Feeling green with glee

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Top: Depop // Pants: Depop (Pretty Little Thing originally) // Shoes: Nike Air Force 1 

I feel happy.

That statement hasn't left my mouth for quite a while but right now, I do feel really happy. With the whirlwind of year I had in 2017, I lost that buzz of feeling happy with life and happy within myself. I didn't really reach for happiness because I was in such a negative mindset, my life just felt it was crumbling apart and I was just an outsider watching it. I felt like everything in life that had ever brought me happiness was gone and I was never going to get it back. Yes, I was dramatic but when life changes you have to adjust and it took me a while to realise how to be happy again.

This past Wednesday tabloids and social media went crazy for magician Dynamos 'moon face selfie' and it sparked up a determination in the IBD community. Dynamo suffers from Crohns disease (a form of IBD) and is on steroids which causes moon face and weight gain. Steroids are something I'm very familiar with along with 80% of IBD sufferers, they're a really good tool to temporarily control IBD but they have massive side effects. Dynamos selfie did face criticism by uneducated, foolish people who do not deserve the privilege of an opinion but for the most part, his selfie brought the IBD community together in sharing our #moonfacefordynamo pictures to raise awareness. It was amazing to see such solidarity and even more amazing that the event fell upon the 28th March, marking one year since I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. 

I didn't want my one year anniversary to be a negative day, I wanted to use it to raise awareness and try to reach out to people who may be going through anything similar... so thats exactly what I did!
I spent the day talking to inspiring people, finding out their stories and receiving the most meaningful messages about my bravery and strength. I also saw my IBD nurse and my appointments with her always bring so much positivity even when things aren't great, she makes me feel hopeful. Add all this to the whole Dynamo campaign and you get a very emotional Lucy Jane!
I was emotional because I felt so proud of the whole IBD community for pulling together and being so supportive, you realise you will never feel alone with amazing people like those there for you. I felt so proud of the people who had opened up to me, proud that they trusted in me to help and be there because I 100% will! 
Finally, I felt proud of myself.
I felt proud that I have got through a year of hell with a smile on my face, proud that people feel like they can talk to me to open up about their health and proud that I haven't given up. 

On another note, I am also proud of this outfit! Green is a colour I'd always stray away from but 2018 is the year of going for it and now, green is slowly becoming one of my favourite colours! The rugby shirt trend is one I do quite love but decided to go for a more authentic touch by getting an actual rugby shirt off Depop. Unfortunately, it did arrive with a few stains but cropping it got rid of a few of those and I still think it looks pretty good. I adore the colour blocked sections as they're bright, bold and add such a unique touch. I paired it with the comfiest pants from PLT which I picked up off Depop as well. I love a good statement pant and I love them even more for being green AND animal print! My trusty air force 1's are a must at the minute, so I finished this casual look off with the comfiest shoes I own. 

So that is why I am feeling green with glee because I feel so happy today, regardless of what might happen right now I'm going to indulge in my happiness!

Lucy Jane

My Disease: What a year living with Ulcerative Colitis has taught me

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

My disease is Ulcerative Colitis and it is going to be mine forever! 
The time feels right to start raising awareness and sharing my story because my disease is not  going anywhere, and it certainly is not going to beat me. Please don't let the title of 'My disease' scare you off because I want these posts to be knowledgable, helpful and informative. Having a chronic disease has become part of daily life to me, I want to write these posts to share my experiences and not feel isolated throughout.

One whole year has gone by since the day I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and what a year it has been. On the day I was diagnosed I could've never imagined how much of an impact this disease was going to have on my life. It has been the hardest year of my life, a year of constant battling to get into remission which is still on going to this day. Technically, I've now been in a year long flare up as I haven't had a day in the past 12 months where I haven't suffered from symptoms. This year has been the most important year of my life and it has changed me massively as a person, but I think for the better. Instead of focusing too much on the negative side of my journey, I've decided to think about the things I've learnt because of this disease and how it's changed me. 
I might hate Ulcerative Colitis, but if it hadn't have come into my life I would never have learnt these valuable lessons.

If all this sounds like complete nonsense to you, you can click here to read a bit more about Ulcerative Colitis or take a look at my blog series titled 'My Disease'.

Feeling embarrassed is a waste of time
Ulcerative Colitis is within your bowel, to get to your bowel you go through the bum and what comes out of there? POO. Now let me set the scene for you... Imagine lying on a hospital bed naked except from the loose gown and pair of paper knickers provided, you lie on your left hand side whilst a team of about 4 nurses and a doctor stick a camera up your bum and watch it on a screen. Well that my friends is a Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy of which I've experienced 5 times and have come to not even think about being embarrassed, it's just something that has to be done. If people do feel embarrassed about having IBD, I hope I can help to break the stigma. We all talk a lot about bums, poo and blood so at least try and embrace it! We all have a body that performs the same bodily functions so lets just stop feeling embarrassed and realise its normal.

Being selfish is okay!
Throughout my life I've always put everyone else before myself. I never viewed it as a bad trait to have as I loved to make people happy but there comes a point in your life where you realise that you're just as important. I am now my number one priority and I don't feel scared to say that, you have to be selfish sometimes and it is okay to be like that! I don't do things that I don't want to, I don't speak to people that I don't want to, everything I do has come from a decision that will benefit me. I want the most out of my life so I put myself first!

Listen to your body
Whether you're in good health or bad health, I stress to you to listen to your body because it's the only one you've got! Personally I think I've come to know my body pretty well, I know when things are going well and I know when things aren't. For example, my new treatment Humira did wonders for the first 4 weeks and then I just knew things weren't right. I was more symptomatic, so exhausted and within a matter of days feeling so weak. I'd had 2 stool samples taken the first when I was feeling okay, the second 2 weeks later. The first sample came back with inflammation marker of 49 which is almost normal (0-48 being normal) yet the second sample returned at 467 which is NOT normal. After more tests I was told I'd become very low in iron again explaining the exhaustion and to sum up it, my bowel was on the verge of another huge flare. I'd always doubt myself if things weren't going right but now I've learnt that I know better than anyone whats happening and I need to listen to my body. 
If things don't feel right, tell someone and things can get sorted!

Mental health is just as important as physical health
I don't think people truly understand the extensive affect mental health can have on you until you go through it yourself, well at least thats how it was for me. Before Colitis I was perfectly healthy, surrounded by amazing people and looking back I was living a dream-like reality. Of course I had some bad days but I'd never say I suffered with mental health issues, I never needed help and I was genuinely fine. From that to living day to day with a chronic condition was a massive change. It can become very debilitating on your mental health and it definitely did for me. In a way I feel lucky that I know my changes in my mental health correlate with my physical health and therefore can put things in perspective and battle on seeing a light at the end.
Everyones battle is just as important no matter how big or small. 
This year taught me that physical health is SO important but it should not prioritised over mental health, they're both as important. A change in either can have such life changing impacts and that needs to be noticed in our society. We all need to have the support there to be able to talk about whats going on on the inside because thats the only way things can change. You might feel so alone but if you keep reaching out for help, you WILL be listened to!

I'm not chronically ill, I'm chronically strong!
If someone had told me a year ago what the future was going to hold, I would've cried and probably fallen apart. To know that I'm here, a year on, still getting up and getting on with life everyday makes me proud. I won't lie, it does get SO hard sometimes but for the most part I battle on. The amount of times I've been pushed back down again in the past year is countless but every single time I've got back up and that is why I am strong. I get through all the hospital appointments, the blood tests, the new doctors, the steroids, the endless medications, the times things don't work, the anaemia, the infusions and the fact that I have absolutely NO idea when I'm going to reach remission and what this disease is going to do to my body throughout my life. 
But I do it because I am strong.

I am strong and so is everyone else fighting Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease or any form of chronic condition YOU ARE CHRONICALLY STRONG!

So after facing the year I have, I know I can get through anything and I will get through anything.
I'm wiser, stronger and have a much greater knowledge of where toilets are but I am still me!
I never thought the past year would pan out the way it did but it has changed my life and at some stage in life, I will look back and think I DID THAT!

