Thursday, 31 May 2018

Why You Shouldn't Give Up with Online Dating*

Here's the thing with online dating and social media in general, we just don't know how to use it to its full potential. There are so many variants out there it can be hard to choose which one is right for you, let alone which person to pick. 


Even with sex dating sites now, the options are limitless, but how do we know which one is right for us? Or whether it is the time to call it quits and give up altogether? 

Well, here's my opinion on the later, after much thought on potentially giving it all up and packing it in to become a spinster. I know dramatic right, I just thought actually no, why should I let the world win. Why should I let a few low life loser guys ruin it for me? Yes, it is extremely tough to date, to get to know someone, especially in this day and age. 

With this generation the mindset has changed immensely, I am sorry to say it, but gone are the days of wining and dining, of wooing, of courtship. It is the era of online dating I'm afraid. 

One thing to bear in mind is that this is now an equal ground kind of world, so guys aren't always going to make the first move. We need to send messages too and not always just leave it to chance. 

Many of these sites do however look the same, in terms of the people that are on there and the setup. I have found it highly frustrating when you finally sift through many odd people, to find a few potential matches. Then get hit with the subscribe pop-up to read their message! Are these sites free or not? Yes they may be free to message someone and for that person to message you, but what good is it if you can't read it. 

My thinking is why am I going to subscribe to a site that I don't necessarily know is going to be any good, having actually tried a paid reputable site previously and getting no where, I am reluctant to do it for one I know very little about that looks very much like a POF rip off. 

That being said, don't give up online just yet, find the perfect site suited to you. There are plenty out there, for many different relationship goals, types or hookups, if that's what you're after. Whilst I may not have had much luck as of yet, it doesn't mean that you or I won't ever!

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


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

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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Coeliac Awareness Month - Going to Social Events

I am attending an old school friends wedding reception, so it got me thinking about us Coeliacs having to attend social events. The hurdles we have to jump and the complications we have to overcome.


Living gluten-free is a hard lifestyle at the best of times, but add social gathering and events to the mix and it just makes life that much more difficult. These are just some of the aspects I have personally come across when dealing with events and people, I probably haven't covered them all, but then I'd be here all day!

Eating Before you Go!

This one is at the front of my mind, mainly because I am trying to keep a mental note for this wedding reception. Generally, at these kinds of events, there is a selection of foods in buffet form, yep, that's correct a Coeliac's worst nightmare! I know that there won't be anything for me to eat at this one, and even if there is, there's the whole cross-contamination issue.

That's why we take the easiest option of eating before we go, it might seem a little insensitive, but trust us it's better than sitting there starving or ill.

Getting Personal with the Waiting Staff

I know I have always felt uncomfortable eating out with anyone, let alone a new group. This is mainly due to the fact, that I have to explain to the waiter that I am a Coeliac, need a gluten-free meal, free from cross-contamination. Sometimes having to explain it in depth and several times, even when the meal comes out I double/ triple check, at the end of the day I do not want to be ill.

My process may seem a little anal to some, however, it is essential for my well being, those that know my circumstances well or understand the severity of Coeliacs get it and say no more. Those that don't give me the all-knowing stare or snide comments about eating gluten-free, 'Why are you doing that?' 'It's just another 'Fad' diet!' The best lines are. 'Do you really need to keep asking if it's safe?'


The Office Cake Day

I hate these days, honestly, most of the time no-one even thinks about me and just get's 'normal' cakes and treats for the office. On the odd days that someone does bring in a 'gluten-free' option, I am then left concerned about cross-contamination.

Office/ Shared kitchen surfaces are a feeding ground for gluten collection and trying to make a cup of tea in that environment is a meal. Let alone tiptoeing around the topic of trying to ensure the cake, that someone else brought in, is kept away from any gluten!



Turning Down Offered Food

The main thing that bugs me about this is when people that have known you for a very ling time and know you can't eat anything that isn't completely free from gluten, offers you something you clearly can't eat! I can forgive people that are ignorant and just haven't got a clue.

That being said, you may still come across those that offer you something, claiming it's gluten-free, but then get offended when you want to just double check. There's also the situation of someone new to the idea of what you have, cooking for you. Great, they are trying to be considerate, but how do you go about questioning them on the particulars of cross-contamination, the utensils they used etc.


You just come off sounding picky and rude, but I know I would much rather have them understand and me not be ill. I just have to remember to be a little more tactful than I usually am.

Or just Turning Down the Invitation Altogether

Sometimes it may just be much easier to not go at all, to avoid the whole situation. I have been invited to many people homes for a bite to eat or a full dinner, but the issue is I didn't always feel entirely comfortable that they understood the consequences if I was glutened.

