Sunday, 30 December 2018

In The Words of Frenchie & Me “The Only Man a Girl Can Depend on is Her Grand-daddy!”*

I have always loved Grease, and Frenchies words have never rung truer to me than in the last few years, where I have started to try dating again. Sure I have changed her words a little because well truth be told I have never had a father figure growing up and the only true man I have ever been able to rely on up until now has been my Granddad.

Frenchie: "Men are rats, listen to me, they're fleas on rats, worse than that, they're amoebas fleas on rats. I mean, they're too low for even the dogs to bite. The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy" 

Sure I know I sound a little bitter, however, this year has been tough. I know I am saying "I" a lot, but this is about me. I honestly do not know what it is but, what is it with people coming out of the woodwork and trying to crawl back into my life. 

Listen up, if I cut you out for whatever reason, mostly because you turned out to be a narcissistic neanderthal that couldn't handle the fact that I didn't sit next to you at a works meal... well head back to your cave where you belong. 

Whilst I have met most of the guys I have dated recently through work or other people, I am sure others may have had the same experience or maybe even better through online dating such as kent dating.  Though recently I was contacted by someone I met a few years back on site, having read through my blog he thought he would see whether I wanted to talk.

Me being me, I tried to see the good, after all, he had always been a decent guy with a good heart. Given all that I have been through I figured he wouldn't just contact me to let me down and hurt me, so it went from there and we had a fling I guess.

Having opened up to someone before and let myself truly feel for them, and have them come up with some utter bullshit about how his child's mum was going to be moving them to Ireland so he was not sure what to do.. well I am never too sure what to believe these days. Just to give you the full picture this guy works with my Mum, so yeah, I knew it was crap because he is still there working with my mum. If you don't want to see me anymore, just say dude!

So when this guy, started to come up with excuses as to why I hadn't heard from him and then come up with even more.. which I will not state out of respect, just in case they are real. Well, I just do not know what to believe, I want to trust him but given what I have been put through in the past it is extremely hard. Then to cut it off and say it would be best for the both of us, after contacting me knowing all that I have been through and have tried to overcome this year, well that is just downright cruel. 

I may appear unhinged at times, lost and glassed eyed with the depression and anxiety; but do not be fooled or mistake that for weakness because I am damn strong. A lot stronger than I have ever been, with every heartache and let down I will do my best to not let it harden me. Instead turn it into a lesson and make myself realise that it is their loss because I am god damn amazing!

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Don't Forget About "Angela" When Dating This Christmas*

Whether you're out for a Christmas Party, out with friends or just simply meeting someone for the first time on a date, you always have to stay vigilant. Especially this time of year, when things can get out of hand fairly quickly with drinks flying around. Many people forget who they are and what they're doing, let alone their manners.

Meeting people on a whim, from tinder or off the internet is at an all-time high. Making it that much easy for those with bad intentions to prey on the kind-hearted. Especially these days it is ever so easy to create a false profile and lure someone into meeting you.

Just because you have met someone and started dating, be it through a friend, out and about or through a dating site such as dorset dating, it doesn't ever necessarily mean that they will always turn out to be who they portray themselves to be. Quickly turning nasty or forceful, even showing signs of jealousy and unwanted attention.

That's why "Ask for Angela" is such a great campaign and one that should be remembered at all times. It is actually a play on words, for the word Angel, meaning when you ask for "Angela" you are asking for help and a guardian angel.

Having started out as just a small campaign, this amazing idea has become widespread across the UK and more. Getting the attention from the like of the MET Office and Hollywood stars such as Ashton Kutcher!

This campaign is not just for women, it is for everyone, men can feel just as unsafe in a bad situation as women but they generally don't show it. With these 3 simple words, you could potentially be getting yourself out of a life-threatening or changing situation.

The phrase is now not limited to bar staff, most if not all members of staff in a public area will understand the severity of the situation and will help you out. DJ's and Bouncers, in particular, know the phrase well, though it may be understandable if you do not want to approach this in front of the date. Even so, you can always pretend you know them and you are just trying to see if your mate is there.

Once the staff is aware they will take you to a safer location in order to speak to you in confidence and offer to call a taxi for you or contact friends or family. The final solution is to ask the individual causing the distress to leave the venue. The main course of action is to remove you from harm and make you feel safe.

This Christmas be safe and ASK FOR ANGELA! Just remember though, if you are genuinely asking for Angela, let them know, you don't want to be whisked away when you want to see your friend. I mean that would be a funny story for sure but would be wasting a lot of people times.

