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Jo's Clothes
  Updated Fri, 04 Aug 2017 06:00:19 +0000
Description Lover of fugly shoes, animal print, leather hot pants, SJP, vodka and cake. Speaking up on all things IBS.
Generator http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.15
Language en-GB
11 Things That Made July Bloody Awesome
Category My Inner Ramblings, july, memories
Description: July was a monster of a month with several long weekends, my epic†hen do and […]  more...

July was a monster of a month with several long weekends, my epic†hen do and a water fight with a 5-year old.

1. I started July†with a blissful long weekend while Al went away on his stag do. It was most definitely needed as I had a bad bout of IBS to contend with and a lot of sleep to catch up on.

2. We had a big family†BBQ for my auntie’s birthday in her back garden, complete with all the Pimms.

3. Said BBQ also included a water fight with my†5-year old nephew. Which I lost.

4. Digging into fish and chips with a side order of vino alongside†two of my besties.

5. Got my hair coloured, trimmed and added in a nice treatment†ahead of the holiday.

6. Treated myself to a LVL lash lift and am loving not having to do anything to my lashes at all.

7. A†shopping with my mum for wedding bits resulted in me coming home with two new tops, not for the wedding.

8. My bridesmaids threw me the BEST hen do. I drank all the cocktails, danced on the table and did the limbo.

9. And then I had another long weekend to recover from my antics.

10. I received a delivery of three 6ft inflatable palm trees, the start of our decorations for our UK party.

11.†Feeling like this little ol’ wedding is finally coming together.

Counting Down to the Best Day Ever
Category Fashion... Darling, Sweetie, antigua, beach wedding, wedding
Description: Now I don’t want to sound alarmed but I get married in 42†days and that’s […]  more...

Now I don’t want to sound alarmed but I get married in 42†days and that’s not very far away now. Eeeeeeeeeeek.

The good thing is that through planning this wedding, I’ve become somewhat of an organisational wizard. And this isn’t something I’ve ever perfected in my personal life. I’m the kinda gal that double books, forgets things constantly unless they’re written down and is†slightly unreliable when it comes to making plans. However, give me a wedding and I become a ninja control freak.

You see, we have all the standard bits covered:

  • I have a dress. And dates for fittings
  • I have shoes. Which may or may not be completely impractical for my surroundings
  • Al has shorts
  • And a shirt
  • We’ve paid for the majority of things
  • We’ve got a photographer
  • We have a wedding planner as part of the deal who organises everything else
  • Blah, blah, blah

But I haven’t stopped there. My new-found organisational skills have gone one step further.†You see, I’ve started packing favours and name cards into Tupperware so it’s ready to go into our new suitcase.

I’ve written a wedding speech (screw you tradition) and have been practicing it relentlessly. Although I can’t read it without crying yet.

I’ve even typed up a packing list, planned most of my outfits and am currently looking to mail out a wedding who’s who guide we’ve made, so our guests can get to know each other before being trapped on a plane together.

I am on organisational fire people.

Due to the above reasons, I feel relaxed (until I look at the daily countdown which gives me excited palpitations), am fairly on top of things and bloody raring to go! Like seriously, take me on holiday now!

Bring it on. #alexandjogetmarried

The Joy of Dressing Like a Giant Child
Category Fashion... Darling, Sweetie, animal print, outfit, polka dots, tassels
Description: The other morning, I pulled on the clothes I’d laid out the night before and […]  more...

The other morning, I pulled on the clothes I’d laid out the night before and was about to leave the house when I realised I’d dressed like a giant child.

I had on a super old, voluminous polka dot cami, skinny jeans and my beloved new animal print tassel sandals.†My outfit looked bright, colourful, playful and a bit nuts. Like a child who’d been caught rummaging in mum’s wardrobe.

But I kinda liked it.

Throwing on all the prints†you own is fun. And for me, that’s what fashion is all about. Plus, while wearing an outfit like this, you will have a permanent smile on your face.