The biggest problem with eating around someone else's home is the cross-contamination. Yes I know I have said it far too many times in this post, but it's something that gets overlooked or just ignored when it comes to our diet.

What hurdles have you had to jump over when it comes to social events? Have you ever had to justify yourself to someone you didn't ever think you would have too?


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

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

So I have finally got my hands on the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, now that Feel Unique stock it. I have heard so many excellent reviews about this primer for as long as I can remember and as a combination skin girl, it has been on my list to try for a while now.


I was extremely pleased to learn that this primer is indeed gluten free, so I can safely apply it to my entire face without worrying about steering clear of my lips. It is also free from oil, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and is vegan-friendly.

What does it Claim?

Supposedly suitable for all skin types conceals redness such as rosacea to create an even skin tone, as well as alleviates the appearances of large pores, fine lines, and imperfections. Using 1/2 - 1 pump of the primer prior to applying your makeup should extend the wear time of that product, and the formula is created to absorb excess oils.

This primer repels water, therefore making any makeup applied over waterproof? The formula also has naturally derived UVA/UVB protection up to SPF15.

My Verdict

It is on the pricey side to be fair, having purchased the travel size for £20.00 (10ml) that might out a lot of people off. One thing I will say is that even though it was just the travel size, it did still come in a gorgeous frosted glass casing, with a pump top. You know we all need decent pump top girls!

Whilst I cannot vouch for the suitable for all skin-types claim, I can say that it worked very well with mine. I did notice that my skin was more matte during the day than with my usual primer (Too Faced Primed & Peachy) and worked extremely well with the Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation.

Whilst I wouldn't say that this is completely sweat proof, as I did have a spicy dinner one evening and had beads of sweat under my eyes, I didn't notice any makeup removal if that makes sense. So It got a massive thumbs up from me on that front.

In terms of blurring out imperfections prior to applying your usual concealer/ foundation, I cannot say I really noticed a difference. That being said my pores weren't quite as prominent as they like to be these days, so I am guessing that the claim to fame here worked wonders.

Is it worth it? I guess that's ultimately up to you, but in my opinion YES it is.

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

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Coeliac Awareness Month - Q&A with Casey the College Celiac

For this coeliac awareness post, I thought it would be fun to join forces with another blogger, one who has been affected by the twists and turns of this condition. She is a beautiful girl with a wonderful soul, who has had an extremely tough time of it prior, during and even after diagnosis. 


Casey the College Celiac, is an American blogger that has shared her story with many of us to show just how serious Coeliac disease can be. Casey kindly agreed to do a Q & A post with myself, hopefully, to get someone else's perspective on living Gluten free. 

1. How long have you been diagnosed because I understand your journey was a tough one, what was the initial trigger that made you realise something was truly wrong? 
    
I was actually diagnosed at age 16, which is five years ago this May. My diagnosis process was relatively "easy" and quick, compared to many people with celiac disease. I had been battling random weight loss, acid reflux, and fatigue for a few months, but my mother was the one who felt like something was wrong beyond just a finicky stomach and urged me to make a doctor's appointment. I was also extremely fortunate to have a doctor who always dotted her I's and crossed her t's, and she immediately ordered a bunch of blood tests, including one check for the antibodies related to celiac disease.

However, I did experience more challenges than many celiacs after I was officially diagnosed via biopsy and went gluten-free. For whatever reason (doctors could never explain why), I kept struggling with some stomach pain, acid reflux, and weight loss even after going GF. A month into my first semester of college, I weighed 83 lbs at 5’3” and was hospitalized for malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. At that point, I was fed through a feeding tube. Thankfully, after around two weeks of the feeding tube, I was cleared to try returning to (gluten-free) solid foods, and I was slowly able to gain weight and eventually thrive on a gluten-free diet. 

Wow, that must have been so difficult, but I am glad you are happy and healthy now. I know how scary it can be to suddenly have the diet stops working for you, it happened to me at the start of last year. I just dropped weight for no apparent reason going from around 8st 10lbs (122lbs) to 7st 6lbs (104lbs) in just over 4-5months.. They still have no idea what or why it happened.. but thankfully it appears as though all my levels are normal and my weight has settled at around 7st 9-10lbs. I was just happy it wasn't dropping anymore. 

2. How did you feel when you got the diagnosis? 

When my doctor called and told me that my blood test had come back positive for celiac disease, I was happy, at least initially. I had no idea what celiac disease was, but I was thrilled that there was actually something wrong with me that had a name and (I hoped) a treatment. As my doctor began talking about the need to eat gluten-free, though, I definitely started feeling overwhelmed about the extreme dietary and lifestyle changes I'd have to make (being a processed-food-meat-and-potatoes kind of girl who could barely cook a baked potato before my diagnosis). After my celiac disease was confirmed through the endoscopy and colonoscopy, I also went through a grieving process of some sort as I realized how much of my old favorite foods I'd have to give up and how much freedom - in diet, eating out spontaneously, etc - I'd be losing at only 16 years old.



