Sunday, 31 March 2013


This Easter weekend has been lovely! Friday was spent shopping with my mum in Bedford and then decorating the Easter tree she grabbed from the side of the road! Saturday I made some cakes from a Betty Crocker set that came in my birthday hamper and this is how they turned out. We then went off to my Grandparents with dad and had a massive roast which was lovely and we have planned to see them again on Friday for Granddads Birthday

Sunday has been spent sorting out bedrooms, eating yet another roast (I can never have enough when I'm home from Uni!) and a whole lemon meringue pie. I booked my 2nd theory test after my other one ran out, I am determined to drive this year and mum paid for it as an Easter gift instead of eggs. I also started planning Lisa and I's Interrailing trip for this summer. I received a cheque in the post from a bank account I closed that I forgot I had which has given me enough funds to pay for the whole 22 day ticket. Exciting stuff!

Friday, 29 March 2013

March Charity/Boots Shopping

Today we decided to do some shopping as there were a few bits from boots I wanted to get. We ventured into Bedford as I'm hoping to do my driving test there soon and wanted to get to know the roads there a little bit better. Bedford is also great for charity shops as there are lots close together but unfortunately it is good Friday so most of them were closed, however I did manage to pick up a couple of bargains.

This blazer is more of a pastel colour but I saw it and thought it would be great for spring! It fits really nicely and looks far more expensive than it was. It cost me £6.99 which I personally think is a little bit steep for a charity shop but if it was in a regular chain then it would seem like a bargain! From the same shop I also got this 'hug a mug' which I think would make a great gift! It was £1.99 and has never been used (it still has the label on it!) The final thing I bought was this crochet DVD for £1, I have been wanting to start a new project and heard good things about how simple crochet is so when I saw this I decided to pick it up and go for it!

Recently whenever I go into boots I find myself stocking up on lots of things despite always clearing out my toiletries and trying to get rid of them! Before I left I saw this post on Savvy Annie about the free tub of soap and glory 'butter yourself' and as I love a good freebie (especially ones that involve soap and glory!) I decided to get it. You had to spend over £10 on their products not including facial skincare or cosmetics which is a shame as I love their cleanser so I decided to follow Annie and get the 3 for 2 on travel miniatures  which will be good to add to a gift! I also had 2 vouchers, one to get the new 17 mascara for £2 and another that gave you one of their eyeshadows for only £1! The 17 products were on 3 for 2 as well so I picked up this lip stain. When I got to the til the lip stain went through last and was the cheapest of the products before the vouchers were used to I got those 3 products for £3! I also bought some hair dye which was 2 for £9 and some of the botanics face scrub which was on off for £2.69. A good shop!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Top 10 Money Saving Tips

I have just entered a competition on the Miss Thrifty website (you can enter it here) with my top 10 money saving tips so I thought I would share them with you to hopefully help you to save some money! Let me know In the comments if you have anymore I would love to hear them!

1.      Shop in the reduced section at the right time. In most shops they have massive discounts in the evening; we have been known to get steaks for around 70p and fish always goes really cheap! Also have a look in the reduced section of other shops for example Boots usually has a clearance section where they put discontinued items in. I got 6 bottles of conditioner for 50p each!

2.      Make the most of your freezer. When you buy the reduced food most of it can be frozen so you don’t need to eat it on the day you buy. It is also a good idea to make more than you need and freezer it into portions. They are quick, healthy ready meals and work out cheaper! It’s much better to cook your own meals from scratch, my best friend’s favourite recipe is toad in the hole with 39p reduced sausages, egg, flour and milk. Cook and freeze the rest for later! Also check your receipts! This is a habit my grandparents have got me into. Often the only reason I will buy a particular brand is because it is on offer so if the money hasn’t come off on the receipt it seems pointless! Any changes are quick and easy to do at customer services and it can add up to quite a lot especially if you are buying reduced.