Dear Lucy Jane - 28th March 2019,
I hope you've found a drug which works for you and have successfully reached remission, if you haven't I hope your life is symptom free some other way. I hope you're back to a more normal reality and aren't facing everyday as a battle, you'll probably still be living at home but I hope you've got some of your independence back. I hope you haven't given up on your dreams and that things are slowly working out so you can get to where you want to be. I hope you've continued to raise awareness about IBD because you're good at using that voice of yours. But most of all I really hope you're happy and life is pretty stable for you, I hope theres less time spent at hospital and more time spent having fun!
I hope you've finally got your life back!

Love Lucy Jane - 28th March 2018

Dreaming of When Spring Comes

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Top: Nasty Gal // Skirt: Cartia Mallan x Princess Polly // Belt: Charity shop // Shoes: Converse // Necklaces: H&M

Right now, I am sat looking out at the deceiving blue skies. The brightest shade of blue beating down onto the world below would make anyone assume Spring was here. Unfortunately the skies tell a false tale and life still feels as if its in the total grip of winter. It's sort of frustrating I suppose, when you're so ready to welcome a change and the world won't give it to you what do you do?

Recently I have been dreaming so much of spring, summer and all things sunny so I've decided to compile a little post of these dreams! The long nights, sunny evenings and all things involved in nature just scream excitement to me. The next 6 months are usually the most unforgettable of my year so here is what I'm looking forward to...

Being in nature
Something you may not know about me is that I thrive in the outdoors. Ever since I was young I felt right at home in nature, I loved playing outside, running wild and spent a good portion of my childhood in the countryside. This may seem a strange anecdote but I've always remembered it...
When I was young, if I got dirty in the mud (not talking face planting/covered in mud here btw) or saw an insect, I never screamed, never cried and it seemed a lot of other people did. I didn't really care because I was happy being there. I try to be in nature 365 days a year but when its cold, its a lot harder to sit and simply appreciate it. I can't wait to spend endless days in my garden journalling away, countless walks in the sunshine and a whole lot of time being outside!

My Shed!
If you've followed my blog for a while, you may be familiar with my shed. Every year when it gets to Spring my shed is restored to its full glory and its THE most relaxing space for me to spend time. It's great to chill out alone or with friends, everyone loves the shed! This year I hope to use it more creatively as space to express my ideas but also as a calm space to practice meditation. I can't wait to give it a good paint, organise all my ideas and have my beautiful, tranquil little space back! 

Holidays and day tripping 
Regardless of my health, I am getting away and making the most of this summer! Already I have trips booked to Barcelona, Cyprus and hopefully Stockholm and I am incredibly excited to do some travelling. I've always had the travel bug and if it wasn't for my health this past year, would've been off everywhere. It may be very cliche of me to say this but I really do think travelling is so important. I always think if you stay in one place for the rest of your life, how are you ever going to change and grow as a person? You learn new skills, meet new people and are able to view completely different ways of life whilst away. Now I do love a good beach holiday but this year I'd love to visit more cities, on my wish list are Paris, Amsterdam and anywhere in Italy!
We shall see where I get to...

Skirts, Dresses and basically bare legs!
Since having Ulcerative Colitis, I've found that wearing anything the slightest bit tight on my stomach proves really uncomfortable meaning tights have been a no go. This has meant that all my beautiful skirts and dresses have been slightly neglected over the winter months and it makes me so sad! 
(Yes, I do have emotional attachments to my clothes)
Nevertheless, I am SO excited for the temperature to hit above 12/13 degrees, I'm english so thats warm for me, so that I can fall in love with all my skirts and dresses again! One thing I also love about spring is bare legs weather, my legs are something I've come to love about myself over the past few years. Yes, I have chunky thighs and a big bum but I love them and I don't care to say that!
Whack a bit of fake tan on and I'm ready to go!

