2015 | KTMY

31 December 2015

What I read in 2015

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 30 books over the years which I tracked my progress on on goodreads. I'm absolutely gutted that I didn't achieve my goal of 30, especially because I was only 1 book off!! So I read a whopping 29 books which I'm still pretty impressed with. So, here's my 2015 book review


30 December 2015

2016 Blogging Goals

After taking part in the BDIB chat on twitter on Monday night, I decided to write a whole post on my goals and aims for KTMY in the next 12 months. The whole chat was about blogging goals and a year in blogging which inspired me to set myself some targets numbers wise and also have some other aims for what I want to do this year with blogging. I decided that if I shared it with you all a) I'd be more likely to achieve it as it's written down, b) it's nice to share it with you all and c) I can look back this time next year and see how much the blog has grown. 

So numbers wise, here's what I hope to achieve in the next year: 

Twitter : 2000 followers
Facebook : 100 likes
Instagram : 1000 followers
Pinterest : 100 followers
Bloglovin' : 500 followers
Get to 75,000 page views (currently on 25,195)

I know that some of these are going to be tough, especially Pinterest, but I want to aim high so I've got something to work too. Some other goals I have for this year is:

Start a YouTube Channel
Go to (a few?!) blogger events
Meet up with some of the lovely bloggers I talk to all the time/have previously met 

So there's my 2016 blogging goals. Let me know in the comments below what some of your 2016 goals are and don't forget to take part in the 2015 reader survey!


29 December 2015

2015 Sales Picks

I absolutely adore reading sales haul posts and as my 2014 one was quite popular, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I picked up this year. 

Lets start with what I bought online on christmas day first. These aren't pictured because I haven't actually got them yet because ya know, postal delivery is weird in the last week of the year. Anywho, I bought a gorgeous Poncho Top from Topshop and the Soap and Glory: The Whole She-Bang set which I'd wanted to get before Christmas but just never got around to it (FYI I just looked online to link it and can't find it so I'm assuming you can only get it in store now). But it looks so good and it's got all my faves in plus a few I haven't tried so I might do a post on it when it's been delivered. 

Now, onto the stuff I actually do have! I adore New Look sales; it's one of the only times I go in now as their sales are so good and have so many things I want. I managed to control myself and only got two things which were the burgundy/maroon t-shirt which was only £3 and then a gorgeous pinstriped shirt which has a slight dip hem. The t-shirt is very basic with a little pocket detail and I love wearing tops like this because they're really comfy and versatile. And I'm a sucker for anything with a stripe and anything which is a shirt so a striped shirt is the dream! It's super soft and the neck line is a bit different as it's not an actual collar which is different to my other shirts. 

Now, this jumper/sweatshirt/top thing I got from H&M I am actually in love with it! Overall, I was disappointed with H&Ms sale but when I saw this little gem, I picked it up straight away. A few weeks ago I bought a similar one which is blue with tigers on it (I wore it in this instagram photo) and can't stop wearing it. I love the geometric pattern of this top, and the fact that it's monochrome, and it's so comfy on; I'm actually wearing it right now. It's surprisingly really soft and quite warm too. 

My final pick is the Pineapple Gym Kit which has a really cool water bottle with some hair bobbles, body lotion and body wash. I found this in boots in store (I never saw it online) and I really wanted the water bottle as it was a really good size as it's actually quite big and will be perfect for doing fruit infused water too. I wasn't that fussed about the things inside but I tried the body lotion last night and it's actually really nice and it has quite a fresh smell. 

So that's some of my sales picks! Let me know in the comments below what some of your favourite sales pieces have been and don't forget to take part in the 2015 reader survey!


23 December 2015

KTMY turns 1! + 2015 Reader Survey

Today KTMY turns 1! I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started on this little adventure and the whole experience has been so amazing. From the introduction post I wrote one whole year ago today to getting my first post to get 100 views and then really finding my blogging voice when I introduced my stoma. I've met so many great people along the way (you all know who you are, I hope!) and even got to attend my first blogging event this month (hopefully the first of many!.

I can't wait to see what the next year of blogging brings; hopefully it will be full of improved content, going to more events and getting to meet some of the amazing blogger friends I've made along the way!

To help me get an idea of it all, I've created a reader survey for you all and would be so grateful if you could take 5 minutes out of your day to fill it in

Here's to another year!

Katie xo


22 December 2015

10 Favourite Festive Films

As christmas is nearly upon us, I thought I'd share with you my 10 favourite films to watch over the festive season.

21 December 2015

My First Blogger Event | #LeedsXmasMeet

Well this is a long post coming! At the beginning of the month (December 5th to be exact) I put on my christmas jumper, hopped on a train to Leeds and headed to The Black Swan for a blogger christmas meet up organised by the lovely Rhianna.