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Monday, 17 December 2018

Christmas Dating*

As Christmas looms closer and by that I mean we only have 8 days left!!! Yippee!! Yes, I do get rather excited, those that know me get a running countdown to my Birthday, then Christmas. Whether I am single or with someone, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me because I love it!! 

I will admit a few years back, I wasn't as excited as I am now, I did hit a slump and regressed to trying to either getting back into contact with my ex or just sulking on my own. No doubt those are the types of things that led me to where my mental health is now, anyway, that is all over and done with and I am more than happy on my own. Which I have to say is where anyone wanting to be in a happy relationship needs to start!

Right back on track, some singletons do find themselves hunting for a special someone, or for someone to have and hold at this time of the year. Whilst I would advise against that if you are just feeling low and needing a little comfort over the Christmas period because let's be honest it's probably not going to end well. Case and point me! Each to their own and all that.

If dating sites like bedfordshire dating are your cup of tea, then best to up your anty and spruce your profile. Be clear on what you want too if it's just a fling, be honest no one will hate you for it. Get rid of old photo's, those ones from 5, 10 years ago that do not represent who you are or what you look like now, trust me when you meet they may well feel as though they've been catfished.

Unless you are totally one of those people that are mad on Christmas such as me, do not go full cheese with Christmas lines or pick up's.

"Do you wanna be on my naughty list?"

"Can I have your picture so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?"

"I didn't think I was a snowman, but you just made my heart melt."

Just NO! Okay!

If you do manage to bag yourself someone for Christmas, then don't pester them about their plans, we all have family and friends to see. The time will come when you both have time to see one another.

Another big thing people ponder on is presents..  well here are some guidelines I have whipped up...

The big general one I usually stick too, is to always have something on hand if you do genuinely really like the person.. if they then give you something then you have a present to give them in return. This is just personal preference though.

Dating less than a Month - Generally nothing, in most cases ladies it will scare off guys, they will see it as rushing into something. Guys also tend to not think about it especially at this stage.. it's early after all.

Dating 1-3 Months - You should both have a better feel for what each other's likes and hobbies are. You could go for an event day, spa day, DVD or a book. Nothing too extravagant or overboard.

Dating over 3 Months - By this point, you should have had the exclusivity conversation really, if so and you're both on the same page, then you can do what you want. You should certainly know way more about them and tailor it to them.

The choice is up to you, however, so just be prepared whichever way you go.

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Friday, 14 December 2018

30 Before 30!!!!!!!

I contemplated whether or not to do a list of things to do before turning 30.. but then thought what the heck... why not give it a go! You only live once and hopefully, things are looking up for me so... Reading through many other peoples lists, I actually found that I have done a lot of things already! So I will have to do a post on that I think, for example, lived in another country or I have several tattoos and a dog. Hence, why I struggled with creating this list. So Happy 29th To ME!!!!

1. Visit Amsterdam.. 
I have always wanted to go.. my brother has said he would take me along for the ride many times but has failed to do so. Yet I know I will make the journey one way or another!

2. Go to Nashville! I love country music and going to the heart of it all would be incredible! Perhaps I could brush up on my line dancing skills before I go and then I won't look so silly if I try to join in in the clubs.

3. Write in a Journal for me. 
This one I have stop and started over the years, but it would be good to actually stick to it. I have always written it for someone else, having been in controlling relationships, I always felt as if I had to write in such a way that if they ever read it, that it would please them. Sad I know but true all the same.

4. Go for a Long Hike. One where I let Harley take me, she can guide the way and decide what directions we take. I have always wanted to let her guide me somewhere and see where we end up, so going somewhere unknown, in an open vast area would be great.

5. Gather my Gang and relive our youth. Spend a day going rollerskating or swimming, just being hooligans like we were back in high school.

6. Be better with Money. I have always been bad with my money. Never sticking to a solid budget and splurging all the time. Getting debts in order would be fantastic!

7. Go on a road trip, with Harley! Taking Harley away on a road trip around Europe, visiting amazing places and sites has always been a dream of mine. Seeing landscapes and finding the unknown via. walks and adventures are the way to go for me, plus Harley would love it!

8. Learn to cook more. I can cook don't get me wrong, but being able to cook more than the basic roast dinners and shepherds pie etc. would be good.

9. Travel with my Bestfriend? Not sure how viable this one is anymore.. Did have a plan to go to Disneyland Paris. Though, the bestie is pregnant now, so we shall have to see :P.

