Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Self-Proclaimed Worst Patient Ever has a Hot Toddy

I'm a terrible patient.

Really terrible.  I'm not good at being unwell.  I end up frustrated and upset and generally just horrible to be around.

That's me right now.  Everyone around me had colds over Christmas and New Year and being that my birthday was coming up I tried everything I could to avoid catching it.

And I did.  Well, I avoided it for my birthday.  In fact I avoided it for my entire birthday week, it was my last birthday dinner (I catch up with lots of people separately) before I started to notice any symptoms.

On Saturday night after dinner I noticed my throat was very scratchy.  Initially I put it down to spending the evening talking constantly with a friend I hadn't seen for a while. Sunday morning was a different story.  Monday morning was the Sunday morning story turned into a horror story.

I exaggerate (a little bit), but I do have a really nasty cold.  Like a super-deluxe supreme cold. You know the one with all the "bonus" extras?  I have the runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, muscle aches, hot/cold/hot/cold temperature thing, sinus pain which is both painful in itself and causing me toothache, headache and a cough.  The cough is the part that wears me down the most, I can handle the rest of it.

I went into work yesterday, thinking that I would try and work through it because maybe it was worse first thing.  Nope.  Nu-uh.  I was way worse by lunchtime and by mid-afternoon I was going home to bed. Today is more of the same.  There was no way I could have gone into work this morning, besides the fact that I look and feel like death, I think I'm probably contagious.  Like a sprinkler system of germs (sexy, no?).

I've been taking all sorts of meds to try and ward off the symptoms, plus applying lip balm (Homeoplasmine is my current fave) like crazy because I'm a mouth-breather at the best of times, even more at the moment.

This morning, I resorted to desperate measures.  I put Tiger Balm on my feet and put socks on as I read somewhere that Vicks Vaporub on your feet is supposed to stop a cough and the Tiger Balm was the closest I had (it was -4C this morning so I wasn't about to go out and buy some).  I can tell you that Tiger Balm doesn't stop the cough, but I'm still open to trying Vicks at some point.  I've been taking Lemsip, Night Nurse, Buttercup Syrup, Strepsils and it just feels like nothing is working which probably means that without those things I'd be in an even worse state than I am now.

I even had a Hot Toddy this morning. At 9am. Turns out I don't like bourbon so much when it's not in a cocktail so I added quite a lot more honey than they suggested.  Not that I advocate booze at that time of the morning, but it definitely helped a little bit. I was still coughing, but I felt a little more relaxed.    There are tons of Hot Toddy recipes online, all varying and so I thought I would share how I made mine this morning.  I've included measurements in both spoons and millilitres, I used tablespoons because was lazy but I realise mls might be easier for some people.

GlossGalore's Hot Toddy for People Who Don't Like the Taste of Bourbon

4 Tbsp/60ml Bourbon (I used Jim Beam, you could use any Bourbon/Whiskey you have)
16 Tbsp/240ml  Hot Water (from the kettle, just off the boil)
2 Tbsp/30ml Clear Honey
1 Tsp/5ml Lemon Juice (I used the kind from a plastic lemon, but fresh is probably better)

1. Add the bourbon, honey and lemon juice to a mug and stir well
2. Add the hot water and mix well
3. Drink.  Don't plan on going anywhere and certainly don't drive.

I found that the ratio of Bourbon to Honey was just enough to take the edge off the taste of the bourbon and was extra soothing for my throat.

What are your tried and tested cold remedies?  Is there something you always rely on to help you feel better?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Learning Curve

Back when I very first started to blog, waaaaaay back when (it was 10 years ago - eek!), it was a different beast altogether.

My first couple of blogs - both now defunct - were journal style blogs, with a bit of everything included.  The written content was key and photographs were rarely included and if they were, there was no huge pressure for them to be fancy,  they were just there for quick illustrative purposes.

Now, especially as I've decided that this blog will be more lifestyle-y than diary-y, things are different.  I've had some posts drafted on a couple of products that I wanted to review but they haven't gone up yet because I can't get the pictures right.  I have everything from too light, too dark, over-exposed, under-exposed.  The works.