Before heading to the event, I met up with Krystal and Kate at the station which was so nice because I was quite nervous and it was nice to head over to the event with some lovely people (and luckily they knew the way too!). Once we got to the event, we sat down on a table with some other bloggers and instantly got talking to Sophie and Bee and the whole atmosphere was so friendly and my nerves went instantly as I realised just how great everyone was. I also met the gorgeous Kariss who had the most amazing vintage style and christmas themed dress which was beautiful (there's a post on her blog all about the outfit!) and Lucy who actually came dressed as a christmas tree in a very stylish way, so stylish in fact that she one the best dressed competition! 

As I said before, the event was held at The Black Swan, a place I'd never been before but will definitely be going again! We were in the upstairs room and it was decorate so christmassy and it was a really nice, chilled atmosphere. There was a really cute cupcake decorating station however I sadly didn't have time to check it out and have a go because I was talking to so many people! 

One thing we were all looking forward too was the raffle. Rhianna had been telling us how good it was going to be and boy did she not disappoint! There were so many amazing prizes (alas I didn't win any) ranging from Moo beauty products to light up signs (which are on every bloggers want list) to stationary and even some hair straighteners! Seriously, there wasn't one prize which I didn't want! 

And the goodie bag we all received at the end was amazing as well. I've been using one of the Manuka Doctor face masks religiously since the event and it has left my skin feeling amazing an the Moo lip balm is really nice too; I might do a post in the future on reviewing some of the products too. 

All in all, my first blogger event was really fun and I can't wait to go to some more in the new year! Yes, I was really anxious but I got over it and it was definitely worth it because I got to meet so many new bloggers (and, as a result, now have even more blogs I like to read!) and just have a good time and made some new friends! 


7 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | Booked in to see the dietitian

I love food. I always have and I always will. The only problem is that food doesn't always like me. For the past two and a half years I've lost weight from UC, gained weight from steroids, lost it again and now I'm slowly trying to gain the weight again.

I think a noticeable symptom of IBD is the weight loss; months before I was diagnosed my dance teacher actually asked if I was okay because she could notice that I'd lost that much weight. There's also the noticeable weight gain if you have prednisolone (or any steroid) and you get the munchies and the dreaded moon face. I would insert a picture of my said moon face however I still shudder slightly at some of the photos where I have a massive head but hardly any meat on me (prom photos, I'm looking at you!).

After a bad flare of over a month and two weeks in hospital, when I did finally come out I had lost so much weight (and a lot of muscle) and I was actually really freaked out at how thin my arms and legs were. Slowly but surely I've been putting the weight back on and thought nothing of it really, I like to think I'm looking a lot more healthy now, however last time I was at the hospital being weighed, I'd started to loose some weight again so I have finally been referred to the dietitian to have a look at my diet and try and gain some weight from it.

My first appointment is in two weeks so once I've been, I'll fill you in on what happened!

If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070.

Side note, sorry for not posting yesterday (hence why two posts today). My house has been very badly flooded with Storm Desmond so I was busy trying to get in touch with family and didn't have time to write the post as in the day I was at a blogging event (more on that later) but my family are safe now :)

5 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | A Day in the Life with IBD

I have to say that if I'd done this last year when I had active colitis in my whole colon this Day in the life would've included a hell of a lot more toilet trips in it; instead, it's a lot more relaxed! I've based this of my day yesterday where I was having a very good day and did a lot so here we go...

4am - empty stoma bag

7.45am - wake up to a leak of my mucus fistula bag. Luckily I had to get up at eight anyways and it had only just leaked so it wasn't too bad. It tends to leak quite often as I've ran out of Coloplast Brava Strips (available from SecuriCare) and they're not coming till next week. The last but of my colon is still quite active with colitis so there is blood which comes into the bag along. So yeah, impromptu bag change

8am - breakfast which was some yoghurt with jam mixed in. Accompanied with a cup of tea, a bottle of water and listening to Chris Evans Breakfast show

8.45am - Another bag empty

9.15am  - Set off for uni.

9.30am -10.30am - Business Law lecture. Big bottle of water necessary to keep hydrated as I'm always really thirsty in the morning from not having a drink in the night

11am - Went to Costa Coffee with one of my friends. I've been trying a few of the christmas drinks but this year I'm really not feeling them! I think I'll stick to my normal decaf latte

12pm -2pm - Christmas Shopping!! I decided to get really organised and I bought some presents and all the wrapping. I had a water with me and some breakfast biscuits to keep me going and not get too hungry/thirsty whilst I'm out and to stop my stoma from gurgling too much!

2pm-3pm - Back at the flat, I had a lunch of a Greggs sausage roll! Before surgery, that would have left me in so much pain and on the toilet for the rest of the day so now that I can eat them, I like to treat myself to one every now and them. I caught up with the latest episode of Once Upon A Time and had some Lucozade sport as well as I still felt a bit dehydrated and lucozade sport does really help with rehydration.

3pm-5pm - Back out into town to do some more christmas shopping! I feel quite accomplished actually as I've only got one person left to buy for!

5pm - 6pm - I had a rest. A nice cup of tea and watched some videos on YouTube. I'm not going to lie, my back was hurting quite a bit from been stood up and walking for quite a bit so it was nice to have a proper sit down and chill

6pm - bag empty. Note to anyone with an ostomy, always empty your bag before you eat because you never feel like doing it afterwards

6pm-7pm - TEA TIME!! I cooked pasta with a tomato sauce (including peas, a yellow pepper, onions, garlic with some oregano and basil) with salmon in and garlic bread and it actually tasted really nice.

7pm onwards - I wrapped up all the presents I bought whilst watching the soaps, TFI Friday and I'm A Celeb and wrote this blog post. My joints were starting to ache quite a bit so I used this heat lamp  thing which help with joint pain  and put my feet up!

10pm - PJs are on with a nice cup of tea and tucked up in bed. Wild Friday night, I know but I've had quite a long, full day and I've got a very busy day tomorrow (today for you) as I'm going to Leeds for a blogger event and I want to be awake and ready for a fun filled day!

10.20pm - Another mucus fistula bag change...luckily I saw it had come off a bit before it started to leak!

11pm - Last bag empty of the day and time for bed

If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070.

4 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | 5 things I've learnt from having IBD

It's very easy to look at the bad side of having a chronic illness however it probably doesn't do you much good to dwell on that side of things because having IBD has actually taught me a lot of good things too.

1. How to time manage effectively having IBD means that you never know when you're going to have a bad day or a good day. Because of this, I got into a pretty good work ethic of doing work when I get it rather than leaving it to the last minute to try and make sure I don't get behind on work. Also, by doing work early it can reduce your stress levels which can help relieve IBD symptoms (stress always made my flares 10 times worse)

2. Appreciate the good days like I said, you never know when the good days are coming and when they do, you really do appreciate them. However, you do have to balance getting everything you want to do in a good day but not make yourself so tired that you have a bad day the next (if that makes sense!)

3. How the digestive system actually works I feel like I know how the digestive system works incredibly well now! I know which foods are good, which are bad, which foods are anti inflammatory...if you ever need to know something about the digestive system, I'm your gal!

4. How to relax/ binge watch tv Arguably I'm not the best at this all the time but I've got a lot better at just sitting down and watching tv/films or actually going to have a nap when I need one. Admittedly, I still do run about like a mad woman and refuse to let the tiredness win which inevitably leaves me absolutely shattered (this happened today!) but I am working on it

5. How amazing my friends/family they are always there to help me and cheer me up. So thank you :)

 If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070.

3 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | Why I'm Grateful for my Stoma

Having IBD is draining and when you get told you have to have surgery for it, you start to wonder how you ended up the way you are but I have to say I am very grateful for my stoma (even though I do complain about it sometimes) and I feel like the last 24 hours I realised how much better I am than I was last year.

It's been a whirlwind of 24 hours as I did a flying visit home to go and see Diversity. Rushing to the train station, I took the hour and a half train journey home. It's so nice to be able to get on the train and not have to worry about going to the toilet umpteen times.

Then me and my mum went to pizza express for tea and it's great to be able to eat a meal and not worry about how it's going to effect my tummy and the impending doom of whether I was going to be in pain or not after eating. So I got the Carbonara pizza and let me tell you, it was gorgeous! And I wasn't in pain afterwards!! Katie 1 - UC 0

And then it was show time. I still find it amazing that I can sit through two hour long shows and not have to worry about where the toilet is and running to it half way through the show and missing half of it. It's great been able to sit comfortably.

Diversity were so amazing and their routines were so inspiring. There was a great mix of music, dance, humour and inspiration and I loved their mantra of Dream, Believe, Achieve. If you ever have the opportunity to go and see them live, do because it is breathtaking!

So that was my Wednesday and now I'm back at uni and having a rest catching up on last nights I'm a Celeb because it's important to get your rest people!

 If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070.

2 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | Anaemia

Most people who have any form of IBD will at some point in their life suffer from anaemia whether it's due to not absorbing iron well and/or from blood loss due to inflammation of the bowel which inevitably leads to bleeding.

Anaemia is now probably the most noticeable symptom which I suffer from now and it affects my life every day. No matter how much I sleep, I still feel tired and lethargic (FYI as I'm writing this I legit feel like I'm about to fall asleep and it's 2:00pm!) but I try not to let it stop me doing things too much but I have to make sure I get a good nights sleep every night, take things slowly and take a nap when I really need it (and to be honest I feel like I should have one now!).

I'm meant to take three of these tablets a day but they've been making me a bit sick recently so I'm actually just waiting for my IBD nurse to ring me back for my blood tests and if I'm still anaemic I'll hopefully get booked in for an iron infusion. Now, I know you might be thinking why I'm saying hopefully but I hate taking iron tablets, especially three a day, and I'd much rather go to hospital for half an hour, have a fifteen minute iron infusion and go home because last time it lasted me a good three months before they put me back on the tablets!

Something I try to do (and really need to try more lately) is adding more iron to my diet. Some really good iron rich foods I like to include are spinach (however not so much now as I get scared that it'll block my stoma), fish and chicken (both rich in iron) and broccoli. I have also cut out caffeine from my diet because it stops you from absorbing iron apparently!

 If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070.

1 December 2015

#7daysofIBD | Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week

So today marks the start of Crohn's and Colitis awareness week so I thought I'd do a little introduction post for you. If you've been following this blog a while, you're probably already aware of what Crohn's and Colitis is but if you've just stumped across my little blog for the first time, I'll do a recap for you! 

Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation and ulceration of the colon if you have UC and the whole digestive track if you have crohn's. And yes, it is as painful as it sounds. 

IBD doesn't just attack your bowel/digestive track though; it comes which umpteen other things such as joint pains which can be so bad you can hardly move, mouth ulcers which suck and weight loss which is just to name a few and something I'm quickly learning is that even which the majority of your colon gone, ulcerative colitis can still affect you in so many ways! 

Over the next 7 days, I'm going to share with you different aspects of how IBD affects my life and hopefully give people a better understanding of what the disease is actually like. If you want more information, head over to the Crohn's and Colitis charity website, go and have a search of the #7daysofIBD and read about other peoples lives with IBD and get involved yourself in the hashtag and finally, donate to the charity by texting DAYS22 £3 to 70070. 


24 November 2015

Ostomy Flattering Outfit of the Month

I feel that this weekend we've well and truly seen winter in. There was the first snowfall of the season and whilst it wasn't a lot, it was enough and it brought a chill to the air. This months outfit is a little more geared towards the colder snaps and I'm also sharing with you one of my favourite pairs of jeans which I feel don't restrict my stoma too much so carry on reading for the low down! 

17 November 2015

How to deal with your stoma making noises

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning your stoma will start gurgling and being really noisy. Sometimes it'll pass and sometimes it decides that no today, I'm going to be really annoying and make it known to the whole world that you have a stoma today. It's normally on these days that you've got a busy day too.


13 November 2015

Tanya Burr Candy Glam Beauty Essentials

As soon as I heard Tanya Burr had a christmas range of her make up I was beyond excited. This is because her stuff which came out a few months ago is so good! I went straight onto Superdrug when I heard the news and was sad to see that the three products I wanted the most had sold out! These were the Candy Glam Palette, the 12 days of Christmas advent calendar and the Gingerbread Trio. Luckily, they were still instore so when I saw them I grabbed them! I was really looking forward to trying the Candy Glam palette as it's mainly an eye shadow palette (more on what else is in it further down) and I had been really impressed with the Hollywood eye palette I bought earlier in the year...

4 November 2015

Anita's Story

Some of you may remember a while ago I shared with you all Debbie's Story and the response was so good I've had another lady, Anita, who has been so generous in sharing her story. It's so important to show that everyone with an ostomy/IBD/any chronic illness has got to where they are in different ways and sharing experiences can be so beneficial in dealing with your own diagnosis! So, without further ado, here's Anita's story.


2 November 2015

October Favourites

October Favourites

October came and went in the flash of an eye and now we can all get excited for christmas! This month has been full of sunshine and pumpkin spiced lattes and I've had a lot of favourites so on with the post

30 October 2015

Movie Night Essentials *

Last night I had a lil movie night with one of my friends, watching Dark Shadows (perfect to get in the Halloween spirit!) and it was so much fun! With the early nights drawing in, it's the perfect excuse to have cosy movie nights with friends and family. In fact, it's number 5 on my 10 things about Autumn post. What's better than grabbing some snacks, popping on a film and drinking your weight in hot chocolate? From choosing a dream TV (a girl can dream right) to the best films and my hot chocolate choices, here's my list of movie night essentials!

