Explore the blog
Saturday, 21 February 2015
After completing University and graduating in November 2013, I was going to and from the GP and working two jobs. I was very stressed, not eating properly and becoming really thin. After more tests I was told that I was to attend and emergency hospital appointment that started me on the route of my diagnosis. I saw a specialist that put me on steroids because my large bowel was so inflamed. I then was referred to a specialist that was going to perform my Colonoscopy. I have a post about that experience here

A year ago today, I got the biopsy results that concluded I have Ulcerative Colitis. Over the year I've had a few ups and down, it's pretty much unpredictable and although I have achieved moments of control it doesn't last as long as I'd like. 
You now many be thinking what is the purpose of this post? Well I am going to be list off some things I've learnt about living with a Chronic Illness in the last year.

A Depressive State

I have always been known as having a happy, positive and goofy outlook and trying to make a joke of things. I actually came out on my Colonoscopy saying "pfft, 20 minutes on my back and it wasn't a good experience". I have never had a serious streak of depression in which I needed medication or a form of counselling but I have had moments where; I was not sleeping, I couldn't control negative or upsetting thoughts, I was irritable and short tempered and generally felt like I was hopeless and couldn't do anything right. This is where I say I experienced A Depressive State in which I knew it and was trying to look on the positive side but in some moments just couldn't control it. I then realised that it's going to happen now and again and I wouldn't say I needed medication or counselling for this because at the same time I've come to learn it's a natural experience when being newly diagnosed with something you are going to have to live with.
As a disclaimer: Depression is a serious illness and I am in no way making light of it or even saying that is what it is. I am only interpreting what I have felt and from explanations of what others have felt in a way that seems somewhat logically fitting.

Anxiety & Eating

This is something that I am currently tackling. Since I have been diagnosed I have missed birthdays, celebratory nights out/gatherings, new years eve parties and I have had to reschedule appointments and interviews because I have been so scared of my Colitis getting me. If you don't know a lot about Ulcerative Colitis it basically leaves you with no or very little control of your bowel movements. I will be getting ready to go out, then it'll hit me and then I panic, what if it happens again? The last one was so sudden and there's always a line for the toilets in a pub/club. I don't want to be caught short and everyone see. Those thoughts go round and round in my head and that's it, full blown panic mode to the extent of having a panic attack. This goes for travelling as well, being stuck in a car/bus/taxi with no bathrooms around = full blown panic attack. I am not alone in experiencing this but it does make it harder to trust in going out. In a week I will go out to the supermarket, maybe see a friend or family member and I may be out for an appointment/interview. I would say that collectively that's around 10 hours or so in a week. That means I spend around 158 hours at home too scared/untrusting of what will happen. In that I also don't eat, if I have an appointment at 12:00 I won't eat until I know I'm home and safe and I know a lot of other people do the same because food affects us differently each time. 

Friendship

I have 100% realised who I can rely on and who is there to support me. I don't look for instant realisation as it can be confusing, it's a lot of information at once and some things can change. I just want someone to try and not berate me because I couldn't make that meeting or that night out, It's not like I can help it. If I said I will go, it's because I want to, if I say I'm not going to be able to, it's because it's out of my control and I am sorry about that, but what can I do? As I stated earlier I spend a lot of time at home and I rely on those who pop round for a cup of tea, to have a catch up and just be in company with. Those friends (they know who they are) are the ones I know will be around.

Love

This part is a little "heart on the sleeve" but it's something I've learnt and something I have seen friends with IBD go through. Telling someone what you have is embarrassing enough...telling someone you find attractive, even harder. You have to though and it doesn't have to be the first date but there are a couple of reasons why you have to tell them earlier into it.
Firstly, If they aren't going to understand it then they shouldn't be around. Simple as, if you are realising who your friends are then why make the rules different for someone because they're attractive?
Secondly, they could understand it but it's not what they want in a partner. Yes that's hard to hear and deal with but I know a lovely guy who I never even tried to explain if we could be something because he loves to travel. He'll always ask me how I am and he'll go on about where he's off to next but with my anxiety when it comes to travelling I knew I couldn't go along even when he's said we'd have to go here and there because I would love to go too. That was my choice in that situation but it could be his/hers and it can be something you understand or again something you say, well then who needs you?
Thirdly, in some cases, women with IBD can't have or will have difficulty with conceiving and having children. It's not something that every woman with IBD will experience, just some with very extreme cases. If you know then they'll have to know too. Most men want marriage and children and again it's going to be so hard to hear but then it can be understandable.
At the end of the day with finding someone you need to be what they want in their life as well as what you want in yours and that goes with any relationship whether you have a form of IBD, diabetes or even a neurodegenerative disease. 


