the fact that I can never find knee-high boots to fit because my legs are always so tiny inside them.
I’m lucky enough to still have control of myself and ignore what I see as my reflection.
However, there are thousands of people in the world that don’t see the reality of what they are.  They look in the mirror and see somebody fat or ugly and they starve themselves as a result, in a bid to make themselves ‘more attractive’ and ‘more acceptable’ in this image-conscious world we live in.  I assume these people must go online, Google ‘thinspiration’ and when they see photographs of malnourished people, they aren’t shocked like I was, they see something to aspire to, somebody who has achieved what they want and are struggling so hard to reach.
Although I’m not silly enough to blame the media for all the problems in the world, I do believe it plays a huge part in the self-image problems that so many people suffer from.  I myself have an internal battle when it comes to watching films or TV programmes (my best friend has endless patience with this part of me).  I’m always comparing myself (in my mind) to women in the public eye and wondering why I’m ‘not as good as them’, ‘not as pretty as her’, ‘my boobs are smaller than her’, ‘my stomach isn’t flat like her’.
I think my issues stem from my first boyfriend when I was 15.  He used to tell me constantly that I was ugly and couldn’t begin to compare to other girls.  He’d point out women in magazines, on TV, or in the street, and he’d ask me why I wasn’t like them.  He made me believe nobody else would ever want me, so I stayed with him, despite the bruises he used to leave me with – both physically and mentally.
With the amount of media focus on celebrities, the way they look and the lives they lead (which are totally unachievable for normal people like me who have to work 9-5 and can’t afford personal trainers, hair extensions etc.) I don’t think this is ever going to change.  In fact, I think it can only get worse.
My heart goes out to all those people in the world suffering from eating disorders, those who look in the mirror and hate what they see.  If only they could see themselves through the eyes of the people that love them, they would know they aren’t ugly at all.
Statistics say that 1 in 200 women and 1 in 2000 men are affected by anorexia, and of those around 5% will die from complications caused by malnutrition.
Surely it’s time that we made a change and started accepting people for who they are?  Everybody is different, that’s what makes the world such a beautiful place.
LilliesandLove xx
If you, or someone you know, if suffering from an eating disorder, you can contact Beat for help and guidance:
Website:  www.b-eat.co.uk
Helpline:  0845 634 1414
Youthline:  0845 634 7650
Twitter:  @BeatED
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The Beginning

Here it is, the first post – exciting!

Having had a WordPress blog for a while, I felt the time had come for me to take the plunge and get my own little spot on the world wide web – so, here it is!

Although I won’t be using the old blog anymore, it’s still online and my old posts can be still be seen there (although some of the key ones, or my favourite ones, will be published here at some point).
The old blog will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s where ‘LilliesandLove’ started out.  It documents the highs and lows over more than a year of my life and reading it back is pretty nostalgic, but the time has come to make a fresh start.

So, I’m proud to announce, the official LilliesandLove blog is now up and running!


LilliesandLove xx
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