28 October 2015

Dressing for your Stoma #2

After the great response I got from the first dressing for your stoma I thought I'd do another post. I originally found that wearing dresses is really comfy way of dressing, especially after having surgery mainly because I have always preferred the skater style dresses which don't cling to the body.  So here's an outfit which will suit smarter occasions and is nice and warm for these colder days. 

26 October 2015

Healthy Ginger Pumpkin Chocolate Browines

Yes, you heard that right. Healthy chocolate brownies. What more could a girl want? And what's even better is it uses up the pumpkin from making all those jack-o-lateens so not only is it healthy it also reduces waste. Plus, they're really tasty!


21 October 2015

What's in my Uni Bag

Something I love reading on blogs and watching on YouTube is The What's In My Bag Tag. It's a guilty pleasure of mine! So I thought I'd share with you what I take with me to university. 

19 October 2015

6 months with a stoma

This weekend just gone marked six months with a stoma which to me feels really weird because it doesn't feel like half a year since I had my surgery. When I noticed it was six months, it kind of knocked me a bit and I'm not entirely sure why. 

I normally post  positive things about having my stoma, and I still stand by all that I've said, but like I said in my World Ostomy Day post, like any chronic illness you have good days and bad days and you can't just ignore the bad days. 

The main thing which got me down is the fact that I'm still not 100% better and even though I was told it takes time to heal it still got to me that I still get really tired and things like that and because I look well on the outside and actually look like I did before I got ill a few years ago I think other people, and myself, don't realise that I'm still recovering and getting better.

As my mum said though, you've got to look at all the things to be grateful for so that's what I'm doing and I'm already starting to feel a little bit more optimistic about everything.

13 October 2015

A Day in Liverpool

So two weeks ago I headed to Liverpool with one of my friends for a day of shopping and exploring the city. Considering Liverpool isn't that far from where I live, and my dads from very near there, I'd never actually been their before (unless you count going to the airport) so I was really excited to have a look around. After having a browse in Primark for a jumper (I had very much underestimated quite how cold it was that day!) and going to Gourmet  Burger for a delicious lunch (which I forgot to instagram because I was too hungry!) we headed to the Tate Modern Art Gallery.


7 October 2015

Dressing for your Stoma #1

I think one of my biggest worries before surgery, and something I still feel self conscious about now, is what to wear so you feel comfortable with your stoma. One of the questions I actually asked my stoma nurses pre surgery was about clothing and what I would be able to wear. For me, I still struggle wearing my super skinny jeans because I don't like tight things on my stoma, I'm scared of squishing it and stopping it from doing its thang! (side note, I don't think it actually does that it's just one of my weird, irrational fears). When I got home, one of the things I searched most was what to wear which is why I'm going to do a series of posts on what I like to wear to feel comfortable yet (hopefully) stylish as a lot of things out there are actually geared to older people!


3 October 2015

World Ostomy Day

I'm breaking from my normal blogging schedule to celebrate my first ever world ostomy day with an actual ostomy! Me and Ant (yes, I've named my stoma Ant) can officially celebrate world ostomy day as an ostomate and to do so I'm doing an obligatory #GetYourBellyOut picture because it's been quite a while since I posted one.

If you're late to the party and are wondering what the hell an ostomy is, google defines it as an artificial opening in an organ of the body, created during an operation such as a colostomy, ileostomy, or gastrostomy; a stoma.  I have an ileostomy so I've had my colon removed and now part of my ilium (small bowel) is on my stomach but you can read all about how I got my stoma here.

This years theme is #ManyStoriesOneVoice and I think that this is such a great theme as nearly everyone who has an ostomy has a different story but we all have one aim, to be well and be able to live our lives to the fullest!

I've always been really open about my stoma; if someone wanted to ask a question I'd always answer it. I'm not ashamed of my stoma because it saved my life and if people are curious its important to educate them on what it's actually like; the good and the bad.

I'd be lying if I said having a stoma isn't sometime a bag of shit (literally) but if I dwell on the bag leaks and the sore skin and the sometimes feeling so different to my friends, I'm going to get seriously depressed!  I think it's a common misconception that if you have a bag that your life is suddenly going to become rubbish or that stomas are mainly for old people. These stereotypes are so wrong! I didn't realise how many young people have ostomies but they do...this year alone 900 ostomates started university. And as for how you live your life, I've done so much more since having my stoma I actually can't believe it. For the past two years I've been limited in what I could do because of pain and constantly needing the toilet where as now I'm a lot more free to do things. I'm not 100% well yet; I still get tired easily and I get bad joint pains and need to rest but in the grand scheme of things, that's nothing!

I always try (try being the key word there) to keep upbeat about my ostomy because at the end of the day I could be in a lot worse of a state without it and it has given me my life back!


