Let’s Look After And Love Our Gut!

As a blogger who has recently started talking about fitness and in the past, has spoken about a few health problems I have due to intolerances, I thought today’s post would be fit perfectly alongside those.

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Love Your Gut Week 2017 is being celebrated from Monday 4th September until Sunday 10th September and it’s raising awareness for your gut health, which according to a recent Love Your Gut Survey, 81% of us aren’t sure about the health signs that are gut could be telling us. As shocking as this figure is, it doesn’t surprise me because even I don’t know what’s going on with my tummy most of the time.

I’m no expert so I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the signs you should look out for when it comes to your gut, because the only person who should be telling you that is a qualified doctor. Love Your Gut Week comes with one of the best informative websites I’ve seen. In my job outside the blog, we get sent quite a number of press releases around awareness weeks and for research, I would use the websites mentioned in these press releases to a lot to draw up questions, so to say I’m impressed, would be an understatement. They have everything from frequently asked questions, free advice packs, how to raise awareness and even advice on how to talk to your own doctor about the issues you might be having.

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To start, here’s five of the most surprising facts that I found out about our gut health (from the Love Your Gut Week website):

1) There are more than twenty five different conditions related to the digestive system.
2) Men don’t produce smellier farts than women.
3) The gut has its own brain that contains five hundred million nerve cells.
4) Using plant based or lactose free milks can be easier to digest than lactose milks and more tolerate by sensitive guts.
5) If you need to fart, don’t hold it in!

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My body has been talking to me for quite a few years (hear me out!); from little gurgles throughout the day, stomach cramps after certain foods, questionable bowel movements and further problems when it comes to periods. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you about my bowel movements but it does bring me to a very important topic: being comfortable talking about the unsocial norms.

We have to admit that our bodily functions are something that isn’t talked about enough but quite frankly, should be. If something isn’t right and yes, we’re going to talk about poop because it’s a good example; if your poop doesn’t look healthy or it has a clear sign that something is wrong, there is definitely a conversation that needs to be had. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go and tell your next door neighbour or your local lollipop man, but go to someone you trust that will take you seriously and possibly offer you advice. Your body doesn’t lie, it shows you what is wrong but it won’t tell you. That’s perhaps the most frustrating problem with our bodies is that, yes they’ve given you this sign but what on earth does it mean? Not going to get help about a problem can only delay the issue and unfortunately some leave it too late. “I wish I’d went to see about it sooner” or “We caught it quickly because I went to see someone about it” You’ve probably heard quotes like these before and obviously sometimes there are cases where you can go to the doctor and they can’t diagnosis your problem for weeks, months or even years. It’s difficult one to balance especially when some people don’t feel comfortable or even trust their doctors (I may or may not be one of these people, sorry!) but we need to speak out. This is our body, we need to be happy and healthy in it, and we need to speak out when something is wrong. If you’re dismissed, go to another doctor or another professional; it’s your body and you have to live it so don’t let anyone tell you “Oh you’ll be fine, I’m sure it’s nothing”.

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Thank you for reading today’s post! I know it’s not your normal post that you’d see from me but I think it’s such an important issue to address so if you’d like any more information on the awareness week, please visit www.loveyourgutweek.com ❤ 
Have a lovely week! 

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SS: Sunday Saves (#53)

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Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far!  I’m back with another Sunday Saves this morning and again, just like last week, there’s no certain theme this week so I’ll be talking about handling stress, body issues and bath ballistics!

1) Not Copper Amour (Ways To Save A Stressful Day)

We’re always talking about stress, and rightly so, stress is more prevalent than ever so that’s why Emma has a wonderful blog post on how to manage this stress. Out of her list, I 100% agree with making time to eat; I love planning out a big meal and savouring it, it’s so relaxing. Physical exercise is another big way to combat stress that I couldn’t agree more with, especially when I’m in a big mood. There’s nothing better than taking your stress out on a weights sessions or even on the bike. However, cuddling up in your PJ’s with tea and chocolate works just as well for me sometimes too.

2) Surangi Style (My Body Shame)

Nital tells her story of how she currently feels about her body and you have to respect anyone who talks about their body, in a positive or a negative way, because body image is something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives. I feel like I’m on a similar path as Nital when it comes to recent body issues, so I can relate to her worries especially about buying new clothes and some of the food aspects, but more so clothing wise.

