My Food Journey: Discovering Intolerances

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Sometimes I like to take a break from beauty and share a bit of real life on my blog, in the past I’ve talked about mental health and real life but today I am talking about my journey with intolerance.

Ever since I was little I’ve suffered a lot with intolerances, wishing to make a clear distinction between with intolerances and allergies which people often don’t understand is a clear distinction in severity. Like most people I suffer with hay fever although I tend to start in February as I suffer from it with tree pollen. Cats and dogs always proved to be an issue, and finally I have severe reaction to many bug bites but for years I was always thankful I never had an issue with food items.

That was until last year when I was finally diagnosed with an intolerance to egg, a lesser talked about food allergy yet it’s one of the most common with a must larger percentage of the population suffering from an egg allergy that those who suffer with wheat and/or gluten. Looking back for years I have suffered when eating egg products but tended to treat the symptoms as an off day than to do with anything I had eaten. Since cutting eggs out back in October I feel so much better in myself, and I’m slowly starting to enjoy food again.

The main thing that surprised me was the complete re-education with what I was eating, and I am now hoping continue into the year to eat healthier. Initially I found myself stuck in a little bit of a food rut, as there was so much I couldn’t eat and I didn’t look for alternatives that it was so difficult but I am finally getting there.

The main problem I found with egg was its in so much that you do not realised it in, processed food use egg products as a preservative. Breads, cheeses, yoghurts all surprising can contain egg, so look carefully and forget about deserts, ice cream and cake are obviously off the menu but once again those deserts that shouldn’t often do due to egg wash. It’s just a lot of thought, shopping takes a lot longer, label checking at home and finding vegan alternatives in some cases.

I’ve found myself having preferences for supermarkets, in terms of products they offer mainly Asda and Tesco with Morrison’s been the worse for labelling items. I have become endlessly frustrated with the “free from” sections, but hey you learn to like and look for standard alternatives, although the other day I discovered vegan pesto woohoo! I’m exploring food and alternatives though and the worse than can happen is I don’t like it.

I’ve also been exploring vegan baking, there obviously are normal recipes without egg which have proved to be great staples as my baking has had some interesting results. As my dad has put it I am a great baker, usually, but there has been some questionable recipes to say the least. If you don’t try you’ll never learn but there have been a few baked goods covered in Nutella or custard to make it more palatable.

The one final thing on this journey that I am trying to adapt to is eating out, I’ve felt awkward asking for allergy menu or stick to stuff I’m sure I can eat. Cross contamination is an issue and with egg in sauces and bread, you cannot just guess. It’s definitely more me than the restaurant many have been very accommodating and one place locally had a delicious vegan menu including a chocolate tart so there has been some silver liners. This has really been a huge thing of confidence building and just thinking about what I am eating, no more impulse buying or eating on the go food requires thought and effort. On the odd occasion I have made a mistake, I’ve felt genuinely ill which I was warned about that for a while you can either be more sensitive or you feel the effects more so I’m getting there.

So that’s my food journey the past few months and I know it’s going to be a long term journey but I’m getting there. If you have any good vegan recipes let me know, I’m definitely not vegan but it sure makes it easier to ensure I can eat something.

Gwen

xx

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Blink and You’ll Miss It: Life Update

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Hi Guys,

I’ve been fairly quiet here on the blog the past few weeks which I regret but I’m excited to get back into things in November and aim to get everything back on track. So I thought I’d start a little bit of getting back on track with a life update.

 

Work

So let’s start with work as it starts to ramp up to peak, it just gets so stressful. It’s not necessarily always my role but there is definitely that general stressed feeling floating around. I’m so glad I work with a great bunch of people, so no matter how stressful it gets you can have a laugh. I’ve also been put on a mentoring scheme which I’m looking forward to, it’s great to have something like this at the start of my career and it will be interesting to see what my outcome will be.

 

Diet

I’ve recently found out I’m intolerant to egg whites and have gone on a full on egg exclusion diet, it’s taken some getting used to as there’s egg in a lot of things you’ve never thought it would be in. I’ve had a problem with certain egg products for years like egg noodle and quiche but cutting it out completely has made me think more about what I’m eating and there’s a lot more things I cannot eat. Saying that I’ve tried out some fun recipes and enjoyed making things from scratch as a number of preservatives are made from egg, I never realised some things were so easy to make and I’m tempted to start sharing some recipes on my blog.

 

Personal Life

It’s not been an especially great month for my personal life and the people I know and although none of it massively affects me you take a knock. At the start of October my best friend’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was always about when I was growing up and although they thought it might be coming when it was confirmed it was quite a shock. So we’ve spent some time having some girly fun night out and spent time together it’s all about being there for those you love. Similarly my boyfriend’s grandfather died unexpectedly, encroaching 90 it’s never totally unexpected but it’s horrible to loose family member so I spent a lot of the month being the supportive friend and girlfriend really trying to be there for them. However bad things always come in threes and in the last couple of days my uncle has being diagnosed with motor neuron disease, which is truly a horrible disease and you know what’s coming even if you don’t know how quickly it will happen.

I think these things make you appreciate life more, what you have and the people in it. Its a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Take the time to spend time with others and appreciate what you have.