I think we can all relate to the realisation of suddenly not being able to eat anything and everything. At 16 years of age, though that must have been very tough, the nurses said I was young at 21! 

3. What is the best & worst thing about being a Coeliac? Sorry, you'll have to forgive my spelling, I know you're American and spell it as Celiac. 

(No worries about the spelling! As a college writing major, I love linguistic quirks like the different spellings of "celiac" and "coeliac.") I think the best thing about being a celiac is how passionate it makes me about food. When you need to know everything about what you’re eating to survive, you’re much more motivated (at least in my experience) to learn some basics of nutrition and cooking. My diet is actually more diverse now that I have to eat gluten-free because losing wheat and other wheat-filled staples pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to experiment with naturally gluten-free foods I’d never tried before, like dragonfruit and quinoa. On the negative side, the celiac disease makes socializing a lot more challenging. For example, most social club events at my college revolved around pizza or ice cream parties, and it often felt awkward to attend when I couldn’t eat or had to bring my own food. 

4. When you started looking at what contained gluten, what surprised you the most? For me it was makeup, lipsticks, in particular, I am such an addict and realising I had to now make sure that they were gluten free was a real shock! 

I think I was amazed at how gluten can also hide inside shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, etc. Although I know some celiacs feel comfortable using any shampoo or conditioner, I’m always paranoid about getting it in my mouth when washing my hair or of touching my lips with freshly moisturized hands, so I stick to gluten-free brands. However, I was also stunned to be shopping one day and see “paper plates” made out of wheat instead of trees to be more environmentally friendly. A celiac’s worst nightmare for sure! 

That certainly is, I saw an ad on Facebook the other day about spaghetti straws! Great for the environment and all but how do we get around the bar staff just shoving one in willy-nilly and then just taking it out and handing the drink back without giving us a new one? 

5. Have you ever been glutened because of a rookie mistake? I know I made a big error a few years after being diagnosed, I thought a pack of cheese crackers was safe, however after getting a reaction whilst eating them I re-read the packet. To my horror, I realised it said WHEAT free only, not gluten-free! After that, I always check that it says both or just gluten-free, as it turns out I can actually tolerate wheat, but not all of us coeliacs can. 

My rookie mistake was assuming that a probiotic brand I’d been using for over a year was still gluten-free and not checking the packaging details until I’d already taken several of the probiotics. A big reminder to always double-check if a product is gluten-free, even if you’ve purchased that brand before and it was previously labeled "gluten-free." 

6. What would you say to anyone that thinks it is a fad diet or made up allergy? (For anyone reading this Coeliac Disease is NOT an allergy!)

I would tell them that celiac disease is a serious chronic illness that can cause over 300 symptoms as well as serious health problems like cancer if it isn’t diagnosed or if someone with celiac disease doesn’t follow a strict gluten-free diet. My hospitalization is proof that celiac disease can cause serious health issues, and it breaks my heart to read of other celiacs who experienced years - or even decades - of health problems because of undiagnosed celiac disease. For some people, the gluten-free diet is a “lifestyle choice.” For people with celiac disease, the gluten-free diet is a necessary medicine. I would also tell them that, although celiac disease isn't a food allergy and people with celiac won't go into anaphylactic shock if they ingest gluten, celiac disease still can cause serious consequences (and some very not-so-fun temporary symptoms, like rashes or stomach problems) if a gluten-free diet isn't adhered to. The more people (including doctors!) who know about what celiac disease is and how dangerous it can be when left untreated, the more people will be properly tested, diagnosed and able to thrive with this chronic illness. 

I honestly couldn't have said it any better myself!

7. Do you wish there was a cure and would you take it? I will be perfectly honest I am not entirely sure to either.. there is no cure for anything these days just prevention.. so I doubt it would 'cure' us...

I definitely wish there was a cure so that I wouldn’t have to worry about my future children (if I have any) or future generations struggling with the same challenges I am. However, even if a pill was released that let celiacs eat gluten safely, I'm not sure if I’d go back to regularly eating gluten. I would love to have a medication that could keep celiacs safe from cross-contamination, though. That would be amazing, especially while eating out or traveling.  

That would certainly be an intriguing idea. I know traveling has been a real worry for me.

8. What's the funniest thing to have happened to you since becoming a Coeliac? I have had several silly questions that have left me in stitches, such as does an orange contain gluten? Finding the best Viennese swirl biscuits and coming home to find my Dog had eaten them all... at least she enjoyed them.