3.      Enter competitions and freebie websites. Someone has to win these competitions so why shouldn’t it be you? Recently I have won a top from Miss Selfridge and some Billion Dollar Brows tweezers. I also get freebies all the time through the post, today was some free cat food! They may not be much but little bits can be added to presents and the miniature sample sizes are great for handbags and travelling. Also try entering competitions you wouldn’t normally enter for example recently I entered a writing competition for a short story, something I never considered before! If you can spare the time they can be fun and rewarding.

4.      Use vouchers! I am a massive fan of the Boots card and save up my points religiously (I had over £80 at ones stage!) They do great vouchers through the post and in the machines that you find in store. Other great vouchers can be found for most restaurants if you type it in on Google before you go out have a look to see what is out there. Groupon also has some hidden gems; my last purchase was a haircut, blow dry and conditioning treatment for £16 instead of £50. They have lots of different things there for your area.

5.      Use charity shops! This is my favourite tip as not only do you get bargains you are also supporting a charity. They often have new clothes or some that have hardly been worn at great prices. If you volunteer in a shop then you can see the great stuff before it goes onto the shop floor and some even do a staff discount (although prices are so cheap it’s not necessary) To get the best finds from charity shops try going to areas that are ‘well off’ as they often donate designer items. I once got a gorgeous Barbour jacket worth around £100 for £3! If you buy from charity shops then it is always nice to donate your own items after.

6.      Haggle! Whether it is on the high street or at a car boot sale, if you think the item is too much then ask about discount. Car boot sales are the best places for this as stallholders don’t want to take things home so make the most of that. Be nice and have a look for any flaws. In charity shops and high street shops keep a look out for holes or marks as they will often knock off a few pounds. When in the high street I always ask if they do student discount, even If they don’t sometimes they will knock off 10% just for asking!

7.      Make the most of discount cards! Sometimes you do have to spend some money to save some and many discount cards can save you a massive amount. My favourite is the young person’s railcard which costs £65 for 3 years (but is currently on offer for £56!) I made back the cost of travelling back and forth from Uni in a few months. It took my on the day ticket cost of around £17 to just £3 if I book in advance. Other cards I use include the NUS discount which is great for places like the cinema and most shops which often don’t accept my regular student card as it has no date. I also have a Superdrug employee card which gets me a massive 30% off own brand products. Great for when I need to stock up!

8.      Don’t buy everything NEW. Websites like Amazon and eBay offer things like books and DVD’s very cheaply if you aren’t fussed about them being new. If it’s just for personal use I would recommend not heading out to the shops and having a look online! With many things after I’ve done I put them back online to sell them and make most of the money back!

9.      Get creative! Presents can be expensive especially around Christmas but often the best gifts are those that are handmade. I may be 20 but my grandparents still prefer a handmade gift than a generic one! We have made things like chutney, flower arrangements, cushions and lots of other things. Pinterest is great for craft ideas (don’t be afraid by how perfect they are!) Just by having a look around your house you can find things that make great gifts for example decorated jars with tea lights in are lovely and pretty much free, think before you throw away!

10.  Share the cost. In a house of students it sometimes saves money to all chip in to buy the biggest version of things like pasta and potatoes. We have considered buying big sacks of potatoes for around £5 which is probably how much we all spend anyway but you get much more. The only problem is storage as we have a tiny kitchen! Other things you can share the cost of is monthly items like Spotify which you can use on more than one device. Me and my brother do this and with my NUS discount it is only £4.99 between us. I also share the cost of toilet rolls with a flatmate as it’s cheaper to buy lots! 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Marie Curie Event

Last week was a big stressful week for the people on my course. We had to host an event for Marie Curie and for us last Thursday was the big day! I thought I would write a little post to show you what we did (and to show that I do actually do some Uni work while I'm in Coventry!) We had a few problems from the start with our event as originally it had been planned as a beauty event at the College but unfortunately they didn't give us enough time and we had to change the whole thing. Our other idea was a quiz night which we decided to hold at the SQ Club which is a working mans club in Coventry. It wasn't much to look at inside but we liked it because it was traditional and big!