That's not everything I have learnt but a lot of it interlinks so I put the main points. I have this for the rest of my life and I am going to learn a lot more so I may post as I go along or I may do them yearly.

Before I finish this post I want to say a massive thank you to my mum. She has been the biggest support this past year, been to all my hospital and GP appointments, dragged me out of the house more and settled me when I have had panic attacks. I love you.

As always, thanks for reading...

Monday, 16 February 2015
It's Pancake day tomorrow! ^.^

Having Ulcerative Colitis means I have to be mindful when it comes to my diet. I found this really simple recipe on Pinterest and thought it'd be great to share if you are in a similar situation.


You'll Need:

- One Banana
- 2 Eggs
-Cinnamon (optional)


1) Slice up a banana or two and pop it into a mixing bowl.
2) Crack in two eggs and mash together until you get a smooth consistency that isn't too thin.
3) Pour into a pan and fry until golden brown, remembering to flip them!
4) Serve up ready to eat!




As always, thanks for reading...

Thursday, 12 February 2015
One of my favourite things to do is pamper myself and watch movies with friends and we do that either on or around Valentines Day as some of them have partners. Whether you're with someone or you're single I have some lovely ideas for Valentines Day that I thought I'd share with you. 


I think the most common thing for couples and friends to do around Valentines is to order take-out and watch movies. There are so many to choose from but I've put together some of my favourites and some that are considered to be a necessity.


Chick Flicks:

Old Hollywood Classics:
80's Movies:
Marvel Movies:
Horror Movies:

