Ivy Park Review 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

As always my life is crazy busy and I’m struggling to not only find time to get things done but also the energy, my skin round my stoma is acting up more than usual but I would be lost without some of the amazing skin barriers I got recently in a bag of stoma products I will be reviewing. Thank you to Clinined for sending the stuff over because it’s came at the perfect time for me! 

Some of you may have noticed my hair has changed once again as I got my weave removed and the awful black colour taken out of my hair and I’m now back to my natural colour of a dark blonde that is definitely bordering on being ginger! I have to give special thanks to Cree from Mia Strada for helping get me on my way to being blonde before Florida and having one marathon dying and bleaching session last week, I can’t believe the miracle she worked! 

  
It’s now only 4 weeks until I go away on my first proper holiday in a decade to Florida with Stuart and as always the clothing is my number one priority. I’ve been a massive fan of H&M extra thick leggings since my surgery last year however with some major help from Beyoncé and Topshop that has all changed! 

  
These are the Ivy Park leggings in mid rise, full length in the grey colour (£40, Topshop). I was really worried the hype about these would be far too much and there would be no way the actual product would live up to it but I am ridiculously happy to say I’ve been proved wrong! I recently lost 8lbs after eating healthy and it seems to be keeping off even now I’m back on an exam diet but I’ve been so self conscious about my tummy and my thighs, however in these leggings they support you and hold you in slightly without being restrictive and I feel better in I have in a long time! I’ve definitely found my traveling outfit.

I love the supersoft material used in the leggings and the amazing quality because these leggings may be expensive at £40 but I would expect them to be double that for their quality. I’m already planning on buying the black high waisted ones and I can’t wait to get these too! 

Basically here is my outfit yesterday …  

Of course I need a picture with Stu because with exams I’m hardly seeing him and I am definitely a clingy girlfriend who is not dealing well with the alone time! 

  
I was wearing my Ivy Park leggings with a Primark light grey zipped up hoodie (£7 in store only) and my leather jacket I got for Christmas from Asos (£35 but possibly sold out as from A/W collection). I wore my white leather converse with this outfit too and it was perfect for lounging about and also for heading into town to find a new foundation then having a lazy pizza night with Stuart because let’s face it, eating some of your favourite foods really does make you happy! 

Happy Thursday!

Jen x 

CULTURE AND ARTS CHAMPION AND CITIZEN OF THE YEAR!!!  

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners!

I have had one amazing weekend… Last night as many of you know I was nominated as the Culture and Arts Champion at the West Dunbartonshire Provost’s Civic Pride Awards! I was up beside 2 other amazing finalists Rachelle Rhienne and Caitlyn Bannatyne who have amazing stories themselves so it was an honour to be up beside them! 

  
I had a fantastic night at the award ceremony with my mum and dad and of course my rock Stuart! It was so crazy to be rubbing shoulders with so many influential people and I even got a selfie with SNP Gil Patterson! 

  
I was completely terrified when it came to my category (although it didn’t stop me eating the amazing dinner!) and I was announced winner of my category!!

  
As many of you know I can’t deal with stress at the best of times so my tummy was in knots all night but it was so worth it because I got an even bigger surprise at the end of the evening when I was announced as the Citizen of the Year 2016 which I am beyond shocked to have been awarded! I’m not normally lost for words but I can’t say anything other than thank you to everyone for supporting me!! 

If you want to watch me go on stage and collect my award it’s in the video, I’m so shocked!! 

 
There are no words!! Hope you have an amazing weekend!

Jen x 

CrohnieClothing On TV! 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful week, mine as always has been crazy! Last weekend there was the AMAZING performance of Grease at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow, my cousins wedding, I had an exam yesterday morning, discovered I have exemption from at least one May exam due to having good marks (thank god, imagine I didn’t get exemption on my Entrepreneurship class… I’d look pretty bad!), I have the West Dunbartonshire Civic Pride Awards tomorrow, handed in my last piece of coursework and I got an amazing opportunity yesterday to appear on STV Glasgow’s Live At Five show!
 I don’t think words can describe how amazingly happy I am to have had such an amazing opportunity to talk about CrohnieClothing and the Provost Civic Awards and what’s coming next for CrohnieClothing. I’d like to thank everyone for their support through everything, especially Stuart since I wouldn’t even have the confidence to do any of this without him! … I don’t mean to brag but I definitely have the best boyfriend ever!