10. Get my fortune read. Never actually had this done before so would be kind of interesting.

11. Do something that scares me? I don't know much that scares me... this will be a tough one.. any suggestions?

12. Quit Smoking! 

13. Splurge on something that will last for years... though I cannot technically afford.. Who's thinking Mulberry Bag??? Just me? I could start saving now.. putting some money aside each month until I have enough.

14. Pay it Forward. On the odd occasion, I have had someone help me out where I haven't asked for it,. I will continue the chain of positive events by helping others out. For instance, I found someone's phone and got it back to them, refusing any reward.

15. Be Someone Else.. Let go and be someone else for a night, be wild! Do something outrageous!


16. Try to learn something about Politics. I hate watching News, I hate anything to do with politics.. It drives me insane and it's all just depressing to be quite frank. That being said, being nearly 30, I should really learn about it. 

17. Get to know your Family History. This would be quite interesting considering I am dual National.. 

18. Learn Something New. Like Self-Defence or something, I rely too much on Harley being the one to defend me when we're out on our walks. 

19. Get My Harley Tattoo! I keep banging on about getting another tattoo, one that represents me & Harley. With her pawprint and something else that shows our bond, but I just haven't had the money to do it, so I will!

20. Actually, Experience a Sunset. I have never watched a sunset, sad I know! 

21. Stop Living for Social Media. Whilst I don't think I do so much now as I did in my early twenties, I think I could still drop it down.. Social Media is bad.. we live in a world where we have to tag, post and be on top of everything/ everyone all the time. I just don't get it, I don't particularly care what you have been up to all day or whether your child has gone to have their jabs. Unless I know you closely and ask.. I don't need a status update.. 

22. Indulge in your Guilty Pleasure. Don't appologise, just doit.. whether it be chick-flicks or snoozing for an afternoon, then binging on snacks. 

23. Learn more DIY Skills. 

24. Pick up an old Hobby. I would love to start sketching properly again. Like I did back at school.

25. Write a Letter to Me in X Years time. 

26. Be in More Photos! I take a lot of photos, however, I am not in many of them these days... so I vouch to try and be in more with the people I love. Here's to making more memories and capturing it!

27. Hopefully Still be Reigning Champion at Air Hockey! We shall find out tonight!!! I have never been beaten by my friends or family, though now I have a new group and another champion to face we shall see who comes on top!

28. Be more at Peace with Myself. After this Year, with my confession of suicidal thoughts and depression etc. I want to try to move on and focus more on the positives, be more at peace with myself and where I have come. 

29. Make a list of 40 before 40!

30. Fall In Love.. This could be a major fail but it had to go on, I mean as someone that has had a disaster and I mean we are talking full on bomb war zone type history. I think I deserve an epic type of love!

Let's see how many I can cross off before I actually turn the big 30!!!! 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

We Are A Generation of Wet Wipes!

I am sorry to say it and sorry if I offend you, but you have the choice to stop reading now, but we have become a generation of snowflakes & wet wipes! Seriously, when did we have to coddle every single thing we say, hear, write, see and do.. let alone pre-existing sayings and so on.

Things are getting out of hand people, on one hand, I understand where some are coming from trying to get across the whole women's equal pay and rights. Yes, that is something that should have been corrected way before 2018! The thing is when you start talking about phasing out phrases such as "bringing home the bacon" and "flogging a dead horse" because vegans are becoming more and more on the rise. Well, that is just plain stupid in my opinion.

If you're going to go down that route of 'cruelty-free verbal language' and be so petty as to say we want vegan free wording, so change it to "bringing home the bagels". Well, I as a COELIAC, do NOT approve, bagels are offensive to me. I mean how do I know these bagels are gluten-free?

Why not change it to something as outrageous as "bringing home the bus fare" ??

Please also explain to me how changing "Be the Guinea Pig" to "Be the test tube" is any less offensive or idiotic? How does that teach children any sense about the world? In a way, you're teaching them more about being a test subject than anything else?? Honestly, some of the swap suggestions are just plain ridiculous and how anyone can be 'offended' is beyond me. I mean "Let the cat out of the bag" is a good one for Vegans isn't it? It's teaching us to let the cats out of the bag and not put them in them?

Don't even get me started on GINGERBREAD MEN! Which are now called Gingerbread Persons, I believe, though I am sure it won't be long before we have some ridiculous phrase such as, Gender Neutral Gingerbread Persons.