I think the “funniest thing" to happen to me as a celiac is just navigating the dating world overall. I always try to make a joke out of the fact that a guy needs to brush his teeth before kissing me if he’s recently eating gluten, and I especially get some laughs when I point out that all of my previous significant others’ dental hygiene certainly improved while they were dating me! 

I would have to agree with you on that one! Dating can be so difficult, even just meeting new people who have no idea what Coeliac's is.. but then we have to push on and keep trying don't we otherwise we will never get anywhere. 

Thank you, Casey, for helping me out with this post, does any of this ring true for you? 

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

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Monday, 21 May 2018

How Much is Your Face Worth 2018

Seeing as I have updated my skincare and makeup routine in the last few years I thought it would make sense to do an updated post on how much my face is worth.. plus I find these fun to read and hope that you guys do too. I also thought I would do a little comparison to my previous post at the bottom, to see whether the total value has changed in any way? 


Skin Care

Tropic Smoothing Cleanser - £16.00
Estee Lauder Daywear Matte - £25.00
Tropic Night Repair - £34.00
Eye Cream Generic - £20.00 (for argument's sake)

Total = 95.00


Face

Estee Lauder Double Wear - £33.50
Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation - £27.00
Too Faced Primed & Peachy - £27.00
Too Faced Peach my Cheeks Blusher - £25.00
Tarte Clay Play Palette - £41.00
Too Faced Peach Perfect Mattifying Setting Powder - £20.00
Too Faced Peach Mist Mattifying Setting Spray - £27.00
Tarte Concealer - £25.00

Total = 225.50


Eyes

Too Faced Palette - £39.00
Tarte Palette - £41.00
Too Faced Shadow Insurance - £17.00
Too Faced Sketch Liner - £17.00
Eylure Eyelashes - £5.49
Duo Glue - £8.95
Mascara - £19.99
Eyelash Curler - £2.00

Total  = £150.43


Lips

Too Faced Melted Matte - £19.00
Too Faced Lip Insurance - £14.50
Too Faced Lip Topper - £16.00
Tropic Lip Love - £5.00
CYO Overnight Lip Primer - £4.00

Total = £58.50


Tools 

Spectrum/ Tarte Brushes - £130.00 (give or take)
Violet Voss Silicone Makeup Applicator - £10.00
Beauty Blender Sponge - £17.00
Lisa Angel Dish - £4.00

Total = £161.00

Total Face for 2018 is £690.43. Considering £161.00 of that is tools, I don't think that is too bad. If you break it down to a daily amount £529.43/365 = £1.45, which doesn't look scary at all in retrospect. That isn't counting all the separate lipsticks and palettes etc. mind, which would tally up quite a fair amount I am sure!

Back in 2016 - All of my face totaled to a whooping £754.41. So I am quite impressed, that given the fact I have gone to higher end brands and am using better tools I have ended with a lower value overall. I guess age has made me compartmentalise a little.

Don't get me wrong these amounts are still a lot, even broken down I still don't think I could afford to buy everything in one hit, but I do believe in quality. So if that means paying for high end products then that's what I will do.

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

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

MAC Prep & Prime Lip Primer

Having been wearing lipstick for over 5 years now, I have tried and tested a selection of brands and can safely say I now have a staple favourite. That being said I used to wear MAC religiously, the feel and smell of them alone were enough to make me want more.

The main reason for my change was the fact that I had to look into gluten free makeup, as a Coeliac I never realised it was in there. Obviously, if it is on your lips it can go to your hips as they say, and by that, they mean you ingest it. My views on MAC Lip products are still the same however, they are well worth the cost and do the job. 


The Lip Prep & Prime retails for £14.00 and is a colour free base worn under or over lipstick. It adds light moisture, smooths and refines the lips.

My Verdict

I genuinely believe it prolongs lipstick wear, stops your lips from bleeding and makes application super easy, the lipstick just glides onto your lips.

I would say that one stick will last around 2-3 months depending on use, I used to use it every day at least twice a day.

My overall verdict is that this is a must in your makeup bag!

Originally Published August 2015.

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

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Coeliac Awareness Month - Being a Coeliac in a World of Fad Diets

Now I will apologise in advance for the length of this post, however, if you have come here, then you must either have Coeliac Disease or someone in your life does. With that in mind I would urge you to bear with me and my ramblings, I assure you this will definitely open your eyes, I also hope my friends and family will take the time to read this and understand me a little more.


My Story

I have been a Coeliac for over 7 years now, having been diagnosed when I was only 21. After several years of chronic pain, laying in the fetal position, many many days off of work and months turning into years fighting with the Doctors, I was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Don't get me wrong it wasn't quite as simple as that!

For several years I and my Mum had to keep repeating ourselves because we were always faced with the same answers 'You have IBS', which from what I have gathered is a generic response they give to many people with stomach issues. Needless to say, it wasn't that!

