Monthly Round-up

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This month has zoomed by so fast it!

I’ve Been Drinking…

Ale recently (thanks to various beer festivals in Manchester!) and discovered I like pale ale (IPA’s) that have a slight nutty taste but aren’t too hoppy. This McEwan’s Champion is a really light, easily drinkable one.

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Something I’ve learned…

On a washing machine the ‘crease guard’ function does the same job as the ‘rinse hold’ button, meaning if you open the door at that point the water will come flooding out and it’s a LOT of water!

I’ve Been Collaborating With…

I was invited by Lime Venue Portfolio to collaborate on a map of all of my fave places in Manchester that are worth a visit. I’d been thinking of doing this in some form for some time. I chose cultural places including Whitworth Art Gallery, great places to eat for all budgets, interesting areas to visit like China Town, places to shop featuring some unusual places with a long Manc history such as Affleck’s and Kingbee Records and places to grab a beer and watch a band at the end of a busy day including Band On The Wall. Everything within a five mile radius of the town centre.

Things to do in Manchester

Blogging Events…

I was invited to a fabulous make up master class by wonderful makeup artist Cassie Lomas at Superdrug in the Arndale, using their cruelty free B. products.

I got invited to the Disaronno Terrace event outside the Oast House and learned that I love a Disaronno Sour as it’s refreshing and not too sickly, meaning I can have lots of them!

I’ve Been Cheating Eating….

Chocolate covered pretzels! Who remembers these from the 90’s?

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Now the seasons are changing here’s my sensible comfort food…

Vegan Red Pesto with wheat free pasta and to warm me up, miso soup which aids digestion as it contains live cultures.

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Break through….

Along with Vit B12 shots I’ve been prescribed vitamin D supplements as I’ve been found to have the lowest level of bit D the haematologist had ever seen. Not that I’m boasting ;0)

This means I’ll finally be able to absorb calcium and my joints & spine will be stronger, and I will be able to develop more muscle to support them. It also means I will have better neuromuscular function – so no more twitches of my nerves or crappy co-ordination/fumbling things – hurrah!

D deficiency and B12 deficiency and eating wheat and dairy (especially if intolerant to it) and consuming too much alcohol (which I did throughout my early teens and 20’s) vastly contributes to inflammation on the brain (which worryingly showed up in my scan 12 months ago), which in turn can contribute to ADD & ADHD, which I’ve had all of the symptoms of since childhood and still have. Although 15 months later I’m still waiting for an official diagnoses. It all makes sense now! I’ve found some brilliant eating plans for reducing brain inflammation and clever coping strategies for ADHD online. All of that research took less than an hour!

Camera’s POV…

My Panasonic Lumix has a touch screen which you can swipe through to review pictures or press to take a shot. It’s highly sensitive and just clicks away as if by it’s self constantly. Sometimes I get some random points of view that I quite like.

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Guilty Confession….

I bought more black boots! But they were both – yes both – in the sale – well, I know one pair was. Plus, both of my old one’s fell apart!

What’s your guilty confession this month?

What have you learned?

What new yumminess have you discovered?

What’s In My Bag?

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I like reading these posts on other peoples blogs because I’m rather nosey. So fair is fair, here’s mine.

My trusty floppy cross body bag. I’m not built to lug a heavy statement bag around that’s wider than I am, so this works well.

Tiny bottle opener because I’m not one of those people who can pop open a cap using the edge of a wall. I wish I were.

My crappy old phone that no one will nick off me when I’m waiting for the bus in Piccadilly at night.

My crappy old phone charger. I’m back and forth to The Blokes so often it has to stay with me. I’ve just realised I’ve picked up the wrong one, doh!

My rubber spiky pen because weirdo should have one.

My keys with a little pot clog (The Bloke has the other one) and the remains of a good luck pendant I bought from the big hippie market in Ibiza when I was 13.

Healthy food suggestions from a magazine that I must remember to buy, eventually.

My awesome Kahuna watch with a broken strap I need to get replaced, eventually.

A lip balm for day and gloss for night.