Now you've read what I've been dreaming about, you can understand why this post consists of such a summery look. 
I just couldn't wait any longer to share some summer clothes okay!
I am in loooooove with this pink, puffy shouldered top and I wish I could have it in every single colour! Pink is my thing for 2018 and I'm obsessing over the shade of this top, it's so vibrant whilst not being on the verge of neon, it is stunning! For someone like me who has 0 boobs, the neckline is so flattering as the shoulder detail distracts attention away from my very flat chest (I've got to love it though). My skirt is this beautiful A- line piece from the Cartia Mallan x Princess Polly collection, it's part of a two piece and I can't wait for it to be warm enough to wear it! Honestly I could create a full blog post, even blog series on how amazing I think Cartia Mallan is as she is such a HUGE inspiration to me both fashion wise and life wise. For now just know she designed such a cute yet funky collection for Princess Polly perfect for all you disco gals out there!
Finally, I finished the outfit with the Converse of dreams and some pink glittery socks. Converse have come out with this whole new vibe and upped their trainer game recently and I am LOVING it! 
This outfit is me having a teeny, tiny bit of hope that spring will come quickly, for now I'll be dreaming of when spring comes...

Lucy Jane

# Charity Shop Bop SS18 Trends - 80s Blazer Dress

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Charity Shop Bop is a series on my blog that promotes a different sense of fashion. The fashion industry is a huge financial provider, yet is also creating so much waste that it's effecting our planet. Every year we create over 80 billion articles of clothing which is a ridiculous amount to even fathom.  With 95% of it being recyclable and 100% being reusable, why let it become waste?
My Charity Shop Bops are here to show the limitless horizons of reworking second hand clothing and that it isn't all 'old lady' stuff! Shopping from charity shops is more sustainable, a lot cheaper and also allows you to contribute to a variety of charities at the same time!
So get #CharityShopBoppin and let me see what you find...

Blazer Dress: Charity Shop // Shoes: Depop // Bag: Primark (sorry)

Influences from different eras play a huge role in what trends occur through the seasons, whether it's the 1920s, 40s or 90s, the way people used to dress is a big inspiration. Last year it was the late 90s/early 2000s making a huge come back, with logos being BIG and cuts being low. A few years ago it was all about the 60s and 70s, with figures such as Alexa Chung basing her trademark style off these classic eras. The runways of SS18 saw a surge of collections with a huge influence of the 1980s. Off White created a collection inspired by Princess Diana, using modern prints and pristine lines they presented some iconic blazers, suits and all were perfectly fitted pieces. A collection that will never be forgotten! Gucci also took inspiration from the 1980s but in a more loud, adventurous way. With looks introducing big shoulder pads and fitted waists,  their take on the 80s was very clear to see! All this buzz around the 80s worked its way down to high street stores ready for Spring/Summer 2018.

 Now,  I am a HUGE lover of old things working their way back into current trends!  A lot of my clothes are 'old things' as I pick them up from Charity Shops and that is the perfect place to find authentic, older pieces. So when I saw the 1980s playing such a huge role in this season, I knew I needed to search through Charity Shops to bag myself some golden pieces... and I did just that!

This Blazer is THE perfect fit for me, a little on the short side but with some bicycle shorts underneath you can't go wrong! I picked this up a few months back as when I saw it, I knew I needed it! The silver detail makes it look so much more expensive and makes it a little more on the dressy side. It's such a versatile piece as it could be worn open with a t-shirt and jeans for a casual look, with some fitted pants and boots for a fancier look or turned into a stunningly, sophisticated blazer dress by pairing some heels and a fancy bag!  Blazer dresses are definitely a more wearable reflection of the 80s trend we saw on the runways. They're so easy to style up, I recommend everyone getting one!  If you know me, you know I'm not a heels kind of gal and at the moment I am OBSESSED with my Nike Air Force 1's. I managed to pick these up second hand from Depop and they were in the most amazing condition. Pairing bulky trainers with such an elegant piece is something I LOVE to do! Making a contrasting statement with clothes is always fun to me, trying new trends is all about experimenting and I ALWAYS have to add my own twist!

The 80s vibe is one that will spring up all throughout SS18! They'll be loads of big shoulder pads, bright bold colours and perfectly fitted suits but don't give in to those high street prices. 
I 100% guarantee that you're local Charity Shops will be hiding some 80s gems, so go look!

