My Lactose Intolerance Journey

Hi everyone!

Today’s blog is a little bit different to my usual blog- I am going to be talking about my lactose intolerance!

What is a lactose intolerance?

  • It basically means that my body does not like as much dairy as other people. But I think it’s important to highlight that there are different levels of lactose intolerance. I am pretty lucky and my intolerance is pretty minor. That basically means that if I have a cup of tea with normal cows milk in, or maybe a cheeky slice of cake on a day out, I won’t necessarily have stomach cramps. So my body can deal with a small amount of dairy.
  • dairy-freeHowever, if I pig out and have a heap of dairy- I get the worst stomach cramps. The longer I have had this intolerance though, the more I have been able to judge how much dairy I can have.

When did I realise I was lactose intolerant?

  • There was a bit of a journey to figuring out what was going on and why I was having stomach cramps- but we got there eventually.
  • Period Pains- I first started getting cramps when I was about 13 or 14, at which point my Doctor’s were putting it down to my time of the month. I started my period when I was 12, so I had had some time to figure out what was ‘normal’ for me, and these pains were different. My stomach cramps are like stabbing pains that make me want to curl into a ball- not a constant ache like periods.
  • Appendicitis- I started passing out when I was 14 from the pains and I can honestly say it was mortifying. So after this happened a few times and started to be super embarrassing, I was taken to hospital to have some tests and I stayed over night. The tests came back negative.
  • Gall Bladder- they then tested me for problems with my Gall Bladder. I can’t really recall much about the tests, it all sort of merges into one in my head- but long story short they came back negative too. So yay for my appendix and gall bladder working!
  • Celiacs Disease– this was a quick test, but luckily this was negative too. The Doctors were basically ruling out different illnesses and allergies.
  • Gluten Intolerance- IBS– for YEARS I was convinced, and was diagnosed, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Though originally this made a difference Lactose free stampand the pains died down, it wasn’t a long term fix. I completely changed my diet to be Gluten Free- which is surprisingly easy as loads of supermarkets accommodate for this diet. But the pains came back.
  • Dairy Intolerance- BINGO. By 18 I was still having the stomach cramps and I was getting pretty irritated. I ended up not knowing what to eat and what not to eat. At the same time my sister was told she was dairy intolerant, and so my family changed our diets again to accommodate  her. This meant lacto-free products- and the cramps started to die down. Though I was eating less dairy, I hadn’t completely cut it out of my diet. At this point I was about to go to University and my Mum suggested, with me shopping for only myself, to try a completely dairy free diet. That was that really, I went to University, bought only dairy free products and my cramps have been so much better!

Now I eat a mostly dairy free diet and occasionally have some dairy if I really have no alternative (or the food, usually cake, just looks too good!).

I know this is slightly different from my typical lifestyle blogs, but if you enjoy reading, or would like to know more about my diet let me know in the comments. Please like and subscribe!

20 Life Lessons, learnt in 20 years.

  1. Money does not equal happiness.
  2. Saying no is OK.
  3. Empowered women, empower other women.
  4. Stand up for what you believe in- always.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others.
  6. Surround yourself with those that love you and make you feel worthy.
  7. Giving will make you happier.
  8. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  9. Nobody is in charge of your happiness but you.
  10. Paying someone a compliment can make their day.
  11. Avoid negative people.
  12. Be honest.
  13. Admit to your mistakes- don’t let them define you.
  14. Family comes first.
  15. People come and go, enjoy every second.
  16. Be yourself- you’re one of a kind.
  17. The grass is always greener on the other side.
  18. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  19. Life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
  20. Having dark days simply makes the bright days brighter.

50 ways to prevent feeling overwhelmed- taking back control and self-care

  1. Make a weekly “to-do” list.
  2. Mind-map all the little things playing on your mind- no matter how seemingly insignificant.
  3. Have a weekly pamper session- tan, nails, hair etc.
  4. Take a hot bath.
  5. Remind yourself of your importance.
  6. Lay in the sunshine.
  7. Make your bed.
  8. Choose a new book to read.
  9. Put on fresh comfortable clothing.
  10. Re-read one of your favourite books.
  11. Allow yourself to laugh.
  12. Choose tomorrows outfit before bed.
  13. Try a new walk.
  14. Turn your phone off for a whole day.
  15. Watch an all-time favourite movie.
  16. Ask someone for advice or help.
  17. Book a short break away.
  18. Spend time with animals.
  19. Have a good cry.
  20. Say no when you start feeling overwhelmed.
  21. Go to the seaside.
  22. Throw out, or give to charity, your old clothes.
  23. Sing like nobody else can hear you.
  24. Get up early- make the most of every day.
  25. Make spontaneous plans.
  26. Listen to peaceful music.
  27. Take multi-vitamins.
  28. Write down your goals and stick them somewhere you see them every day.
  29. Do something creative- crafts, knit, sew etc.
  30. Let it go.
  31. Treat yourself, have a cake or a pizza every now and then.
  32. Get an early night.
  33. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for.
  34. Healthy body, healthy mind.
  35. Unplug from social media.
  36. Take a nap.
  37. Hug someone for longer than 10 seconds- it’s proven to relieve stress.
  38. Surround yourself with people that make you happy.
  39. Declutter your home/ room.
  40. Write your feelings down in a journal.
  41. Step out of your comfort zone- cook a new recipe.
  42. Sit in the garden or in the park for an hour and watch the world go by.
  43. Eat a healthy diet.
  44. Have a pyjama day.
  45. Do some baking.
  46. Listen to your favourite song.
  47. Wear your favourite perfume.
  48. Get a haircut.
  49. Go outside, lie on your back and watch the sky.
  50. Call someone you love.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