Before the event we sold 45 tickets at £2 each but more turned up on the night and we had 15 teams in total. Each team had a maximum of 5 people and it was good to see that most teams did try and get the full 5. We had a student as the quiz master  who was brilliant and really created an atmosphere and a screen set up for the interactive rounds. The room was filled with balloons and Marie Curie leaflets and posters as you can see from the picture above!

We also had a table set up for cakes and raffle prizes. The cakes sold within the first half of the night (we made 90!) and the raffle prizes were a big hit, we managed to sell over 350 tickets! If anyone is putting on a charity event like this I would really recommend going round the local businesses to see if they can donate any prizes. Some companies were really generous and we had prizes from places like Nandos, Paint balling, PureGym and Kasbah nightclub. I also made some of these little origami flowers which were the closest thing to daffodils we could get! 

Overall the night was a big success. Nothing really went wrong and people seemed to have a good night. We made £235 for Marie Curie and raised lots of awareness at the same time. It really reminded me of why I chose to do this course. Its something I enjoy (and I think I'm quite good at it) and gave me more motivation to keep going and explore where I can take my degree.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Spring Cleaning

I'm back home from Uni for Easter now and seeing as I will be back for awhile (and bringing lots of stuff!) we decided to have a bit of a clear out.I will be moving into new accommodation in September and I have learnt my lesson from last year that 2 full cars of stuff is far too much to fit into one room! When I have lots of things going on I often find it helps to clear out the clutter around me to help my head space which is why now is a perfect time to start. A lot of people choose this time of year to sort out their house and although its still snowing outside we should all get involved in some spring cleaning!

To begin with I made a list of the rooms in the house that I wanted to clean and then divided them into different areas, for example by cupboard or draw. I then went through each area and sorted it into different sections: Bin, Charity shop, Keep and eBay. This is the most important stage and you need to be really honest with what you actually need and use. After you have cleared it out make sure you clean the area it after! Dust the cupboards, wipe down the draws and you can even add draw liners and scented bags to keep your things smelling fresh instead of musty. One of the problems for me is that I get distracted or tired but this time round I'm trying to make sure I finish one area completely before moving onto the next one!

For me the first part is usually clothes which I started to sort out back in Coventry, I like to change my wardrobe and swap clothes around which means they tend to get worn a few times and then go on ebay so I can afford to buy something else. This time I decided to be really honest with what I actually wear and cleared out the stuff that I knew I wouldn't use much again. We happened to get a charity bag in the post for Macmillan that day and filled it up right away to leave outside which is the easiest way to donate clothes to charity and you don't even need to drop it at the shop.

The most important thing when doing a spring clean is to remember why you are doing it and to reward yourself for your hard work. Happy cleaning! 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Steroids and me...

This past week has been very stressful with Uni work and since my last appointment at the hospital I've been feeling less than alright. I thought that seeing as my steroid dose has been increased I would write a little post on how I'm getting on with them and how they affect me. I've mentioned them before but I am currently on Prednisolone, taking 4 tablets in the morning with my breakfast (they taste horrible). Prednisolone is a steroid that reduces inflammation which is why it is useful for patients with Crohns. Although it is a good drug it also has lots of lovely side effects, some of these I have been struggling with this week!

The most obvious one that bothers me everyday is my lovely round moon face. Steroids can change where you store water and clearly mine has chosen the face. Its not something that I cry myself to sleep over but it's frustrating and hasn't gone down since I started them. At first I thought I had got away with no one noticing but they have and that's something that is frustrating as well as it looks like I've just gained a stupid amount of weight!