Now like many people I did not know what Coeliac Disease was, and even remember walking past the free from aisle when I was a lot younger, thinking what the hell is that for. So when I was officially referred to the gastro clinic to have the Endoscopy I decided to actually look at what Coeliac disease was. I was horrified when I finally realised it was going to be an extreme life change.

What is Coeliac Disease?

It is an autoimmune disease, which in simple terms means, when I consume gluten either by eating or drinking, my body attacks itself. Thinking gluten is a bad thing coming to infect/ attack my body. So when my body attacks itself, it eats away at these little hairs called Villi found in the lining of your small intestine. These Villi allow nutrients etc. into your bloodstream.  So when these are broken down, they essentially close up these routes. Kind of like creating a hose pipe,stopping your body getting all the good stuff it needs.

If left untreated it then leads to malnourishment, illness and can cause death, as well as some cancers. Everyone has different symptoms when ingesting gluten, so it can be difficult to diagnose. I was constantly ill, for example, I would get a cold and have it for like a month finally get rid of it then get another one! I was in constant pain and was so bloated that even my brother asked if I was pregnant! By constant pain, I mean I was usually in the fetal position rolling on my stomach crying with such chronic stabbing pain. I cannot describe how much pain I really was in, that no amount of painkillers or medication would touch it.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein of wheat. It has many common names such as,
  • Gluten
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Durum
  • Spelt
  • Cereals
  • Malt
  • Bran
There are many other names for Gluten which are uncommon, for a fuller list download this checklist.

The best way to think, is to think it is in everything and check everything! Another rule I live by, is if it says it may contain then don't have it. If it said that it 'May contain RAT POISON' would you risk it? No, you wouldn't so why risk gluten, it is poison for a coeliac. 

Is there a cure?

Well I hate to break it to you but there is NO CURE! The only way to DEAL with Coeliac Disease is to have a strict Gluten Free Diet. Easy you say??? Think again! The dietitian was helpful, however I still feel that they could do more to provide better support and transition into the diet.

What happens if you're Glutened?

If you're Glutened then you may experience pain, cramping, diarrhea, constipation or other symptoms. The thing is no one is the same, the only thing that is exactly the same si what happens inside our bodies. Our villi will be broken down again, but if it was just a one-off attack they will grow back again within 6 weeks.

My Experience Living a Gluten Free Life

It is so HARD! I find it so much easier now that when I was first diagnosed, but it does still hit you every now and again just how hard it can be.

The range of Gluten Free foods has widened greatly over the past 7 years, however, it is still not totally catered for. You still find that some products are only seasonal and even then they may end up being discontinued for good.

One of the hardest changes for me was going from eating whatever you want to having to read every single label to check for pesky Gluten and/or having to plan ahead with whatever you do just in case you need to bring your own food...

The first year was the worst and most depressing for me, I didn't have the best partner at the time which made me feel even more alone and depressed. Well I'll be honest I have never had a great partner since being diagnosed for support in the area, I would cry in the Supermarket when trying to get my head around what I could and couldn't have.



I got Glutened fairly early on in my new diet when I asked for a Jacket Potato with Cheese  What has Gluten in it??? The Cheese, believe it or not, many pre-grated cheeses have flour in to keep the bits of cheese separated!

I even found out that after a few months I was lactose intolerant, which is fairly common for newly diagnosed Coeliacs, as the small intestine is so badly damaged that the lactose cannot get through like normal people. So not only did I have to cut Gluten out I now had to cut out lactose! This made it so much harder for me to deal with. Thankfully I was able to re-introduce lactose back into my diet after a year or so.

One of my Ex's mother (was crazy anyway) decided she would tell me she didn't care and wouldn't cater for me and I should just eat whatever she cooked. This made my life harder too, however she eventually came around and was very good with cooking.

Common Misconceptions

The most common thing people say to me is 'oh so you can't eat bread', well done you have solved it all for me! Like it's not that hard, well let me tell you it is in practically everything!
Just to clarify, I can eat bread so long as it is Gluten Free and I can eat a fairly normal diet so long as everything is Gluten Free.

Another common issue people rarely think about is Cooking... What possibly could be the issue here you say??? Well, cross-contamination... Just think Peanut Allergy... I cannot have even a crumb come in contact with my food. You even have to change all your utensils... wooden utensils cannot ever be truly clean. Germs and Gluten ingrain into them. I use silicone utensils for everything now!! Although I have bought myself my own wooden rolling pin, which is only used for gluten-free cooking.