 This Charity Shop Bop just proves how current the pieces you find in Charity Shops can be whilst still adding an essence of your own style. Bringing together second hand pieces gives them a new lease of life which is so much more exciting than the 'Jeans and a Nice top' Misguided feature.
(No shade if you love that, you do you and thats amazing! I just can't relate and want to try spread individuality and sustainability)
I hope I can open your eyes to the world of Charity Shopping and please tag me @lucysb_ on Instagram with #charityshopbop if you discover any pieces!
Get Charity Shop Bopping

Lucy Jane

Pink Pants and Pretty Places

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Top: Charity Shop // Pants: Nasty Gal // Jacket: Boohoo // Shoes: Nike Air Force 1 // Necklace: H&M

If you've read my latest post 'A Seaside Dream' you'll know that last weekend I spent my time relaxing in a beautiful coastal town on the North East coast called Runswick Bay. It was a quaint, picturesque village and I had the most wonderful time with my family.

Surprisingly, the one challenge of this trip was choosing outfits suitable for the weather as it still feels very much like Winter in the UK. Even though it's dull and dreary, my aim was to bring a little bit of like back with some bold colour choices! 
Introducing... THE PINK SUIT PANTS!!!!
Let me tell you about these AMAZING pants (or trousers, whatever floats your boat). A few weeks ago I was browsing Nastygal.com which is a site I've never shopped at before. I came across this pink suit worn by a model with a very similar look as me and I fell in love. I spent weeks debating whether buying a full pink suit was really a good idea but one day, I woke up and decided 'You know what, I would feel strong and sassy AF in that suit and I need that in my life!', so I ordered it and I'm SO glad that I did! There will be a post featuring the whole ensemble but for now, appreciate the beauty which lies within these pants...

My pink pants are definitely a statement piece so I decided to go for a more casual combo by adding a graphic tee, obviously had to be an Elvis one as we all know my love for that man. The faded tones in the top definitely work well against the pants making them seem even brighter than they already are! I went for my reliable black puffer jacket as it keeps me warm, keeps me dry and I think I look quite cool in it (let me know). I then paired Nike Air Force 1's with the look to give off the street-style vibe that I was going for. I'm really enjoying playing down statement pieces at the minute. Whether it's a bold pant, shoe or jacket, I think finding a variety of ways to wear your wardrobe is so important. 
I loooooove travelling round to pretty places in my pink pants, what's your favourite statement piece to make more casual?

Lucy Jane

A seaside dream

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Top: Topshop // Pants: Asos // Jacket: Bershka // Boots: Dr Martens // Bag: Marc B 

Last weekend my family and I went on a little trip away to the North East coast, staying in a little coastal town called Runswick Bay.  We wanted a few days away to de-stress and relax as life in our world revolves a lot around doctors appointments and hospital visits so we deserved it! When I think about relaxing, I immediately think about being near the sea. It might be quite stereotypical to say, but I do believe that the sounds of the sea have a huge calming effect on me. It's an escape from the noise of reality into something more pure and tranquil, nobodies in a hurry and everyones simply there. 

On our trip we visited the coastal town of Staithes which is one of my Mums favourite places in the world and slowly becoming one of mine. We ambled through the Main Street passing the rows of vibrant houses that carve the way through the town. My favourite thing about Staithes is the matching bright doors and window frames that have been painted on all the houses, they add so much colour to the streets and it always makes me smile. We ate dinner in The Crab & Lobster which I would highly recommend, it's the snuggest little pub with beautiful views especially on a sunny day! We spent the afternoon wandering down the beach, taking in the stunning scenery and feeling so content with that moment. Being there made me feel quite normal again which may seem odd to hear if you don't know a lot about me. I felt less anxiety than I ever had and was so SO happy for the first time in a while. A highlight of the day was playing fetch with a pretty little Border Collie, last time we visited Staithes we had Bonnie (our dog) and it did make me feel sad that she wasn't there as she loved visiting new places. Overall the day was spent being busy doing nothing and that was perfect.

It's the days like this with the people you love the most and who love you the most that you have to cherish forever. I'm lucky to have an amazing family who I adore to spend time with no matter how old I am. This day felt like a seaside dream but I will keep the memory of how I felt for a long long time...

Lucy Jane


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