Face (T-zone) blotting tissues which also work well on a greasy fringe when you are on the run.

A heart shaped compact mirror. The cutest, girliest thing I own.

Mathew Williamson purse (the only thing by him I’ll ever be able to afford) with pockets for everything.

I finally found a notebook that isn’t spiral bound on the left so it does hurt to write left handed. I love that it features a Celtic knot made up of dogs!?

 

 

B. Make-up Master Class & Products

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B. Make-up Master Class & Products

I was really pleased to receive an invite to Superdrugs make up masterclass because their own cosmetic line B. is BUAV (leaping bunny) approved, vegan and paraben free.

Celebrity makeup artist Cassie Lomas who has worked with Lady Gaga and Iggy Azalia as well as many UK stars walked us through an entire look, base, sculpting, browns, eyes and lips.

B. beauty class Cassie Lomas

I was really interested in brushing up on my sculpting skills and learning how to groom and fill in my eyebrows, which have gotten rather sparse since I hit my 30’s.

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I learnt that contouring isn’t just about starting from the centre of your ear and continuing to sweep downward diagonally. Really, you only need to make a fairly small sweep fading out level with the corner-centre of your eye, depending on your face shape. Another tip Cassie told us was if you have a long face – like me – to not start too high up, otherwise you will be left with too much blank face at the bottom! The depth of the contouring (and whether you want to add a little to your temples) also depends on the individuals face shape. Pat highlighter onto cheek bones and down the centre of the nose and on to the cupid bow of the lips if you want them to appear fuller. I love that on the bottom of the B. Sculpting kit kit there is a little sticker with these instructions!

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Here is the full kit which includes; Rich Intense Moisturising Colour Lipstick in Breeze £7.99; B. Defined Brow Kit (available in light and dark) £9.99; B. Stunning Eye Vibrant Shimmer in Tropic £6.99; B. Limited Edition Palette in Pop £6.99; B. Precise Longwear Gel Eyelinner £6.99; B. Sculpted Contour Kit (available in light, medium, dark) £10.49; B. Confident C.C. Cream SPF 45 £5.47 (available in light and medium).

B. Cosmetics Superdrug

After I’d kindly been sent some suitable shades for me (darker than what we were experimenting with) I created my B Selfie Ready look at home. In this picture the left side of my face is bear and the right is made up so you can cover both sides and see the contrast. Try it!

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The B. Sculpted Contour kit is a fantastic mix of subtle coloured powder and creamy highlighter which is totally unique and works so well.

The C.C. Cream works well to cover redness and even out skin tone while keeping you looking radiant with an essential SPF.

The lip colour is indeed moisturising and just glides on with a good depth of colour and is my perfect nude shade actually!

Eye Vibrant Shimmer in Tropic is such a beautiful colour and when layered with the same shade of powder has an amazing depth of colour and staying power. A fab tip from Cassie: When getting near the brow bone if you have to much product on your lids, push it downward so as to leave room for high lighter above it.

Gel Eyelinner is tricky to apply but gives bold long lasting results. More forgiving of an unsteady hand than liquid liner and slightly smudge able like kohl. To get the best out of this you pull the lid taught and sketch in your line (flicks should start from the outer edge and go inward) and then once you have the right shape you load up the little brush and really go for it!

B. Defined Brow Kit includes two shades of colour, a wax and a highlighter for under your brow bone. As my brows are black I could have used the darker kit but using the darkest shade in this kit lightened my brows, making them compliment my hair more and look less fierce. The little come and stiff angled brush were perfect for the job.Cassie told us to make the mid part of the brow the strongest and to fade out slightly toward the middle for a more natural finish.

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Working with highlighter in the inner corners, a wash of Vibrant shimmer all over and the blue shade from the Pop palette in the corners and the crease for a little depth. Unfortunately my camera doesn’t capture cream eyeshadow too well.