Anyway, I am babbling, so just think, buffets? I cannot go to buffets! You cannot control whether someone has used the utensils for just the bacon or whether they have picked up some bacon and then picked up some sausages and bread with the same one. You can also not tell whether they have accidentally touched the rest of their food with the utensils and then put it back. Do you see what I mean when I say this is so complicated and can seem so anal! If I do go to a place with a buffet I have to ask the waiters for a fresh plate of the items I want/ are Gluten Free.

This can also be very difficult when you go to eat round someones when you start telling them what they can and cannot use, they get defensive and think you're just being a controlling. They don't seem to realise that one tiny mistake can make you externally ill and take me out for over a week or sometimes more!

Whenever I am asked to go out or want to go out, I have to find out where. I have had several responses from people asking me why do you need to know? Why can't you just come along? Why do you have to take over? Well, I am doing none of those things and need to know because I need to check that the place in question can cater for me. If not I will have to eat beforehand or just not come along. It makes meeting new people very hard for me, having to explain all this to a new person and having them look at you blankly, probably thinking what a fussy cow.



I also hate how we have to call it an 'allergy' for people to understand the severity of the situation! You say 'I have an allergy to gluten' just so you don't have to relay all the spiel over and over again. Why can people be so narrow minded, and why can't people research it themselves. There is also the issue of these fad diets and people who choose to eat Gluten Free. These people make us look like we are being fussy, oh not another Gluten Free person... making it difficult for us Coeliacs to get across the severity of our situation.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for putting up with my moaning.

What are your thoughts? How has Coeliac Disease affected you?

Originally published in December 2015.

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

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Review

Having been struggling for some time to find a new product that would work with my now very oily skin and have previously only really used BareMinerals and MAC. I discovered the Sensual Skin Enhancer one night whilst I was getting ready with some girlfriends. I noticed that one of my friends had amazing, flawless skin so I had to know what she was wearing. She explained that she had discovered it in Australia and that it can only be purchased online in the UK! So I was instantly put off, I  am not one for buying foundation/ concealer that you cannot try for yourself in store.


After doing a little bit of research and admiring my friend's skin all night, which stayed flawless throughout the night! I soon changed my mind, so I purchased my first pot back in May this year (2015), and have used it religiously every day since. 

Claims

"Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a versatile skin perfecting balm which smoothes, conceals and highlights the skin for a flawless complexion.
Suitable for all skin types, The Sensual Skin Enhancer provides maximum coverage and is perfect for hiding imperfections. Formulated with the perfect blend of Honey and Jojoba Oil, The Sensual Skin Enhancer creates a soft, dewy finish and can be used as a foundation, concealer, and highlighter.
Available in an array of shades to suit all skin tones, The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a must for a radiant complexion and leaves your face looking fresh, flawless and fabulous."



Right, so this tiny little pot retails for about £33.50-£38.00. Now I know what you're thinking OMG that's a lot of money for that tiddly arse little pot! Well let me tell you, IT IS more than worth it. 
As I said previously, I have had my first pot since May and have only just (Aug) decided to buy another pot. Having been walking around like a weird bobblehead, with a tanned body and white face I decided it was about time to purchase a darker shade for the summer months. 
Excuse the picture quality, I obviously haven't got a time machine and can't go back in time to re-take this shot with my new fancy camera and set up. That being said this does accurately represent the existing pot (3 months every day, sometimes twice a day use for full coverage) and the now brand new one. 

My Verdict

As you can see it has hardly made a dent! My verdict on the price, who cares if it's going to last you a year or more!

You only need a tiny amount for full coverage, about half the size of your small fingernail, if that. I can now confirm that the product does, in fact, go all the way down to the bottom of the pot, so there are no hidden false bottoms, like most products. 
I love the Sensual Skin Enhancer it provides such great coverage and not only that but since I have started using this I have noticed hardly any new pimples. I think the main reason for this is because the skin enhancer kind of sits on your skin as opposed to sinks in, so it doesn't actually clog your pores up.
The only downside is that it can take a couple of try's to find the perfect methods of application for you, the issue is that the texture of the skin enhancer is not like any other out there. It is thick, yet doesn't dry, so does require a little work for the flawless look. 
I have found that the best method for myself is to apply moisturiser, primer and then dab the foundation on your face using a brush and then blend it in with your fingertips ensuring they are warm and clean prior to blending. I have found that using a foundation brush just leaves paint strokes and that a beauty blender just doesn't provide enough coverage. 
I go over any problem areas with my fingertips, dabbing on the foundation/ concealer and then blend it in again by dabbing. 
Colour Guide
SX 02 (Warm Ivory Shade for Fair Skin Tones)
SX 03 (Light Shade with Slight Beige Undertones)
SX 04 (Light Shade with Slight Yellow Undertones)
SX 05 (Light Shade with Beige Undertones)
SX 06 (Light Shade with Warm Gold Undertones)
SX 07 (Light Shade with Neutral-Yellow Undertones)
SX 08 (Medium Shade with Warm Gold Undertones
SX 09 (Medium Shade with Rosy Undertones)
SX 10 (Medium-Beige Skin Tones)
SX 11 (a medium shade with gold undertones)
SX 12 (Medium Shade with Yellow Undertones)
SX 13 (Deep Shade with Warm, Rosy-Yellow Undertones)
SX 14 (Deep Shade with Warm Red Undertones)

