What 2018 Taught Me.
So! I’ve been here there and every everywhere in the last few months of 2018. I was changing jobs, building a hair and make-up studio, finally seeing my friends more and traveling at every opportunity I had (New York blog post coming soon).
I started a Vlog, My own business and got the all clear from a tumour on my Thyroid gland.
They’ll also be loads more blog posts this year – purely because i actually have the time now.
Although this all sounds positive, I learnt A LOT in 2018 and some of it is negative.
One of my best friends Beth has just started a blog herself and I couldn’t be more proud of her ( http://simplybeth99home.wordpress.com ) go take a look at her blog, her first blog is where i got the idea for this blog post from – and on a totally unbiased basis – she’s honestly amazing.
But yeah, sidetracking again – here’s 10 things 2018 taught me.
1. “Dear You, busy, weary, tired you. Please know that the world won’t stop spinning if you take a break.. It’s about finding a balance, a bit of give and take.
You can’t move mountains every day, some days are just a little grey.
So, this is your reminder.. You can’t do it all – Please take a step back before you fall.”
After it taking so long to diagnose me with *graves disease* I spent my summer pretty down so chucked myself into my blog, numerous different jobs and work, purely to keep myself busy. I learnt slowly (and the hard way) that graves disease isn’t a joke – if I say i need a rest, it’s because I need a rest. If i admit i’m tired – I need to sleep.
– It’s okay to take a time out if you need it. Despite what anyone else says or how anyone else makes you feel.
*Graves Disease* – Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid, is a condition in which an excessive amount of thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland. A common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves Disease, another problem that cannot be cured. If graves disease is not treated it can be fatal.
2. “2018 has taught me that you can’t control someones loyalty. No matter how good you are to them, doesn’t mean they’ll treat you the same. No matter how much they mean to you, doesn’t mean they’ll value you the same. Sometimes the people you love the most, turn out to be the people you can trust the least.”
And ain’t that the truth! – Someone can make out they’re all about you until they no longer need you – and that’s when true colours come out. I learnt this the hard way and i’d love to say i’ve learnt my lesson but i’m a very gullible human being..
3. You WILL Compare yourself to others on social media.
I may not be the skinniest, I may not be the most tanned, or have the best skin or be the best looking – But thats okay.
4. Work can’t always come first.
It’s so easy to get into a routine of work, home, work, bed. It gets to a point where you can so easily forget to eat and have a life outside of work, and thats exactly what happened to me.
Now I have my studio and i’m working 1 night a week and it’s so much less pressure & i get to see my friends and family so much more.
5. Stay away from negative people.
It’s a lot easier said than done. But if someones bitching about someone to you, then what are they saying about you to them? There’s only so much negativity you can take before you turn into a negative person yourself – No one needs that, and nothing is worth that – No matter how much you love something.
6. For god sake girl, EAT!
Getting over the same eating disorder yet again was another positive thing of 2018. I totally lost myself as it was the only thing I had control over.
Eating is SO important along with having a balanced diet – without that you can feel so down and drained. Eat some veg, drink some eater and eat a chocolate bar bigger than your head. Take the stairs instead of the lift and just be happy – enjoy it.
7. Your true friends will ALWAYS have your back, no matter where you are or how long its been since you last saw them.
You need friends that will defend you in a room when someone speaks bad about you, without you being there. You need friends that are more like family. You don’t need to see these friends a lot, but you know if you need them – they’re there.
8. Even the most confident of people need help sometimes.
Put me in a club, in front of 2000 people and I can cope, put me one to one with someone and the panic hits. I come across to some people as one of the most confident people you could meet – but i’m also one of the most anxious people you could ever meet. Never judge a book by its cover..
9. It’s OKAY to ask for help.
If you’re struggling or need help with something, or if you just need a push in the right direction, it’s always okay to ask for help. Even if the person you need help from is the busiest person on the planet – if they’re a half decent human being, they’ll always find time for you. People you have known 5 minutes can be more loyal than people you’ve known for years.
10. I am so much stronger than I have ever given myself credit for.
Schar’s Temptie’s and Melto’s – Worth the Price & the hype?
So, as soon as you look on any gluten free blog or page, we’re all hyping about the Brand New Schar “Melto’s” and “Temptie’s”.
After messaging Schar repeatedly on twitter to see where they were in stock etc (and not going to lie, actually being kind of disappointed with the customer service I received on this..) Me and my mum decided after 3 weeks of trying to find the products we’d give up.
I went to work, she went shopping and boom, she find’s the products – eventually!
So, theres 2 products amongst other brand new ones, which include the chocolate dip pot and the wafers too.
The first thing I tried was the “Temptie’s”. I’m unsure what i expected but they were really nice! Full of flavour, with a nice texture. But at a price of £2.50 minimum per box (you get 3 in a box) These seemed really expensive. They’re nice, but definitely nice as a treat and not an every week kind of thing.
Secondly I tried the Melto’s. These are AMAZING and I honestly can’t recommend them more. They’re full of cream and filling, and although the packet looks small, you actually get a lot of chocolate inside the packet. I could live off of these forever and be more than happy! These are £1 a bar, which may seem expensive but they’re honestly really worth it and you won’t regret buying them.
I got my family to try one of the Melto’s too and they said that they were nicer than the gluten filled “Kinder Bueno”.
Both the Melto’s and Temptie’s you can get from Asda and the Melto’s you can also get from Morrisons too!
Give them a try, and let me know what you think!
Where have I been? What am I doing..
So, as you can tell, i’ve been off here for a while and not as consistent with my instagram posts too. I’ve been so crazy busy, had some issues with illness and also some issues with WordPress and themes etc.
I’m back and i’ll try that little bit harder, but heres what i’ve been doing this Summer so far..
At the start of the summer I went to Spain (blog post already posted, take a look!). Spain was good, it was hot, but it was STRESSFUL. The resort we stayed in what absolutely awful for gluten free and just in general.. I stayed there for a week and didn’t even have a bed to sleep in.. i was sleeping on sofa cushions for a week with a bottom sheet over me.. it was the absolute worse!