I also want to thank Lewis for having us see him play Roger in Grease, I can’t believe how talented you are!

I’d also like to thank Karen and Ryan for having us at their wedding reception, such a beautiful couple and I’m so glad I got to be part of it!

  
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me and win or lose I’m so happy to be in a category with such talented ladies and I wish them all the best!

I’ll post the link to Live At Five here Andy interview starts about 26ish minutes in! CLICK HERE FOR LIVE AT FIVE!

Hope you have a lovely sunny Thursday!

Jen x

T Shirts On The Way and A Trying Week!

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners!

As those of you who follow us on Facebook will know, we’ve just ordered our first run of Crohnie Tees and Lucky Coin Tees!  

   
As you all know the profits from these Crohnie tees will be used to fund our first collection of fashion for people with something to hide like scars/burns/ostomys and the profits from the Lucky Coin Tees will go into our savings account to go into the fund in Duncan’s name to get people earlier diagnoses for cancer through funding private testing when the NHS won’t fund it. Each T shirt costs £20 and are the softest t shirts we could find and they’re an amazing quality. If you have any pre order requests you can email me at jennifermcgregor93@live.co.uk with your size from x small to x large and we’ll arrange payment from there. These will sell out pretty fast due to demand and there being only 40 of each design so if you want your own within a month please get in touch so you don’t miss out!

So in more boring news I’m now just getting around to posting due to having even more health complaints, in all honesty I’ve hardly been out my bed in 3 days! I’ve got a suspected cyst on my ovary which could be making me feel this unwel alongside a really troublesome pain in my back which hasn’t been going away for weeks now. I’m thankfully getting tests done next week to confirm if I have a cyst or not and hopefully things will be on the up from there. On top of that I’ve had a slight fever the last two days which has finally broken and I feel like I’m no longer about to pass out when I stand up… It’s quite often I do get sick but when you get totally floored you forget how you can possibly feel this awful and it all always scare me since you never know if this sickness kick starts a flare up! It’s crazy because I went from looking okay on Monday afternoon like here…

  
To ending my night with my head in a bucket looking like this! 

  
It’s been one long tough week so far, let’s just hope it’s finally on the up and I can get well to go see my best friend Lewis McKenzie playing Roger in Grease! On Friday night at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow (seriously not one to be missed if you can get a ticket!) and then my cousin Karen and her new husband Ryan’s wedding party on Saturday! 

I think it’s safe to say I really need another night early in bed with Netflix and a cup of tea but hopefully I’ll be back to my regular self in a couple of days! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Jen X

A Lot To Deal With…

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

This last 10 days has been crazy, I’ve had way more appointments with doctors, nurses and even surgeons than I expected, there’s been procedures carried out, decisions to make and I’ve been brought back down to earth with a bang and realise just how tenuous my grasp is on keeping on this apparent even keel. 

 This is just some of the craziness from the last 10 days!
When you’re trying to live your life it is easy at times to forget you’re dealing with an illness just because you’ve grown so accustomed to being sick. It’s only when you get sat down and told to take it easy because you could make yourself worse it’s scary as you realise the repercussions of getting bad again could effect your entire life forever. 

So I had to take a few days out to get myself together and have some me time before I had possibly the most exciting meeting of my whole time in this process and I’m going to keep it a bit of a surprise for now but there are big things coming soon! 

As always I’m just sticking in at uni, almost at the end of the semester and I have some pretty important tests coming up this week so after Thursday I’m pretty much free for 2 weeks and hoping to have some new clothing on the website over that 2 week break! 

And I’ll add in a quick selection of some of the clothes I’ve wore this week… 

  

   
I’ve basically spent a lot of time in comfy clothes and trying to avoid leaks as often as possible and I’ve noticed it’s starting to pay off! Can I just quickly mention how amazing Primark pj’s are, they seriously wash amazingly after a leak and they’re so comfy. 
  
Lastly here’s a little update of my skin, being religious with my skincare routine has helped with my dermatitis so much, I think if I keep this up I might feel comfortable to use just a tinted moisturiser in Florida rather than basically plastering my face with a maximum coverage foundation like Estée Lauder Double Wear! 

