Watch Me at TEDx Bollington

The day has finally come for me to share something with you that has not only been in the pipeline since December but has actually been out in the open since June, I just couldn’t share it online because well, I didn’t have it!

As many of you will know, I was asked to do a TEDx talk back in December and the big day finally took place on June 16th, so just over a month ago now and as I said in my TEDx Experience blog – what a day!

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I absolutely loved creating my TEDx talk and delivering it on the day was honestly such an unforgettable experience. The feedback I got from live watchers was incredible and I just walked around the whole day and the day after too, with a Cheshire cat style grin on my face!

Since then, I’ve kind of been in limbo as I could tell everyone that I have done a TEDx talk and had the pictures but I couldn’t show them the actual talk! All my friends and family members who couldn’t make it on the day have been desperate to watch and it has been so frustrating to not have the talk to show them but I am so excited to say that it is live online now for you to watch!

You can watch my TEDx talk, from TEDx Bollington on YouTube now!

My talk is called ‘It’s Time to Remove the Filter From Social Media’ and you can watch it here!

I can’t believe the lovely messages I have had from people already and that over 400 people have already watched it but the more people that hear the message, the better, so please give it a watch!

If you could share the link on Twitter, that’d be even more amazing and don’t forget to tag me – @elliepool_

Your support is always so appreciated, so thank you as always and I hope you enjoy!

Photo Credit: Martin Hambleton

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Falling in Love and Heartbreak – The Second Time

This blog has always been a place for me to ramble when needs be and sometimes, these posts are for nobody’s benefit but my own and I think this may be one of them but who knows, it may resonate with someone.

I spoke on my Instagram in September last year and have spoken on the blog many times about my breakup. This isn’t about that but long story short, together for three years, lived together, lies, upset, break up, heart break – yeah.

That was rough like VERY rough but I got through it and came out the other side a few months later feeling ready to meet someone new. I wasn’t actively looking but I was open to feeling for someone again.

In March this year, on the day I left the flat I’d shared with my ex no less, a boy walked into my life, out of nowhere and turned my head instantly.

I felt for him in that moment, the way I felt the day I’d met my ex. I don’t necessarily believe in love at first sight but I do believe that you know when you’ve met someone who is going to change your life and that’s how I felt when I met him.

At first, I was a bit of a closed book. I had been hurt so badly that I wasn’t going to let that happen again but when you’ve met someone that makes you feel that special way, you can’t keep your barriers up no matter how hard you try and before I knew it, I was falling head over heels.

He seemed like everything I wanted, we spent so much time together, I cared so much for him and would’ve gone to the ends of the world and back if he needed me too. I went out of my way to make him happy and just seeing him smile made it all worthwhile. I very quickly made him a priority and rightly or wrongly given the time frame, felt so strongly towards him.

After a few months, the whirlwind came to an end and as with my previous breakup, it wasn’t my choice and I had no control in the decision, it was made for me.

Although I knew this heartbreak hurt less and would last a lot less time, it still hurt and because I wasn’t strong enough to cut contact with him, it’s continued to re-hurt for months since but this whole thing has taught me about falling in and out of love for the second time.

I wanted to talk about this because everyone talks to you about your first love and your first heartbreak and what they’ll be like but no one tells you what it is like to do this for the second time.

I guess we don’t talk about it because we don’t want to have to go through it. We all want to fall in love just once and if we’re going to have to have our hearts broken, just the once is more than enough but unfortunately, we don’t all fall lucky and we do have to go there more than once and it is so different the second time.

Let’s start with falling in love for the second time. In my experience, it just isn’t as easy. You just don’t let yourself fall quite so care free. First time round, there’s a beautiful sense of naivety about it all. You’ve never been hurt. Falling in love has never gone wrong. It’s all just an adventure that you may be apprehensive about but you’re not scared. That blissful ignorance allows you to fall for someone with no hesitation but falling in love for the second time, especially after heartbreak, isn’t like that- or at least for me it wasn’t.