In January, the British Medical Association advised members that mothers-to-be should be referred to as ‘pregnant people’ to avoid offence and ‘celebrate diversity’. - This .. I am just dumbfounded.. need I say more!

I completely understand that some people or persons, whatever, don't want to be called or identified as one gender or another. The thing is though, why should we all have to stop saying he or she, them or whatever; it is just getting a little too confusing and just outright ridiculous to say the least. Please don't get me wrong, I am not a biggot or whatever you call people who have hatred for those who are transgender, gay or gender neutral; hell I have stood up against people that have said anything even a little unkind towards them. All I am saying is that if those that want us as he's or she's to stop identifying them like that, then fine, but why should we be subjected to not being allowed to identify as what we want all the same? Do you see why things are getting out of hand here? 

Just let people be who they want to be, identify as who they want to be and leave it at that. Stop trying to tell everyone what to say and what not to say. It's a free world, yes I get there are some things that shouldn't really be said, however, that's never really going to change and the only thing you can change is how you react to it. 

Stop being offended, stop being a wet wipe and just realise that others opinions and views don't always matter. If someone won't call you what you want to identify as then stop speaking to them. They aren't worth your time, but if I want to say "My Gingerbread MAN is bringing home the BACON" I am going to god damn well say it. OKAY!

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

November LookBack 2018

November was pretty jam-packed, with my Nan's 81st Birthday and Harley's 5th; not forgetting the build-up to my besties wedding on the 1st of December! I wonder what December will have in store for me. 


Harley's Birthday was pretty fun, not alot of people believed me when I said I was going to have a Birthday Pawty for her at the Brewdog in Norwich. Those that knew me well had no doubts and came along for the ride, so yes it was me, Harley and 5 other Humans. Harley loved her cake, dog beer (aptly called The Sub-woofer), however, she wasn't too pleased about wearing a hat. All in all, she had a great Pawty!

Looking back to when she was just a few months old to now, you almost cannot believe the size difference. 

My Nan's birthday was a little less mental, we just did something different to the usual afternoon tea trip and went on a steam train ride up to Wroxham for the day. It was actually Harley's first ever time on a train and she was loving it, getting to sit on the seat (as instructed to do so by my nan) and sticking her nose out of the window for all the smells. 


Whilst the fireworks display myself & Christie attended may have been at the end of October, I thought I would fit it in here. It was a great day catching up with her, getting her dress fitted, doing another wedding day make-up test and most of all having someone to listen to me. That wasn't the only special part of the night, it was also Harley's first time to a Fireworks display, whilst I wouldn't say she loved it. Once we were a suitable distance away she was quite happy to stand and allow us to watch. Considering she usually gets annoyed when fireworks wake her up, if they even wake her up at all that is.

Mental Health

In all honesty, I have had better days, having taken some hits from unsuspected sources. I found myself right back to where I started, the only solace this time is that I didn't keep it bottled up and actually spoke to those around me. Which has helped me greatly in getting my mood and mindset back on track.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Having Those Dark Thoughts Again?!

Sure it's easy to say pull yourself out of it, snap out of it. You have lots to live for and plenty of people around you, blah blah blah. The usual mumbo jumbo, but the thing is when you're in that frame of mind it can be ever so hard to see any of that, no matter how genuine and heartfelt someones words may be.

After months of counseling and honestly feeling so much better, brighter and happier in myself; never did I think that I would have fallen back to where I started. Back to having these thoughts again.
Yes I know I am confessing to having them pretty much straight after the fact, but, hopefully, that is progress in one sense and in another well I know for a fact I can't do a damned thing about it if everyone I know knows about what I am potentially thinking. Not that I actually think I would, but you get the point I am trying to make. Talk to people, write it down get it out of your head, that helps so much.

Over the past month or couple of months, I have been spiraling back down a rabbit hole. Trying desperately to crawl my way back to the light with no avail. One thing after another has piled on top, creating a snowball effect as it were and this weekend was just the tip of the iceberg that broke me.

If you read my last post, you will know that I love going to agility and felt such support and kindness there. It was a great place for me to go and get out once a week, also a chance for me to bond and train with Harley. A couple of Fridays ago, however, was a different story entirely. I was confronted with such an unwelcome feeling and emotions that left me with no other option than to leave the class and go home. Having been told that I need to seek professional help for my dog, due to people being concerned for the welfare of their dogs and my dog causing disruption with her barking.

