Electrolysis – what’s it really like?

Last week I wrote about wanting to get electrolysis done on my face due to a hormone imbalance as a result of my PCOS.

I went, I tried it and I am going back for more.

The building for the Advanced Electrolysis Centre was a lovely converted terrace house discreetly located in Paddington’s leafy back streets. I was so nervous because my friend had mentioned the process is quite uncomfortable. Also, the concept of permanently doing something to my body also makes me very nervous – but I am so pleased to take the risk.

As a new client, my technician led me into the consulting room and sat me down to talk through the process and answer any questions or concerns I had. For which I had quite a lot. I was nervous about scarring, pain, the process etc etc. Nerida patiently answered all my concerns and was generally quite lovely. She then suggested we try one hair to see if I wanted to proceed. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt but it was slightly uncomfortable.

As I was happy to proceed she recommended a 30 minute session and take it from there.

Me being me, I asked all sorts of questions about the types of people who visit. I wanted to know the worst case scenarios. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. And, while keeping it professional, gave me some gems. After mentioning that I have PCOS she made the comment that many of her clients have PCOS. Women who have tried all other options but haven’t had any permanent success.

The 30 minutes went much faster than expected, but the process is slow; each hair follicle is zapped separately. And there are a lot of follicles over your body. Luckily, I am only interested in some on my face. She mentioned one guy who had his shoulders done; he flew in from New Zealand and spent two full days with two machines working on him. Now that would have hurt…..

So, because I was happy with the result I decided to go back ! Yesterday was that day….for a full hour.

Please note, that if you’re interested in electrolysis,  research your options before deciding to proceed. Not all electrolysis suppliers are equal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A: Canna Campbell, Founder SASS Financial

purpledress-1

Canna Campbell is a remarkable woman. She founded SASS Financial in 2007 after a successful career in one of Australia’s major banks. Her vision is to help people build realisitic financial independence, so they can focus on enjoying what makes them happy – umm yes!

Through her Instagram feed, you get this sense of determination to help people reach their financial dreams – all supported by a feminine energy which is quite alluring and certainly inspiring.

I have followed her story for many years through Instagram. Her feed is full of photos with her young son Rocco as they explore the world in style. As you scroll through, you get this sense of her drive to build her business and create the life she wants for her herself and Rocco.

As I get older and my own ambition to build my own business grows, I am always fascinated to hear the story of how other women build their dreams. I hope you are too!

So Canna, thank you for sharing part of your story with us.

 

What inspired you to work in finance?

My father got me into investing whilst I was studying and working part time in a bar and studying Bachelor of Commerce…it wasn’t until I got my first dividend cheque that I had my big Aha moment. My interest grew from this point and I never looked back.

Financial independence has become a priority for the modern woman, what are your top 5 tips to ensure women are financially free?

  1. Know your flow – have a budget so that you know where your hard earned money goes and helps ensures that you live within your means.
  1. Stay out of toxic debt – credit card debt, personal loans, car loans etc. This type of debt holds you back, is energetically draining and an unnecessary distraction in stopping you achieve financial health and harmony for yourself.
  1. Have financial goals – you don’t need to have a goal to become a billionaire but just like we have health and fitness goals, having some financial goals is very empowering and motivating. Financial goals like paying off student loans, building up some savings or learning how to invest are all great achievements to work towards and come with great personal growth.
  1. Educate – learn about personal financial management. In school and Uni we are taught how to run businesses and read balance sheets but not many institutions teach us how to look after our own finances.

What challenges do you experience working in a male dominated industry? How do you deal with this? 

This has never really been an issue for me, if you surround yourself with inspiring, motivating and interesting people where you all help yourself it doesn’t matter if they are male or female.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am up early most morning at 5 am and depending on the day of the week, each day is different. However I try and squeeze some exercise in as a priority between client meetings, designing financial strategies and reading economic updates. Often I get my best ideas whilst on the treadmill.

What drives you to get out of bed every day?