When you find that second person and feel those feelings come back, you know what they are. You don’t get that same feeling of anticipating the unknown because you already know how this could end and it’s hard not to skip straight to that part. It’s hard to sit back and enjoy falling in love when you know that this could end in heartbreak.

It is hard to knowingly walk back into the fire when you already know you could get burnt but at the same time, falling for the second time is also an incredible feeling. For me, it was like an awakening that there was more to life than the person that had hurt me. After a breakup, you feel like you’ll be alone forever and falling for the second time makes you realise that you have met someone else and you can be happy again and in a way, that experience feels so much more special because it provokes those emotions.

As for the heartbreak, I can’t say it doesn’t hurt the second time but for me, in my circumstance, it hurt less. The time together was shorter, the drama was less and I guess the feelings towards each other, as real as they were, were weaker, so it was easier but it still hurt.

Personally, getting my heart broken for the second time was a bit of an eye roll moment. I felt sick and my chest hurt and my head ran away with me, of course it did, but it did just make my eyes roll.

It was kind of like ‘here we go again’. I guess I always assumed falling in love would end like this because it did last time. I wasn’t surprised I’d ended up here so it all felt so much easier to stomach but it did hurt, you’re just programmed to cope better.

I was stronger going into this situation than I was the first time and because of that, I had my cry and then I took a step back and realised that I’d got through it once and would definitely get through it again.

Saying that though, that second heartbreak was a weird one for me because I have to admit, I wasn’t so forthcoming at accepting it. First time round, I was so weak I just accepted it, I had no fight but with my new found strength, I tried to fight back the second time and turn things around, save the situation, make changes to make it work but in reality, I should’ve used that strength to walk away and work on myself, not the relationship.

So, in summary, falling in love for the second time is equally one of the most refreshing but terrifying feelings in the world and equally, heartbreak number two hurts a lot but you’ll take it in your stride much better.

All I can say is let it happen. Don’t hesitate to fall for Mr or Mrs Right 2.0 because they could be the one and bringing issues from past relationships into new ones is a recipe for failure, so leave the past in the past and look at this relationship as a brand new start.

If you’ve just had your heart broken for the second time – do not blame yourself. It is easy to think that after going through it again that it must be something to do with you but it isn’t, you just haven’t met the one and you’ll never be right, no matter what you do, for the wrong person.

I hope this has helped someone that is at any stage of this whole journey, my messages are always open if you need me!

Happy 1st Birthday Gluten Free With Ellie

I can’t believe I am saying this but my Instagram account, ‘Gluten Free With Ellie’ is officially one year old today!

16th February 2018 I put out my first ever post on that account, thinking no one would care, no one would follow and it certainly wouldn’t turn into anything but one year on? I simply can not believe what we have achieved.

In one year, my little page has gathered nearly 1,500 followers which still baffles me that so many people actually have chosen to follow my account because they’re interested in what I post!

In one year, I’ve posted over 280 times. Some have been great looking plates of food, some have been moments of celebration and others have been sharing some of the worst times of my life with you.

I never intended for my gluten free Instagram account to become a place where I particularly shared things about my life. It was about food and that’s all I ever intended it to be.

It was about sharing products, recipes and meal ideas that I was loving and thought you guys might too but I soon realised that the community I was becoming part of was more than a following of fellow foodies but genuine friends and supports.

Through the highs and lows of Coeliac Disease, to the triumph of my first Huffington Post article being published to the depths of depression I witnessed throughout my break up, you have all been there every step of the way and for that, I will forever be grateful.

I have shared more on this Instagram page than I could’ve ever imagined I would, coming on camera to chat about what was happening in my life, be it good or bad and the support I have had in return has been invaluable to me.

Every comment, every message, they all get read and where I can, replied to and they mean more than you will ever know.

I also never set up this account to gain anything. I never dreamt of working with brands or receiving products to try but that is something that has been so amazing.

I can’t thank the incredible brands who have chosen to work with me, including Marks & Spencer, Creative Nature Superfoods, Bahlsen UK, John McCambridge, Genius and more, for giving me a chance to try your products and share your incredible brands to my following.

Having this Instagram account truly has pushed me to try and eat better and cook more to have decent content to share with you which is incredible in itself but as I said, the support and friendships I have made through this mean the most.

I can’t wait to see what comes from the next year of Gluten Free With Ellie, so watch this space!

19 Things I Want to Achieve in 2019

Feeling stuck for inspiration for what you want to achieve in 2019? Here’s 19 things I’m going to be working to succeed at over the next 12 months

2019 is here and I’m determined to make this the year I achieve good physical and mental health and tick off a few things I’ve always wanted to do, so I thought I’d share with you 19 things I want to achieve in 2019 and it might even give you some inspiration for goals to set this year!

1. Post One Blog Every Week This Year

I want to try and upload a new blog post on here every week this year which would mean uploading at least 52 blogs by the end of 2019!

2. Write for New Publications 

I love writing and sharing my stories and experiences both on the blog and further, so I’d love to start writing for some new publications this year!

3. Learn to Bake Biscuits 

This probably sounds ridiculous as a ‘goal’ but I seriously can’t bake biscuits to save my life and it annoys me so much, so I want to perfect the technique this year!

4. Develop New Sweet and Savoury Recipes

I love getting creative in the kitchen, so I want to get back into developing new recipes for both my own enjoyment and to share with you guys!

5. Meet Some Online Friends In Real Life

I’ve made some amazing online friends, especially in the gluten free community and I’d love to meet some of these great people in real life!

6. Save Some Money

I’m turning 20 this year (OMG) which means I need to start cracking down on saving money again!

7. Get Back Into Yoga

I say ‘get back into’ as if I was ever into yoga, I went once… but I am determined to go back this year and actually continue to go weekly!

8. Cook Chicken Myself and Eat It

You’re probably thinking I need to set some better goals for the year at this point but part of my Emetophobia is that I have a serious fear of eating chicken in case it isn’t cooked and makes me sick but this year I want to learn to cook a chicken breast myself and eat it!

9. Run the Race For Life Again 

I did the Race for Life in 2018 and loved every second of it (you can read my Race for Life blog here), so I 100% want to do it again but this time I’d like to train properly and actually run the whole 5K and not 500m like I did last time…

10. Hit 2000 Followers on Instagram 

This is a very self-absorbed goal for the year but we all want a few extra Instagram followers don’t we?

Help a girl out and drop us a follow on Instagram!

11. Go On Holiday 

I actually didn’t leave England in 2018 for a number of reasons but this year I’m determined to save up and suck up my anxiety and go on holiday at some point this year!

12. Have a Digital Detox Day Every Week 

I should honestly have square eyes given how much time I spend staring at a screen, so I want to set one day as a digital detox day this year where I’m off social media all day!

13. Start Writing a Book

I’m under no impression that I’m going to be a best-selling author by the end of 2019 but I have always dreamt of writing a book but have never even got started or looked into it, so I’m determined to do that this year!

14. Become Happy With My Body 

As someone who struggles with Disordered Eating, this is easier said than done but I’m determined to make this the year I actually make the effort to go to the gym and eat well and hopefully, become happier with my body.

15. Get Promoted at Work 

There’s always room for progression at my workplace and this year my focus is going to be mainly on my work, so I’m definitely going to be working towards another promotion in 2019.

16. Complete A New Course

I always describe myself as a learner, I love doing courses in different things and learning new skills, so I’d love to do a new course in 2019. I’m thinking photography or counselling?

17. Minimise My Wardrobe 

I went a little mad with clothes shopping in 2018, so this year I want to stop shopping so much and have a good clear out of my wardrobe, only keeping what I genuinely wear and need.

18. Improve My Instagram Content

After going through some tough times in 2018, my Instagram content suffered because I wasn’t eating well or doing much, so this year I want to improve my content and post more regularly.

19. Have an Amazing Christmas

Christmas 2018 was not the best for me to say the least and for a few years now I haven’t had the best Christmas and New Years, so in 2019, I want to have an amazing Christmas with my friends and family that will actually make me look back and think ‘yes, that was such a good time’!

So, that’s what I want to achieve in 2019 but what do you want to achieve?

I’d love to know, so let me know in the comments!

An Open Letter to My Ex as I Leave ‘Us’ Behind

With 2018 coming to an end, I’ve decided to draw a line under my year of heartbreak with an open letter to my ex as I leave ‘us’ behind.

2018 was the year I learn’t what heartbreak really was. I thought I’d experienced that agonising pain before but going through my breakup this year has taught me that I’d never been in love until now and I’d certainly never felt true heartbreak.

September 2018 saw my 3-year relationship come to an end and not through my own choice. It’s fair to say I’ve struggled to come to terms with the breakup and the thought of moving on sent physical pain through my body, as i’m sure anyone who has been through this situation can relate.

As we say goodbye to 2018, I’m making a point of leaving that relationship behind but I wanted to write this ‘open letter’ to not just my ex but anyone’s ex as a form of closure for myself and anyone else struggling to know what to say to comfort themselves or how to leave the hurt behind.

To my ex,

Thank you aren’t words I ever thought I’d utter in your direction again yet as I find myself drawing a line under our relationship and leaving it behind, I do want to say thank you to you. 

Thank you for the good times because although they seem so far away now, they did happen and despite the negativity between us now, they’re fond memories I’ll hold dear in my heart forever. 

I also want to thank you for showing me an inner strength in myself I never knew I had. In choosing to leave a relationship I thought would last forever, you made me make a choice. I had to decide to either allow myself to be swallowed by the depression and fear I felt when you left or stand up and get on and it took every ounce of strength I had to make the choice to carry on. 

Your exit from my life left me feeling so unfamiliar with my surroundings, it was like I’d been thrown into a world I didn’t recognise when in reality, I was just being forced to live a life that stretched further than the inner circle I’d created with you. I was thrown into a world where it wasn’t all about you, it was about me and other people too and although that felt like a warped version of reality at first, it’s that world and those people that have got me to here. 

You made me toughen up. You made me delve deep inside myself and count on my own inner strength to get up every morning, go to work, socialise, get on with life, I did that for myself.

I want to thank you for making me doubt my own self worth because in making me wonder why I wasn’t good enough, you made me discover that actually, I’m more than good enough. You made me reflect on my personality and who I am by pointing out my flaws and I thank you wholeheartedly for making me regret being who I was for the last three years because I can now see errors I made and can see how my actions at the time weren’t always good enough and I am now a better person for that. 

In taking away my main focus and priority in life, that being you, I have now moved my attention on to things that matter to me like my family, my friends who I had neglected and my work and those things are providing me with a fuller, more enriched life than the one I had with you that at the time, I thought was all I wanted.

I’ve spent days since you left thinking about you and us and what we had. I’ve spent hours crying and I’ve spent countless sleepless nights thinking about how much I loathe you whilst still loving you but now? You’re behind me. What we once had is now behind me. 

We ended in 2018 and that is exactly where I’m leaving ‘us’.

2019 is going to be the year I focus on me. Since 2015 I have cared for someone else more than I cared for myself but the next 12 months are about self care and self progression and I once again thank you for throwing me into a situation where I’ve had no choice but to decide to fly instead of sink.

Heartbreak is cruel. It’s relentless and it causes both physical and emotional pain but if the outcome is feeling richer than I ever have due to the people and opportunities I now realise I have around me then I will forever be able to see some good in you choosing that you didn’t want ‘us’ anymore.

I will no longer make anyone more important in my life than myself, only equal and as I promise to always treat myself with complete love, the people around me will be treated the same. 

So, to end this open letter to my ‘ex’, the hate is over. The tears are over. The resentment is over, all I feel towards you now is gratitude and a genuine hope that you too find peace in our breakup, the relief you always hoped it would bring you. 

Thank you for breaking my heart because as it has healed stronger and fuller than it ever was before. 

Share this letter far and wide. With the ex you’ve spent 12 months fighting, with the friends and family you have rediscovered in light of heartbreak or simply with yourself.

And if you’re not at the stage in your break up yet where you can relate to feeling grateful for the pain you’ve been through, just remember you still have this relief to come. You can stay strong by remembering that one day you will read this letter and wholeheartedly relate.

Holding on to anger and hatred towards your ex is only hurting you because remember, they simply do not care or they wouldn’t have hurt you the way they have. Take the pain and turn it into strength and determination to reinvent yourself and be the best version of you.

A better life is waiting for you and I promise it is going to feel so full and wonderful, you’ll wonder why you ever shed a tear of what you once had.

Life With Ellie – New and Improved

The Life With Ellie blog has always grown and changed with me and as I go through another big change in my life, so is the blog.

Life With Ellie is back and hopefully… is about to be better than ever.

If you’ve come over here from my Instagram then you’re probably pretty up to speed with what’s been going on in my life but if you’re an old follower of this blog, you may be feeling a little out the loop.

Quick recap: unfortunately, my relationship of three years has now come to an end. It’s not a decision I saw coming nor have found easy to accept but it was out of my control, so life has changed drastically.

I don’t live with him anymore and I’m having to change my whole outlook on life and what I want from it which is not proving easy but I’m determined to get through this.

This blog is going to be a huge part of my journey to getting over this heartbreak and I’m aiming to make this space of the internet an open and honest account of what’s really going on in my life because I think so many people can relate.

Whether it be battling heartbreak, adjusting to a new life alone, having Coeliac disease, battling severe mental health problems or something a little more lighthearted like beauty or fashion, I’m going to cover it all and be totally honest and real along the way.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey because the support I’ve had already is overwhelming and truly means the world to me, so thank you.

Here’s to the new and improved Life With Ellie!

Yomi Rodrig Collaboration – Desk Drawer Beauty Essentials

Today’s post is done in collaboration with Yomi Rodrig from Yomi Rodrig Beauty. We’ll be sharing with you our top 10 desk drawer beauty essentials!

I often get asked how I went from studying beauty to working in marketing, and the answer to that is purely that my needs in life changed. I needed a more routine, stable job, I needed a more reliable income and in all honesty, I wanted to go back into academics after having a break to study beauty after my GCSES, hence I have now started my apprenticeship.

Just because I don’t study, train or work in beauty anymore, doesn’t mean my interest has gone, I’m still obsessed with all things beauty, hence this blog was born to allow me to have a place to indulge in everything I love, including beauty and makeup.

I get a lot of questions about how I keep up an interest in beauty when it’s no longer the main focus in my life and that led me on to wanting to share all the day to day ways beauty is still apart of my life and I’m going to start today with my desk draw beauty essentials.

I decided this would be a fun piece to do in collaboration with someone, which is why I have teamed up with Yomi Rodrig, a fellow female office worker who has previously studied and worked in beauty.

We’ve come together to share with you our top 10 desk draw beauty essentials that we think you need with you in the office at all times.

Desk Draw 1

Ellie’s

MAC STUDIO FIX POWDER – Anyone who struggles with oily skin needs a powder with them at all times which is why I keep one at my desk for mattifying my makeup throughout the day. I personally use the MAC Studio Fix Powder as it has a slight colour to it, but any powder will do the job. I also keep a small, travel-sized Zoeva powder brush for applying it.

Desk Draw 3

COLLECTION LASTING PERFECTION CONCEALER – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I struggle with acne, which means I often find myself reapplying concealer throughout the day, hence I always have one with me, even at work. I always use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, so it seemed like the obvious choice to keep with me.

Desk Draw 6

TANGLE TEEZER – I don’t often talk about hair care, or my hair in general on the blog because in all honesty, it’s the part of beauty that interests me the least but saying that I have pretty long hair (waist length) and although it’s fine, there’s a lot of it and it has a tendency to go wavy and a bit frizzy so keeping it well brushed is essential to keeping me looking half decent. I find using a Tangle Teezer works really well with my hair type and they’re so compact that they’re perfect for throwing in a desk drawer.

Desk Draw 5

SECTIONING CLIP – You may think this is a strange one, but let me explain! I don’t sit at my desk styling my hair and need a sectioning clip for its actual purpose; I can’t stand having my hair in my face so if I come into work with it all down and start to get annoyed and want it out the way, I’ll clip the top section back with one of these clips and its quick, easy and out the way. (I’d throw it in a messy bun but I’m not one of the lucky ones, it never works!!)

TRAVEL SIZED PERFUME – I always put on perfume before I leave the house in the morning (Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is my current choice) but sometimes it’s nice to freshen up through the day, so I keep a travel sized perfume in my draw. I have the Shay & Blue – Atropa Belladonna which I won’t lie, I got in a beauty advent calendar last year, thought smelt nice and was a good size and hey presto… it’s now in my work draw!

Desk Draw 2

Yomi’s

Hi everyone, I’m Yomi, I studied beauty for a couple of years in college but now work in an office doing business administration! Like Ellie, I’m still a real girly girl and like to fill my desk drawer with beauty bits, so here are my essentials!

VASELINE/LIP BALM – One thing I grab for day in day out at work is my tin of Vaseline, I can’t be without it. I never struggled with dry lips until I worked in an office, so I think it must be something to do with the air conditioning but I’m always in need of lip balm now. I think I’ve tried all the varieties Vaseline has brought out, but I just can’t resist the Lulu Guinness Limited Edition tins!

desk Draw 4

INVISI BOBBLE – Similar to Ellie’s reasons for having a sectioning clip in her draw, I always have a couple of Invisibobbles in my draw for throwing my hair up and out of my face when it starts to get on my nerves half way through the day. I always start off with good intentions and style my hair nicely in the morning but by lunch, it’s usually up. Using an Invisibobble means it won’t kink my hair though so I can take it out and wear it down again when I leave in the evening!

BENEFIT HOOLA BRONZER – I don’t personally wear a lot of foundation or concealer, so that isn’t something I keep on me but I do like to pack on the bronzer so I keep one in my draw so I can top up through the day. My favourite is the Benefit Hoola Bronzer as it’s a great shade to match my skin tone.

CLEAR BROW GEL – This may sound a little excessive to some but due to my ethnic background, I was blessed (or cursed) with naturally big eyebrows. I do get them groomed regularly but they can still easily get out of control so although I don’t have to fill them in every day, I do run clear brow gel through them to keep them in place and I keep it with me in case I need a top up. I’ve tried lots but my favourite is the Anastasia Beverly Hills.

NAIL GLUE – Any ladies out there who stick on false nails themselves or get acrylics will now the struggle of losing a nail. It’s not a good look and more than anything, it makes typing seriously difficult at work so I always keep a small tube of nail glue in my draw in case I lose one and need to perform a quick repair at work!

So, they’re mine and Yomi Rodrig’s top recommendations for beauty bits to keep on hand in your desk drawer!

What are your desk draw essentials? Let us know in the comments!

Be sure to follow my Instagram as always (Lifewith_ellie) but also go and give Yomi a follow – @yomirodrigbeauty

UPDATED: Best Gluten Free Foods

I did a ‘best gluten free foods’ post a while back now, to share with some of you who are on a similar eating plan to me, my favourite gluten free foods on the market.

I’m always trying new free from foods, and naturally gluten free foods, and I felt I’d found enough new favourites to justify giving those of you who are interested, an update.

Things have changed since my last post, I have now been diagnosed with what looks like confirmed coeliacs and am going through the later stages of testing to get my final confirmantion, but it is looking like I am an official coeliac sufferer.

Genius Pancakesavailable at Tesco and Sainsbury’s, pack of 6 – £2.00

Breakfast was the first meal to become a real problem when I cut wheat out, and I tried so many free from breakfast products and really didn’t enjoy any. I’d tried another brand of free from scotch pancakes and they were ok, but someone recommended I tried these and I can see why! These Genius pancakes have become a staple in my diet. They’re so light, fluffy and taste just like classic scotch pancakes. They toast really well and taste great with all different toppings. I eat these everyday now!

Tesco Finest Gluten & Wheat Free Belgian Chocolate Brownies – pack of 5 – £2.50

I LOVE BROWNIES! I mentioned some great brownies in the last post, but my favourites has changed to these. They’re quite pricey at £2.50 for 5 small brownies but these are just the best. They take so much better than any other brownie I’ve tried, both gluten free and regular. They are small but they’re quite rich so I find the size is perfect. TOP TIP: heat one brownie in the microwave for 20 seconds, it tastes like a rich chocolate pudding! Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Warbutons Free From White Sandwich Thins – available at Tesco and Sainsbury’s, pack of 4 – £2.00

I also found lunch a real challenge as I couldn’t just pick up a sandwich anywhere, so finding these sandwich thins made making myself a pack lunch so much easier. I didn’t love bread anyway, so I always uses to opt for the regular Warbutons sandwich thins, so I was so glad to see these. They’re so light and just taste like the normal ones. They freeze really well and defrost super quick. I love having them with homecooked ham or beef, it makes a really easy lunch.

Giant Rice Cakes – available at most supermarkets, prices vary

These aren’t specifically a Gluten Free food, but I’ve found having giant rice cakes or ‘snack a jacks’ in the house, has been really great for snacking. Most rice cakes naturally contain no wheat, which is why I like them as for once I can buy a normal product (at a normal price) and enjoy it without worrying! Rice cakes are also relatively low in fat and make for a healthier alternative to crisps.

Rice Noodles – available at most supermarkets, prices vary

Stir fry is a favourite in our house, and we love throwing noodles in our stir fry to beef it up. I used to avoid noodles as I assumed they were just pasta and therefore I couldn’t have them, but then I tried rice noodles which are naturally wheat free and I loved them. Again, with them being naturally wheat free they don’t have that funny ‘free from’ taste, and they’re so light and easy to digest.

Goodfella’s Gluten Free Pizza – available at Tesco, one pizza – £3.00.

I really missed pizza, so when I found that one of my old favourite pizza brands did a gluten free one, I had to try. I love the Goodfella’s margherita pizza, the base is still thin and crispy, and tastes totally normal. I added extra cheese because as with most shop bought pizzas, it with a bit light on topping. They also do a pepperoni, ham and mushroom pizza.

Pizza Hut also do a nice GF pizza if you want a takeaway!

I also wanted to mention Dove’s Farm, when we found out I’d been officially diagnosed with coeliacs, my mum ordered the starter pack from Dove’s Farm and it came with so many things for us to bake with and try and I’ve been loving everything I’ve tried so far. Their food is a lot more natural than a lot of free from food and isn’t filled with strange ingredients! I highly recommend their brown rice pasta and lemon cookies! 

I hope this post has offered a little more help if you’re newly gluten free, or just looking for some new ideas.

I’d love to do a post on my favourite naturally GF recipes, so let me know if you’d be up for that.

As always, check all your products ingredients before you try them to be extra sure they’re right for you!

I’d also love to hear your favourite GF products and recipes as I am having to make some real diet changes now! 

The Top Picks from my Brow Products Collection

Brows have gone crazy over recent years, and turned into one of the biggest trends in the makeup world, and I have to admit, I love a sharp brow as much as the next girl.

I have a fair sized collection of brow products, but it could definitely be worse, I get use out of all the products, they’re all good for different kinds of looks.

I mix up my brows quite a lot, depending on the rest of my look and the occasion etc, so I like to have a variety of products.

As with any collection though, I have my favourites, and there are some real standout products for me, so I thought I’d share with you the ‘top picks’ from my brow products collection.

 

Brow Gels / Pomades


I avoided brow pomades for ages as I thought they looked really complicated and I just didn’t think I had enough attention to detail to use them, but I’ve practised a lot and now I really like them.

I tend to only use them for evening occasions or when I’m going for a heavier look as I can’t really get a subtle look with them but for special occasion makeup when I want my brows to be bold, I love them.

My favourite is the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, I use the shade chocolate and it matches my natural hair colour really well, it is quite a dark brown. I use a small angled Anastasia brush to draw the outline of the brows and a small angled MAC brush to fill in the middle.

I also have a Milani brow pomade which is far more natural and is a lot lighter in colour. I like this for daytimes but it can be a bit tricky to get a sharp line with this product.

Brow Powders / Palettes


On a daily basis, I use a brow powder as it is quicker and easier and just looks more natural to me.

My everyday palette is the Tanya Burr Perfect Brows palette, I use the darkest shade in the palette and it works really well for me. These powders are really pigmented and blend out easily so they don’t look too harsh. I find I can go as bold or as natural as I want with this palette.

I also reach for the Eylure X Fleur De Force brow palette a lot, I use both the shades in this little kit and they create a really nice natural brow for a daytime look and I find these powders really quick to apply. I’ve done a full review on this product so check that out too.

MAC charcoal brown also works really well for me in my brows and sometimes I just get really in the mood to use this, it is an eye shadow so it is really pigmented but the colour works really well in my brows. I put this little palette together myself.

Brow Gel


On the whole I don’t use brow gels, tinted or clear, so I don’t really own any, but occasionally I’ll feel like I want to use one and if I do, I’ll go for this Fleur De Force 2 in 1 brow gel. The clear one is great for setting brows, it feels really light and doesn’t dry looking crispy but works really well. The tinted gel is great for thickening out the look of your brows on top of another product or for a really natural look on its own.

So they are my standout brow products, I hope this has given you some ideas of some new products to try, I’d also always recommend a small angled brush for your brows like the ones from Anastasia or MAC, they just make life so much easier.

I also always neaten/ sharpen my brows with a cream concealer, and I also get my brows professionally shaped and tinted to make life easier for myself.


 

Testing an Interior Design DIY

I’ve always avoided interior design DIYs as I’m always afraid of messing them up and then having wasted my money. Or even worse, doing something and hating it, then having to put it right.

I was watching a video by Danielle Jasmine, called ‘Ikea Hacks & Pintrest DIY’s | Make Affordable Look Luxe’, and I saw the DIY hack I’m going to share with you today.

I’d really recommend that video if you’re into luxury looking interior design like me, but you’re working on a budget.

The hack I’ve tested from that video is creating a marble effect bedside table using an IKEA bedside table and a roll of marble effect sticky back plastic.

I’d wanted a marble top piece of furniture in my room for ages but couldn’t afford that and I didn’t even have room for anymore furniture. However, when I saw this, I did realise how worn my old bedside draws were looking, and decided to give this DIY a go.

For this DIY I bought the IKEA Hemnes bedside table in ‘white wash’, which was £40, and got a roll of blue/grey marble sticky back plastic for £9.99 from Homebase, by a brand called Fablon.

I’d also recommend roping in a partner, friend or family member with good patience and attention to detail to help you with this; I have neither of the above skills so my lovely other half basically completed this DIY for me while I ‘project managed’ and wrote this blog post!!

The jist of it is, you basically need to cover the upper side of the top of the unit in the sticky back plastic and then just build the unit as the instructions say!

It was quite a lengthy process, especially making sure the top had been covered neatly and there was no bubbles, we found this really was a two man job!

I also decided to copy the video and change the handle as the bedside table comes with a tiny, plain black handle. I chose a white and silver handle as I thought it tied everything together nicely!

The final result?? I love it! It doesn’t look DIY at all, the finish is so high quality and looks like a real marble table top! 



I dressed mine really simply with a lamp, vintage style clock and marble coasters on top, and some blogger books on the shelf, and have made it a little feature of my room!

I would highly recommend checking out Danielle’s video and trying some of the other DIYs, I’m definitely going to be testing some more!