I don't want to half-ass this.  If I'm going to have a blog then it needs to be the best I can make it otherwise I'm doing myself, and my readers a disservice.

One of the problems I have is that my work hours mean that I leave home in the dark and get home in the dark, robbing me of any opportunity to take pictures in natural daylight.  Obviously a lot of bloggers have that problem this time of year, so thats not an excuse, but because I'm still figuring this whole thing out, I'd not yet factored in that I'm going to need to take pictures at the weekends when I'm home during daylight hours.

So really what I'm trying to say is, please stick with me.  I'm on a pretty steep learning curve at the moment but hopefully I will find my feet soon.  My plan is to get some pictures taken this weekend and some posts up starting early next week.

If anyone has any good photography hints or tips, or knows of any sites that do please leave me a comment.  I'm grateful for all the pointers I can get at this stage!

In the mean time, you can always find me on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube where my lack of "real" photography skills aren't so much of a problem!

Friday, 2 January 2015

One Word

Like so many people, I am positively awful at setting and sticking to new years resolutions.

I don't exactly love the whole concept because there's a part of my brain that thinks "Why do you have to wait until the first day of the year to implement something new?  Why not RIGHT NOW?"

I think our brains like the idea of starting a new thing at the beginning of a week or month so the idea of a New Years Resolution always seems really appealing.

I absolutely never stick to resolutions and last year I came across an idea that appeals so much more to me than a list of resolutions - One Word.

You can find out more about the idea here, but a brief summary is that rather than setting yourself a list of resolutions, you choose a single word to encapsulate what you want to achieve for the year.

Picking a single word is quite difficult, but I've had a few days to give it some thought and this year I'm going with:


I've chosen this particular word for one very specific reason.  I am a lazy person. Seriously lazy.  Not so much in my professional life, but in my personal life.  L-A-Z-Y.

I have a list of a million things to do, that would make my life and home environment better but when I get home from work, sitting in front of the TV watching YouTube videos seems infinitely more appealing.

What I've realised is that I'm wasting my life.  Stagnating.  Not living.  Just existing.  It's such a waste and it can't carry on.

I don't necessarily mean that I'm going to start going to the gym 5 days a week, but I'm actually going to take action in my life to get things done instead of sitting around and then semi-bitching that my life isn't where I want it to be.  Of course it's not, I'm not taking the steps to get it there!

Have you set any resolutions, or a word for the year?  If you have, let me know in the comments.  I'd love to hear.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Happy New Year!  You can insert the sound of one of those party horn/whistle things here.

Go ahead.. imagine some streamers.  Maybe some confetti.  And pretend I'm typing this whilst in a party dress with impeccable hair (the wave stayed) and makeup (the glitter is staying on my eyes where it should be).   Whatever you do, don't imagine me in my PJs sitting at my desk, contemplating what box set to watch now that I've finished season one of Brooklyn Nine Nine (binge-watched in 24 hours, thats how much I liked it) and Netflix doesn't have season two yet.

I don't know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to start a blog.  I've blogged before in my time, but those have been long deleted.  Currently, I have a YouTube channel.  I tweet.  I Instagram. Sometimes, I even podcast.

But the blog thing... I never seem to be happy with it.  So I'm trying again in 2015.

Mostly I'll be trying not to compare myself to others (I have terrible blog envy and the blogs I envy love will before long be listed in the blogroll above).  I'll be writing my thoughts, experiences and all that jazz.  Probably not a lot of jazz, actually.  I just didn't want to say "stuff" because it feels like such a lazy word and I was trying to avoid being a lazy blogger.  Am I overthinking this already?  I am aren't I?

Okay.  I'll finish this post here.  First posts are always so awkward. Thanks for reading, hopefully you'll stop by again (please?!).

I have no idea what 2015 has in store for me, but I'm excited to see whats coming up.

More concise blog posts, hopefully.