Originally published in August 2015.
Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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How to Style a Simple Tee

With all this lovely spontaneous hot weather lately it has been nice to wear lighter clothes, a simple tee can be perfect for this time of year. Especially if the weather suddenly decides to change on a whim. 


I have to admit I have only just started to wear tees again, since dropping in weight for no apparent reason, I have had to get my confidence back. That and when you get to a certain age showing your midriff off feels a little, shall we say weird.

This style of tee goes perfectly with skinny jeans or shorts (if the weather calls for them of course) and converse style trainers. You get a kind of skater girl look in the end, which I have to say I love.


Other ways to style are with Midi-skirts, just trust me on this one. I have seen some amazing looks from some of the bloggers I follow on Instagram.


I can't wait to bust this out in Rome, there will be so many beautiful sights as well as perfect spots for Instagram worthy shots. Have you got any special ways to sport simple tee? 


Tee: Tricky Ink
Jeans: H&M
Trainers: Ugg
Glasses: Specsavers

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

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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Pretty Muddy Race for Life - Checking Yourself


If you want to show your support I would love it if you would sponsor Christie, she is running a few races for Cancer Research. More specifically for Breast Cancer, so it would be my honour if any sponsorship that anyone wants to make to me goes to her instead. Just head over to her page here.

This year I am running the Pretty Muddy Race for Cancer Research UK. Although I am not the fittest person in the world, I have started to go running occasionally with my dog Harley and am actually starting to enjoy it. Even though it wasn't an initial thought of mine to do the race, it was actually part of a Hen Party event I am happy to be involved.

I have to be honest I am one of the bad ones that didn't ever really do a self-check, it wasn't until I heard about Christie's story that I really started to make an effort to check. Obviously, I knew about it all prior to her post so I had been checking for a few weeks before the unfortunate happened.

Unfortunately last month I found a lump in one of my breasts, I am not one to worry or overthink things, so I just got myself down to the doctors and had them check it out. Due to my cycle, I was referred straight away to the breast clinic.

I was seen fairly quickly within a week and a half, at the time I couldn't talk because I had a major tooth infection so my Mum came with me. It was a strange feeling having to undress your top half and have some stranger fondle your breasts. Don't worry though you are hidden behind a curtain and in a private room, but it is an odd feeling.

Luckily the Dr. reassured me that everything felt normal, just like extra breast tissue, however, he did request an ultrasound just to be 100% sure. I don't think you realise how worried you actually are until you are in that room.

I didn't get seen for a further 2 weeks or so, but when I arrived I was seen straight away and again had to undress my top half and cover with a towel until the Dr. came in. She then asked me where the lump was and applied some jelly started to do a scan. For a few seconds, I was a little worried and she was concentrating on a certain area, but I really didn't need to be. She showed me what was on the screen and explained that what I was seeing was going right down to the lung and there was nothing there other than breast tissue. So she gave me the all clear and sent me on my way.

Thankfully I was lucky to be given a good prognosis, however, some people aren't so lucky. That is why you should never neglect to check yourself regularly and if you do find something do not presume it is breast tissue or a cyst. Get it checked out by a professional, it is better to be safe than sorry at the end of the day.

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

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Dating Ideas & Things to Remember*

We all know dating can be hard, especially these days, let's be honest the pickings are slim. The rules have changed and are ridiculous at times, plus they are so hard to follow. The should I text him first, should I leave it a while before I reply.. it's all become a little childish really. Making the whole pretense of dating difficult before it has even begun. 


Let alone the actual date, where do you go, who pays, who drives (if they even can) and what do you wear??? Honestly, it crazes me, where are the days of gentlemen? Gone I tell you! They have disappeared, they died with the generation of my grandfather. 

Meet Up & Talk

Having started dating again myself I can relate to the struggles of trying to think of things to do, but honestly I still stand by the best date is to just meet up and talk. Whether it be in a bar, your home or out for a walk; the point is you just get to know one another and see whether you can actually hold a conversation. 

It is also perfect for those with dogs, you can meet up and go for a dog walk. See how they are with their/ your dog, this really does give you a good insight into their behaviour.