Paris was well and truly a nightmare and i’m still waiting for http://www.booking.com to sort it out. They seemed really helpful whilst we were there but not so much now we’re back. Still waiting for refunds and honestly – an apology.
Here’s the text I wrote with my caption on one of my insta posts – (@basicbee)
“I wouldn’t usually use this to rant but I need to warn people about a hotel that we booked through @bookingcom (not their fault at all!) – – – We just landed in Paris for our stress free mini break… Got here got in a taxi that locked us in and tried to take £150 euros from us (for a 15 minute journey). Got an Uber after 40 mins, got to the hotel paid £40 for Uber, the hotel didn’t have anyone at reception they put us in a room that was the size of a store room, didn’t have a bathroom, and a dirty sink that didn’t work, and had a bed smaller bed for both of us, no one at reception (they don’t man it so we had no one to help us feel remotely safe) so can’t get a refund for the £80, people smoking in there, doing drugs, trying to block us walking, shouting things at us, trying to get in our room, no lock on the door of the room – then we left, found another hotel which is £163 that’s the cheapest we could find.. paid another £35 in a taxi to get back here which is next to the airport, just got here, the reception are lovely, he said he didn’t have the same room for both nights for us, so we’d have to change room we said it’s fine, he went to do details and said don’t worry go to bed you look tired and stressed, he then upgraded us to a suite with that sleeps 5/6 people for the same price.. told us all about free buses to get us to places.. then rang up the room were in to check we’re okay.. and to tell us he’s moved everyone around so we can be in the same room for both nights were here.. He really is our super hero right now! It’s finally bed time, and it’s time to eat biscuits and sleep before our 7am alarm! Tomorrow (well today!) is a new day right?! 🙈😭”
The next day we went to Disney Land and actually had a really good time!
Now we’re back, thinking about it more, it is slightly booking.com’s fault. They shouldn’t have listed the hotel as a hotel when its a hostel AND they should make sure their guests are safe.. But anyway! Moving on..
It’s pretty common knowledge that I LOVE North Wales. It’s one of my favourite places in the entire world, if not my favourite. It’s so chilled, not stressful, gluten free options are everywhere and i can dress in whatever i feel comfortable in, without feeling like i’m being judged. Theres always loads of driving in wales too, but I drive there which means i have my car, so theres no waiting around for trains or buses etc. It’s also SO pretty!
We alway stay at a place called Ogwyn Bank, and it’s honestly just so pretty. Theres so many beaches, mountains and just everything and anything you could want.
The Browns Wedding:
My friend Susie got married to her partner Adam a few weeks ago. I did her hair and her bridesmaids hair and also her makeup. It was such a good evening, and the venue was SO pretty.
Colchester – Essex:
I went down to Colchester to see my friends. I saw Jade, Aeysha, Mem, Roger, Charlotte and Rachael. It was a good weekend and I got to BBQ on a beach type place that also had sand.. it was so CUTE though! I made sweet chilli and lime prawns, they were good!
Some of the guys i hadn’t met before, so it was SO good finally meeting them again! I’m going back down next weekend too!
House, Home and Moving:
Dan and I started buying a few bits for when we move out. We got glasses, cups, tea towels and a few other bits. We thought it would be better to start buying now then bulk buy when we move in. This way we don’t skint ourselves. We’ve worked out where we want to live now and I can’t wait to move out at the start of next year with him!
At the end of August it’s 2 years since Dan and I went on our first date. He told me we could do whatever I wanted so we booked some bits! Then it turns out he needs to go and watch the football on the Saturday… SO! We’ve had to move things around and now we’re off to try “Ghetto Golf” in Birmingham. I’m actually really happy about this because i’ve wanted to try it for a while.
This weekend my friend Jade is coming up from Colchester. We have SO much planned which obviously includes binge watching Greys Anatomy, letting me cook too much food and going on an adventure on Saturday.
Sunday, we’re going for breakfast and then she’s leaving me to go back home. Then i’m seeing Dan for a few hours and we’re going for afternoon (well, evening) tea!
And thats about it!
I had some amazing cookies from @Thenuttybrunchco to try last weekend, i’ll let you know how they were on my next post!
When Graves Disease Plays Up, We Make Baked Eggs And Potatoes!
So, last week I could hardly eat a thing – I had a google for soft meal ideas and found nothing. Dan was coming to stay so I didn’t want to just give him bland mash potatoes – I had a look at what we had in and made a meal, that honestly – was SO good!
- 2 Large baking Potatoes
- Chorizo Sausage
- 1 Pack of Bacon Lardons (we had smoked bacon in)
- 12 Cherry Tomatos
- 4 Spring Onions
- 50g Cheese (grated) – We used Cheddar
- Flat Leaf Parsley (to taste)
- Coriander (to taste)
- Olive Oil
- 2 Eggs
I also used 2 small cake pans. This in my opinion cooked it better and kept everything together.
Pre Heat Oven To Gas Mark 5.
- Peel 2 large potatoes & Cut into Small chunks. Pop into boiling (slightly salted) water and leave for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the potatoes are boiling, pour a small amount of oil into the cake tins and pop them into the oven to heat up.
- Slice your Chorizo, we used 2/4 of the Chorizo sausages from the pack and this was enough.
- Over a low heat, add a tea spoon of oil in a pan, pop your bacon lardons to brown off.
- Pop the Chorizo into a pan after a few minutes and keep moving everything around.
- Once browned off, take off the heat and put to one side.
- Drain your potatoes.
- Remove the cake tins from the oven and pop your potatoes into them. Leave a circle of space in the middle.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and pop back into the oven for 5 minutes.
- whilst the potatoes are roasting, cut your tomatoes and slice your spring onions.
- Remove potatoes from the oven, and mix in the bacon and chorizo. Add your salt, pepper & tomatoes too. Stir together and again, push to the sides to leave a circle empty in the middle.