I love what I do and am passionate about helping people make their lives less stressful. Also when we are at peace or comfort with our finances, we can give more…and this includes charities, which is something that I am going to be including on my channel.

Have you experienced online bullying, and if so, how do you deal with this?

If something upsets me, I will look into it and see if there is an element of truth and if there is something for me to grow and learn from. If not, I move forward.

With a thriving business, a son, and busy social calendar, what are your tips for keeping in shape?

I exercise during my lunch break…it is the only time that I get, so I make it count.

What’s the best thing about being a mum?

That moment when they wrap their arms around you. So sincere and special…

What do you find most challenging thing about motherhood?

The exhaustion…

What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?

Going to our local cafe together with the dogs and heading down to our local park.

What do you do to relax? Exercise get into the ocean spend time with friends and family. Play with Rocco and my dogs…on and sometimes a glass of champagne helps!

How would you explain your personal style?

Classic, polished and feminine.

What is your must have beauty product?

A great moisturiser.

Favourite fashion and beauty brands?

Scanlan and Theodore and Mecca

What are your top 3 essential items in your wardrobe?

A pencil skirt, a classic cashmere jumper and a great stiletto heal.

Most loved item in your wardrobe?

My Chanel 2.55

Who is your biggest inspiration in life? Why?

I get inspired by so many different things I see, read and hear and all at different times. Sometimes the biggest inspirations comes from the littlest or simplest things.

 

A classic dress

With the sun coming out to play, so do my dresses!

A Quaintrelle Life

In January 2014, I spent an afternoon taking photos with a mate. Do you remember my favourite dress for all year round? It was part of the same shoot. Yes, towels, hands flying everywhere and awkward positions outside the local private boys school were necessary to keep myself a modest woman during all the costume changes.

Well, I am super excited to have some more pictures.

The dress I am about to feature divides people. Some really love it (including yours truly) an others not so much. In fact, a good friend of mine told me I looked like a nurse.

It is by one of my favourite brands, Layfayette 148 New York which I have mentioned many times on this blog. The clothes are of a very high quality. They are classics. They use beautiful materials and are cut well.

I love the colour, and I love the fabric is…

View original post 134 more words

PCOS, hormones and excessive facial hair

This post isn’t my most glamorous….

But for so many women around the world, including myself, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has many, many unglamorous downsides – including excessive facial hair.

I know my PCOS is going crazy when my facial hair starts to grow very quickly. It’s typically in the same spots; just under my chin and the sides of my face. I pluck, and wax, but within a couple of days the hair is back; and it’s angry. Even though it can be a lot worse it does make me uncomfortable and at times self conscious.

After many conversations with a friend of mine about hair removal for women with hormone imbalances, I decided to give electrolysis a go. Thankfully for me, she has been my (and our!) guinea pig. She has plucked, waxed, done laser and electrolysis; for her, the only treatment which stopped the areas affected by hormones was due to electrolysis. However, it is painful and expensive.

Thankfully my friend researches everything to an inch of its life and has recommended the Advanced Electrolysis Centre in Sydney.

I called to see when the next available appointment was and as I have luck on my side, they had a cancellation and I am going to visit them today. The next available appointment is in three weeks!

I will let you know how I go…..

A Worthy Video #HereIAm

Over the last few months I have been looking into some interesting opportunities and taking time to learn. I needed to do this so that I can learn about myself and remind myself why I genuinely like who I am. I want to constantly find ways to become more aware and improve myself so that I can focus my time and live a life which fulfils the many, and various dimensions to my personality.

One of the areas I have been focusing on is self worth; or in other words how I view myself. Like anyone I have insecurities but I’ve always had a strong understanding of who I am. I’m grateful to have an ability to say “this is who I am, enjoy me or move on.” I don’t completely understand where this came from, but I do remember making conscious decisions along the way to enjoy my life, especially if others don’t agree. Not surprisingly there have been PLENTY of people who do not agree with my choices; mostly because they struggle with their own.