Go to a Fete

How often do you actually go to fetes? I know I don't go to them, so why not make it a date? They can be fun with lots of random attractions on, you can see how each other reacts to the hustle and bustle of people. Plus if there's a ride it can determine what kind of person s/he is, are they the thrill seeker or bag holder? 

Go Outdoors

Do a fun activity such as Go Outdoors, Go Ape or something along those lines. Get out of your comfort zone! You never know you may surprise yourself and actually have fun, or find that your date doesn't have what it takes to come to your rescue. It would be a great way to test each other's boundaries, granted though probably not the best activity for a first date. 

Outside Cinema

Why not go old school and see a movie outside? I have never done it before and would love too, it's a great American tradition. Think Grease and the epic drive through scene, how will they behave? How will you behave 😏? 

Just Remember...

Before we start going on dates or looking into online dating, it is important to remember some important fundamentals. You need to be happy and enjoy being single first, after all, how can you be happy with someone if you can't even enjoy your own company? 

Don't waste your time with those that aren't worth it. If they are a douchebag to start with then they will likely always be that way and why start off something trying to change someone. You wouldn't want to be changed, so don't try changing someone else.

Have fun and don't take things too seriously, make friends along the way. After all lasting relationships are founded on good friendships and the dream guy or girl should be your best friend, shouldn't they? 

When you are ready to start dating, however, it is great to note that there are many local dating sites such as Cardiff Dating, Cardiff Singles, Dating in Cardiff and obviously if this isn't your local area I am sure there is one. 

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


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

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Coeliac Awareness Month - What Every Coeliac Goes Through At The Supermarket

As you probably already know May is Coeliac Awareness month, so for this post, I thought I would do a funny but very real post. All about the things we Coeliacs do when we go food shopping.


1. Inspecting labels like they are written in code, honestly, the number of words for gluten we know would astound you.


2. Finding a non-free from item in the free from aisle. Please tell me I am not the only one that viscously removes these items from the free from aisle, seriously why do people stash items that are clearly not okay for us there. It's like a slap in the face.


3. Almost always having a mini rant because the free from aisle is next to the 'normal' biscuit or cereal section!! Come on!!!!!!


4. Wandering aimlessly for the free from aisle because you're in an unknown foreign shop.  


5. Dodging the freebies... I hate having to either pretend I have not heard the person offering out free samples of food, or just having to decline altogether. Sometimes you just get a persistent person and it can be so frustrating to have to then explain why you cannot have the sample, I don't exactly want to blurt out my life story in the middle of a shop! 


6. Getting overly excited about new products!!!


7. You get equally if not more excited when your favourite product is on sale, however, you then have the fear that it may be being discontinued!! Honestly, I do not know what I would do if Tesco ever discontinued their Choco Pillow Nuts.. I would literally have a fit and major break down in the middle of Tesco, I am just pre-warning you now!


8. Having to go to at least 2-3 different branches and/ or types of supermarkets to get your full weeks shop. God forbid one supermarket sell every type of free from product you need. 


Please tell me I am not the only one that does at least half of this list?? What experiences have you had shopping? 

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

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Monday, 7 May 2018

Playing the Dating Game*

Here's the thing, is there actually such a thing as 'The Dating Game' and if there is who's playing it? Who's not? How do we actually know who's in it for the long haul and who's just playing us? 



The simple answer is who knows? I sure as hell don't! Having been single now for over 2 years, not counting the pointless 'dates' and 'dating relationships' that have lasted only a few weeks to a month or two, I am still none the wiser. I guess the only way to really know is to stay vigilant and keep your wits about you, but if you're reading this then you know that's far easier said than done. 

There are adult dating sites out there purely for those seeking noncommittal relationships, basically for sex dating. These are great for those that are after this and I just wish it was more widely known for those that use more general dating sites for these purposes.  It would make it a lot easier to weed out those that are after that sort of thing after all. 

When you finally find someone that you actually like talking too, when do you decide it is okay to meet? A few days? A few weeks? In my case, it all depends on time and how well the conversation is going for me. I tend to get bored quite easily, something I am trying to work on. After all the type of guys that can keep me entertained all the time are pure narcissistic arseholes, not really the kind of guys I want to be around anymore. 

That being said you don't always know if the guy you're talking to is a 'nice' guy or not do you? How do you ever know until you get to know them properly? All you can do is take a chance, in my case seems to be again and again. Most recently, I have been talking to someone that seems to be a genuinely nice person, however, has canceled twice. 

Now usually I would just cut the guy off after the first cancellation let alone the second, but seeing as I do actually like talking to him and he does seem genuine I have given him one more chance. Is this the right call, who knows? Third times a strike though, I won't be taken for a ride. 

All I can say is to never give up hope but don't compromise your principles. Don't let someone sweet talk you into something you are not comfortable with or wouldn't otherwise do. 

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


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

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