3) Desperately Seeking Lifestyle (LUSH of the Month – April – Yoga Bath Bomb)

LUSH is one of my favourite shops of all time! (Not a joke.) And unsurprisingly, I have tried the Yoga Bath Bomb but I love how much detail Ellie goes into from the scent, the appearance and she even lists all the ingredients so you don’t have to go to the website to find them out. If you’re looking for an in-depth look, Ellie has you covered.

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Saves! Thank you so much for reading and if you have any blog recommendations, please tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake or leave me a comment below.

SS: Sunday Saves (#44)

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Happy Sunday everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Saves where I try and spread a little positivity into your Sunday morning. This week I’ll be talking about transferring your own blog, my favourite face mask and style worries.

1) Tea Is For Tina (The Simple Guide to Transferring Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org)

For the past year, I’ve wanted to have my own website but I have no idea how to do it on my own. Tina’s guide is so simple that I think I could even do it. So if you’re looking a quick and easy guide on how to move your blog,  Tina’s post tells you how!

2) Black Coffee Breakfast (Holy Grail Face Mask – LUSH Cosmetics)

They always say great minds think alike and that’s no different when it comes to bloggers. Like Elen, I am in love with the Cup O’ Coffee face mask from LUSH. It is probably the best exfoliate I’ve ever used and I tent to treat myself once or twice a week with it. I do disagree with Elen on one thing though; I tend to find it a pain to get off if I’m standing over the sink with a flannel but if I’m in the shower, it’s easy peasy! But if you’re looking a really good face scrub and don’t have really sensitive skin, you should give Cup O’ Coffee a go!

3) The Little Plum (Dress For Your Style, Not Your Shape)

Let me just start this off by saying I have no style. Okay, everyone has style, I just don’t know what mine is. I’m a jeans and jumper girl and recently I’ve pushed the boat out by rolling the bottoms of my jeans up, wearing a pair of white trainer socks and white shoes, and you’ll be amazed by how “stylish” I feel. I know, not exactly groundbreaking but we all have to start somewhere. I loved Chloe’s post because like her, I’m petite and it doesn’t matter what height or size you are, we’re always told “Oh don’t wear that, <insert body part here> won’t look very flattering”. It can be frustrating so maybe that’s why I lack any sense of style. Chloe’s post is definitely one to read if you feel like you’re stuck in somewhat of a rut because you’re being told you shouldn’t wear something because you don’t have the shape for it.

That’s all from my Sunday Saves this week. Remember to click on the girl’s links and give them a read, they’re all worth it, I promise!

 

 

 

 

What’s on my Grown-Up checklist?

So let’s all pretend just for five minutes that the world isn’t such a scary place and that we’re all ready for absolutely anything that happens beyond this point! Because we are, aren’t we?

Today’s post isn’t a bucket list by any means; it’s a list of things that are important to me for the future, and yes, while I may have given it the name of “grown-up checklist”, I really would love to check this list off in the future at some point.

I’ve divided it up into two sections: Labour of Love and Special Quests. My Labour of Love will be the goals that are the big life changers that everyone thinks about like marriage and children for example but I’ve also included goals like improving myself (and not just trying to achieve happiness). My Special Quests are those more playful goals that I have a lot of pride in and they’re not any less important by any means but they’re a little more on the creative side.

My Labour of Love Life Goals

Get married.

(This is still quite a sensitive subject for me, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t go into a lot detail about the subject. It’s still one of the most important goals that I want to one day have but talking about marriage just after a break-up isn’t the easiest thing in the world!) One day I would love to get married and be someone’s wife. I want someone to love me so much that they would be willing to commit themselves to me for the rest of their lives. That’s love right? I want someone who is willing to work on our relationship together and build it stronger each and every day. That’s what a relationship, a partnership and a marriage is. Some might argue, you don’t need a piece of paper for that, and that’s true but it would be my personal preference to make it official. But let’s face it, that is well and truly in the far far future (I hope!)

Learn to evaluate my negative thoughts and feelings to deal with them in a more positive way.