Animal Print and Tassels Are My Two Favourite Things; Say Hello to My New Sandals
Category Beach Wedding Vibes, Fashion... Darling, Sweetie, animal print, marks and spencers, shoes, tassels
Description: You know that feeling when you spot a fugly shoe and feel instantly that they […]  more...

You know that feeling when you spot a fugly shoe and feel instantly that they were made for you and that it’d be a crime not to get them. I had that with these sandals.

You see, my four main sartorial loves in life involve animal print, sequins, tassels and pom poms.†These sandals comfortably tick two of those boxes. Which is how they’ve ended up in my possession and on my feet.

In fact I received a call from my cousin while she was stood in Marks and Spencers in front of the shoes, saying that they were some sandals with my name on. After I laughed and told her if they were the ones I was thinking of I already had them, she remarked that she either knows me really well or that I’ve become predictable. Both of which are true.

They’ve received both compliments and abuse, and I’m open to that. I like how they’re bold enough to demand attention.

I don’t even mind how naked and exposed they make my toes look.

Want the good news? They’re now on sale for £20! GO!

The Little Things That Make Me Smile
Category My Inner Ramblings, relaxation, small pleasures
Description: Life is pretty insane at the moment with everything ramping up a gear.†So when I’m […]  more...

Life is pretty insane at the moment with everything ramping up a gear.†So when I’m at home in the evenings and†the weekends I’m living life in the slow lane and embracing the small pleasures in life.

Because really, it’s the little things in life that make me happiest…

Sitting on the floor, tickling Lils, my Dwarf Lop bunny,†behind the ears while she covers my hand in appreciative licks.

Watching the bees and butterflies swarm around†our out of control lavender.

Starting every Sunday with a little dance around the living room to the Sweet Soul playlist on Spotify.

Lazing with family, around a barbecue, playing with the kids.

Clean bed sheets and a good book.

A phone call with my mum.

A cuddle with the boy and the bun.

Taking snaps of the beautiful blooms in my garden.

And being sent snaps of all the gorgeous babies in my life.

And now it’s your time to tell me yours. Drop ’em in the comments.

Choosing My Wedding Fragrance; It Was Always Going to Be Chanel
Category Badass Beauty, Beach Wedding Vibes, burberry, chance, chanel, chloe, fragrance, mason margiela, perfume, wedding
Description: Chanel Chance is my perfume jam. It was the first ever designer perfume I bought […]  more...

Chanel Chance is my perfume jam. It was the first ever designer perfume I bought and I wore it for years. It became my go to. My scent. The one I was known for.

And then I fell out of love with it. My nose got sidetracked by the musty scents of Burberry Body,†My Burberry†and the floral notes of Mason Margiela Replica Flower Market.

Then it got to the stage where I didn’t feel I could justify dropping £70 on a 50ml bottle of Chance Eau De Parfum. So instead friends sent me their high street fragrance recommendations, hello†Rosie for Autograph. I even bought a mini Chloť to take with me on a work trip to tide me over until I had some spare coins.

Then I found myself back in the shops this weekend, my nose taking me on autopilot to the Chanel counter, and my arms reaching for Chance and giving†myself with a hefty spritz. And it smelt divine.

Exactly as I remembered.

It brought back memories of going with my mum to buy it while she replaced her bottle of Coco Mademoiselle. Memories of spritzing a cloud of it and walking through in a twirl, then straight out the door to a party. It smells like summer and friends and laughter.

And on my wedding day, I not only want to look like me but smell like me. And Chanel Chance will always tick that box. And now I have it back in my life, I can’t stop admiring it.

11 Things That Made June Special
Category My Inner Ramblings, june, memories
Description: As we get closer and closer to the wedding, the months seem to fly by […]  more...

As we get closer and closer to the wedding, the months seem to fly by in a blur of family time, wedmin and barbecues. Not that I’m complaining…

1. I finally got my hands on these sequin-covered slides.

2. Catching up with all my besties for fish and chips, boozy barbecues and baby cuddles.

3. Tidying†our garden and enjoying watching our flowers in full bloom.

4. Sunbathing and reading a rom com, on my new wooden bistro set on my patio.

5. Picking up my wedding ring and feeling a rush of excitement at the prospect of being a Mrs.

6. Plenty of family barbecues and playing with my honorary nephews at every chance.

7. Spending a lunch break wandering around Green Park in all its sunlit glory.

8. Having a curry and turning†our wedding order of service into fans with my mum and Mick.

9. Spending Father’s Day with my dad, my little bro and his cute little boy.

10. Getting enormous butterflies while having my first wedding dress fitting.

11. Taking time off work to sort wedding bits, get back into blogging and just having some much-needed time out.

And then suddenly it was July.

How Writing the Highlight of My Day Helps Me Switch Off at Night
Category IBS and All Things Gut Health, My Inner Ramblings, anxiety, ibs, self care
Description: At the end of last year I was given the most thoughtful birthday gift by […]  more...

At the end of last year I was given the most thoughtful birthday gift by my work partner-in-crime, which has changed my evening routine dramatically.

I am a natural-born worrier. I have anxiety. I struggle to stop my brain from ticking over at a frantic pace. These three things, whether alone or in tandem, disrupt my evening and affect my sleep.

No amount of my Deep Sleep spray can help me switch off if my mind is still racing.

And then Sanj, aka K.O Rasoi, gave me a self-care package for my birthday, and among many other gorgeous things, she’d given me a Review Your Day journal. In fact, she’s so thoughtful she’d even written me a message, reminding me that I’m a total badass.

Now you may wonder how a simple journal could have such a big effect but let me tell you, it has. Because since the 1st January 2017, I have filled this journal in EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, rating my day and noting the highlight.

Again, it doesn’t sound like much but by taking the time to scribble down one highlight it allows me to forget all the crap the day may have entailed. It makes me search for the positive. And it makes me do that every single day.

Those†highlights range from receiving praise for something I’ve posted on my blog to achieving something at work, checking another item off my wedding to-do list, or could be as simple as messaging a friend or spending the day with my family.

I’m already smiling just thinking about these things.

In fact, I just felt my shoulders relax†and my face soften.

And for me, that’s what I need before bed. That reminder that no matter how shit your day has been, that there will always be a highlight to look for and think about. Because every little thing helps in the quest for self-care.

The Pom-Pom Covered Kaftan of Beach Dreams
Category Beach Wedding Vibes, Fashion... Darling, Sweetie, beach, holiday, kaftan, pom poms, wedding
Description: Did I tell you that I’m getting married on a beach? Ha! Jokes. Of course […]  more...

Did I tell you that I’m getting married on a beach? Ha! Jokes. Of course you bloody know by now! This†obviously means I need to buy more “holiday” clothes. Whoops!

When I’m†on my hols I like the idea of wafting elegantly around the pool, peeking out from behind big-ass sunnies, cocktail in one hand, while my kaftan flaps behind me in the ocean breeze. In reality, I’m pretty sure it’ll be stuck to my clammy, sweaty skin, as I pour water over my head to cool down. However, I decided it was essential that I nab another kaftan to add to my collection.

And this one has pom poms.


That’s right, the pom poms run the entire length of both sides, starting from the sleeves.

DOES IT GET ANY BETTER?!?! No. It doesn’t.

What I like about this kaftan is that’s it made in a light and breezy cotton. My other one is not, hence the stickiness! This one is also tied at the waist and floor length, adding to the glam appeal and giving my very pasty body some respite from the sun, if and when needed.

But mainly, I bought it for the pom poms.

Can you imagine how epic this will look with my epic Pow Wow slides?!??

*Flounces off to pet her pom poms*

What it Feels Like to Have an IBS Flare
Category IBS and All Things Gut Health, gut health, ibs, ibs flare, irritable bowel syndrome
Description: Grab a peppermint tea, snuggle up to your hot water bottle and pop that top […]  more...