I hope you all have a great Easter!

Jen x

Swimwear and Something To Hide! 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

Here’s a post I’ve been dying to do for a while now, especially since I’m nowhere near as thin as I was last year and I’m going on my first major holiday in 9 years in less than 3 months! 

I’m determined as you all know to look like everyone else and because of that I have strived to look normal and not like I have an ileostomy since it drives me crazy being judged by my illness. I know the stigma is getting less and less with thanks to people like the amazing Ladies who have gone viral in bikinis while flaunting their bags but with being self conscious about my weight and about being so bare I don’t think I’ll be confident enough to wear a bikini this year… that doesn’t mean I plan on wearing a frumpy swimsuit, I have my eye on better things…

  
This is my newest swimsuit, the Motel Sunny Day Halterneck Swimsuit with Plunge Front (ON SALE! £12 from £40) from Asos. I absolutely love this swimsuit, it is definitely a statement one that’s for sure, it has black and white stripes which I feel really comfortable in as there’s so much going on there’s no way you’d notice my bag or the many scars I have all over! The plunge neck is so on trend and it’s something I love and is going to be a feature a lot in my blogs about Summer clothing! 

  
Secondly here is the MALTA BOUTIQUE LACE UP FRONT AND SIDE SWIMSUIT from Boohoo (£20) I’ve been coveting this for a while I wont lie, I love that it has such a bold print that reminds me of a pink and turquoise peacock! I love that it looks like it is quite open whereas it is actually really covered up since you can adjust the lace up parts and just gives the illusion of showing skin! 

  
Last but not least here is the Plunge Scallop Swimsuit from Topshop (£36) which is made with polyamide which gives the swimsuit a lovely texture that’s really flattering and as always black is very slimming. The top is another halter neck tie which means it is adjustable and very easy to give you a perfect fit on top. Plus the scalloped edging around the bust makes this much less revealing and gives the swimsuit a very cute girly feel. 

I for one can’t wait to get into my swimsuit now as it makes me feel less self conscious about my bag due to hiding it very well. I will no doubt buy a high waisted bikini before I depart but the high waisted bottoms I tried on last summer were quite restrictive and led to my bag peeling off underneath when I moved around too much or went in a pool. I am very excited at hopefully having the confidence to sit by the pool and not cover up under a towel like I did when I went to the swimming after I first got my bag. 

Swimming is a great form of rehabilitation and I am very hopeful that now being comfortable I will be able to get back to enjoying it and hopefully building my strength up which I haven’t really recovered since I got unwell 10 years ago! 

I hope you have a fab Tuesday!

Jen x

How To Hide Bad Skin! 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

As many of you know with certain medicines come some pretty annoying side effects, my current ones include extremely dry and sore skin all over my body which due to the cold weather has left my face cracked and bleeding the last few weeks! Now I’m the first person to admit I have (had… if I keep up my new routine) an awful habit of leaving my make up on before bed and literally washing my face with soap and water and generally not taking care of it at all. This used to be okay before I developed really bad dermatitis but since it’s spread to my face I can’t hide it with some high waisted jeans like I can on my tummy! 

  
This is my face without any kind of make up (horrendous I know, apologies for anyone in the middle of eating breakfast) it’s so sore and the red parts you see aren’t actually spots so much as patches of dermatitis. 

  These products are here to help me get rid of this awful skin irritation and I have been religious with it the last week and I can already notice that the visible dry patches are slightly improving. Firstly I clean my face each morning with the Skin System Tea Tree Facial Scrub from Asda (£2) this is just put on in the shower and I let it stay on my skin for a couple of minutes before I rinse it off. Once I get out the shower and before I do my make up I use the Simple Cleansing Water from Superdrug (£3.59) I apply this onto a soft towel/cosmetic pads and let it dry before I pop on the Simple Toning Water also from Superdrug (£3.59) and use cosmetics pads to apply this. Once I’ve done these 3 steps my face feels amazingly dry skin free but unless I do my final step it gets really dried out. I have to use an intensive moisturiser that I got from my GP which is called Zerobase and it is great, not too thick but deeply moisturising and I’ve added in some Lotriderm steroid cream to try and kick start the process of getting rid of the dermatitis. It’s only been 1 week since my first photo but now my skin looks like it’s on the mend…

  
This seems like a lot but really is an extra 5/10 minutes each day and it’s 5 minutes at night just to use the cleanser, toner and moisturiser mix again to remove my make up. 