As always, thanks for reading...
Monday, 9 February 2015
Growing up reading fashion magazines and watching award ceremonies, there was always the best and worst dressed to look out for. This years Baftas was no exception and although you can predict that as it is a black tie event there will be a obvious colour scheme, there are a few exceptions and some pieces I really enjoyed, other not so much but let's get straight to it...
Tanya Burr
Beauty Blogger, Lifestyle Vlogger, Entrepreneur and recently Author strutted down the Red carpet in this gorgeous Jenny Packham dress. Paired with a simple gold bangle and heels, the beaded detailed top with block coloured bottom and knee high leg slit, really elongated her figure. Not only does she look stunning but I love how she took a dress that has so much detailing and she didn't overpower it with the Gold and even added a hint of red on her fingers and toes instead of being her lip colour which in some cases would be quite obviously done. One of my favourites of the night.
 Alice Eve and Julianne Moore
It seems velvet tried so hard to make an appearance this year. Alice Eve was draped in it and Julianne Moore wore this red Tom Ford gown with the top half being velvet.
I really don't like velvet I don't find it to be a material for evening or formal wear. With Alice's gown in particular I just found that again because of the material it didn't create a figure hugging gown and you can see it's cut to do that. With Julianne's Gown it was more the two fabrics being put together, I didn't think it worked and it creates two red tones that don't compliment each other. Then as I was going through the arrivals I see this...
Douglas Booth
If there is anything I detest more than Velvet it's pastel coloured velvet. Oh why? Again like with Julianne's dress, the whole two materials thing doesn't work with the trousers and dickie bow. On that note, why wear a dickie bow? I just find that if you like velvet and your going to wear it, isn't the material enough of a stand out? I would love to know your thoughts but for me the whole velvet thing is a thumbs down.
Amanda Berry
Baftas Chief Executive wore Burberry to the nights event and I am a little on the fence with this one. I love the cut and colour but the print *makes shrugging notion*. It does look a little like doilies have been painted onto the gown and I think that's where it went right and wrong. The print is tiled and if it was larger and not uniformed then it would of looked a lot better. But again the off shoulder bardot neckline and 3/4 arm length is flawless and it suits her down to a T.
Hayley Atwell
Stunning, Stunning, Stunning. A lot of beauty blogs/publications have already said they weren't crazy on the short bodycon for it being the Baftas but I find it to really fit well for an evening event to which she was simply attending.
Sometimes I think a lot of people assume that because someone is at an event that they have to doll up to the nines and spend gosh knows how much time looking for the right outfit and making sure everything is plucked and primed when they are simply supporting their industry and fellow colleagues. So mini rant over, I think she went for the right choice with this dress, gorgeous but unfortunately I can't find where it's from. I love the two materials, especially adding a hint of pattern. The only thing I would personally do is not wear open shoes I think some simple black pumps would have tied it in and been that little warmer.
 Rachel Riley
The gorgeous Rachel Riley...I don't know what look she wanted to go for here but it is not working. Firstly just to say, the colour is amazing and really compliments her skin tone. But what is going on with the flower? on the shoulder strap, the fur scarf and the earrings. It just looked like it'd been pieced together last minute. I really feel for her as this outfit is being described as probably the worst of the night but I just think if she ditched the accessories she would have been a lot safer.
Amy Adams
Donning this gorgeous white gown from Lanvin, Amy looked totally flawless. White is one of those colours that is hard to pull off when it comes to the red carpet. Here, the thick beaded belt drew in Amy's figure more and created an outfit that needs minimal accessories. Got it spot on an A+ from me.
In a similar fashion...
Laura Bailey
Actress Laura Bailey showed off this beautiful floor length, high neck Emilia Wickstead gown. In this instance accessorising was minimal due to the high neck. Again pulling off white *applauds* but also right on trend with the high neck. It is everywhere at the moment and something to be looking out for this spring. Loving!
 Claudia Winkleman
No.No.No.No.No. I am trying so hard not to be too harsh as at the end of the day style is to each their own. But I'm sorry to say it does look like a bin bag... It's probably due to the material and the ruffles. But to then to pair it with the red metallic looking strap shoes..*Shakes head*.
Dianna Agron
This is how you pull off red, especially now we are going into Spring. When you have a red like this in a dress you need no embellishments, no sleeves and simple pleats and folds at the waistline. This is how you dress for a night at the Baftas! Dianna always has amazing fashion sense as previous award shows reflect but this is by far my favourite! This is another dress by Lanvin, I seriously now want to raid their wardrobe department!
Holliday Grainger
Wearing this monochrome Antonio Berardi, this is elegance. What is really unique is the top white part that has this gorgeous, almost off shoulder v neckline with draped sleeves. With a stunning statement necklace, which I'm sorry the name of the style escapes me, really draws your eye-line to that unique part of the gown.
Felicity Jones
This is not my cup of tea at all. This gown is from the Dior Spring 2013 line and it should have stayed there. It isn't the best shaped gown and I'm really confused by the band of flowers which look to be sitting from the bottom of her hips to just below the knee line. I'm also not loving the black sheer material that's be thrown over the top, I would have just taken that layer off and colour blocked it. For some reason this is going down as a hit but I'm not feeling it, what do you think?
Julie Walters
Some serious sparkle and razzle dazzle and not just from her personality. I love Julie Walters and it's fair to say she's had some fashion moments but this is my favourite. Unfortunately I can't find the name of the designer but I love this nearly off shoulder look everyone seems to be going for with the 3/4 sleeves. No jacket but a lovely black shawl which doesn't overpower the gown. As she has a shorter hair cut, I love how she's paired some dangly earrings with this outfit.
Keira Knightly
This is another outfit I am on the fence about...I don't like the monochrome effect because it's already a lot with the pattern and ruffles but I think what's putting me off is the line of netting at the bottom. It looks like it's come from underneath but why isn't it covered/cut? The dress is by Giambattista Valli and it's a designer I don't know a lot about but I know he is into floral print so if Keira has chosen this dress to go for that looks she's achieved it.
Nimrat Kaur & Olivia Grant
I like these two dresses but I am going to be a little but nick-picky. Nimrat's dress is gorgeous, a lovely colour and cut but what is with the white embellishments on the top half? Nu-uh don't like if they weren't on it it'd be perfect, there's just a lot going on in that area. With Olivia's dress there's a lot going on and it works but the embellishments are gold or giving off a gold look which in my opinion doesn't go well with that shade of pink. It's actually making that color seem darker then it is and it's contrasting against her skin tone. 
Reese Witherspoon
Stunning, elegant and simple. This dress is from Stella McCartney which when I read I couldn't believe. It's not something I'd expect from Stella McCartney because it's so simple and there's always a subtle flare to dress's from that designer. I dunno whether it's suppose to be square dip neckline or the cut that gives a striking hourglass figure but Reese is completely on trend here and it's an A+ from me.
Natalie Domer
Why the lace and why the gloves? If this dress was colour blocked it would have looked better. Unfortunately the black line from the chest area to the dress skirt are not eye catching in the right way either. It seems there's certain aspects going on with this dress that just don't work and it's been pieced together with no flow, it's kind of contained in a single area. 
Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch
Award for best dressed couple goes too... I know one of them is in bespoke Alexander McQueen but unsure which one. I love the satin dress Sophie is wearing, halter neck with a slit to show a little bit of cleavage with a maxi dress skirt bottom. Love Love Love. Benedict's outfit I do love but I have a suspicion that the bow is velvet (you know my thoughts) otherwise it's very classic and well fitted with a single button jacket. 
Henry Cavill
Firstly should get recognition for that beard, there's a lot of facial hair going on amongst superhero actors at the moment and I am enjoying the trend. The satin dickie bow is a lovely accent to this suit and the elongated lapels show off that he has a muscular figure. The shiny shoes are a great touch but I do love the shirt poking out at the cuffs of the jacket. There are a lot of subtle hints of white in this suit and it works really well.
Michael Keaton
For me this isn't a good look for him. The jacket is nice, the trousers are nice but not together. I'm confused as to why he is wearing a double breasted jacket, for his height and the broadness of his shoulders it makes it look as if the jacket is drowning him a little. From this picture especially you can see the lapels draping. Although the colour does suit him, the jacket and trousers should match and next time a one to two button jacket would work better.
Ethan Hawke and Freddie Fox
Both actors have taken this years trend of a white shirt with black buttons and took it in two different ways that are simple yet effective. Ethan's suit is a dark navy with black lapels, buttons, bow and shoes whilst Freddie's features an all black suit with a white handkerchief in the jacket pocket. I really like the trend happening here, I think it's something were going to see going into Spring and it a great throwback to classic Hollywood.
David Beckham
Gorgeous. This navy colour suits him so well and to be honest, being the husband of Victoria Beckham you know he is going to be well dressed. Again the velvet on the bow trying to make an appearance, my only personal nit-pick about the whole outfit. I do love the one button jacket, similar to Benedict's and the white accent on the pocket. Very on point for being so fair in hair colour and skin tone as the suit doesn't drown him or make him appear paler. This colour suits him down to a T.
Tom Hiddleston
The breath-taking actor donned a simple yet classy black suit with this years signature, black shirt buttons. What really tops it for me is the silk look of the lapels and dickie bow which really compliments the shiny shoes. Being a lover and admirer of the fashion world I know it's especially hard to get a well fitted outfit when you're tall but well done to Tom, his stylist whoever put this together. Jacket and trouser cuffs and the right length, no baggy material from the jacket on the sides or near the crotch area. A+++ from me.