This all coming out of the blue, with no trigger whatsoever, nothing was any different to any other night. All dogs get excited at classes such as that, they bark and run around, sure she is a big dog with a heck of a bark. Yet that shouldn't matter, she is just a dog at the end of the day and I have her under control. Either way, after years of training there and all the nice supportive things they have said, for it to all be turned around and basically tell me to leave and get Harley help. I just couldn't believe it or stand it. I felt so small and unwanted.

That all being said I know that it be okay in the end, I have got some amazing friends and people around me. I am being much more open about how I am feeling right off the bat, rather than; letting it boil up inside. Come the New Year I will find a new training group and get our schedule back on track again, hopefully, this time without any bitchy people around. If all else fails, then I will make my own equipment and train her myself.

Trousers: H&M
Boots: Primark
Top: Brave Soul

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Monday, 19 November 2018

Focusing On The Positives | My Mental Health Journey

Though I am still struggling and am going through a bit of a tough spell at present, one big thing I have been taught through counseling is self-love and self-care. To focus on the positives and not put yourself down, or look to others lives and think that is how your life should be.

Granted when you're feeling low, going through a patch where you can feel yourself spiraling back into that dark place again. It can be ever so hard to stay positive, to keep going; little things slip up like my housework for instance. It's those little things that are a constant reminder of how those around you don't always seem to realise that though, you may put on a brave face, inside you're struggling to keep going.

With recent events happening in my personal life, where one family member has been taken ill, now needing a heart transplant, however, unfortunately, is in another country. I have once again had to step up and be the strong individual that sorts out how certain members can contact him and so on. Whilst I myself, do not know how I feel about his situation, for one reason or another, I cannot deny that I am sad and have much sorrow in my heart for those that are deeply affected by it all.

I am just brought back to times where I have had to put myself on the back burner and put everyone else's needs before my own, purely because others aren't willing or able to pick up the slack. In no way am I saying that I shouldn't care or stay true to myself and carry on doing what I feel is right, but it would be nice for someone else to take charge. Allowing me to actually feel, grieve and mourn; lean on someone, rather than being the totem pole for everyone else.

On the positive side when you do find support and kindness in the unlikeliest of places it can be both heartwarming and overwhelming. If you are a regular reader, you will know that I take Harley, my dog, training and my trainers have been ever so supportive to me. From just pushing me to keep going and overcome struggles with Harley, to just kind words, they truly are a silver lining in my life.

One thing that was said to me that will forever stay in my heart was -

"You're an amazing girl and you never give up."

They say how proud of me they are when I do what is best for Harley, are so happy that I never ever give up on her despite the trials she puts me through. I am always around to help out at any event I can attend, and having that level of support is truly special to me. 

Finding new friends, that have shown me kindness and reliability has been a real learning curve for me too. Having so many trust issues in that department, having people there that I can truly count on is a big step to trusting again. Not only that but to have people willing to do that, that have just known me for a short while, must say something about me as an individual. Something, I have to work on is being more positive about myself and not talk down to myself. 

You have to remember that you are, 

"Kind, Caring, Trusting, Worth it, Strong and Brave"

It's always about finding the little things, no matter how small that make your days that little bit brighter. No matter how low I get I know that I can switch on my phone and spy on my dog at home, that always makes me feel safe and happy. I also know that no matter what I can call my bestie and she will be there no matter what, no matter how small my slump may be she will help me see the light. 

Having true friends and support are key and recognising that is a huge step to getting better too. 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Friday, 2 November 2018

Wedding Day Misfortune, Camera Mishap*

With my Bestfriend getting married in just under a month.. god that is scary to say and having seen so many weddings pop up on my timeline recently it got me thinking back to my Mum's wedding last year.

Photo Credit - Costessey Cakes

Whilst we didn't attend the actual wedding itself, let's be honest I couldn't exactly afford a trip to Bora Bora for the vows and neither could anyone else, so it was a nice ceremony for the two of them. Instead, they decided to get everyone together when they returned and make a day of it with photos, food and of course the traditional evening do.

As with all wedding events, there were wedding favours and flowers for each table and disposable cameras for everyone to join in and take snaps of the evening. Which should have given the Bride & Groom a whole load of extra photos to remind them of their night and even give them insight into what their guests got up to.

After all, the Bride can't be in all places at once and it is nice to know that your guests are still having a great time even if you can't stay and chat to everyone all night. PLus you want to have candid shots, especially with you in them. Those are the best, the ones where you have no idea someone is taking a photo of you and you're just being yourself, having fun.