I always say how much I love the beach. One of the biggest reasons is that it never fails to brighten up a day (no matter how grey or rainy) and makes me feel super fresh. I had been in the house pretty much all day and I was in need of some vitamin sea (punny).

I found out today there is a name for beach lovers- Thalassophile. Meaning: a lover of the sea.

Here are a few of the photos we took today!

IMG_3401IMG_3400IMG_3399IMG_3403IMG_3388IMG_3397IMG_3398IMG_3393IMG_3392IMG_3404IMG_3402IMG_3394IMG_3391IMG_3389IMG_3390IMG_3395IMG_3396

A walk on the beach just never fails to blow the cobwebs away!

Top 8: Things I am looking forward to this Summer

It’s officially Summer! That means BBQ’s, beach days, bikinis and knobbly bobblies!

This is just a little post to discuss the things I am most excited about this coming Summer. There is something about Summer that makes everyone seem happier. Life just seems to have more of a buzz to it. Plus it’s friggin beautiful this time of year. If you’ve visited my blog before (hello, old friends!) then you’ll know I LOVE living by the beach. If not (welcome!)- it’s my favourite place in the whole world. So Summer, to me, revolves a large amount around the salty aired, chip smelling, seagull full seaside of the South Coast of England.

So here we go, the Top Ten Things I am excited for this Summer:

  1. A Cruise around the Baltics
  • 3 weeks! I am so excited to go. I have never been on a cruise, but from what I hear it’s food, trips, food, relaxation and more food. Which is funnily enough right up my street (me being a big old foodie anyway!) My Grandparents always try and come back the same, or less in weight by walking round the cruise ship frequently throughout the cruise. And by that I mean they do laps. When I first heard this I thought it was a bit excessive, but having discussed it with others- the cruise ship food sounds dangerously appealing! For the sake of my 8th aim for the summer (getting fit and healthy)- I may adopt this habit in the hope of coming back the same size!
  1. My Mini French Break
  • After my cruise (ooh sounds rather fancy written down J), I have a little bit of a manic switch around, where I am getting on the vomit comet from Portsmouth to Cherbourg the next day to join my family in France. This I am absolutely buzzed for.
  • Every other year we go away with my family to lovely houses in France, and this year I am missing a large chunk due to being on a cruise. This is sadly the consequences of growing up, being an adult forces you to make crappy decisions. (Obviously I am aware that of all crappy decisions, choosing between and a cruise and beach side holiday in France is a pretty decent one!).
  • So I will spend a few days in France, hopefully doing what we do best. That’s playing cricket, drinking wine, singing loudly to songs from 30 years ago, competitive playing of cards for pure pride of winning and taking it in turns to cook a meal (MasterChef style). Along with pretending to be fluent in French, treating the Carrefour as a day trip and roasting marshmallows on the BBQ.
  1. Getting my Puppy (a Goldendoodle)
  • We have literally been talking about getting another dog for years, but its finally happening! We are bringing our little afro ball of pure blonde fluff home after our holiday. I am so excited to see how she gets along with Jim, to buy all her PINK things, choose new toys and have a dog that fetches! Jim is a border terrier, and lordy he is a sweetie… though retrieving has never been his thing. He’s more of a throw the toy for me, I’ll chase it and then rip it to shreds kind-of-guy. I’m also super buzzed to have puppy cuddles. Eek, even thinking about it I cannot wait!IMG_3207
  1. Moving into my new Flat in Leamington
  • I think this next (and final- omg help me) year of University could be the best. I am going to be living with my best friends, in a little flat in Royal Leamington Spa. Besides the obvious living with my best friends and literally having a bestie sleep over every night, I am excited for all the little things. A clean home (hopefully!), candles, car sharing, movies in eachothers beds, getting ready for nights out with each other, eating meals together and being able to walk to the room next door when I realise (as I do every 5 minutes with my history degree) that I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s just going to be FAB.
  1. Decorating my home room
  • I recently decorated my room, a soft pink and I cant wait to add some final touches. At the moment I am OBSESSED with flamingos and I am constantly on Not On the Highstreet looking at inspiration. I love all things flamingo, cactus, pineapple and fluffy. So I’m having a field day searching for things to add to my room. I am getting some new shelves and a new bed.
  1. Our London Get-Away
  • For Jack’s birthday I bought him a trip to London and I have several ideas (no concrete plans yet- which I actually find more exciting!). One at the top of my list is Sketch- a centre for food, art and music. Every so often a new artist is allowed to totally revamp the restaurant, to recreate it in their own way. And OMG it looks insane. I’ll insert some pictures because hell-to-the-yeah I am going there.sketch 2sketch loosketch
  1. Days by the Beach
  • Need I say more. I love it. I drag Jack there all the time. We go to the arcade, we eat ice cream and we walk for miles chatting about what ifs.IMG_2850
  1. Getting fit and healthy
  • Membership- yep. Have I been much- nope. Need to work on the last bit, but baby steps! I have felt so much better being at home, with regards to my diet. I just feel that when I’m exam stress free I eat better. So getting fit and healthy is something I’m super excited about.

Work, work, work, work, work

HAVING A JOB AT UNIVERSITY

  1. Each situation is different:
  • Getting a job works differently for everyone, but I found that having a permanent University job wasn’t for me. During my first year of University, I felt quite home sick, and the idea of having contracted hours during term, that could potentially prevent me from coming home as often, put me off. I also didn’t ‘need’ the job to survive at University, so I decided to focus on getting used to University, before getting a job.
  1. People that do have Jobs Term-Time:
  • Many of my friends had term-time jobs and absolutely loved it. Some situations rely on having a job to finance, some people need the extra little bit to make finances easier and others just like the structure of work and the extra money goes a long way.
  1. University Blogger:
  • Though I didn’t have a job during my first year, I did become a University of Warwick Blogger, which I shall be carrying on into my final year also. This meant I had to blog twice a month on the University Blogger Page, and I would receive £25.00 at the end of the month. This does not sound much, but it really helped me. Plus it looks good on a CV and is relevant to my future career.
  1. Having a Job out of University Terms:
  • This is something I highly recommend. During University, people go on so many awesome trips, but this requires £££.
  • Temporary Work: you can pick up seasonal work at Christmas, Easter and Summer, relatively easy. Places such as retail are often looking for temporary workers. Plus, once you’ve worked for them once, and hopefully made a good impression, they often ask for you back next time you’re between University terms.
  • When you can’t find a retail job: this happened to me last year, where I couldn’t find a job and I started to panic. But don’t.
  • Total Jobs: I used this to get the newest updates on jobs. A few examples of what pops up here are: hairdresser assistant, nursery assistant, administration based jobs, receptionists- different from retail, but none the less well paying and frequent work!
  1. Bonuses of having a Job:
  • The obvious thing is MONEY.
  • But putting that aside, employers love CV’s with jobs on, whether that during University or out of term, or even just summer. It shows commitment, work ethic, organisation and the capability of juggling a busy schedule.
  1. Suggestions: there are so many jobs students can apply for during University:
  • On campus: restaurants, coffee shops, admin, cleaning and tour guides.
  • At Warwick University we have the Welcome to Warwick Scheme, these are the people that wear bright yellow tops, carry out the tours, answer prospective student questions and show you what the University is all about. They work about 3 times a year and get paid over £10 an hour.

wws

  • Department representative: there are so many opportunities within the departments. You can be a researcher, an assistant, a representative and a blogger.
  • Blogging: I am not sure whether Blogging is more specific to Warwick University, but it is such a good opportunity. There are places such as Campus Society that offer platforms for students to share their blogs. Though you don’t get paid, there are excellent rewards offered, such as vouchers. If you want to give blogging a go, Campus is an excellent place to start.

 

Pink Floral Room Inspiration

Hi everyone!

Over the weekend I decorated my room and oh boy was it hard work.

My family had gone camping and I couldn’t because of work commitments. So I was working 10 to 7 on Saturday and 9 to 6 on Sunday… and decided to completly gut and decorate my room- pure stupidity.

Lesson’s learnt:

  1. Preparation (much to my disgust) is key
  2. Moving to University meant I have double the amount of ‘stuff’- which happens to need to be out back into my room. Which, unlike my wardrobe, has not grown.
  3. If you want perfection- pay someone else.

Skills:

  1. I learnt to man up a lil bit- crying in a built in wardrobe because you can’t take the lid off the paint is not productive. Especially crying on the phone to your Dad.
  2. How to wash paint out of your hair.
  3. I figured out how to avoid getting paint in you eyes and mouth- step as far away as possible.

At the end of the day, I can honestly say that I would be happy never painting another room again. It makes me miserable, tired and put my relationship to the test! But it does look very nice now and I am very pleased.

I painted it a Dulux White Blossom pink colour, which is a very subtle, not too childish, pink. Here are some of the plans I have for it!

I am loving all things flamingo at the moment, but I also love cactus’- I’m hoping to include both features, without it looking bonkers. I love the whole design side of these things, but its safe to say I’m not a interior painter… actually I suck at it!

Side note: All of the above can be found on Not on the Hightstreet- My all time favourite!