- After 5-10 minutes remove from the oven, make sure theres oil in the middle of the pan, Crack ONE egg into the middle of each tin and pop back into the oven.
- Cook for 7 minutes.
- Chop your parsley & coriander (to taste).
- Remove from oven & sprinkle cheese, Parsley and coriander ontop. Add the Spring onion too.
- Pop back into the oven for another 3 minutes – to melt the cheese.
- Remove and eat straight from the pan.
I cooked mine for slightly longer as i don’t like runny eggs. For runny eggs yolks, use the timings above.
Let me know how you get on, theres loads of different variations of this dish as the main base of it is literally, eggs and potato!
Alcudia – Spain – Are you good for GF?
Last week I was in Alcudia in Spain and we stayed at the Belle Vue Club Hotel – And it was AWFUL.
We went all inclusive but the food was SO bad, they offered be iceberg lettuce and grated carrots as it was the only thing they knew was definitely gluten free.. We told them a head I was coeliac and explained.. They said they knew all about it and all about other allergies but clearly they didn’t.
They also booked in 500+ Spanish students into the resort so even when it was meal time we couldn’t get to the food anyway as you literally got pushed out the way..
It was that bad I didn’t even have a bed for the week as they’d double booked – it was honestly awful.
On the plus side, we left the resort a lot (not that we had a choice) and we found some really good places for gluten free food, especially in the Old Town of Alcudia.
We found a restaurant where the chef was also gluten free, so he knew everything and the good was incredible! It was called “Sa Fonda Liabres” – and honestly, I couldn’t recommend it more. If youre ever in the Old Town of Alcudia, you MUST go!
Here’s a little Vlog on our trip, this was easier for you guys then scrolling through hundreds of photos! If you want any of the other photos though, they’re on my Insta which you can get to from the main page (@BasicBee).
All in all, the Resort was AWFUL, but Spain itself was amazing, Pastas, Paellas, Salads, Breads, It was amazing!
Have you been to Alcudia? What were your best and favourite places to go to?
Let me know!
Travel – *Pre* Summer Beach Break
Every time i’ve been away in the last 2/3 years i’ve always done City breaks.
Madrid, Rome, Paris- numerous time, Barcelona and so many other places… I LOVE a City break.. we’re only there a few days, we get to explore.. it’s bliss..
Tomorrow I fly out for my first beach holiday in forever and it’s been really hard to try and pack things I need?!
…Surely it isn’t meant to be this hard right!? I *Think* i’ve got everything… if theres anything else you can think of, let me know please!
Clothes wise I know i’m taking way to much – but heres my list!
- 3 x Play Suits including this one from http://www.Boohoo.com
- 5 x Bikinis including this set of 2 also from http://www.Boohoo.com
- 3 x Dresses including this one from Top Shop
- Socks & Underwear for 7 days
- 1 Denim Jacket – (I put a hoodie in it too incase I get too cold & wear it as one jacket)
- Wayyy to many pairs of Sunglasses (literally like 5 and i’m buying more at the airport.. Duty free and all that …right?)
- This Super cute watermelon beach towel from Primark
- 1 x Pair of Culottes from http://www.Newlook.com
- This top from http://www.Boohoo.com
- 3 x T-shirt Dresses
- 2 x pairs of trainers, these Superga’s and 1 pair of white hightop Converse.
- 1 x pair of sliders.
- 1 x pair of flip-flops from http://www.ASOS.com
So, pretty much the above, toiletries.. Then electronics –
- My Mac & Charger
- EU Plugs
- My Kindle & Charger
- Dre Beat Headphones (they block out the noise)
- The little headphone port thing for an iPhone cause Apple hate us and took ours away..
- Phone Charger
I’m pretty sure this is all I need right?
Obviously my Passport, Euros etc too..
Give me a heads up if you think of anything else.. Thanks!
“Frankie and Benny’s have a great gluten free menu!” Said no one EVER…
Hey! So now i’m back to blogging a little more, I can tell you about our experience on Sunday night! We went to Frankie and Benny’s and it was.. well, take a read.
On Sunday night Dan and I wanted to go out for dinner. As usual we did the whole where do you want to eat, where do i want to eat etc. Somehow we ended up between Chiqutos and Frankie and Benny’s. After flipping a coin 5 times we went to Frankie and Benny’s.
Once we got there the menu actually looked pretty good! There was starters, quite a few different mains and desserts too!
I had bacon, cheese and bbq sauce potato skins to start. They missed the BBQ sauce but I had sour cream (my all time fave) so I wasn’t bothered and more than happy.
For our mains, Dan ordered a Spaghetti Bolognese and I ordered a Carbonara.
When the food came out, his looked great, but mine didn’t look amazing. Either way, it’s carbonara which is one of my “Go To” meals if I eat out at an Italian.
I bit into the pasta and it was SOLID. It literally crushed and fell apart in my mouth.. Dan tried a bit too, to make sure it wasn’t just one bad piece.
It was cold, solid, and AWFUL!
We were super polite and sent it back – then he manager came over..
As the manager got to the table, instead of telling us he’d make a fresh one, or even cook it for a little longer…
He decided to tell us it wasn’t made here. We were both pretty puzzled.. Until he explained that the gluten free food was “Pre Cooked” before it got to the restaurant and microwaved.. his exact words!
SO hold up a minute, i’m paying £9.99 for a microwave meal (with no sauce)?! How can they possibly justify that?!
IT’S PASTA – you just boil it! My Italian Grandmother would be going absolutely crazy right now if she heard this..
So yeah, long story short, he told us that it was pre cooked before it arrive, no wonder it was pretty gross!
I posted in a GF group on facebook about it and they recommended a burger – it’s safe to say we won’t be going back any time soon though!
If i wanted a microwave meal, i’d nip to Morrisons and eat it in front of the TV in my PJ’s!
I am currently a very bored Bees when it comes to eating out.
Have you got any good ideas, or found any amazing places?
Let me know!
New York Baby!
I’ve not been around and blogging much lately, i’ve been super busy (but thats another post..) So here i am… thinking about Christmas already!
I was totally and utterly lost last Christmas as I just didn’t know what to get for Dan and it ended up being a trip to Barcelona, joint with his birthday present and then a few other little bits.
Buying for someone that literally has everything is the absolute worse because there isn’t anything new or exciting. Dan and I have gone to Paris twice, Madrid, Rome and Barcelona in the last 19 months and each time we’ve gone, it’s purely to find new things and to literally go on an adventure!
Rome will always be my favourite, although I say this, but i can think of loads of amazing things from each place!
For some reason (which i’m more than happy about) it’s now a “Thing” that we go away as his Birthday / Christmas present and i’m totally okay with that.. apart from the fact that i feel like i need to make it absolutely amazing each and every time!
So yeah, back to the point of this.. I was sitting in bed on night off from work and decided that I wanted to book something for his Birthday / Christmas but tell him, so we both had time to save so we could do everything and anything we want to do..
I’d dropped hints about New York and he kept saying “Yeah one day, one day i’d love to go with you…”
So, me being me and being the very extra person that I am, didn’t really listen to the whole “one day” part and jumped straight on the internet.
After looking for 4 days, at any and every opportunity I could and asking various people when to go, what do do etc… We’re going to NEW YORK at Christmas for 4 days.
I told Dan i’d booked us a surprise but said I wasn’t going to tell him what it was until his birthday (November).. An hour later i was bugging him to ring me so i could tell him.. My whole surprise thing lasted a solid hour and a half max.. Oooops!
So, heres my question; Other than obviously pretending that we’re in “Home Alone” and doing the usual New York bits at Christmas, where would YOU go and why? After flying all that way i’d hate to miss something! – So let me know!
Lazy Day Gluten Free Brownies
So, after having a fractured foot (It’s still fractured, but I can kind of walk now!) – We’ve had the last few weeks stuck in the house, binge watching Netflix, eating way too much food and being lazy. We decided to have a half busy weekend!
On Saturday we went into town, ate way to much Yo! Sushi, did some shopping and then a food shop, then we came home.
My mum and step dad went on holiday on Sunday morning so me and dan had the house to ourselves which means I got to bake!
I made a pie and some brownies, heres how I made the brownies and i’ll post the pie tomorrow!
First you’ll need –
- 200g sugar
- 300g butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 200g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 150g milk chocolate, melted
- 100g dark chocolate chunks
- Melt the milk chocolate and butter in a bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients together – flour, sugar, baking powder, salt.
- Whisk the eggs.
- Add the vanilla extract into the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients into the milk chocolate and butter mixture, then slowly add the eggs.
- Add 2 t-spoons of water.
- mix together, and place in a baking tin.
- Tap the baking tin on the work top to get an even base.
- Add the dark chocolate chunks.
- Place in a pre-heated oven on gas mark 7 for 20-25 minutes.
- Take out, slice and serve.
This is the only brownie mix that i’ve been able to do that hasn’t made the brownies dry. These were really soft, gooey and super tasty!
Give it ago and let me know what you think!
STOP! It’s NOT a fad!
Hey guys and girls!
(Featured photo is from Madam Waffle in Lincoln – Blog post coming soon!)
I apologise – I haven’t posted in a while as i’ve been poorly and waiting to be diagnosed for this. that and the other – But thats another story!
SO! Walking into a Pancake shop and asking if they have anything Gluten Free – they had and offered me fruit..
I obviously understand about cross contamination and how it’s “difficult” to keep things okay… (totally kidding, unsure how this is difficult, but HEY! Thats me!).
It got me thinking about how a lot of people genuinely think Coeliacs Disease and Gluten intolerance is a fad. It also got me thinking about all the annoying and irritating things that are said to me and other people.. SO! Here’s a list of what NOT to say to someone with Coeliacs disease / that is Gluten intolerant – Not just written by me, but by others too!
- “Do you need to be gluten free or you jumping on the band wagon?”
Yes, Yes we do. Unless you want to swap bodies for the day and deal with the pains and large amount of toilet paper that needs to be bought?
- “Can you eat meat?”
Yes? Are animals made from Wheat?
- “One won’t hurt!”
Have you been in the situation of your gut feeling like it’s punching itself over and over? Would you tell someone with a nut allergy that “One wont hurt!” ? No, didn’t think so!
- When you ask if a milkshake is gluten free and they say no because it has milk..
Come on now, lactose is dairy.. Gluten is wheat.. they don’t even start with the same letter!
- “I think you’re ok to have these, they’re vegan”
Just don’t… literally, don’t.
- “Oh yeh, you’re not allowed milk and butter are you?”
Again, that’s dairy..
- “She’ll grow out of it though won’t she?”
Do you grow out of your stomach and intestine?
- “I used to have that but I’m fine now!”
Are stomach transplants expensive? Give me the number..
- ” Don’t give me any of that gluten free rubbish!”
Don’t give me any of that rubbish attitude! Oh wait..
- “Well.. what can you actually eat then?”
A LOT! Just not as many takeaways and processed food!
- “You should de-sensitise yourself by introducing tiny bits of gluten into your diet so that your body gets used to it.”
That’s not how it works – I beg you read google.
- “I’m sure they do baked potato if you ask..”
Maybe I don’t fancy me 8th potato of the week!
- When sitting down and asking for a GF menu – “Which one of you is the odd one”
Well, It’s not hard to see which one of you is the insensitive dickhead..
- “I got crackers for you as you can’t eat bread!”
- “Oh you don’t eat wheat, or oats or anything. How do you manage?, I CAN EAT ANYTHING !”
Thanks for that hun, I hope i sleep better tonight now you’ve told me about your amazing diet.
- “Just take the noodles out” or “or Just scrap the top off”
Yeah, take those nuts out the Nutella too, nothing like a bit of cross contamination for breakfast.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
In coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them.
This damages the surface of the small bowel (intestines), disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
It’s not entirely clear what causes the immune system to act in this way, but a combination of genetics and the environment appear to play a part.
Coeliac disease isn’t an allergy or an intolerance to gluten.
If you do this, the below dictionary explanation is what we do..
“there’s been plenty of eye-rolling and head-shaking over the pronouncements”
“the lines are delivered with eye-rolling attempts at whimsy and satire”
There’s ALOT more, but heres a start. If this is you – give it a thought before you speak!
Starbucks Gluten Free Menu
Everyone loves Starbucks, and I for one refused to quit my habit just because I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and was put onto a Gluten Free diet.
I went into town last week and went to Starbucks and was pleasantly suprised with their new Gluten Free Chicken and Pesto Panini – So decided to find out which products are gluten-free, and which have gluten in them?
Starbucks is one of the most cautious places i’ve ever been to when it comes to cross contamination. According to the company’s corporate customer service personnel, nothing prepared at the stores is considered gluten-free due to the possibility of cross contamination from gluten-containing products and ingredients.
Starbucks is, however, gradually adding gluten-free food items to its menu. Most stores carry a gluten-free breakfast sandwich, or gluten free packaged snacks. So theres always something.
Lets start with..
Water: unsurprisingly, Starbucks’ bottled water is gluten-free.
Several bottled Starbucks-labeled drinks, including Starbucks Frappuccino, Starbucks Doubleshot, and Starbucks Doubleshot Energy, are considered gluten-free.
Although you should check the label of anything you’re considering buying to make sure it literally states “gluten-free,” since ingredients change all the time, and realistically – we’re never told.
There appears to be a good reason for avoiding flavored drinks. If you look on the internet many people have reported being “glutened” by various flavored coffee from Starbucks.
However, plain coffee drinks (espresso or brewed coffee) seem to be gluten-free to well below 20 parts per million. Some have also had good luck (me included) with milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
If you’re a tea drinker, Starbucks Tazo teas contain gluten: Green Ginger, Tazo Honeybush, Lemon Ginger, and Tea Lemonade. Maybe just order hot water and then bring your own tea bag?
Unfortunately, blended coffee drinks pose more of a threat..
There’s on off info on whether Starbucks’ frappuccino mix contains gluten. Regardless, other ingredients (such as the java chips and some of the sprinkles) definitely contain gluten, and the equipment to blend those drinks is simply rinsed, not cleaned thoroughly, in between uses – so i guess this makes it a threat.
If you must have a frappuccino-style drink, stick with the bottled, gluten-free-labeled options.
Starbucks doesn’t provide ingredient lists for its various syrups and other mixes used to create beverages such as the holiday Pumpkin Spice Latte and Caramel Hot Chocolate, in part because ingredients can vary from store to store and at different times – but if you ask the staff they’re always more than helpful to help you.
When it comes to the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Starbucks’ holiday drinks, as of late 2017 it doesn’t contain gluten ingredients, but the syrup and toppings could be subject to cross-contamination in manufacturing.. So i guess it’s up to you if you want to take that risk or not.
The bottom line: plain coffee or espresso-milk drinks may be okay, but blended and flavored drinks are extremely risky.
Starbucks have recently changed their Soy Milk. This now contains oats which means if you’re also sensitive to oats, you need to take this into consideration. I’m lucky, i don’t have an issue with dairy to this could be a dilemma.
Starbucks has added a gluten-free Chicken and pesto panini and it’s beaut. It’s a little soggy but has plenty of filling. It’s soggy because they heat it in the packaging to avoid cross contamination.
Theres also a gluten free brownie in the bakery case – they’re out of the wrapped and surrounded by other cakes. If you ask for one from the fridge, they’ll happily get you one which is individually wrapped – this way you know theres no cross contamination.
Starbucks has been slow to address the demand for decent gluten-free snacks (to say the least). It rolled out a gluten-free brownie, which is really tasty. But before the Chicken and pesto panini it was always a vegan alternative that was gluten free – Give me some meat! Just because i follow a gluten free diet doesn’t mean i follow a vegan diet too!
Starbucks also offers a few individually wrapped bars next to the till, which are prominently labeled gluten-free.
Packaged Food Items
In the packaged food section of several Starbucks, I’ve seen a packaged “protein box” that’s labeled “wheat-free,” with no other information provided on its possible gluten content. Soo… realistically any sauce or flavouring in their could have gluten in.
With Starbucks, i’ve learnt it depends which branch you go to, the one at work is amazing, the one in the town centre – not so much so. All in all, Starbucks are trying and they’re slowly but surely getting there!
We went to Chiqutio’s!
Last night me and my mum went shopping and decided to have dinner out. We some how ended up in Chiquito’s and we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of gluten free options that they had on their menu.
They even had Gluten Free Desserts, which we all knows near enough impossible at a lot of places!
I ordered a Mock-jito for my drink as I was driving, it was so nice and really refreshing. You could either have it with Ginger beer or Lemonade, so i had lemonade.
We were going to order starters but decided not to, so i ordered a side of Halloumi. It came with a Cranberry salsa, that was really sweet but really tasty! These cheese itself was undercooked ( i mean i guess you say cooked? ) and it was really cold on the inside which was sad.
My mum ordered a bog standard chilli con carne for her main. It’s one of her favourite dishes and i tried a bit as thats also gluten free and it was SO good! I forgot to take a photo though which is annoying..
I had Steak fajitas for my main. The steak was cooked really well and it was cooked with onions and mixed peppers too.
It came with 4 corn gluten free wraps, fresh Salsa, Cheese, Guacamole and sour cream.
It was all really tasty and the service as pretty good too. We’ll definitely be going back to try some other bits from the menu!
M&S Gluten Free
Hey Guys, Welcome back to my little corner of the internet.
As my ASDA Gluten Free post seemed to help a lot of you (Thanks for messaging me and letting me know what you’ve tried etc, I really appreciate it!) I thought i’d try one for M&S.
Below i’ve got a selection of their normal GF Range and a selection of their “Christmas Range” also. Take a look and if you’ve tried anything else let me know!
Just to let you know, I missed a few photos, so found them on google!
Beef in Black bean sauce with white rice
I Personally didn’t like this, but I’m not a massive fan of Chinese food. also at £9 a portion, i’m probably not going to buy this again.
Sweet and Sour Chicken with white rice
I liked this, but again there was something missing. For me it needed a lot of salt and again, this was £8. £8 for a ready meal to me seems insane..
It’s hard to go wrong with this as it’s a pretty simple dish. It was nice, nicer when I added a lot of parmesan onto the top of it too! This was £7.
I really like M&S’ Lasagna. It has a lot of cheese and sauce on it and is really nice with a side salad and some home made garlic bread to make it into a meal! This was £7, so the meal does end up expensive by the time you’ve bought the other bits.
Mac and Cheese
Their Mac and Cheese is BEAUTIFUL! It’s not as good as Amy’s kitchen’s, but it is still really nice. It’s really creamy and you get ALOT. This is £7.
This was nice, even nicer with extra cheese, but isn’t everything? The portion of this seemed a lot more than the other pasta dishes they do other than the Mac and Cheese. This was £7.
This was literally BEAUTIFUL! The chicken was cooked perfectly, there was enough sauce and the pasta wasn’t hard. One of the best Gluten Free ready meals they sell, easily. This was £7.
Smoked pork shoulder with apple barbecue sauce
Don’t let the picture confuse you, it is just the meat. It’s nice, but it’s not £12 nice. It would be better as a burger topper or mixed in with a pasta bake.
Tempura Chicken Tenders with Sweet Chilli Sauce
I can’t even describe these. They’re AMAZING!
I was worried the batter would go soggy but it didn’t and they were crispy and just.. basically you need to go and try these. The Sweet Chilli Sauce isn’t too spicy either, it’s got just enough of a kick to it. These were £8, but the packet itself could easily serve 4 people and they’re suitable for freezing too!
I gave my mum a bit of one to try and she agreed they taste exactly the same as normal Scotch Eggs. These are something we ALWAYS have in the fridge now! They’re not the usual smaller portions cause their gluten free either, theres a full egg in there.
They taste really good, they’re only £1.99 too.. But you kind of only get 4/5 whole ones in the entire packet. I ended up pouring mine onto my plate and dipping them in butter and grated cheese.. Still good though, but try not to forget to take your butter out the fridge a while before so it’s as soft as possible and slightly spreadable!
I didn’t have much filling in mine, the pasty was pretty dry too. When I had it the second time i added some brushed egg on top of it and it cooked and tasted a lot better.
Cod Fillet Fish Cakes
These are beaut, Crispy and full of fish! Bigger than i thought they’d be too. I have them with either a Salad or Chips and mushy peas.
I really wanted this to be amazing, it wasn’t crunchy just very soggy. I’m going to try it again though and try and cook it slightly differently! Maybe i’ll try and add extra custard too. I’m not ready to give up on this yet!
This was the same as the pasty in the Chicken pie above. This one did have more filling though which was a bonus I guess. Pies are really easy to make when you have GF Pastry in, so i’ll probably just stick to that from now on!
M&S has released it’s “Gluten Free Christmas Range” So I’ve tried a few bits that are below. If you’ve tried any of them, let me know!
British Ham Platter
This is £20 for around 40 slices. Theres 3 different types of ham which would be perfect for a family gathering.
The Gluten Free Party Selection
This comes with 64 pieces. A mixture of 18 barbeque pork belly squares, 12 mini chicken kievs, 10 sticky chicken yakitori kebabs, 12 sticky asian style chicken lollipops AND 12 mini toad in the hole with caramelised onion chutney.. ALL of this is only £30 and it honestly tastes great! You need to try it over the Christmas period.
Tandoori king prawn ring
This is £10 and the prawns are really meaty. Grab these if you see them cause they’re almost always sold out.
Sticky Chicken Yakitori Kebabs
These are amazing, theres so much meat on them and you get 20 for £14 which is an absolute bargain.
Gluten Free Sandwich selection
You get 14 Quarters which is like, 3 and a half sandwiches for £13. It isn’t the best value but theres a lot of filling in the sandwiches.
Cheese Celebration Cake
I mean look at this, Is this not a cheese lovers dream? If gluten free cakes haven’t stepped up by the time I get married, this has to be my cake.. Or maybe I should just be a little extra on my next birthday (which is in February, just so you don’t forget guys..) and get this as my cake! Although it is £155..
Bacon and Cheese Rolls
Cheese wrapped in smoked bacon.. AND you get 32 for £8. It’s safe to say i’ve just *attempted* to eat an entire pack of these for dinner.. and i’ve got no shame about it. They’re amazing! Grab these whilst you can.
Hog Roast on Mini Crackling plates
You get 24 for £14. They are literally circles of crackling with pulled pork, sage and onion stuffing and caramelised apple sauce on. They’re delicious! I hope they do these all year round.
New York Cheesecakes
And now it’s time for something a little sweeter. The Vanilla New York cheesecakes. They used to come with 1 in a box and it was kinda too big for one portion but not enough for 2. They’ve now upped their game and you get two in a box for £3.50 and the portion size is pretty damn perfect! Make sure you try these if you see them!
Gluten Free Extremely Chocolatey Party Cake
This is £25 which is mad expensive for the size it is. They say it’s 16 portions but unless you’re a mouse it’s about 10-12.
Christmas Gift Bag / Hamper
This is a bargain! It’s reduced from £40 to £32, but i feel even at £40 it was still a bargain! You get a bottle of Bordeaux Merlot, A Gluten Free Christmas Cake, Cluten Free mince pies (x4) , Gluten & Dairy free Christmas pudding, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Latte popcorn, Gluten and Dairy free box of chocolates, the Junco Shopping bag AND it’s sent with a personal message too! This is the perfect gift for your gluten free Friends, Families or work colleagues!