So with all of this going on I really just needed to take some time out and shut off, I love my blog but I think it was important to have some me time with no schedules and no pushing myself. I’ve really missed blogging so I’m coming back in November with a vengeance to create some great content that you will love.

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Graduation Day

I've Graduated

So if you’ve seen my life update, you will have seen I graduated on the 10th September, with a Upper Second Class Honours in Economics from the University of Hertfordshire. It’s a nice little ceremony in St Albans Cathedral, which is a beautiful venue, and I feel like it was such a great event, I thought I’d do a little bit of a post about my outfit, makeup and just some nice snaps from the day.

Graduation Outfit

I didn’t set out to buy a brand new dress for graduation and if I brought something new I wanted to be able to reware it, I own enough clothes as it is, buying more only seems excessive at this point. Yet a few weeks before my graduation I found this super cute tea dress on sale in Apricot for £15.00, irresistibly cute I had to have it. With the graduation sash being white and silver most outfit choices were going to go but I feel as though the mint green pops on this outfit really set it off. I wanted to keep my shoes simple too and nothing too high, so I went for a pair of comfy favourites. I have no idea what brand these are and I’ve had them a few years but they never do me wrong, as a pair of nudes with a cute bow are suitable for all occasions and go with all outfits really, you just can wear black tights with them. I feel like the whole outfit fit the sense of the occasion without being too dressy or anything too much.

With my hair I kept it super simple, I had being tempted to curl it but I didn’t want the curls to drop and I needed a style in which the cap would fit. To me straightened hair seemed the most appropriate it looks nice and I didn’t have to worry about it, just a touch of hair spray in the hope of not getting hat hair and some grips to keep everything in place.


The makeup was all about being long lasting and looking nice in photographs, after all I’ll have these for the rest of my life so looking nice is important and I’ll be full faced in make up for 8 to 10 hours and it needed to remain flawless the entire time. I do have makeup envy of my friend Enxhi who went for it a bit more but then she was topping up her face every hour which seemed to take its toll.

Graduation Makeuo

I went for pretty much double priming my face starting with a very simple base of the Rimmel London Lasting Finish Primer, which really hydrates and preps the team. Pairing this with my bareMinerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer, which is my favourite primer and simply put this in the areas where my makeup tends to fade first. For my makeup I decided to opt for my lighter foundation and I know this isn’t that light but my other one is proper full coverage and I was in the mood for a lighter look that the L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation in Rosy Ivory provides. Then obviously to make myself flawless I concealer is needed using the Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory under my eyes and where I want it to be brightened. With the Rimmel London Lasting Finish Concealer in Porcelain, covering my blemishes etc. leading to a really flawless face. I didn’t feel like having much colour on my cheeks or extreme bronze etc. so I used my Maybelline New York Color Show Blush Em! which due to its lacking in pigment it just adds a beautiful subtle flush of colour.

Now onto the eyes which because none of the palettes do shadow names its hard to say how I created the look, but I went for a nice transitional brown eyeshadow look as I didn’t want something ott. Obviously I used my trusty Urban Decay Primer Potion, as a based to help it stay where I would be without it, I have no idea. Then I used a combination of the No 7 Mini Eyeshadow Palette and a shade from the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette to create the complete look. To make it a touch more glam I used the champagne glittery loose pigment that is the bareMinerals Eyeshadow in Flawless Diamond which just made it glitter and really set off the look. Finishing it off with lashings of the bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara. As I kept putting off buying a setting spray for so long I never did it I used the good old hairspray trick of setting your makeup, which actually works better than setting spray. Although it’s not ideal and you are definitely best leaving it for one offs opposed to everyday. Then to finish it off and to set everything I used the bareMinerals Original Foundation in N10 Fairly Light. Nothing to over the top but mood appropriate.

Graduation Day
The final touch was a pretty manicure which is curtsy of Primark, I wasn’t going to spend loads on getting my nails done, and I didn’t want to keep them on for ages because they aren’t practical for work. These super cute flower detail nails are from Primark and they are simply adorable. They lasted the entire time and I even got a few complements about them.

So that’s what I wore for my graduation, nothing too fancy but something a bit nice. It was a great day and I’m so proud of everyone for getting to this point, it is a little bit odd not to be returning to education this year but I’m working and I’m excited for all the things I can do in life. To those of you who are contining or starting further education, make the most of it enjoy the experience while you can but make sure you work it can influence the rest of your life and it is possible to have fun and do well. I wish you all the best.

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Graduation

Graduation

So on Thursday 10th September I finally had my graduation ceremony, although you may already of seen this on twitter and instagram and if you aren’t already following me why not? I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with an Upper Second Class Honours in Economics. I’m so proud of my achievements and what I managed over 3 years at university, all the hard work finally paid off.  I’ve known my results since June, and the transcript arrived at the end of July as well as working in a graduate position since the middle of July it was somewhat a long time coming but with the time between finishing in May and the Graduation in September it is so nice to see everyone again. With some going on to masters in a variety of subjects while other have been travelling, everyone is doing something different and it’s nice to all be together one last time.