2 October 2015

Ileostomy Friendly Healthy Spaghetti Cabonara

I love cabonara. It's got to be one of my favourite foods in the world! I mean, its pasta, cheese and bacon, what's not to love? However it can be quite unhealthy so I've tweaked it a bit and added a slightly healthier twist on the classic Italian dish. 

29 September 2015

First week of uni with a stoma

You may or may not know, but this week I started my second year at university. To be honest, I'm amazed that I actually made it to this year with surgery and at one point I out right said I was dropping out but, deep breath, I did it. I passed my exams and I'm here again. I'm not going to lie, I was really nervous about coming back and living away from home so I thought I'd share with you how my first week went!

Bag wise, everything has been fine. I had a mare of a time at first because my toilet wouldn't flush which is just a bit of an inconvenience! But I got it sorted in a day and now it flushes. But changing bags and just coping with them hasn't been too difficult.

I actually made it on  night out which including drinking and rolling in at 3 in the morning (sorry mum). I think this was one of the scariest things I've done this week and it wasn't too bad. I don't really like nights out like that so I didn't really enjoy it. I was worried about dehydration so I mainly drank water once I was actually out (which made it really cheap!) and then I had a rehydration powder drink I got from boots when I got it. All in all, I survived it and it was meh but that wasn't really down to the bag, it's just I don't like nights out!

A note about alcohol now; I've actually been really fine with drinking however some alcohol makes my bag go really weird but I've not figured out what it is yet...all I know is that my bag output because quite strange when I've had cocktails. Nothing too major though!

One thing I've really struggled with this week is homesickness. I've had it really bad and did go home this weekend. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit but I now have the nickname Boomerang at home because I stuck out a total of 4 days before coming home. I think its because I've been completely locked after these past 6 months and me and my dad got into a good routine; I don't like change basically. So my biggest thing to work on is that really!

Food wise has been great. I've been introducing more raw veg (okay, so tomatoes) but touch wood (touch lots of wood people) I've had no blockages which is fab because it was something I was a bit worried about

When it comes to actual going into university, I only had welcome lectures last week so I've just started having my proper ones and they seem to be good so far. I had my first criminal lecture today and it was so interesting! I cannot wait to learn even more about it.

So there you have it, my first week of second year at uni! Fingers crossed its up from here and I'll keep you all up to date


25 September 2015

5 places to go in Brittany, France

If you've ready my swimming with an ostomy post, you'll already know that I've been on holiday to France. More specifically, I was in Dol-De-Bretagne in Brittany. I haven't been there in like 12 years so it was great to go back! There are so many things to do and places to go in the area so I thought I'd give you my top 10 places to visit there...


23 September 2015

First time swimming with an Ostomy

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen I was on holiday last week which gave me the perfect opportunity to go swimming for the first time. I've never been much of a swimmer but I knew I'd have to do it at some point and I'm not going to lie, I was a bit apprehensive but as you can see from the picture above I soon overcame it!


21 September 2015

10 things about Autumn

If you hadn't already guessed it, Autumn is here. And I can confirm this as I'm writing this from my new room in my new flat. Seeing as it's the start of a new season (and probably my favourite) I thought I'd share my top 10 things about autumn.


18 September 2015

Farmhouse Fruit Cake

I promise you all, I was going to take a photo of the cake I baked however when I went to take the picture, the cake had all gone (I'm looking at you, dad!). This cake always reminds me of being really little and watching my mum bake and every time she bakes it, even to this day, the smell transports me back to being small. I decided to have a go at baking it because both me and my dad really love this cake...it tastes so good!


275g Self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g butter
225g caster sugar
1 orange (grated & juiced)
5 eggs
350g sultanas
125g raisins
175g chopped glace cherries
50g chopped mixed peel


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas mark 2

2. Sift the flour and salt together. Then add the butter and sugar and rub it together. To do this, with your fingertips (and thumb) rub all the mixture together until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs. 

3. Grate (or zest if you want to get fancy) the orange rind and beat it in. Then beat in the eggs, then fruit and then the juice of the orange

4. Line a 20cm/8 inch cake tin with a double thickness of greaseproof paper and spoon the mixture into it. I actually used two smaller cake tins and made two smaller cakes as I was giving one of them to a friend. 

5. Bake the cake for two and a half hours, or until you can but a knife into the centre and it comes out clean

And voila! You have a yummy cake which technically has at least 2 of your 5 a day! Let me know in the comments if you try making it and tag me in any photos of your bakes on instagram or twitter

16 September 2015

Debbie's Story

Recently I asked some of the ostomy forums whether anyone would be comfortable sharing their stories and experiences with a stoma and/or IBD and the response was overwhelming! The idea behind this is to show how different people are affected and just how people have dealt with it to show the different sides of the disease and the stoma. This post has been written by Debbie.


14 September 2015

Guest Post : Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

Hello all, I’m Alex from www.alwa.co.uk and Katie was kind enough to let me guest post on this lovely blog whilst she’s away! I thought I’d tell you all about my current skincare routine and share with you what products I’m loving at the moment.


11 September 2015

My thoughts on Go Set A Watchman

When I heard that there was a sequel (or prequel seeing as it was supposedly written before) of to Kill A Mockingbird, I could not wait to read it. To kill a mockingbird is one of my absolute favourite books which meant I had high hopes for the second book but maybe that was part of the problem because I did not like Go Set A Watchman. I didn't like it to the point that I couldn't finish the book.


9 September 2015

What's it really like to have a colonoscopy?

There's defiantly a taboo around speaking about colonoscopies...the sheer mention of them can set a person sniggering (unless they've actually had one). I remember that after having my first one, I didn't mention it to anyone for the fear that people would laugh in my face. I remember being absolutely terrified before having mine which resulted me ending up on Mums Net and becoming even more neurotic about it! If I'd written this post a year ago, it would've had the tone of I don't see what's too bad about having a colonoscopy...It hardly hurt at all when I had it and it was cool because I saw my insides!. Fast forward a year and I laugh in the face of my naive self. Because I've had two experiences, I'm going to tell you about both and then at the end I'll explain why the two experiences were so polar opposite (because I asked the nurses why...what can I say, I was curious!)

7 September 2015

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal

Last week, I went for a day out to The Bowes Museum with one of my friends to go and have a look at the Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal exhibition. The exhibition showcases his greatest hits, intertwined with the museums own fashion collection which includes pieces from nearly every century.

4 September 2015

Yummy Sugar Free Victoria Sponge Cake

Yes, you read that right; a victoria sponge cake which is sugar free! If you've read my August Favourites or follow me on social media, you'll have already seen this picture and I've had an influx of people asking me for the recipe.


2 September 2015

Introducing my sponsor : SecuriCare & CliniMed

I've been so excited to tell you all about this latest news. This blog has been sponsored! SecuriCare & Clinimed are a company who give support and supply stoma products to all us ostomates! So what does this mean for the blog? It means that I'll be putting even more effort into the blog and producing more stoma related content...so nothing too different! But it means that I get to not only make some money out of something I love doing but also create more awareness about stomas and SecuriCare & CliniMed, a company who has been there for me since before I even got my stoma!

So, let me tell you a bit about my experience with SecuriCare. My stoma nurses are actually apart of SecuriCare so from the few days before my surgery, I've been very aware of the company. All my information packs have come from there and from day one I've felt really supported. Any questions I had, I either went to my information packs or my stoma nurses (shout out to Jill, Gill, Nicky and Catherine!). SecuriCare are also a delivery company of all things stoma, so all my bags, sprays, LBF wipes and cotton swap things come from them. They can supply all of the brands so it makes it super easy. You either use the online form to order, ring up or email them (shout out to Damien who often emails me to remind me to order 'cause I'm pretty useless at it!). I've used both online ways and they're both really reliable. Living in the deepest depths of Cumbria doesn't seem to delay my orders either, which is defiantly a plus! Don't be afraid to ring that number above if you want more information because the people on the other end are so friendly and helpful!

So there's my exciting news! Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting things on the blog soon and I'll see you all on Friday for a very yummy post

31 August 2015

August Favourites

As August comes to an end (which I really cannot believe...how is it September tomorrow!) I thought I'd share with you some of my favourites from this month, mainly because these are my favourite blog posts to read!


26 August 2015

RECOVERY // 4 months post op

Last week marked four months with my ileostomy so I thought I'd do a quick update for you all on how it's going because I feel like I haven't done one of these posts in a while.


24 August 2015

Uni Room Wishlist

With a month until uni starts again, I've been thinking a lot about my room and what I want to get for it. I'm not going to lie, I always have the urge to buy homewear stuff however going to Primark the other week and looking at their home section, I can already feel my money walking out my purse, and that's before I've even walked into the shop! So, I decided to do a Primark Home Wishlist...

As you can probably guess, I have a thing for cushions and bedding! And how cute is that ice cream scoop! I also should mention that I don't think that my flat next year actually allows candles so I guess they'll have to stay out of the basket when I actually go shopping! 

Are you off to uni next month? If so, what's on your wishlist?


21 August 2015

Workout Playlist

With Friday being designated gym day (however I am planning on increasing these days!) I thought I'd do a gym post on my current workout playlist. I've figured out that the key to a good workout is having some good music to listen to! I like to zone out to music and I feel that I can actually do a lot more when I'm listening to it...plus doing a warm up on the treadmill for 10 minutes can feel like a lifetime without anything to listen to!  So, without further ado, I present to you my workout playlist...