I know that with having such painful skin and trying to be watching the pennies I have tried to find a good budget foundation and I’ve failed miserably. My one and only foundation love is Estée Lauder Double Wear in Cool Bone (£30) this is expensive but really is the only foundation which has the maximum coverage I need to completely hide my awful skin underneath. 

  
This was applied all over my face and neck with a foundation brush then blended in with a sponge to get rid of any little lines left from the brush and ended up looking like this…

  
I then added some collection 2000 blusher in #2 Bashful (£1.99) to add a hint of colour in the right places.

 
This is how I looked with a touch of colour to my cheeks.

  

Next I added a little Good to Glow highlighter, Rimmel (4.99) to my cheekbones, the top of my nose and my cupids bow

   

Next I did my eyebrows, these are basically filled in with the eyeshadow Whiskey (third from the right on the palate below) from the Urban Decay Smoky Palatte (£40) applied with an angled eyeliner make up brush.

  

Then I added to my eyes from the UD Smoky Palatte again with High (first on the left in the Palatte below) all over my eyelids, Dirtysweet (second to the left) over the crease and High as a liner (third to the right). 

 
This was the outcome… 
 

I finally added a coat of Rimmel 100% Waterproof mascara, Superdrug (£3.99) which is one of the only mascaras that doesn’t irritate my eyes! 

  

And this was my final look after I was all done and had took my hair down…

  

I have to say that my number 1 tip from the last few weeks is buying a bottle that can be used to carry water/diluting juice so I drink at least 3 litres of water each day since so much comes out my stoma and I’ve been really dehydrated recently. It has even helped with my weight gain in reducing the bloating from drinking fizzy drinks and sugary fruit juice from concentrate alongside hugely reducing my calorie intake since I used to drink a LOT of my calories. 

I’d like to recommend my sister in law Caroline McGregor’s blog which has helped me immensely with eating better, and knowing how to get the best from your body and making sure you put the best stuff into it, I’ve only just realised how important that is and it’s all thanks to Cazzy! You can find her inspirational blog HERE!

Happy Sunday everyone! 

Jen x
  

Another Casual Outfit and Day 7 of Healthy Eating

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

Thought I’d do a quick update on what I wear to uni these days, since I’ve been saving for Florida and now trying to lose weight I’m doing my best to avoid clothes however I am preparing to do a blog about swimsuits with an ileostomy in the next few days! 

In the meantime I’ve just been plodding on with uni and trying to source Crohnie and Lucky Coin tees, it’s proving difficult trying to find the balance between quality and an affordable price, it’s why the clothing line is taking a while to come along, I feel like I’m constantly trawling wholesalers and fabric stores trying to find the right outfits at a good price including any alterations people need!

Today I’m basically wearing black on black with a tartan shirt.  

 
I’m wearing a lace black skirt I actually got for free since its been made from a dress I bought when I was 12! The lace makes the skirt super flowy and that hides my bag even when I’m sitting in class and trying not to leak. Im SO excited to wear this in Florida with a super cute strappy bralet and some sandals.

  
I just shoved on a black Cani top which is starting to get comfier now I’m losing weight which is great and of course my green checked shirt because let’s face it, it’s my favourite item of clothing ever! 

Moving on from the clothing I want to tell you all a bit about my healthy eating, I’ve had to try reeeeeeally hard to persevere with the leaks and pain as I’ve tried to eat foods harder to digest such as rivita and fruit. I’ve leaked a lot more than usual due to this and having food that can come out whole. Unexpectedly I never realised that upping my intake of fruit and veg would make things a lot more acidic so as of last night I’m now back on antibiotics (boo!). On the plus side I am already starting to notice little changes in my body, my tummy is less bloated due to not drinking much fizzy juice, my skin which is terrible is starting to be less broken out in spots and my clothes are more comfortable since I’ve lost between 3 and 4 pounds! 

I’m off to actually do something with my day (probably just sitting around as usual) and I’ll speak to you all soon! 

Jen x

Weight Gain and Crohn’s Disease 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mums grannies and special ladies and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

I’m here today to talk about a rather embarrassing subject I’ve been feeling awkward about posting but it’s something I plan on documenting here over the next few months… I’m very self conscious about my weight and I plan on changing that.