That's everything, would love to know what you think so catch me on Twitter, Instagram or leave a comment below ^.^ 


As always, thanks for reading...

Friday, 6 February 2015

I love trolling through Pinterest and I found some lovely ideas for Valentines that are D.I.Y. I thought these would be perfect for someone who wanted to be crafty this year or give something that can be personalised to their partners taste or reflect a shared memory.

Bunches Of Balloons

This is perfect for the partner that can't have chocolate and/or flowers. There's a whole range you can get but the latex heart shaped ones are my favourite because they are a lot brighter. Bearing in mind that latex balloons only last the day, if you decide to do this as a gift make sure you call ahead and book an order to collect on Valentines Day.
Not only can you give these as a gift, but you can attach notes, memories or photo's to the end of the ribbon and hang them around the house or bedroom as something lovely to wake up to / come home to.
Or attach them to a tray as an extra bonus for Breakfast In Bed! ^.^

Printable Ideas

Not only a lovely idea for your partner but also for your friends. When I was in my teens every Valentines I'd have friends round for a girls night. I think these are great treats to personalise for a night like that. Click here to get the printables!

DIY String Heart

For those crafty people that have some skills then I think this may be an idea you'll want to consider. It's pretty self explanatory but you can get more in depth instructions here. This would be perfect if you and your valentine are in the process of moving in together or are celebrating your first Valentines in a new home.

DIY Fortune Cookies

If you or your partner is working this valentines day I think these make an extra special gift to put in their lunch for that day. You can make edible ones and there is a tutorial here; but I do prefer these paper ones. How to make them here.

Handmade Valentines Basket

There are so many ones you can put together! I love this one from A Little Tipsy that I found on Pinterest. 
You have so many options here and there even more on YouTube. I think these are a fantastic as they are simple, effective and you can even pack a small picnic and make a date of it!

As always, thanks for reading...
Monday, 2 February 2015
As it's nearly Valentines Day I thought I'd do some posts similar to my Christmas Series.
I found so many cute Card & Gift ideas in the Valentines Sections in stores & online. They are mainly the "traditional" style of gifts with a couple that are a bit more of a luxury gift.
As a disclaimer; this is not a sponsored post, all the products I have found myself and recommending them because I personally think they suit or like them myself.

Latest Pins

@HannahMarieBrankley