If you have heavy lids or mono lids, a big fancy flick can look disjointed when you open your eyes. Either draw a subtle line or a short chunky flick to open up the eyes. It’s easier if you apply the upper half of the colour with your eyes open so you can see just how high it needs to go, compared to what you might expect when your lid is closed. There have been many times when I’ve spent ages following a detailed tutorial only to open my eyes and have all my handwork disappear into the crease of my eyes!

 

Cartoon Your Profile Pic!

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Cartoon Your Profile Pic!

I came across a really kooky cartoon profile picture on Instagram and was told it was created with the MYOTee app. I downloaded it as I’ve been looking for something like this for months.

Me

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The Bloke

20140820-222931.jpgIf we were crime fighting vigilantes

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If we had an unusual trusty side-kick

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So apparently, when I’m old I’ll look like E.T. in a wig.

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If you would like me to make you one for your blog or a friends (if you link to my blog in your post), I’d be happy to!

OOTD: ‘Boyfriend’ Style

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OOTD: ‘Boyfriend’ Style

Mid-season, this is what I like to wear. A tee, a shirt, baggy trousers and trainers but with feminine details. Little flowers on the shirt, rolled up shirt sleeves, a bit of bling in the hooped earrings, pretty colours, marbled trainers and a bright belt.

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Shirt – Matalan (s/s 14)

Tee – River Island (S/S 14)

Trousers – George @ ASDA

Trainers – Vans (S/S 14)

Earings – Next

Multi-medium Customised Phone Case by Dainty Fox

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Multi-medium Customised Phone Case by Dainty Fox

I came across Dainty Fox on Twitter and had a nosey at the gallery of 3D multi-medium phone cases. Wow, these were little works of art!

After talking we quickly decided upon an ‘alt girl’ theme for me – the perfect balance between geek and cool. I listed some retro icons, then Dainty Fox created a mock up and we went from there.

You could say Dainty Fox’s signature are rounded oversized shapes but I asked if the adornments could be flush with the side of the case so it would be sleeker to fit in the phone pockets of my bags, which wasn’t a problem.

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This cute little package arrived through my letter box about a week later.

customised phone case by dainty fox

Ta-daah! Totoro from the Miyazaki anime, a light sabre, ‘alt girl’, Batman, a Pac Man jelly ghost and Hello Kitty decked out in specks of course.

customised phone case by Dainty FoxI thought the improvisation of the black and red gems really suited my personality. This is really easy to hold and to use. I’ve been using my new case for around two weeks and there is no way any of motifs are coming loose.

You can order your personalised case from Dainty Fox and see examples of cases here. I did all of my discussion and ordering through the Dainty Fox Twitter page. and Paypal.

Food Intolerance Symptoms and Information

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What Is A Food Intolerance?
The bodies immune system reacts to the ingredient/s as if it is an invader and puts all of it’s energy and resources into fighting off. An intolerance can also mean your body is naturally lacking a particular enzyme which is essential for digesting the ingredient. A perfect example of this is cows milk or lactose in all dairy. Food intolerance symptoms are much milder than an allergic reaction but if you suffer from many of them, it can still have a detrimental impact on your day-to-day life.

Food Intolerance Symptoms

Mild swelling, possibly around the nose and/or forehead

A red flushed appearance

Fluid retention often around the chin, stomach, fingers and ankles

Nasal congestion or runny nose.

Constipation (stomach/digestive system still feels and appears swollen after stomach muscles are clenched).

Stomach cramps caused by trapped wind.

Excess wind

Dihorrea

Lethargy

Mild wheezing/tight chest

Raised temperature

Constant thirst

Headaches

Spotty/oily skin breakouts

Joint pain/Back ache/Muscle pain

Mild itchiness and irritation

The most common food intolerance’s

Lactose

Cows milk (especially common in people of Oriental Asian decent)

Gluten

Wheat

Nuts

Sea food

Yeast

Sulphates (in tomatoes, mushrooms, red wine)

It might not be as simple as dairy, it could be the lactose (milk sugar) in the dairy. Which which is often used as a flavour coating for foods such as crisps. It could be the gluten in the wheat, used as to bulk and bond other ingredients. Sulphates in red wine or tomatoes. Yeast in beer. If you are still struggling to figure out what you are sensitive to, you might want to look at food intolerances as being sensitive to individual ingredients/components and additives rather than just whole foods to avoid.