I recently found an Unworthy video which I wanted to share with you. Several plus size bloggers were interviewed about why the size of ones body, shouldn’t define who they are. A message I wholeheartedly support and have done so since I was 8 years old; way before it was in vogue.

But, this message seems to be focused at the more voluptuous lady (like myself). For me, the message needs to be far further reaching than big girls. I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t have an insecurity lurking deep within their soul – some people just have a better way of dealing with it. And, if more people were comfortable with themselves maybe they would be more accepting of themselves and those around them. So, no matter who you are, I hope you can benefit from this message too. And go live YOUR life!!!

 

 

Q&A: Shelly Horton, Journalist and Founder of ShellShocked Media

2016-02-23 17.12.57

Shelly Horton and Philippa Giles @ The Wine Library Woollahra

Shelly Horton is journalist with one of the bubbliest personalities in Australian TV; one of the most opinionated too.

At the end of 2015, and with nearly two decades of journalism experience under her belt, Shelly and her now husband Darren quit their jobs, moved house, got married in Mexico and founded a video proaction company, Shell Shocked Media.

The name, a play on her name, also fits with the type of clients the dynamic duo want to represent; those who are happy to be a bit controversial or need to shock to get attention. Her personality shines talking about topics that would make most people blush.

 

I have followed Shelly’s story through Instagram over the last few years. I love her boldness, and openness to share a variety of life’s challenges – including her challenge with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); a condition I have too.

I am so proud to have had the opportunity to sit down with her and share her story with you as the inaugural Q&A on A Quaintrelle Life Blog where we discussed love, work, family and PCOS.

Q&A: Shelly Horton, Journalist and Founder of ShellShocked Media

 

When did you launch Shell Shocked Media?

We launched in late January 2016 but I feel like I was working on the business for a year! I was surprised at how much went into starting a company – legal, website development, business names – it’s overwhelming. But six months in everything is calmer and we’re kicking goals!

Who are your first clients?

Our first clients are Target, Vagasil (because I love talking vaginas!) and the McGrath Foundation for its new campaign. I’ve also been brought on by Triumph bras as an ambassador to discuss minimizers (which I incorrectly thought were just for old ladies) It’s like shape wear for your boobs! Did you know you can choose your breast shape? You can choose to be round or tear drop! Who knew?

 

How does Darren deal with constantly discussing ‘lady issues’?

Well, it’s not just listening to it. He does all the video editing so he sees and hears it on loop. When we did the Vagasil video, he joked he heard the word vagina 4000 times in one day. He said never wanted to hear that word again. Poor guy. He has been amazing.

How has it been working with your husband in a new business? 

I love it but it has been a huge test on our relationship. During our four year relationship he has worked six nights a week which gave me plenty of me time. Now, we work together 24/7 in the same space. We work and live in the same loft so I cannot even slam the door and have some alone time. The bathroom is the only alone space we have. But we are ying and yang; I am on camera and doing various activities off camera, while he is the workhorse behind the camera. I am finding his work ethic is harder than mine, and I’m a workaholic.

How do you like working for yourself? 

It’s not all roses! But I like being my own boss. I have a bit of an issue with authority – I can be quite lippy! I’ve had a few jobs where I’ve felt I could do to the job of the boss but it wasn’t my dream to do so. Even when I had a team of 30 staff, I didn’t enjoy it – most of it was management work and I wasn’t doing the work that I love! So, my plan with ShellShocked Media is to keep it small and niche.

How do you manage the pressures of a new business?

We’ve only just started having one day off on the weekend because we were working seven days. I was getting quite antsy but my agent reminded me to breathe and have a day off otherwise I’d likely fall in a heap. If I collapsed what would the point be of having these dreams?

How do you unwind? 

We’ve starting going for a swim together at the end of the day. It’s so nice because the stress of the day is wiped off. During summer we did go down in the middle of the day but when you go back into the office, the work is still there.

What else keeps you busy?

We are also working on a travel series. We even did some work in Mexico while on our honeymoon. We did a story about the Day of the Dead, which is a really beautiful way at looking at death – it takes the sadness out of it. We then travelled to the Bahamas and did a story about swimming with the pigs – friggin giant, wild pigs! The story is awesome! The pigs have learnt to swim. You look at them and think, ‘what the hell’. I was actually a bit scared but some of piglets were cute.

When we went back to the Gold Coast over Christmas, we also did a story about catching sand worms with our hands. I grew up doing this, so it was really nice to relive a childhood memory. I interviewed my Dad, Kev. He was amazing on camera. Darren said, ‘Now I know where you get it from!’ Dad has the gift of the gab – his nickname is Captain Have A Chat.

With a large online following, is trolling an issue?

I typically only get trolled when I say something on TV and people don’t like it – they just attack and say the most horrible things. Doesn’t matter what I say, they will get really personal and makes comments about how fat I am. In one particular incident when we were discussing the dog laws, I had over 100 messages saying things like ‘I am going to bring my dog around and have it rip your throat out’.

Do these threats scare you?

I’m not scared people will follow through; I am more scared that it will affect my mental health. I was friends with Charlotte (Dawson) and she committed suicide two years ago because of online bullying. That’s where I am very aware and I have been very vigilant. So, if people put nasty comments up I delete it straight away. I used to leave it there because I thought people had a right to say what they want but then I thought no they don’t – it’s my page, my profile. Some of my followers would then defend me but I didn’t want them getting involved in those types of conversations either.

You’re confident and vocal about issues important to you – do you think that’s why some people follow you?

Absolutely. That’s why I have no problem posting photos of me beetroot faced at the gym or the one when my cyst burst and I had a massive hormonal break out – not many people would do that – that’s our PCOS life! And it sucks!

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a topic you’ve helped bring to mainstream media. As it manifests differently in each person how do you manage your PCOS life? 

I would bleed for three weeks at a time. So many years ago I had an IUD inserted; it goes up your razoo and my period completely stopped. That was really good but then I was still getting the ovarian cysts and they were bursting, so I had three operations to help manage those. If you’ve ever had a cyst burst, you will know that it is horrendous! Your body freaks out because it thinks it’s bleeding internally; at one stage I was projectile vomiting and had diarrhea at the same time. The pain at times was also so bad. Since then, I’ve seen Dr Ginni Mansberg as she specialises in hormones and women’s health. She wrote a book called “How To Handle Your Hormones” which was really helpful, because I gave it to Darren for context. When we were really trying to lose weight I would lose 600 grams a month and Darren would lose 6kgs; I was doing more exercise than him! It completely destroyed me. So he came to Dr Ginni with me because I needed her to give him the medical advice first hand. He even asked Dr Ginni if I had secretly been eating mars bars! It’s clearly a hard situation anyway but particularly when that’s what people think.

Dr Ginni then put me on the pill and that controlled the ovary pain. I’m still getting the hormonal pimples, and back acne, which is charming! Really! It really is the most unattractive syndrome to have. Hair growth can also be an issue. Early on in the relationship with my husband, we were having breakfast at a local cafe and while he was reading the menu, he looked up to see what was on my face – it was a long chin hair! I was mortified and called my laser service straight away.

Why do you think PCOS isn’t talked about very often?

A lot of doctors don’t seem to understand it and it doesn’t help that the symptoms are so different in each person. My mum was never diagnosed but she had a hysterectomy at 32 because she had so many problems – now they have a definition for it. When I was 13 my doctors put me on the pill because of my extra long periods. Unfortunately what that did was mask the bigger issue, and just dealt with the immediate symptoms.

How do you deal with having PCOS?

It has been a long battle, and honestly, I still battle it with.

In addition to your intense gym sessions, what else do you do to build exercise into your daily life? 

Walk and talk meetings! Everyone has embraced it.

You recently got married, tell me about the dress. 