“I want to be happy”, but how long do you want to be happy? I don’t want to be happy; I want to tell myself that you know what? Some days you’re going to feel like you can’t do anything and all you want to do is watch TV hiding away from the world. On the other side of that, I want to be able to tell myself that I can face whatever I come up against, no matter what that may be. So this goal isn’t about being happy, this is about conquering my own thoughts and feelings which I have been doing for almost a year through CBT (also known as cognitive behavioural therapy). I’ve never came out and said it on my blog (or to anyone else apart from a few friends) but I have been going to counselling (for almost a year) and it’s one of the best investments that I have made. I can speak about it more in further detail if anyone is interested in finding out more about my experience but I want to work on this goal every day even when I do finish my counselling because it’s something that will constantly shape me into being the person I want to be.

Become a good mother.

I didn’t want to say “have children” because I think there’s a difference between having children and being a good mother, and yes, I’ll not get everything right, but I want to be ready and have even 10% confidence that I can do it. I want to raise a family that I can be proud of, and I can see what I have taught them through their enthusiasm and attitude for life.

My Special Quests

Meet Whitney

Whitney is one of my best friends. We first started talking on Tumblr a few years ago about LUSH, I can’t even remember how many years ago now, but she’s been my best friend ever since. She lives in Canada and of course, it’s not very close to Northern Ireland so we haven’t met yet, but one of my life goals is to finally meet her! If you remember back in July, I dedicated a blog post to her, which you can find here. She got married to the lovely Mat and I wasn’t able to be at the wedding so I just wanted to write something to her because she’s a very important part of my life. Whitney’s been there with me through the best parts of my life and also the worst parts, and I know that this will be a lifelong friendship.

Learn a new language

I wanted to learn Finnish when my ex-boyfriend and I went to Finland and Russia but we never got around to it and I really regretted it because I think it was the perfect opportunity seeing as we were going to the country itself. I have no idea what language I would like to learn; I’m planning on trying to learn Irish at the minute but in terms of an absolute favourite language I would love to learn, I’m not too sure yet!

Never stop learning!

A perfect way to end my list! I don’t believe that you can stop learning. You can choose not to take on someone’s advice or go against someone else’s opinion, but you’re still learning, whether you’re in the right or wrong. I don’t want to live in a world where I just ‘know’ everything, because where’s the fun in that?

I hope my list made you think more about what life goals you would set for yourself. I gave them fun names to get you more intrigued rather than “serious” and “fun” because who wants to read a list of “serious” and “fun” goals? I’m planning on adding more colour to my list so stay tuned for that!

SS: Sunday Saves (#2)

Week Two of my new series where I choose three blog posts that I’ve read throughout the week (new or old), I talk about them, and why I like them!

  1. Life Of Kitty (Thinking About: Why I Exercise)

    Katie’s blog is filled with everything; whether that’s food, fitness, beauty or lifestyle, it’s a nice all rounder that I love. She started a series where she chooses something that she wants to talk about or has stuck in her head, it’s such a good idea. This post is about why she exercises and I can really relate to it. I also love the gym, there’s nothing better than the buzz you get after a long workout and you’re sitting on one of the heavy weights machines and you’re putting your all into the last set before you feel like you can’t go any more. That’s the buzz I like.
    Fitness in general is so important and I think it’s important to do it wherever you can. Katie talks about finding the time, which a lot of people use an excuse (We all do it at some stage, don’t we?) I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been slacking on the gym this past month, which I’m not happy about, slowly by surely though, I’m catching up with myself again.

  2. Sweet Passions 07 (Making Time For Reading)

    I’ve been thinking about reading a lot lately and I’m going to be writing a bigger blog post this week on my lack of reading, something that I’m not proud of, but I loved reading this post. Antonia gives us tips about making more time for reading; they’re simple tips but everyone has their reasons for not reading more even though we could all make time for just one chapter or if we set the bar too high for ourselves, then we just give up. Just taking it one step at a time then if you don’t read regularly, like me, then you could even get yourself into a routine to read every night (like I’m planning to do!)

  3. The Blogging Gals (Things We Should Have Been Taught At School)

    We’re always told that our education is one of the most important parts of our lives and I couldn’t agree more, it’s very important. I think it’s also important to note that you only learn through experiences as you grow older. You can play with a fake baby in class for example, but that’s not the true experience of having an actual baby. Some of the points that Sophie writes about is handling budgeting/finances and mental health; two of the most important things, in my opinion, that should be included heavily in education. Everyone uses these in their daily lives, so it makes complete success to introduce them into children and young people’s lives very early on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach English, Math or Science, they’re still something that we will always need, but we need children to leave school knowing the essentials about life. I do disagree about Soph’s point on cooking; I had Home Economics in school for three years and we learned how to make a lot of dinners, but I think we need to learn a lot more about nutrition and fitness as well as good dinners.

SS: Sunday Saves (#1)

I’ve decided to start off a new series on my blog every Sunday; every week I’m going to post about three blog posts (from other bloggers obviously) that I’ve loved that week, and I’m going to be sharing why!

  1.  Vivianna Does Make-Up (Why the scales are not awesome!)

    Anna is great! I love that she’s really into fitness now, and not just posting about it on her blog, but on her YouTube too.  She wrote a post on why the scales aren’t important and I think it’s such an important post for anyone to read. We all get so obsessed with the number on the scales, I think everyone is guilty of this, even I am. When you’re going to the gym or just working out in general whether that be outside or in your house, you’re going to gain muscle and you’ve all heard the saying, “muscle weighs more than fat”. Yes, yes it does. So you’ll lose fat but gain muscle so if you gain a few extra pounds but you feel so much better within yourself, what’s better?
    There’s so much psychology in weight loss, numbers, your health; things I don’t understand because it is so complex but I think it’s so healthy to remember that you’re more than just a number on a scale and that pizza from last night was great, it’s just not so great every single day.

  2. Carly Rowena (Are you too healthy?)

    Carly’s a  PT and is without a doubt, one of the YouTubers who’s videos I click on as soon as I see them in my subscription. This blog post is almost like being in my head sometimes. I punish myself so much sometimes for not eating “healthy”all the time and it gets to me. I hate that I do it and I’m working on not doing that so much, but it’s such a hard trap to get out of. I don’t believe in cheat meals or cheat days, but one bad thing and it’s almost like I write the day off as a “bad day” and that’s such a bad attitude to have against food. Food is there as fuel (and sometimes to be mouthwateringly delicious too!) and I have to be careful with my food, so when I mess up, I just get so frustrated with myself.

  3. Emma Hull (Sunday Ramble #2 – Worrying About What Others Think)

    I think every single person has at one point in their lives (at least) cared about what someone else thought of them. It’s a natural thing that no-one can really help. You want to make people happy and you want everyone to love you, and you believe that until something just hits you and you realise that nothing is worth that. One of the main reasons I’ve been so up and down with various beauty blogs over the years is for that exact reason. I was embarrassed, I was genuinely embarrassed about writing about how I felt, about something that was on my mind, about a product I was using, or even just sharing a silly list. I’d be lying if I sat here and said I shout my blog from the rooftops, I don’t by any means, but I blog about my life and it’s so nice to see that I’m not on my own. It’s going to take a while for me to completely not give a care in the world about what people think of me, but I’m gradually getting there.

 

My First Yoga Birthday!

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A few weeks before the end of 2014, I decided to go to a drop in yoga class because I was always interested in finding out about it. I went on my own (but I’m used to going on my own to new things now) and I met Chandra who took the class and I had a blast. I remember I really struggled with some of the poses (but who doesn’t at their first class?) but I actually really surprised myself too. It was such a relaxed atmosphere and in all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect, but it was something I knew I wanted to take further. So a few weeks passed and I didn’t see the point in beginning just before Christmas so I waited to the New Year and I signed up to a six week class with Chandra again, and I’ve been attending ever since.

The date of that first class was Monday 5th January 2015, so the 5th January is the date I’m calling my first yoga birthday!

I never knew what a positive impact yoga would have on me. Physical, mentally and spiritually. I go on Monday nights after work (Thankfully it’s just a thirty second walk from work too) and it makes Monday a little more bearable. I’ve seen such a change in myself over the past year; obviously it’s not a complete miracle worker and I have gone through a few things during the year but I haven’t thrown yoga to the side, I’ve went even when I haven’t been feeling my best, and it might not have made me a positive bunny, it still helped me a little, so that in itself is the sign of a great practice.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to advance further in yoga. I want to challenge myself more, I want to do more, I want to see how far I can push myself (within reach of course) and  as I reflect over the past year, I don’t know what I would ever do without it now.