Information and Resources

Symptoms can last up to 5 days and may not be immediately apparent.

Symptoms relating to each food intolerance can vary greatly.

It’s important to keep a food diary and a list of symptoms for the process of elimination. It will also help you later to recognise which unsuitable ingredient your food included if you eat it by mistake.

Make your pharmacist aware if you have a food intolerance as they will know more about medication ingredients than a Dr.

A good Dr should refer you to a nutritionist but unfortunately some Dr’s still consider food intolerance to be a minor problem, not worth their time. If this is the case there are now several companies which carry out blood tests against a wide range of foods and will give you a clear diagnosis. York Test offer two phone consultations with a nutritionist, they test your blood against 113 foods for a reaction, provide a food diary and lots of info. Plus, if your test shows up negative to everything they offer a full refund. I personally found them to be fantastic.

Dietary/digestive aids can help greatly if your food intolerance is mild. I find Acidophilus Complex by Viridian really relieves and even prevents some of my symptoms. I take one capsule at the start of a problem meal and then one the next morning with breakfast. Obviously do read the ingredients and instructions before taking any supplements. If you can’t digest dairy you may need a complex containing a probiotic (naturally found in milk, yoghurt, cheese) to introduce good bacteria into your gut.

Important!

If you discover that you react to wheat and gluten and get regular stomach cramps and the runs, you may be coeliac. This is more severe than food intolerance and if overlooked, can cause long term stomach and digestive problems. Consult your Dr and/or ask to be referred to a specialist or nutritionist.

Bloating, frequent dihorrea, severe stomach cramps and constant fatigue can be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or the more serious Ulcerative Colitis. Consult a Dr immediately and ask to be referred to specialist.

My Story

I realise now that I must have had a food intolerances to wheat (however I’m not celiac – a gluten intolerance – which is more severe) and dairy from being a child.

I felt very tired with small peaks of energy in between my breakfast of cereals or toast, my packed lunch of sandwiches and my tea with a dairy filled desert.

At the age of 15 my ankles and feet started to swell massively because of the undiagnosed intolerance’s. My Dr looking rather alarmed told me to stay hydrated but cut my salt intake way down. This confused me as I had more of sweet tooth. I cut down on salt even more. Nothing changed. At age 33 I’ve just learned if you don’t have enough salt you can’t sweat (which I didn’t) and you can’t cool down (which explains why I’d quickly feel sick and faint all summer) and your body has no choice but store an excessive amount of water ie water retention. Ta for that Dr.

At age 15 I had fairly bad acne and rosacea (a deep red flushing of the skin). I was prescribed pills twice to no avail. The second time my Dr (the same one I went to with my ankles) told me “If this doesn’t work, something is wrong. I’ll do tests and send you to a nutritionist.” Oh, how I wish I would have followed it up. I was a lazy teen, armed with concealer who was scared she’d be told to cut out the ready meals and McDonalds.

Age 20 (an adult bear in mind) I asked to see a Dr but only got to see a nurse. She felt my incredibly swollen stomach and intestines, then confirmed I wasn’t I wasn’t pregnant. Well I knew that! She then looked at my skinny frame and said “We can’t all look as skinny as models. Is that it? Are we done?” I was so astonished by her ignorant dismissive attitude that I actually apologised for wasting her time!

Age 30 I had read enough food intolerance articles in women’s magazines to be certain I had one. Determined this time, I deliberately made an appointment with a female Dr. I told her about my symptoms and said I was sure I’d been struggling with food intollerance for years and that I’d cut out wheat & then dairy for a month each but to no avail. Her advice “Go on a food elimination diet.” “It’s where you cut out most foods from your diet then re-introduce them one at a time.” That was literally her only information and advice on the subject.

Luckily, a week later York Test kits were recommended in a magazine I was reading and then a lovely woman at Neal’s Yard Remedies matched me with the perfect digestive aid.

Don’t give up, persevere!