Unfortunately, when my Mum got these cameras developed she never expected that she would get back reams of black spotty images, just smudges, and blurs. Obviously, to anyone hosting such an event this would be such a disappointment and upset, you spend your hard earned money and try to save money on your wedding where you can but where pictures are concerned that's where you never go cheap.

That's not to say that these cameras were cheap, but they weren't top of the range either. If you ever plan on using anything like these type of cameras at your wedding or big party event. All I can suggest is to try them out beforehand, in different lighting situation and see what you get. If they come out crude, get your money back!

I love the idea of taking away your own photo from the night too, like those from the photo booth type of thing. I don't know if it's possible but maybe renting some polaroid camera's for the evening? Such as Instax mini, those would be pretty fun. Something you could put in a scrapbook. One for you and one for the guest. Then again I don't know if it would work out cheaper than renting a booth or not, there are plenty of wedding favour ideas under £1 that guests can take away to remember the night they have had.

Have you had any mishaps that you would like to share? Help out some future bride/ grooms from making the same mistakes?

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A Fairytale Relationship... Just in Time for Christmas?*

Now don't worry I am still single and haven't got any amazing miracle story to tell you about how some magical man or woman has come riding in on their white horse and swept me off my feet, because well that just wouldn't happen, least of all to me. Boohoo sob sob, sympathy train has left the building, no I was initially given a suggestion to write a piece on how finding a new relationship can be truly life-changing. The kind of relationship that as I said at the start, sweeps you off your feet, transports you to a happier zone, an almost tranquil place.

In order to stay true to myself, however, I could not write such a piece, well because I just do not believe in such a thing. Yes, I do believe that some relationships do impact our lives and truly do make them life-changing, some for the greater good and some for the not so good. That doesn't mean to say that you have to go trawling through endless dating sites just to find that special relationship. Who said it had to be a partner, why can't it be a friend or companion? You never know sometimes those are the best kinds of relationships that do often blossom into more.

That being said I know all too well that this time of year does lead us lonely soles wandering how we landed in this position, wishing there was a way to not be so alone for Christmas and New Year. Seeing all the happy couples and families come together, what with all the Christmas parties and events we all have to attend. It's no wonder we start heading to many sites such as guernsey dating sitedating sites in guernsey and senior dating sites.

If that's what you wish to do then do it, don't let anyone stop you, but remember one thing. IT's something I have come to acknowledge more and more over the past few weeks, with weirder and weirder dreams, it's that we are OKAY on our own. We do not need to justify ourselves by conforming to society and having someone else there.

Why not get on that white horse and sweep yourself off your own damn feet, why not be the hero of your own story? Trust me the stronger you are, the brighter you make your own fairytale ending, the more you will shine brightly. The happier you will be and honestly, that will attract more people than you will ever know.

Since I have started to acknowledge this fact, I have noticed so many people recognise me for me, realise my worth. My real strengths. You stop doubting why you are alone, why you are single and embrace it. There is no rhyme or reason, people and the human race these days are just damaged and corrupt, the only way to change that is from within.

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Friday, 26 October 2018

The Difference between Wheat Free & Gluten Free

If you're a Coeliac, extremely allergic to or just very sensitive to gluten, then I hate to tell you this but there is a difference between something labeled as WHEAT free and GLUTEN free. Although this may be completely obvious or not applicable to some, it is something that has caught me out in the past.

Now that I am trying to only use gluten-free skin care and beauty products it is something that I am becoming more and more aware of. Even more so when you delve into pet food, I will touch on that a little later. Once my body had repaired itself after my Coeliac diagnosis, I found that I was one of the 'lucky' ones that can tolerate wheat.

This may be extremely confusing to those that are newly diagnosed or just don't fully understand all the gluten talk, but if you're a Coeliac can tolerate wheat and then you can still eat it so long as it is gluten-free. Yes, there is such a thing as Gluten Free Wheat, I know it is all very complicated.

Gluten-free (Codex) wheat starch

Gluten-free (Codex) wheat starch is a specially manufactured wheat starch which is washed so it has a level of gluten within the Codex standard (20 ppm or less). The ingredient was first introduced as a basis for substitute products like flour and bread to improve the quality and texture of the products. It must always appear in an ingredients list if it has been used. - Source

So what is the difference between a Wheat-Free lifestyle and a Gluten-Free one? 