Since going back up to a slightly higher dose I have noticed the mood swings again. The last time the dose went up I got a massive amount of motivation and energy. I signed up for a 10k, applied for jobs and got ahead with all my work so I half expected the same kind of motivation this time round. Oh was I wrong! I'm tired after the smallest things and almost on the verge of tears all the time which isn't like me at all. That is the worst part for me, knowing that I'm not really sad and I have no reason to be but I have no control over it.
Overall I love steroids for how much they help me and how they have prevented me from going on to other medication that would be much more difficult to take. The side effects aren't very nice but they are a small price to pay for feeling better! 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am still getting to grips with this blogging and I'm not sure how to have followers on here at the moment! So I have joined bloglovin and here I am claiming my blog! I would love it if you could follow me!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

My new favourite outfit

I thought I would do something abit different in this post and tell you what my favourite outfit at the moment is! I wore this to have dinner at the Hermitage as its nice enough to look a little bit dressy.

The leather look trousers were £11 from Miss Selfridge, I took back my competition win top as it didn't really fit properly and then got student discount so they were a great price!

The white lace top was from a charity shop for £4 and is brand new from next with the label still on.

The jacket is my new favourite jacket! It was £23.99 from H&M. When I bought it there was a 20% discount with the myunidays app.

This studded bag was from Primark for £12. This is going to be my new uni bag as my river island satchel is falling apart!

Monday, 11 March 2013

£1 writing set

I had to share this little buy from Poundland today! I saw it a little while ago which was what inspired me to add 'write a letter' to my list of 20 before 20 but I never got round to buying it. They have a few of these little sets all with different patterns on and they come in a lovely folder. They only contain 10 sheets and 10 envelopes, some of which were a bit scrunched up so I swapped a few around (naughty!) but I am so happy with this find and I cant wait to write my first letter for ages!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


It's been awhile since I've posted an update on how my running is going. I am still trying to follow the app plan but it is proving difficult to fit in 3 runs a week especially while I was working. I am also having trouble with my shin but I don't want to stop and rest it! It had been a week since I did any running because of my birthday and on Monday night me and dad decided to go for a run and did a mile and a half! I am pretty happy with that considering I have been really bad with my diet this week. Here's a picture of me in my running kit! I can't wait to get back into it. Remember you can still sponsor me for the Bupa 10k here! Thanks everyone who has donated so far I'm so grateful!


Friday, 8 March 2013

20 before 20: How did I do?

I was possibly a little bit optimistic setting myself a 20 before 20 challenge with only two weeks to go, however I think I have done okay considering the time limit and also the ones I have completed I'm sure I will eventually! So how did I do...

1. Go speed dating- Done, and so much fun! 
2. Make a stew- Done!
3. See Django- Done, great film!
4. Eat something new- Done, never tried teacakes but now I have! 
5. Bake something savoury- Nope, I would still like to though!
6. Be able to run solidly for half an hour- Nope, decided against this one and to carry on with the training plan!
7. Cook a meal for someone- Done, I cooked Tally 2 meals! (and 6 pizzas on my birthday!)
8. Get a spray tan- Done!
9. Visit the transport museum in Coventry- Done, need to take my grandparent here!
10. Change the way my blog looks- Done, thanks to my lovely housemate!
11. Do more crafting- Nope, and this is the saddest one! I really need to.
12. See 5 films I've never seen before- Nope, I saw 2!
13. Buy a whole outfit from a charity shop- Done, pleased with this one aswell!
14. Start yoga- Nope, there is always time for this though
15. Send someone a letter- Nope, but definitely something I want to do
16. Go for afternoon tea- Nope, but I got a lovely tea set for my birthday!
17. Visit one new place on the train- Done (Kinda) i've been to leamington spa on the bus but not train!
18. Make £100 from my bedroom- Nope, I made about £30 but need to sell my blackberry!
19. Start a scrapbook- Nope, I will be doing this soon!
20. Reach 4000 blog views- Nope, so close though!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Haircut at Vintage Zsa

The other night whilst on groupon I saw a voucher for a cut, blow dry and conditioning treatment at a salon called Vintage Zsa in leamington. After going on the website and seeing how nice it looked I decided to bite the bullet and buy the voucher for only £16.

