Miss Scuba UK

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am currently a finalist for Miss Scuba UK. The concept of MSUK is one that fascinates me, it brings together two disciplines – beauty pageants and scuba diving to celebrate modern day women and raise awareness of marine conservation. This is what drew me into entering and I’m so glad I did. 

  
I’ve always had a love for the ocean. I have fond memories of jumping from boats into the cool water, and being mystified by dolphins and turtles swimming around us. Every year, my boyfriend and I swim out as far as we can when we’re on holiday. Last year, we took a mini cruise out into the Red Sea and were taken to the finest spots for snorkelling. It was amazing to discover a whole new world under the sea! 

  
 I’ve entered pageants since I was about 14 years old, but MSUK is completely different to anything I’ve done before. It’s educational and inspiring and I’ve already learnt so much about marine conservation that I didn’t previously know. I admit that I knew very little about marine conservation before getting involved in this, which is what inspires me to bring it to other people attention and teach my new found knowledge. It really is interesting whether you have previous knowledge of scuba diving and marine life or not. 
The oceans are the world largest ecosystems – therefore a large life support system. They affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat… Not to mention their beauty and inspiration. A fellow finalist (Emily Kishere) posted an image which really took me interest. It demonstrates how long certain pieces of rubbish take to break down – 80-100years for a can!? It’s not uncommon to see an array of these items on beaches. It takes just a few seconds to throw your rubbish into a safe place and protect marine life. The images below show the devastation caused by pieces of rubbish that are dropped without a second thought. 

  

      
The chosen charity for MSUK is Deptherapy which provides specially adapted scuba diving programmed for seriously injured armed service people. This to me, shows the power of the water as rehabilitation can be achieved through the medium of scuba diving. 

I’ve been doing all sorts in preparation for the final. As well as cluing myself up on all things scuba and marine life – I’ve been training in the pool to get my swimming on point, as well as working out in the gym and eating well for the pageant side of the competition. I took a visit into a local nursery to create displays for the walls and fun activities to teach the children from a young age. I’m looking forward to a try-dive with another finalist (Laura Handy) and hopefully some other bits with the other girls. I currently have a raffle going with amazing prizes such as a selection of Nudey Tea goodies, Forever Aloe Vera products, vouchers and more. All proceeds go to Deptherapy! If you’d like to get involved please comment or tweet me @heliemac1

Check-in is on Thursday 27th, with the finals on Friday 28th. FIVE lucky girls will be chosen to head over to Cyprus and Eygpt for a fun holiday and scuba diving! The ultimate winner will be chosen from here, to travel to Malaysia for the coveted Miss Scuba International pageant. 

Wish me luck! I hope you learnt something new reading this and maybe you’d consider entering Miss Scuba UK next year? 

Hels xxx

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Hoar Cross Hall Spa Weekend

As I turn 21 tomorrow (21st July), my Mum treated me to a gorgeous spa weekend, just like she did for my elder sisters on their 21st’s! Apart from abroad on holidays, I’ve never actually had a spa weekend so this was such a treat and my kind Mum went all out for it! We arrived on Saturday early afternoon and left on Sunday early evening so we had plenty of time to pamper!  

         I will try almost anything in the name of beautifying and detoxing etc so I was super keen to use the ice old plunge pool and freezing showers which supposedly detox your skin. I wasn’t brave enough at first but I forced myself in and it was actually so refreshing!! There was also body jets, hot and cold sprays/jets/waterfalls, heated stone seats with massaging water jets, hot tubs, sauna, steam room, 2 pools…. Basically everything you could want from water therapy! I love trying all of these things out but my mum isn’t so keen! I love the fact everyone walks around in their bikinis, robes and slippers! It’s so chilled. 

   
   

I had three amaaaaazing treatments – 2 on the first day and one the next day. The first was the Rose Hydrator which involved an all over body scrub, being covered in luxury oils and creams and wrapped up, finishing with a scalp massage. I left feeling super soft and silky! 

My next treatment was the Elemis Facial. This is tailored to your particular skin type and my therapist adjusted the products according to my dry skin. I’ve been suffering with dryness on my forehead and eyelids at the moment and I can honestly say that these were about 70% better after the facial! The products felt and smelt amazing. 

My final treatment was a full body Hot Stone Massage. I have always carried quite a lot of tension in my shoulders and tend to have knots there, so it was quite painful having those massaged out but I feel much better for it! I would recommend all of the treatments I had if you guys ever visit the spa. 

   
 We spent the rest of the day using the facilities and reading by the pool. I downloaded ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green a while ago and started reading but never got chance to properly get into it as I had my exams. I’m now 90% through and I LOVE it. It’s so thought provoking and the story line is brilliantly unpredictable. It was nice just to be able to chill and do nothing except read and relax. 

  
The amount we ate this weekend is kind of rediculous! We had lunch and dinner on the first day, then breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea on the second day. Lunch and dinner are both three course meals! You can imagine how full we were (but we still managed most of it!). The meals were brilliant and thoroughly enjoyed. 

   
                  As an additional treat, my mum purchased some of the Elemis products used in my facial for me. I chose the Papaya Enzyme Peel, Exotic Moisture Mask and Skin Bliss Capsules. I’m excited to use these products and will be blogging the results! I’m excited equally about them all – the Papaya Enzyme Peel removed the dead skin cells, while the Exotic Moisture Mask hydrates the skin and can even be used as an overnight treatment. The Skin Bliss Capsules (which I used once a while ago and loved) are to be used as a course 3 times a year – the contain 30 days worth of capsules both day and night, with different scents and oils. 

   
 On the whole, we were really happy with the weekend. We had a lovely room, comfortable beds, everything was clean and nice and the food and treatments were spot on. However, there are a couple of negatives we both pointed out. The meal time service wasn’t totally up to scratch – absolutely no fault of the staff! The staff were lovely and tried to be attentive but they were totally understaffed so they were rushed off their feet. This meant that we were sat for hours to have a meal and left a number of times without drinks. For our evening meal, we couldn’t get a booking until 8.45pm and weren’t shown to our table until past 9.00pm. We didn’t end up finishing the meal until around 11.30pm! It wasn’t ideal but we still enjoyed it. 

The second thing I’d comment on is the treatment times. My Mum and I both checked the times of our treatments and each and every one of them was 10-15 minutes shorter than we had paid for! It’s understandable that they need to set up for the next client, but that time shouldn’t be taken from the treatment times. 

I will definitely be booking future visits to Hoar Cross Hall and I now feel perfectly refreshed and ready for the rest of my 21st celebrations. 

Hels xxx