I hope you all like the playlist and I'll see you all for the next post on Monday

Leave your workout songs in the comments below!


19 August 2015

Going to uni with a chronic illness

Going to university is daunting for everyone but even more so for those of us with chronic illnesses. Your mind is no doubt filled with what if's and worst case scenarios but trust me, as someone who survived their first year of university (most of which I had quite a bad flare up) with a chronic illness, it is possible.
However, there are quite a few things I learnt along the way in dealing with my illness and some things which actually really helped me so I thought I'd share these tips with you!

1. Get in touch with your university's disability service
I know, you probably don't even associate yourself with having a disability...I know I rarely associated my ulcerative colitis with having a disability but by saying you do, you can receive a lot of much needed help. The disability service (it may be called learner development or student support...at my uni, it comes under all three!) you can meet with someone who will help make a personal learning programme. Your PLP will contain pretty much everything you'll need at uni and it can set your mind at rest too. It really helped me when it came to exams. Not only did it help me get special circumstances when I was in hospital and not able to sit them, when I finally did take my exams I was in a smaller room, was able to take rest breaks and could take food and water into the exam if I needed to.

2. Apply for Disabled Students Allowance
When I applied to uni, I applied for DSA on a whim...I really didn't think that I'd get anything but what's the harm in trying! In fact, it was really worth my time applying and going to the needs assessment because I managed to get a printer (and ink and paper) and I get the difference between en-suite and non-ensuite paid for too. Whatever your chronic illness may be, have a go! They can supply special chairs, travel expenses, computers, reading equipment...everything! So I really urge you to go and apply.

3. Listen to your body
This goes for everyone at uni. In fresher's, I went out every night and I drank (not a lot, but more than I normally would). I didn't get drunk but the alcohol and fizzy drinks caused me to flare more and exhaustion got to me. I felt pretty dreadful. In one case, I thought I'd got a stomach ulcer from drinking with my tables which I never normally do but for once, I wanted to feel like a "normal" teenager/fresher. I ended up at the walk in health centre panicking and feeling pretty stupid. I hadn't given myself a stomach ulcer but I'd just caused myself to flare even more. I didn't drink from that day on! (fact.) But the moral from the story was that I started listening to my body and not going on mad nights out too much (or night out in general) because I found them exhausting. I was lucky that I had a good group of friends who understood and there was plenty of other things for us to do (in the day time!) and we still had a great time, probably better! (I know I did)

4. Figure out where your nearest pharmacy is and take your prescription there ASAP
I stayed with my local doctors when I went to uni instead of changing to a Manchester based one purely because it would probably mess up all my hospital appointments and everything! So I wasn't worrying about prescriptions though, I took my prescription down with me and took it to the nearest boots and then picked it up like normal. It was about 100 times easier than linking my trips home (which incidentally turned out to be nearly every weekend in the last few months!) with picking up my prescription.
Side note. remember to take the green slip with you or you'll find yourself texting/ringing your mum in panic to find it at home and scan it to you

5. Speak to your doctors/specialist nurse before you go
If you're anything like me, you'll have a great relationship with your doctor because of the amount of times you go. Because of this, I didn't feel too weird asking for an appointment to see her before I went to uni just so I could get some help/advise for setting up prescriptions and signing up to doctors and what not. This year, I probably won't go to my doctors but I will go and see my stoma nurses (who I have an equally good relationship with) and get some help of them and get them to help me get in touch with the Manchester stomas nurses. Whichever medical professional you have the best relationship with, try and have a chat with them because it could put your mind at rest)

Last, but certainly not least, have fun! Yes, you may have an illness which makes life harder for you but don't let it win by stopping you from doing things. Make the most out of your time at uni, have fun and make great friends!

If you've got any tips, let me know in the comments below!


17 August 2015

PLACES // The Tea Cup Kitchen, Manchester

 Last week I went back to Manchester to sit my exams which I'd missed and it felt so good to be back! I'd really missed the place. As a break from revision, me and my mum headed to the northern quarter to get some material for a sewing project (more on that later in the week) and we headed for an afternoon tea stop at The Tea Cup Kitchen which is this bright red, really cute cafe which sells the most amazing cakes and has the most delicious tea blends I've ever come across!


27 July 2015

Night Time Skin Care Routine

In the past few months, I've been taking my skin care a lot more seriously and keeping up with doing it every evening and I've really seen a difference in my skin! I've seen redness reduce and I've had hardly any spots. I've honed down my routine to my 3 essential products.

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