On the website this is how the salon is described...

'My salon is a beautiful, vintage homely haven, where you can enjoy English tea, homemade cupcakes, fair trade filter coffee or a relaxing glass of wine whilst taking advantage of my expertise in all aspects of hair'

But actually it was very different! We arrived 15 minutes early to find an empty shop with all the lights off. After trying to work out what was going on I rung the shop and was given the number for rich the stylist who I rung but he didn't answer. He then pulled up outside the salon (just as we started to panic!) He let us in and showed us down to the basement where the empty salon was. It was very small and hasn't been cleaned that well but had a really nice vintage decor that could have looked really good! There were no drinks offered or cupcakes and we had music played from his phone. The conditioning treatment was just a normal conditioner! However Rich the stylist was lovely and I really can't fault what he has done to my hair. It looks healthy and neat and it is exactly what I asked for so I am very pleased about that. I think in the right environment it could be really good but that salon isn't quite there yet!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hospital appointment

Today has definitely been the most disappointing hospital appointment so far. I went in there expecting to be finally off steroids and say bye bye to the moonface for good. But no, because of the last couple of days of not feeling my best and my blood tests still showing inflammation my doctor thinks I may be about to have a mini flare and has decided it's safer to keep me on steroids for anther month and then reduce the dose. So I am now back up to 4 tablets a day after weaning myself off then over the last few weeks. The azathioprine I'm on has also been increased as I have once again gained more weight. Not good! I know it is all to help me and I'm very lucky that I am reacting quite well to these tablets instead of going onto something else but it's so frustrating when you expect one outcome but it's completely different to what actually happens. Over the next few weeks I am expecting lots of lovely side effects so no doubt they will be posted on my blog. Brace yourselves!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Guess who's back, back again

After weeks of hardly any sign of Crohns it's back again and this time with a vengeance! I normally stick to a fairly plain diet but this week I have to admit I may have over indulged as a birthday treat and now I'm paying for it. After having a blood test this morning I thought that would be it for today but apparently not. Sometimes I do wonder if my body can sense that I have a hospital appointment and then decides to make me feel bad to give me something to talk about! Tomorrow is my last day on steroids so I really hope I can finally come off them. Crohns belly pleaseee behave!

Dinner at the Hermitage in Hitchin

As a birthday treat my Dad took Sam, my brother and I for dinner at the Hermitage in Hitchin. I wasn't sure what to expect as I had visited the same place back when it was a nightclub called Remix and it wasn't very nice but it has changed so much! The inside is beautiful and rustic with lots of wood and metals. There was a hanging bike on the ceiling with mason jars full of flowers. It had a really lovely atmosphere from the minute we walked in. We arrived there early and got some drinks before moving over to our table. To start I had butternut squash risotto balls with breadcrumbs which were amazing! My brother had a black pudding potato cake with a poached egg which I tried and it was delicious, dad had ham hock which was also delicious and Sam had chicken wings which I couldn't try as they were spicy! For mains we both had the special which was lamb with potatoes and vegetables and it was the best roast I have ever had! Elliot also had roast pork and the crackling looked so tasty. Dad panicked and had gnocchi but it was also very good although I think he was eyeing up our roasts! For desert I had a mouse with fudge and honeycomb which they wrote 'happy birthday' on in white chocolate which was a lovely surprise. Elliot had sticky toffee pudding (which one one else got to try!) and dad had banana parfait with popcorn! It was a gorgeous restaurant that I would definitely recommend if you are ever near Hitchin, I would love to visit there again and try some more of their menu!


Part of my own personal New Years resolutions were to take on more challenges. I love the saying 'opportunities muliply as they are seized' and I do feel like it has been true for me that as I try more things then more doors seem to open up for me. My most recent addition to this list is signing up for the Trekstock challenge! It is with cancer research and aims to raise money and awareness for the charity.