I loved the 3 years at university having some great times with friends, I met my amazing boyfriend there and just had such a great experience. I also loved my course, I find economics fascinating and I’m so glad I got to study it in such depth, it is also useful for getting a career and is such a great all round subject.

Long days studying, drinking cocktails, working one of the best jobs I think ever existed I definitely made the most of it. Obviously it’s not all positive with annoying housemates and a lot of coursework sometimes, but you just have work through these things and they are just a part of the university experience. All the hard work and stress finally paid off and the graduation ceremony was just a great way to end it all.

The graduation ceremony was held at St Albans Cathedral an absolutely beautiful setting, and I had an evening ceremony. Which meant I got the day off from work to get ready and I was exhausted at work the following day but it was so worth it. On Friday once I’ve collated all of the graduation photos and sorted out all of the pieces about my outfit and my makeup, I will also feature some of the other photos as it is such a nice setting for graduation.

Anyway talk to you again soon.

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Life Update: New Job

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So just a small life update today to let you guys know that as of yesterday I have started a new job, it is only temporary for now but its nice starting life in a proper graduate job. I hate sitting around doing nothing so the opportunity to earn some money, buy a car and gain relevant experience, I’m just relieved that in less than 6 weeks I have managed to find work.

I’m just getting the hang of it at the moment, getting to know my role and the other people in the office and I’m enjoying being back in a working environment although its very different from when I’ve worked in retail previously. I am still looking at other work because with this only being a 3 month job I will need something in the long run but for now I can be a lot more picky which is refreshing. I’m also still looking to relocate and me and my boyfriend can find jobs together, get a little flat ect but these will all come with time.

With the new job I may have a lot less time on my hands but I am hoping that I will still be able to keep to my current blog schedule. It just may be a little bit messy for a little bit until I get into my routine but I have a load of ideas and pieces that I am currently working on so I am sure I will be able to schedule something. I’ve also been hitting up the summer sales for work attire, its great to have an excuse to go shopping and be able to buy somewhat of a new wardrobe, so I may haul it if I get the chance.

What has been happening in your lives? Anything new and exciting in your lives, or are you planning on going away somewhere nice this summer.

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Life Update: University is Over

Hi everyone,

So here is a mini life update as on Monday I complete my final exam of my final year of university and it hasn’t really sunk in yet. It is pretty much being stuck in a weird limbo as I’ve finished but I have no grade and I am still looking for a job it just all feels a little bit odd. Yet for now I am going to celebrate finishing and seeing everyone one last time before we start our lives out in the big wide world.

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So to kick off the celebrations after my exam me and my course mates went out to Prezzo to have a meal. Amazing food, great company and a cheeky glass of wine was a perfect way to kick off celebrating the end of an era. Also prezzo is delicious I just barely go but it was certainly a lovely treat.

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Then on Tuesday I had a mini bbq with my closest friend from university, my house mate a boyfriend all of us are graduating this year and it was nice to do something a little more intimate rather than lets get pissed. Although the weather was variable with lunch being cooked an umbrella but it brightened up later and turned really nice for dinner and luckily the boys were doing the cooking anyway so we remained completely dry. So we loads of good food watching a few films, some Simpsons it was a really lovely chill day and I’m glad I got to celebrate graduating.

As for the rest of the celebrations, tonight I will be going to an ‘awards’ night for work as working for my SU it means that some 20 of us are leaving this year so its a end of year celebration and sort of a send off for us that won’t be coming back. Then on Saturday we are going to Harvester for a cute little work meal so that will be fun, basically a huge arse send off seeing as most of my work is leaving.

Then on Sunday I am going to Slam Dunk South a music festival I really love and considering that I am literally a 5 minute walk away as it is held at my university. I cannot wait especially to see Taking Back Sunday as I haven’t see them since 2006 so it should be a great day/night. While next week will be more chill as I spend time with my boyfriend before we are apart for ages.

Do you have any big changes to your life? Any one else finishing University this year?

Lots of Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

April Roundup

April May

April ended way too soon, in less than a month I will of completed my final ever exam and coursework and I will of finished education forever, well probably. I just cannot believe it, its just unreal. Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of favorites simply because between the mountain of coursework and revision I’ve barely had time for specific beauty favorites or anything so unfortunately I can’t really do my usual monthly favorites.

April was a mixed month it was nice to spend time with the family over the Easter break as well as catching up with old friends, it was nice to see where everyone is. Also its lovely that the weather has warmed up but it is somewhat bitter sweet simply because I’ve mainly been trapped inside doing coursework ect. It’s going to be so odd finishing university so I have to thoroughly relish in a world of flexibility and interesting research projects in which three years of study has been leading to. Overall I’m glad I went to university and got to study economics a underrated and fascinating subject, its just weird to think I am done as I have always known that I was going to University so not having my life completely planned is weird. Had anyone else had that when leaving education or the ending of plans you’ve always had? It’s just a weird mix of emotions but I’m looking forward to May, the end of exams, relaxing and getting to go to Slam Dunk Festivals as well as wanting to try out some new blog things probably as I now have more time.

So how is has your April been and what are you guys looking forward to in May?

Lots of Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox