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Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Two Years ago I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and it's a topic I update on this blog every now and then. Recently I haven't gone through everything that's happened/happening and decided for this post to break it down in a similar way to last years post.

Medication

When I last updated it was August 2015 and since then I have been introduced onto a new drug called Humira. I am given this in an EpiPen and over a couple of weeks I learnt to inject it into my stomach. I now have to do that every two weeks and to be honest it's one of the hardest things I do as I am terrified of needles. I was also told to come off some of my medication, which I was a little apprehensive about and well, I was right to be as I ended up in a flare and had to go back onto them. 
Medication isn't going to mend it like taking antibiotics would for a chest infection. It is hard to have a chronic illness but the side effects of some of these meds are physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. They include joint pain, headaches, fatigue, itching, sore throat, fever, chills and dizziness. Over Christmas where I was on my feet for long periods and working in an environment where I had to move a lot picking up items or bending to reach lower shelves, I felt it a lot worse than I have before because of the medication. I remember coming home most nights and collapsing on the sofa or my bed, I didn't have the energy to eat or even get changed I just wanted sleep and when I got up in the morning I did it all again. I was determined not to let it get me and I ended up breaking because I didn't take care of myself. Towards the end of 2015 I learnt to say no and realise my health comes first.

Depressive State / Anxiety

When I started to flare again I became housebound and that was for 10+ weeks. It was very, very hard and I was referred though my GP to have Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which was a godsend. I learnt to be calmer and not panic as much when my Colitis played up and although it didn't "fix" me I learnt to be the one in control mentally. I was able to leave my house, I started working again and I've started to get back on my feet. I still have problems driving the car and I do rely on my parents to get me to work and other places so I still have that to tackle but I'm not pushing myself too much just yet. I learnt to say no through CBT and it was my therapist who showed me what I was doing to myself, how much I was taking on and how that affected my anxiety. I am forever thankful to her.

Dietitian / Weight

I haven't discussed this in a lot of detail before but with all of the medication I put on a lot of weight, then I lose it, then I put on even more and it's upsetting when I wear my favourite dress and the beginning of the summer and by the end I have no chance of fitting into it. I started the gym but when I became housebound and I was to and from appointments I stopped going. I have started to again this year but recently been taking a break because of a new diet. 
I was referred to a dietitian as I find it hard to stomach certain foods and it's like the colitis says "yeah you can eat apples, but only this week, next week I'll make sure it's a trigger food". It is bizarre and because of a bad colitis day I had a consultation over the phone rather than meeting the dietitian. It was decided that I go on the low FODMAP diet, if you've never heard of it before then give it a quick google. There were a lot of foods I had to eliminated and I found it difficult to have a meal. I only lasted on it for two weeks and in that time I ate rice krispies, chicken, potatoes, broccoli, pawn crackers, ready salted crisps and gluten/free from foods as well as drinking a whole load of fizzy drinks. Everything I ate/drank was high in fat, salt and sugar and all I was trying to do was satisfy my hunger without breaking the diet. The most frustrating thing? I ended up off work for a week as it played up my colitis and I spent the majority of the time running to the bathroom. It was then decided that I drink fortijuice which has a lot of vitamins and minerals in. I've only recently started it and spent the past two days throwing up and in the bathroom. For me it is frustrating as I'm trying to get answers and be able to eat a meal without running to the bathroom half way through it. Here's to another email to the dietitian and probably another route to try so I'll keep you updated on that.

Age

This is going to be a little "heart on the sleeve" so skip ahead if it's not for you. I turn 24 this year and I never imagined being at the point I am at in life. I wanted to be living away from home, maybe with a partner and in a full time career. I always said I'd like to be married by 25 (can manage that in a year right?) and be in my own home. Realistically I don't see that happening in the near future. Although I am applying for full time jobs and trying to find a position I can create a career out it's hard when daily travel will always be an unknown area. Each day I don't know how my colitis will act, another reason I'm making diet changes and trying so hard with the meds. I want it to be stable (well as stable as possible) so I'm not a constant let down. I don't feel like an adult and like most people you do have those little fears and apprehensions of doing certain things on your own but with UC I am now petrified. More because I don't want to be stuck. I watch friends go on holidays and be spontaneous with nights out and everything I do has to be thought through and planned. And even with all that I can wake up one morning and unable to do anything anyways. It's like that for the time being and I sometimes feel as if my life isn't moving and as each birthday comes it does get worse. So finger crossed.