Firstly you have to understand that, Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and spelt. So if the protein element is washed down to a standard of 20ppm (parts per million) or less than it can be considered and labeled gluten-free, for those of us who are coeliacs and alike.

So cutting out wheat grain from your diet does not necessarily mean that you will be cutting out gluten since it is also found in other grains within this family. Living a Wheat-Free life means you are removing all wheat products from your diet, such as breads & flour based foods.

The main things you would avoid are as follows:
  • breadcrumbs, 
  • bulgar wheat, 
  • couscous, 
  • wheat germ,
  • wheat gluten, 
  • wheat malt, 
  • durum wheat, 
  • spelt, 
  • flour, 
  • kamut, 
  • rusk,
  • semolina,
  • triticale,
  • hydrolysed wheat protein, 
  • wheat bran,
  • wheat starch, 
  • whole wheat, 
  • einkorn, emmer, farola, & freekah.
However, the Barley grain which does contain gluten but not wheat can be used as an alternative for those following a wheat-free diet. Other alternatives are:
  • buckwheat,
  • corn,
  • maize,
  • oats,
  • quiona,
  • millet,
  • polenta,
  • sorghum & more.
It should also be noted that those following a wheat-free diet usually only suffer from mild discomfort and frequent trips to the loo if they ingest any unwanted wheat. They tend to not have any long-term damage to their body's, as you do with auto-immune diseases.

"So where did I get caught out? I was at a Sundown festival a few years back. I thought I would get some snacks for the day and came across some cheese bite biscuits in Sainsbury's, just small single packs I think. I saw WHEAT-FREE and grabbed them, you know thinking well, nothing about checking for gluten... Upon eating a couple I started to feel it, the pain and discomfort, the dread and knowing of what was soon to come. I was in shock. I had been so good for about a year or so, so read everything I had eaten that day, to my horror found that these wonderfully tasty Wheat-Free goodies did indeed CONTAIN GLUTEN!!!!! Lesson learned, always read the label... story of our lives really."

Now those following a Gluten-Free diet, have it a lot harder, and yes I am biased here. We have to be vigilant, on guard all the time. Weary of cross-contamination and anyone offering out free samples.

For those of us that have to avoid it due to an auto-immune disease, it is not a choice it is a lifestyle, one that has been chosen for us. It is chosen, by our bodies, it is the only medicine available to us, to keep us fit and healthy. If we don't, our bodies will attack from the inside and we will slowly die, from malnutrition, fertility problems, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, osteoporosis, possibly cancer and so on.

Coeliac UK and other support sites can give you a full list of all the things to avoid, you can also check out my post on being a Coeliac in a World full of Fad Diets.

Those following a gluten-free diet have to avoid anything that contains, may contain or may have even come in contact with gluten. So say goodbye to sharing food, say hello to being rude and asking people if they have washed their hands before they touch any of your condiments. You can always do what I do and pass them some, lightly dropping it in their hand to avoid all contact.

No more buffets, no more unplanned days out because every day is a picnic when you're a coeliac. You can never guarantee that wherever you're going will have food that is suitable for you, so you have to pack your own.

It's not all doom and gloom though, so long as we follow a strict gluten-free diet we stay fit and healthy. Plus with the growing need and want for gluten-free products, the range is pretty good these days and awareness is getting better, albeit slowly.

So to conclude, just because it says WHEAT-FREE does not mean it is GLUTEN-FREE!! Double check and check again, and don't make the mistake I did.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Monday, 22 October 2018

Wish Upon A Star | My Mental Health Journey

Recently I had been doing pretty well, feeling a lot happier and more confident in myself. Having no feelings of darkness or many low days, this, in turn, is something to fear, when you start to look and sound more 'normal' people tend to not check up on you anymore.

I know, I know everyone has busy lives and hectic schedules, but you all seem to make time for funerals and wakes etc. Make time to visit graves and say things you wish you could have said. It's just a thought to ponder on.

A recent family drama, where I have once again have had to step up to the mark and take charge of the situation as such, has left me at odds. I never moan or grumble about helping others, I never ask for anything in return; I simply help those that need me. They need me to be strong and level-headed, they need me to sort out communication in another country, so I do it.

This is something that I suspect I will never change about myself, it is just who I am, how I am wired. The thing is, I am always the one to be strong, to hold everyone else up when the world is crashing down around us. Considering I am nearly 29, and I have had this role my entire life, I should be used to it right?