I bought mine for $187 from Etsy! It was a size 20 so I knew it would be too big and would require being taken in but it was exactly what I wanted. I also had to buy a corset, which meant going to a fetish shop in Newtown. As I’ve never had a waist in my life, it was awesome; even though I couldn’t breathe. I was so happy!

I paired it with a Viktoria Novak crown and as I walked down the isle, Darren was crying. The first thing he said to me was ‘It looks like you’re going to the Oscars’. And that’s why I married him!

Where was the ceremony? 

In Peurto Vallarta in Mexico. It was a gorgeous restaurant called Le Kliff; I changed into a reception dress designed by my talented friend Catherine.  I wanted something feminine that I could dance in. And boy did we dance.

How did you meet Darren?

I walked into a bar. I was invited to the Vanguard in Newtown for a themed Burlesque night  – batman Burlesque! So six of us turned up, I saw Darren and I was so shy I couldn’t speak. Me? Part of why I couldn’t talk was because he looks like my celebrity crush Michael Chiklis. Actually, Darren is better looking than Michael. I didn’t end up talking to Darren that night – I just smiled at him like an idiot.

What’s the most romantic thing Darren has done? 

Before we even had our first proper date, he asked to be my boyfriend. We were texting back and forth and before we had a proper date we knew everything about each other. He didn’t want to wait till date night, so he invited me over to his place for lunch and my first thought was ‘what do I wear to a day date?’ I got a blow dry and then messed it up so it didn’t look like I had been for a blow dry; matched with jeans, shirt and blazer. As I drove to his place, and turned the corner into his street, he was standing there waiting with a long stem, red rose. I wound the window down, and he kissed me without saying anything. WOW.

What’s the best present Darren gave you?

Darren peeled off the label from the first bottle of champagne we shared, dried the red rose he gave me on our first date, found the text where he first ask to be my boyfriend and then had a calligrapher write it out. He put it all together and framed it. 

Biggest potential dating mistake?

I nearly gave up the initial evening date with Darren to watch The Voice.

What do you drink?

I like red wine and champagne but I love an orange Bacardi Breezer.

Least and most favourite part of your body? 

My tummy. My boobs are awesome, massive but awesome.

What did the teachers say about you at school?

She talks a lot. A guidance councilor even said to me I was too opinionated – I decided then that was what I wanted to do!

Dating philosophy?

Be cruel to be kind.

Life philosophy?

Fake it till you make it. 

What’s your must have winter fashion item?

Knee high boots from Ted & Muffy made especially for girls with big calf muscles. I ordered them from London about five years ago and I still love them. You measure your calf muscle and give your foot size and they make them just for you.

In the cooler months, what’s your must have beauty item?

Moisturiser! I use Evidence Based Skincare (ESK). The bottles aren’t pretty, the product doesn’t smell pretty but it makes your skin pretty and with PCOS that’s what I need.

IMG_1046

Shelly Horton

FullSizeRender

Shelly and husband Darren in Mexico

IMG_4591

Shelly in her reception dress

IMG_0679

Honeymoon: Shelly and Darren

NB: Images courtesy of Shelly Horton

 

 

 

 

 

Mussels with bacon and white wine

image

Seafood is one of my favourite types of food; one I typically associate with summer. But not mussels! In a stew or in this case a sauce, they are so comforting.

I typically make them on the weekend, but as they are a quick meal, they can very easily be enjoyed on a week night too.

This is my own recipe so I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

1kg black mussels, scrubbed

4 slices of bacon, diced

1 cup of white wine

3/4 cup of cream

Half an onion, diced

Half a leak, sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons of butter

Salt and pepper

2 cups of parsley, to serve

 

Method

Fry the bacon in a pan with one tablespoon of butter. Once the bacon has some colour add the garlic, onion, leak and two tablespoons of butter. Stir gently until the onion is translucent.

Add the wine and stir. After about 30 seconds add the cream and the mussels. Stir so the ingredients are well mixed.Turn the heat down slightly and put the lid on the pot; let the ingredients boil for 3-5 minutes.

Once all the mussels have opened, add the parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Bon appetite!