I really can't believe it's been two years, hopefully this will be the year I get on track with it. As I mentioned I only update now and then but there are bloggers who post more often and I wanted to share Daisy's Blog http://www.xoxocrohniegirl.com/ as it has helped me a lot and if your going through it too or something similar it may help :)


As always, thanks for reading...

Sunday, 14 February 2016
Kate Winslet
Wearing this stunning black gown by Antonio Berardi, Kate was definitely the standout of the night. The one shouldered gown with the unusual side cut to reflect a sense of cleavage is simple and effective and the way it fits well from the waist to the bottom of the hips shows off her figure beautifully.
Michael Fassbender
I have tried to find who he is wearing this evening but in a similar fashion to last year a lot of the men are not asked who they are wearing (A question that needs to be asked as equally in my opinion). I have said before it's hard to describe why one suit looks more fashionable than another and in this case it is the detailing. The Matt black suit with a subtle shine to the lapels and dickie bow go lovely with the white pocket detailing and shirt.
Emilia Clarke
Stunning! Emilia is wearing a gorgeous Victoria Beckham gown with amazing double strap shoulder. Paired with a low V Neck accentuates and elongates her figure perfectly.
Jim Chapman
One of the newest faces of Burberry wore this lovely dark navy suit that I unfortunately can't find who it was made by. As a throwback to last years fashion, the black lapels with black button detailing hasn't yet caught on as a trend like I thought it would but it does complement this suit well. Also; as a tall person myself I know how hard it it to find something as well fitting and this isn't baggy or over-sized at all.
Dakota Johnson
Wearing a Dior dress, Dakota I feel didn't wear something that stood out well for her. The dress itself doesn't give her any shape past the cleavage and it isn't very uniform with the frills. I'm not overly fond of spaghetti straps for her, being so petite, this isn't what I would have picked for her and I'm afraid didn't work at all.
John Boyega
Wearing a Giorgio Armani suit...I'm sorry John but this is a disaster. If you've read any of my red carpet fashion posts before I am not a fan of velvet, especially when it comes to men's suit jackets. The problem I have though is the muted trousers with a suit jacket that has shiny lapels and dickie bow...There is no matching or subtle conflicting detailing that works. I was also very confused to think it was black but when I saw him present saw it was brown...Please stay away from velvet sweetie!
Antonia Thomas
The Misfits actress stood out in all the right ways and I am gutted I can't find the designer of this dress as I want it myself! This beautiful floor length black gown I can see is actually cut to be a bandeau style dress and they have layered some gorgeous lace/beading to create a halter neck. Very misleading and yet so effective.
Matt Smith
You cannot see in this image but Matt's suit jacket has this subtle ribbed detailing to it which gives it a lovely sense of texture. I love how it's been paired with the white handkerchief in the pocket and only has one button on the jacket. Previous fashion's from Matt has always had something conflicting that didn't work but here it paid of nicely.
Gemma Chan
I'm very on the fence about this dress by Jenny Packham who I love but it's very out there for me. I feel as if the detailing/pattern is overbearing and the cut, especially on Gemma gives no definition past the waist. It looks as if it drops from the waist down and having such a lovely frame where her hips aren't as wide it seems to bag over her from that point down...What do you think?
Leonardo DiCaprio
This man has been to his fair share of award shows, always busy and he never seems to stray away from the Classic Hollywood look which I love. The slicked back hair, dark navy suit, which has a small pattern to the jacket which you'd otherwise miss without being up close (wouldn't mind that). Again I see the black button detailing, lapels and dickie bow that tie in together to complement the navy beautifully.
Julianne Moore
I wasn't overly in love with her dress last year, but this Giorgio Armarni (from the Prive line I think?) dress is smashing. I don't think you could ever go wrong with black and white and although I personally don't like a full on white dress because I spill everything, this lady who has a lot more class really pulls it off. Again not a fan of velvet but the black draped tie down the back and the black cape that goes with it really screams Marilyn Monroe in a halter dress to me. And on another note, I love the fact she went with an updo as it adds to the elongated feel shes giving off.
Douglas Booth
Last year I was very disappointed in the pastel velvet jacket he wore but this year he's really pulled it off. I would say he was the best dressed male for me tonight. I love the shiny shoes and lapels. The dickie bow is a little on the oversized side but one buttoned jacket with the turned up sleeves and white handkerchief is flawless.

So that is just some of the fashion's I picked out of tonight's BAFTA's awards. If there was anyone else you feel needed discussing please feel free to comment below I'd love to know what you thought of the evening.