Yet I am left wondering and saddened, for when will anyone hold me up when I fall? Who will be there to pick me up? If I am always the one standing tall for everyone else, being the adult, then what happens when I need someone?

I do Wish Upon A Star, that someday somehow that someone will come along and be there for me, to catch me when I fall. Because I will let you in on a secret, if this carries on too much longer, I will fall, I will break.

Although this is likely never going to happen for me, the one positive I can take from this current experience is that I am now finally recognising my feelings. I am acknowledging the fact that I am not a stone cold rock and sometimes we need to take a step back to say no, I need to look after myself for a while. I will admit, this is not always easy where certain people in my life are concerned because if I didn't do it then no one else would and they would be left with nowhere to turn and I couldn't live with myself if I did that.

I suppose that's where others need to take a look in the mirror and realise what pressure they are putting on my shoulders. Starting to acknowledge my pain and needs is a big step for me, counseling has made me realise that I shut down and cut off from all emotions. Which is a fairly common defense mechanism for those like me, who are used to being let down and haven't ever had a real loving relationship.

So if like me you usually switch off, feel nothing and don't allow yourself to feel any pain. For example, 10 years ago my Grandfather passed and I have never mourned his death because of the reason above where I had to be strong and be there for everyone else. Allow yourself to feel, even if you just acknowledge that you don't feel, that is a step in the right direction. Trust me, you will start to have a happier life and look out for yourself more.

Trousers: Miss Selfridge
Shoes: Next
Black Top: H&M

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


Monday, 15 October 2018

The Too Faced Christmas Collection 2018

Those that know me well or are loyal readers, will know that I am a Too Faced addict. So when the Christmas collection dropped I had to get my hands on most of the collection, to be fair I didn't go too mad and get everything just because I didn't want it all. If it didn't call out to me then what's the point hey? Plus the Gingerbread Lady Lippy wasn't gluten-free so that was a no-go anyway.. boo Too Faced. Just Boo!!!!

The Sweet Smell of Christmas Deluxe Melted Matte Lipstick Set, R.R.P £22.00. I absolutely love the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipsticks, so these had to go straight into my basket, yes these are gluten-free! This set is a mini set of 4 limited edition Christmas scented matte lippies, that all smell amazing!!! They stand true to the melted matte line and stay on all day long, apply like a dream and reapply without looking cakey. If there is one thing you have to get from this year's collection I would have to say it would NEED to be this mini set.

The Peach Tinsel Set, R.R.P £36.00. Now I will be perfectly honest and say now that I haven't actually used this just yet, I swatched the powder but not the lippy because it is actually supposed to be a Birthday present to me from my Nan. (Blogger problems, when you need to take photos). The tinsel powder was so shimmery and once swatched looked gorgeous and understated. That I loved as it wasn't overpowering with glitter if that makes sense? The scent of both the lippy and powder were exactly the same as the rest of the Peaches & Cream range which I adore, so no issue there for me. As far as I am aware the whole Peaches & Cream range is gluten-free.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous the detailing is on these lippies, yes I know I am late to the party here, but come on!!!

The Melted Matte Gingerbread Man Lipstick, R.R.P £19.00.If you followed me last year, then you will know that I already have a Gingerbread Man Melted Matte Lipstick, however, I totally regretted not buying a spare one. So since they released it again, I jumped at the chance and bought it again. This colour is just beautiful and smells so warming, honestly, I can't describe the feeling it gives you. This one is indeed gluten-free, so it was extremely disappointing when they released its sister and I couldn't get it because it wasn't!

Now the one you've all been waiting for, the Exclusive Sold Out, Gingerbread Spice Eyeshadow Palette, R.R.P £39.00. This is the only product from the collection that I did buy knowing it wasn't gluten-free, only because it is an eyeshadow palette and as long as I don't decide to apply it on my lips I should be good.

The scent is supposed to be Gingerbread, however, I must admit that myself & several others just don't smell it. It is more a vanilla scent with a spicy undertone, that's the best way to describe it. Don't get me wrong I am in no way disappointed, just thought I would point it out.

I am in love with all the names, they are so festive and fit with each shade. This palette has got to be one of my favourites, and even though Too Faced usually reproduce similar shades over and over again in new palettes; I don't feel like they have done that here.

Each shade is highly pigmented and so easy to blend, this has got to be one of their best. With shades perfect for autmn and winter, whi can complain?

Check out my Youtube channel for swatches and further reviews.

Is there anything you are going to get or have missed out on?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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