If you see anything else Gluten free in M&S let me know so I can give them a try myself!
New Years Resolutions for 2018.
We’re two days in to 2018, and i’ve stuck to my New Years Resolutions.. So far!
I made 10 New Years resolutions this year – and a few of them are really simple and SHOULD be easy to keep (hopefully) So lets see how it goes!
- Take my make-up off properly and use proper skin care.
– I’m so so lazy when it comes to taking my make-up off. I take ages putting it on, but taking it off, it’s a make-up wipe if i’m lucky and can be bothered. Due to this my eyelashes fall out a lot and i always get break outs and then moan. This year i’m actually going to look after my skin.
- Watch my diet.
My weight went up and down massively in 2017. This year i’m going to make sure that i eat properly and don’t over or under eat.
- Save Money.
This year i’m going to save an amount of money a month and not go into it or take from it, i’ve downloaded a few apps and things to help me save too. I waste money a lot on things I don’t need, like make-up brushes just because I can’t be bothered to clean them. I’ve swapped my £36 foundation to £10 foundation too.. this is a massive thing for me as it has to look perfect in my opinion, else i won’t leave the house!
- Stop worrying what other people think.
I have the tendency to care about what other people think too much. Especially when they’re close to people I love or care about. After over a year, i’ve decided if you don’t like me, cool, i’ll pretend you don’t exist.
- Be happy.
I’m not going to stress about minimal things, or things that i can’t change. I’m just going to focus on myself and the things and people that i care about and put myself first. If you don’t put me first, i won’t put you first. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to be a little selfish.
I’m going to read at least 12 books this year, one a month. It sounds like a small amount but i work really odd hours, so this is harder than it seems. I take books when i go on holiday and i love getting lost in a book, rather than watching TV.
Instead of eating out all the time, i’m going to cook and mix up recipes more. I love cooking, but again, it’s time and space and a lot of effort when i could climb into bed and nap instead.
2017 took us to Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Twice, Wales and more. This year I hope to do more and more little road trips around the UK and see whats here instead of always jumping on a plane.
- Get Healthy.
Walks, Runs, Squats, Whatever my app says, i’m doing. I don’t have the confidence to go to the gym, so home bits to start with is where its at!
I’m two days in, so at least this is a start.. Right?!
- Drink more Water & Sleep better.
It’s so east to grab a can of Red Bull or grab a bottle of coke, but grabbing a bottle of water is definitely better for my body and my skin.
I’m going to try and sleep more and get into more of a routine too (which is difficult when you work until 3am..) but we can try, right!?
If I can stick to 6/10 of these i’ll be happy, so fingers crossed… Right?!
NARS – What have you done?!
It’s a sad day when the beauty brand NARS decided money was more important than morals.
NARS is a massive beauty line that has been in the news for all the best reasons – The beauty line is famous for it’s cheeky names (Orgasm blush for example) – And they have, in my opinion the best concelar out there, plus their lipsticks are great with long lasting colours and they don’t dry your lips out either.
NARS had always taking a stance on animal testing, but sadly they are no longer cruelty-free.
Last week, the NARS brand announced that they are planning to branch out and begin sales in China.
In China animal testing is mandatory for all cosmetics companies by law. So despite the fact that products bought elsewhere will still have cruelty-free status, those bought in China will have to have been tested on animals. There for, NARS as a brand are now longer a cruelty free brand – that is against animal testing.
Hundreds of people took to Instagram to comment on the change, with a lot of people saying that NARS had put it’s ‘money over it’s principles’ (which clearly it has) and others sharing the hashtag #boycottnars.
NARS then replied on their Official Instagram page @Narsissist –
NARS are owned by the ‘Shiseido Group’ who also own BareMinerals.
NARS is known famously for it’s other methods of cosmetics testing, saying that they’re ‘committed to advancing alternative testing methods and fighting for the elimination of animal testing worldwide.’
It’s a shame NARS felt the need to broaden into China – knowing China’s law and about it’s treatment to animals including animal testing – I guess Money really does come before morals – when you go from a Non testing on animals company to deciding that lining your pocket is more important.
I guess NARS is just another one to check off the list then.
We’re too busy documenting our lives to enjoy them.
So I guess the title of this blog kind of makes me a hypocrite, cause I’m about to document my life over the last few weeks, but maybe by the end of it, it will make more sense.
I work on social media a lot, and never will I, nor would i ever do anything to jeopardise that – i love my job, so the whole point of this blog post is personal social media.
I’ve decided to take a break from my personal social media – Twitter and Instagram mostly.
When it gets to the point when you fall asleep when you’re on your own looking at your phone and wake up and the first thing you do is look at your phone, this isn’t healthy.
I found myself doing this, i found myself comparing myself to people on so many levels. Their relationships with people, their weight, their clothes, everything and anything- and before i knew it, i really didn’t like myself very much.
People measure themselves with likes on Instagram. You can say you don’t, but you do. I’d post stuff most days and spend ages picking the perfect filter, the perfect location, letting my food get cold to take a photo at 4 different angles. WHY? What’s the point? So i get a few more likes on a photo? I’d put stuff on my plate, just to make it look better and i found myself not even eating half of it.
Weight wise i found myself comparing myself to people, knowing i wasn’t as skinny as i was last year. We’ll just miss a meal here, cut this out of my diet here and then i’ll feel like utter shit, but it’s fine right? Along as your “Body Goals”.
Oh Shit! A tweet went “viral” tell me more how that makes you a better person as someone who gets 3 retweets? – It doesn’t. At all. But it’s 2017. My niece asked me how many likes we got on a photo of us and that hit me. I get she probably didn’t say it because she was bothered about it in the same way as i’d be, but the last thing i’d want is for her to be growing up around some one that found social media so important to them.
How many of you roll over and check your phone first thing in the morning? You find yourself sitting there looking at this person and this person. Do you really care about this girls new hair colour? Or this guys new trainers? No. Yet there you are, liking the post, as if it matters.