As always, thanks for reading...
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Have you got anything planned? If not, hopefully this post will help you and if you already have plans I'd love to know how your Valentine's Day went ^.^

Getting right into it Idea 1; Call around restaurants you like and see if you can still get a booking or if there has been any cancellations. To be honest this is a long shot but it's worth a try if you'd like a nice meal out together.


Idea 2; Get takeaway and spend the evening in. This is just super easy and great if you have spent most of the week working and just want to veg out on the sofa.


Idea 3; Pack a picnic. Weather permitting, this is lovely to do and really simple. You don't even have to pack a lunch you can buy one to go and go on a nature hike or find somewhere to lounge for a couple of hours and just relax.


Idea 4; Build a fort! This is probably the most fun, set up a den, put a film on your laptop and take loads of pics doing so. Creates a great memory ^.^


Idea 5; Think outside the box, if you don't do activities like paintballing, laser quest, bowling..etc a lot and like to spend some time doing that.


Idea 6; Read to each other. It sounds really bizarre if you're not a book lover but taking it in turns to read a new book or a book you both love to each other is really sweet.


Idea 7; Cook together. Make your own pizza or fajitas...etc night is great fun.


Idea 8; If your partner hasn't seen their family for a while and you can visit them in the day that would be a lovely thing to do. Especially if they're close.


Idea 9; Go shopping and spoil yourselves. You may even use it as an opportunity to buy something for each other.


Idea 10; If you have snow where you are then why not have a snow day. It's not been the best weather where I am but make the most of it, take some pictures and spend the day in a different setting without having to venture too far.


This Valentines Day I will do what I always do, have a pamper day and watch lots of rom-coms. Hope you have a lovely Valentines!


As always, thanks for reading...


Thursday, 11 February 2016
For those celebrating their first Valentines Day I'd recommend "traditional gifts" i.e Bears & Mugs with World's Best Boyfriend/Girlfriend. There are many retailers like Card Factory and Clintons that do these but two specific brands I love are Me To You and Boofle.

Both brands do cater to Husband & Wife if your partner likes presents like these and both expand into stationery and homeware ranges too.

If you have been with your partner for a while then maybe your gift this year may be to pop the question? In my 2015 Valentines Gift Ideas Posts I did show a few examples of ring designs but they haven't really changed this year. So I thought about going down a quirkier route when I came across this post on Buzzfeed and thought to share as an alternative to engagement rings.
10 Alternatives To Engagement Rings You'll Actually Want
If you're not ready for that or already married then maybe some of these ideas that either I would do for a partner or I know of friends/family who have that might help;

- A surprise holiday - It doesn't have to be extravagant or abroad, just quiet time away together.
- Tickets to an event - If there's an artist or performance they'd like to see or even a season ticket to a sporting event it maybe something nice to do together.
- Merchandise of their favourite movies, artist or sporting team.
- A massive chocolate hamper - All you need is a hamper basket, cellophane gift bag, some ribbon and a whole load of chocolate. You could even do a movie, makeup, skincare or favourite items hamper.
- A Pet - If your partner has always wanted one and you're in a good place to take one on then go for it.
- Buy something named after them like a tree, star or rose.
- Alternatively you could adopt an animal in their name. WWF UK have some great packages where you get regular updates.

If you are looking just for cute things to do rather than buying a present then you could;

- Write love letters/notes and hide them around the house like a treasure hunt or hide them in their clothing pockets/bags.
- Move all the furniture out the way and dance together.
- Go for a walk/drive to see some historical sites.
- Make coupons, there are a lot of examples on Pinterest.
- Bake them something sweet.
- Have a chill night and watch some movies or binge watch a TV series.

I hope these help you ^.^

As always, thanks for reading...
Monday, 8 February 2016
With Valentine's Day under a week away I thought I'd do another Valentines Series. For today's post rather than going through a variety of card shops I'm going to show items from one of my favourites; Paperchase.

Paperchase is both online and on the high street and the reason I love their designs for Valentines Cards is because they reflect both tradition and modern design. What I mean by this is when I look at cards, I find a lot are either overly soppy with verses and poems that it leaves you with nothing to personally write or with an over the top front and plain message inside. Paperchase has a good balance and although it's target audience may be towards the under 30's it's a great option to consider if you're still looking for a card.

Wife


Husband



Boyfriend / Girlfriend / Fiancee / Fiance / One I Love


Funny


Animal / Cute


Simple


I hope this is helpful to you & that you come to love Paperchase like I do ^.^

As always, thanks for reading...

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