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I’m under no illusions I’m not a huge size but with my bag causing problems with sticking, a lot of that is due to my weight gain making my tummy not flat and making the area it gets stuck to a bit uneven. 

Also with going to Florida in a few months I’m also terrified that being heavier will make my depression worse as let’s face it there is no way to hide your extra weight in hardly any clothes. (Shorts and t shirts have nowhere to hide!). 

So as of yesterday I am on a health kick which is rather hard when basically all healthy foods cause either a blockage or lead to a pretty huge leak. 

In the meantime I’ve been buying clothes that hide the bits I’m uncomfortable with and I got this really nice too from new look (£13.99) and is so soft and comfy plus hides a multitudes of sins and a huge bag to boot!   

 
I teamed this outfit with black high waisted jeans which I wear constantly and black Chelsea boots for a casual day outfit and topped it off with my leather jacket with a fur collar. I do apologise for the picture quality up to this point but I only got my new phone yesterday afternoon!

  

An Unexpected Surprise And How Lonely it Can be Living With An Invisible Illness. 

Hey Crohnies and Lucky Coiners,

I have to say I had a bit of a shock yesterday morning when I opened my mail to this…  

 

I have been shortlisted for the Provist Civic Awards as Arts and Culture Champion 2016! It was a huge shock because I didn’t even know i had been nominated. 

I’m excited to have something to look forward to, but it’s also bittersweet because I’ve been allocated 4 tickets for family so Stuart, my mum and my dad are coming but I’ve decided to keep my last ticket spare as it would have been Duncan’s. I certainly wouldn’t be in this position without him and with it being 6 months now since he passed it really just gets harder to not talk to him in person about things I used to take for granted. I never knew it was possible to feel so lost without someone, it’s not something you think about when you’re well but considering how we went everywhere together and he looked after me so much, I can’t believe every big milestone in my life like this awards ceremony he can’t be there and it is something that makes me so sad and so lonely since I don’t have him. It makes me think of the quote:

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” -A.A Milne

While I’m on the topic of loneliness I thought I’d do a bit of a post about how lonely and isolated you can feel when you live with an invisible illness. Due to the nature of them being so unpredictable (I went out for Stuart’s birthday yesterday to the science centre and leaked 4 times!) to now feeling done in today because we walked a lot more than I’m used to, I now have to have a lazy day because I’m fatigued and due to my Crohn’s and my skin round my stoma being all cut and sore again. 

Looking at me it’s very easy to forget I’m sick but I find a lot that apart from my very close group of friends (seriously I’m ridiculously lucky to have my best friends) and my immediate family that I either get told I’m “lazy” or they don’t want to be around me because a lot of the time I’m not exactly a ray of sunshine because I’m still depressed and I have awful anxiety that can give me panic attacks so severe I can be sick with being worked up. I get the impression off a lot of people that I’m a hindrance to them, this has been made to be more in the forefront of my mind recently when I consider how isolated I feel when I realise some of my friends and not so close family haven’t spoke to me for months when they used to before I got my surgery. 

I know from talking to many people with invisible illnesses that most of them feel at least slightly lonely and alienated from friends or family and this is something I plan on addressing through having this platform and through meeting a lot of influential people who can help change this perception but really this starts from you. If you feel like you’re not exactly there for a friend or family member who has some kind of illness then you should really try and change that. 

I totally understand that people have lives to lead and I wish I was one of them but I am really struggling especially when I am missing my best friend so much and with having to be at all those places which caused both him and I pain, like the hospital where he had his surgery and we were told Duncan was terminal. Every time I go there it’s like being taken back and the feelings I had at the time we found out about Duncan and even the terror I feel when I think about how seriously ill I was too after I had surgery and the sepsis started because let’s face it, survival rates with sepsis just aren’t that good. 

It’s not always so easy to emerce yourself in social situations when you’ve got an invisible illness, not just IBD or Crohn’s because you struggle to get out of bed some days or you might have to cancel on meeting people but that is not your fault and you are not alone. You’re still going on every day with something that most healthy people cannot even comprehend so I just want you to know that sometimes…

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.”” -M. A. Radmacher

 

Jen x