Everyone is going to judge you. Whether it’s what shoes your wearing, how much your jumper was, or what car your driving. Why give them more ammunition by posting it all over your social media – it’s just an excuse for people to talk about you and put you down.
Yesterday i found out someone i thought i was okay with had blocked me on every form of social media and decided to go against me and my boyfriend morally – and that feeling sucked big time, but if i wasn’t on social media, i wouldn’t have found out. Did i need to look through 3/4 profiles? (Admittedly i was messaging her to offer her a MAC eye shadow palette i hadn’t used, but hey..) – I’m still going to see them, so why did this bother me so much?
Just as some people annoy you with their tweets or posts, there are others that can’t stop bragging about themselves. If you’re constantly reading about how fabulous your friends lives are, it starts making you feed inadequate – like you don’t measure up. Is it really worth the blow to your self-esteem?
It’s so easy to overshare online too, you feel like everyone you’re sharing with you know – because you’re doing it from your phone or laptop. – This clearly isn’t the case. Do you really know ‘Becca’ who lives in London who you’ve never met, why are you sharing photos of your kids with her?
How many times do you see people messaging others like “yeah lets meet up!” “we should so grab good!” “lets catch up!” ? –
I’m legit the worst for this. It encourages artificial relationships with your friends. I get the whole “we don’t need to talk every day to know were friends”. I find myself seeing my actual friends less and less, but because i talk to them on twitter and leave comments on Instagram, for some reason we all think this is perfectly acceptable – and it isn’t.
It’s time to stop – put your phone down, and connect with people through a phone call or visit them instead of relying on 140 character updates and status’.
I guess what i’m trying to say is, I need a break from personal social media to actually spend time with people i love and care about, without a phone in my hand.
NON Of this is going to matter in a few years, so why does it matter so much now?
Stop getting distracted by followers – Ignore your likes, ignore your retweets and spend actual time with people you care about. Enjoy your life without the need to document every single part of it.
Hey! i’ve been super busy the last few weeks (blog posts coming about this) but i’m back before i take another break for Freshers at the end of the month!
It’s finally September!
September is my FAVOURITE month of the year because it’t when the seasons change to Autumn! – And Autumn is clearly the best season for many reasons – I like summer, it’s warm, it’s hot, it’s when i take the most time off work, but I feel like i can’t buy over priced hot drinks and justify being cold or staying in bed all day with 6 Movies and a box set in the Summer either.
So here’s a list of why Autumn is the best..
Jumpers, Cardigans, Jackets, Sweaters, Wool in general – You can buy 2343 new ones and justify it. Theres some really cute ones in New Look at the moment too! You can throw one on top of another every time your slightly cold and call it an outfit.
It’s chilly, but it’s not freezing like Winter is. Plus as above – you can add layers and still look cute AF.
Eskimo Kisses To Warm The Nose.
Eskimo kisses also mean you don’t smudge your lipstick, hence why darker shades of browns, reds and purples are dropped into store at the start of September. I LOVE darker shades, so eskimo kisses work fine with me..
It’s cold enough for Tea, Coffee or OTT Hot Chocolates.
You can justify making (or stopping in cute little cafes) for Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate and don’t have to order everything iced.
One Pot Meals.
Warm stews, curries and one pot meals! Throw everything into a pot and let it cook slowly – Theres SO many recipes online too!
I mean, i light candles ALL year, but then get moaned at cause it makes our bedroom too hot (kinda makes sense) but in Autumn the days are shorter, nights are longer, so candles become something you can definitely justify lighting to make your room look cuter. Fairy lights too!
Blankets, Cuddling, Books, Box Sets.
You can justify getting up in the morning, showering putting fresh PJ’s on and then climbing back into bed for the entire day. It’s chilly outside and probably raining, so lets do this.. You also don’t get too hot in bed and stick to one another… no matter how close you are or how long you’ve been together thats pretty gross.
Everything looks different, so it’s like a new walk. I LOVE going to Matlock in the Autumn. The Leaves have fallen, they decorate with lights everywhere and you can walk and walk with so much to see and do. Including the illuminations which are on every weekend in September.
Is there a lot of stuff better then feeling the leaves crunching under your feet and kicking them around? Autumn makes everything look prettier.
Bonfires and wood burners.
My little brother LOVES a wood burner. On Sunday after dinner he went straight into the garden to light it – this is the perfect excuse to roast marshmallows too!
Sandals are away until next Summer, out comes every type of sock you can think of. Knee high socks are so okay in Autumn too! I wear these every possibility i get – They instantly make your outfit look cuter and keep your legs warm at the same time – its win win.
The smell of cinnamon is everywhere! It goes into hot chocolates, cookies, cakes everything. I LOVE cinnamon!
Ugg boots, ankle boots, Timberlands, it doesn’t matter which, your feet are ALWAYS cosy.
Pumpkins & Halloween.
Autumn is Halloween and this is my absolute favourite holiday even if it is originally american. I LOVE dressing up, going OTT on faceprint and going to pick my own pumpkin to calve it! I’m really bad at it, do an awful job, but hey! It’s fun..
I think i was supposed to be a clown here? I have no idea why, I’m terrified of clowns.
Awful pumpkin, it has a Bee on it though and like i said above, it was fun.. ish.
I went to work like this. This is why Autumn and Halloween is so great.
Halloween means scare fest – I LOVE Scarefest at Alton Towers, I Didn’t go last year which sucked cause I had tickets. Dan hates rides though, so I guess some peer pressure will have to be put on him so he comes this year! I already messaged two of his friends last month to make sure they find dates to come with.. failing that, they can take each other!
And of course..
FRESHERS & HALLOWEEN.
The end of September and most of October is filled with the Fresh Festival (Freshers fortnight events) and the Halloween Festival (Halloween events).
I work in events so i’m super lucky to be able to be a part of these every year. I’m about to do my 5th Freshers. The office is loads smaller now, so i have to be less annoying and over excited – But I think i’m actually more excited than ever!