The idea is that you start with a Trekstock badge and trade it to get something bigger and better. Once the trading window opens you can keep trading as much as you like. When it closes the item you are left with gets put on eBay and the person who makes the most/has the best trading story will win! The prize is a trek across Switzerland which is something I would love to do. Trading starts today!. Does anyone have any advice? I can't wait to begin and blog about my story!

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Big Blog Exchange

I have just entered my blog into the Big Blog Exchange and I'm so excited! It is a competition where bloggers can exchange lives with another blogger from someone else around the world. It is based on a voting system where you can tell everyone your motivation and they can vote for you and it would be really great to get some votes for people with Crohns and other chronic illnesses. This is what I put as my motivation...

'My motivation to write my blog was when I was diagnosed with Crohns disease in October 2012. I had never heard of it before and all the information I could find online was terrifying. Despite it often being a young persons disease there was nothing out there I could relate to. I just wanted to find a normal person like myself who had Crohns but didn't let it affect their life. That's why I made my blog, to show others who have Crohns and other chronic conditions that they can still do the things they want to and to raise more awareness of this incurable illness. My blog includes everything that happens to me whether it be hospital appointments or my latest bargain I found in a charity shop. I would love to take this across the world and find others who are willing to share their stories and experiences but also to show everyone that yes, I have Crohns, but no, that wont stop me from doing whatever it is I want to do'

I really would love to be one of the finalists so if you can please vote for me here!  This is a short video explaining a bit better than I can!

£2 Warehouse dress!

On Saturday we went charity shopping and I mentioned my bargain Warehouse dress... well this is it! The main body is velvet and the top is a netting with small sequins. I've tried it on and there are a few more holes than I thought but I'm going to attempt to sew them up! It was originally £5.99 but after talking to the manager I managed to get it for just £2!

My 20th birthday!

It's been a little while since I've posted and that's because it's been my birthday! I turned 20 on Friday and this week has been all about celebrating! On Monday we went to the Varsity ice hockey match between Coventry and Warwick which was brilliant and we won! I had a few ciders and a dance with the big foam finger. It was a great night!

Wednesday we went out to the SU after a little party at ours before. I wore my Jones and Jones dress with a sash that my friend tally got me (sorry about the awful picture!). Although the dress is quite short we had a spray tan on Wednesday so I felt good in it! I managed to get a voucher so it was only £15 instead of £25. It was a really good night but I felt like death the next day and not even pulp fiction and super noodles could cure my hangover!

Friday was my actual birthday and I woke up and had my favourite breakfast of muffins with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and cream cheese which was delicious! Sadly I had to go into Uni to pitch our event idea to the first year students but we were done quickly and headed round town where I spent far too much money on a jacket, bag, pj's and some bargains from boots. So much so that when I went to Iceland they had to ring the bank to authorise my card! We then went to Leamington to get my hair cut as I had bought a Groupon voucher the week before but I will do another post on that! In the evening the girls came over for a sleepover and we ended up just chatting! At midnight we did the cake (a Colin the caterpillar!) and then it was an early night as we were all knackered from Wednesday! In the morning I made everyone breakfast and then got on the train home.

On Saturday I met mum in Milton Keynes and we drove to Bedford to do some charity shopping. I got some great bargains, all the birthday presents for my friend izzy which only came to £5.75. I got her a top, make up bag and a cocktail glass for her new house. I also got a brand new top from next which was £4.75 and a dress from warehouse which has a small hole in that I'm sure I can fix which was only £2 after I asked for a discount! We then went for lunch and I had a prawn jacket potato which is the first one I've had since being told to change my diet (despite them giving me potato a lot in hospital!) and I felt fine. We then did some more shopping and had some treatments, I got gel nails done and mum had some threading. In the evening some of the girls went over to izzys and we had a few drinks. I had some of my German 'wodka' from cologne!

On Sunday I saw my dad and we went for dinner at the Hermitage in Hitchin. It was delicious and I will write another post about that too! Overall it's been an amazing week and I feel very lucky and also exhausted!