Grab a peppermint tea, snuggle up to your hot water bottle and pop that top jean button because I’m about to share the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to having an IBS flare. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Over the past three weeks my IBS has been all over the place. I had a stomach bug which has kicked my gut health to the floor and seen several flares completely stop me in my tracks. I figured it was about time to share the nitty-gritty of how it feels to†have an attack. You ready for this?

The Gurgles
For me, this is how it usually starts. A couple of suspicious gurgles followed by a couple of growls and the horrendous feeling of my stomach dropping.

The Anxiety
Enter stage two, the anxiety. The sheer panic that I need to get my ass to a bathroom immediately, no matter what. My heart will be beating out of my chest. My forehead will be hot and clammy. I won’t be able to focus on anything until I’m sat on the throne.

If I’m not in the comfort of my own home, I’ll panic about where to go. Can I find a public toilet in enough time? If I’m on the train – which has NO loos – will I make it home in time or will I embarrass myself? If a flare happens in the evening,†will I be able to go to work in the morning?

My head will be a buzzing nightmare, circulating all of the negative thoughts continually.

The Stomach Cramps
They will start immediately and they won’t stop†until the next day, at varying degrees of pain and intensity.

I can only describe the cramps as having something pushed into your intestines and then having that slowly twisted†and twisted. It leaves me doubled over in agony and nothing really helps relieve them.

The Bloating
During a flare my tummy will bloat to resemble a 6-month pregnant lady. It will turn my stomach hard, uncomfortable and painful to touch.

I’ll only be able to wear pyjamas with an elasticated waist that allow my stomach to stretch as it grows.

The Evacuation
It’s worth noting that I have IBS-D which means that I suffer from diarrhoea rather than the constipation that comes with IBS-C. My movements will be urgent, immediate and sometimes uncontrollable. My stools will be loose and often followed by a lot of liquid. I often struggle with the sense of not fully evacuating my bowels and know that when I have a flare I normally have a wave of two of these urgent movements.

There’s also a sense of dread, knowing that it’ll happen again, so I’m often unable to relax until it has. That can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the severity of the flare.

Note that I will always have a magazine or a book my bathroom at home as it helps pass the time and distract my anxious mind.

The Extreme Lethargy
Flares leave me feeling so drained that all I can do is crawl back to bed, grabbing my hot water bottle on the way, and try to fall back to sleep.

I’ll feel so exhausted I won’t be able to move, string a sentence together†or make any attempt to get dressed.

This feeling will continue into the next day with me ensuring I try to take self-care seriously and indulge in whatever I need to do to rebuild my energy.

The Loss of Appetite
My stomach will be super sensitive in the time after a flare so it’s important I strictly avoid any trigger food and follow the Low-FODMAP diet, eating little†and often to help build my strength back up.

The Sensitive Stomach
After a flare I’ll be left with a dull ache in my stomach that I won’t be able to shift for a couple of days. I’ll wear clothes that don’t dig into my stomach and that run oversize, to allow my body to return to some sort of normal.

The Sense of Defeat
I can’t lie, 12 years on and I still struggle with a massive feeling of defeat after a flare. It’s physically and mentally draining and if I can’t pin point what kicked it all off, I end up feeling even more bloody frustrated.

The Disruption
Here’s the kicker. My IBS will have me cancel all my plans. Over the years I’ve missed out on dinners with friends, birthday parties, weddings, day trips†and†family days.

My friends are used to me not being able to make firm plans these days as it’ll all depend on how stable my stomach’s feeling. I’m the†girl who has to text last-minute, dropping out of whatever plans I made when I was feeling normal. It can be soul destroying as you constantly feel like you’re letting people down. Thankfully those closest know – and if they didn’t before, they will after reading this! – and understand that sometimes I can’t leave the bathroom, let alone the house.

There you have it, exactly what I experience every time I have a flare. This will be different for everyone and for the different strains of IBS. The biggest thing to remember is to look after yourself and listen to your body. You know best.

Still sitting comfortably? Go ahead and†read more about IBS and my gut health.

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