Monday, 24 April 2017

Tea Tourist Subscription Review*

If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow me on social media, then you will probably know that I’m a little bit obsessed with tea (OK, probably more than a little bit!) So when the lovely people at Tea Tourist tweeted me and asked if I would like to try out their tea subscription box, of course I jumped at the chance!

My box arrived at just the right time, while I was recovering from my operation. I was feeling pretty miserable to be honest, as I was dealing with some complications and just felt really tired and sore. And what better way to make me feel better than trying some new teas. I pretty much live on tea, and have a huge box full of the stuff, so it’s always nice to find new flavours and brands to try out. The Tea Tourist’s promise that every month they will work their socks off to bring us teas we’ve never tried from tea companies we’ve never heard of, and they sure did that in this March box!

Inside each box you will find six sachets of tea, each from a different brand and in an exciting flavour. Each sachet gives you enough tea to make around three to four cups, which is the perfect number for trying out something new. There was a real mix of flavours and ingredients in my box, from boozy brandy and comforting chai, to creamy chocolate and tantalising turmeric – I couldn’t wait to get stuck in! The box is thin enough to fit through a standard letterbox, which is always great because who wants to get that red card of doom from the postman?!

Each tea sachet is attached to a card. One side gives you instructions on how long you should brew the tea for, at what temperature and how many spoonful’s you need per cup. There is also a tea profile, telling you whether the tea contains caffeine, where it originates from and when you should drink it, and there’s also space for you to rate the tea so you can remember your favourites. On the other side it tells you a bit more information about the tea, the ingredients, allergy information and some details about the tea company. I found it so interesting learning about six new tea companies and understanding the heritage of the brew I was drinking.

I was really excited to try the teas in this month’s box. The Honey Lemon Morning Blend from Teagime has been perfect while I’ve been trying to fight off this throat infection/cold virus/lurgy thing! It really helped to soothe my throat and made me feel all warm and snuggly. Turmeric Root Chai from Chai Kai Tea Co. is also something I think will really benefit me, as turmeric is known to be good for reducing inflammation, so I’m hoping it will help with reducing my pain levels a bit. And the Chocolate Orange from Nelson & Norfolk Tea Co. well, where do I start? Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite combinations, so to have it in tea form is literally like heaven in a cup!

If this has tempted you into picking up a box (or three!) you can either buy a past box for £15 including delivery (UK only), sign up for a rolling monthly subscription or pre-pay for three or six months from £12 per month. With the rolling subscriptions you are also able to stop or snooze whenever you want, with no tie-ins, which I think is great because it allows you flexibility depending on your circumstances. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a subscription that you can’t get out of! Boxes are shipped around the 20th of each month, which should give you something to look forward to as the month goes on. And to make it even better, if you join today you can get 10% off your first box by using the code FIRST10 at the checkout.

As you can probably work out, I’m really impressed with this Tea Tourist service! I love the fact that each tea you get is from a different brand, as it gives you the opportunity to discover loads of new tea companies that you can then investigate even more. And I think adding in the brewing instructions and information about each tea and company really gives it a personalised feel, as well as helping you feel more connected to the people who produced the brew you are drinking.

What do you think of the Tea Tourist subscription service? Is it something that appeals to you? Are there any other subscriptions you would recommend I try out?

*This subscription box was kindly sent to me by Tea Tourist to review. However, all opinions are my own and I only ever talk about things on my blog that I truly believe in.
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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday Snippets - 23rd April 2017

The last week has been pretty hard to be honest. I’ve continued to get more unwell with this virus/infection and have struggled to do even the little things. I have a lot of university work to do, with deadlines fast approaching, so have been getting a bit stressed out because I haven’t been well enough to do as much as I would have liked. And I’m also feeling a bit down about my blog and YouTube channel at the moment. I have so many ideas of content I would like to create, but being more unwell has meant I’ve just had to get out little bits here and there, which isn’t what I want to do. I’m just hoping I can start feeling better soon, get my university work sorted and can then spend some more time and energy on my blog and YouTube videos. I hope you will all understand and can put up with me while I try and get myself sorted out!

Last Sunday I felt really poorly when I woke up, but decided to go to church with my Mum, Dad and Bekkah. We met Richard and Lisa there – it was a lovely service and the music was really good, but I felt really unwell by the end. When we got back I sorted out my medication for the week ahead, and then wrote and uploaded my Sunday blog post. In the afternoon I filmed myself opening a bit of post including this awesome Secret Spring Santa parcel from a swap I did. How cute is the Nutmeg and Arlo otter card! I then watched Despicable Me 2 and did some bits on my laptop for the local mental health group that I run. In the evening I started feeling really sick. I feel sick most of the time, but that evening it got really bad.

I’m loving the fact it’s tulip season. They are one of my favourite flowers – they’re just so happy!

I won Bryony Gordon’s book ‘Mad Girl’ in a Twitter competition and am so excited to read it!

Sunday night was pretty awful – I felt so sick and kept retching, was clamming and my heart was racing. I kept waking up feeling like the room was spinning. The joys of having gastroparesis! I felt a bit less sick when I woke up on Monday, but still not great. I decided to go to Redfields Garden Centre with my Mum, which was possibly not the best move, but I did buy some pots that I can plant some seeds in. I rested when I got home because I felt awful. These two were sitting on the other sofa – they pretend not to like each other, but secretly love each other! I watched a bit of TV and did some Uni work. I then started writing a packing list for when I go to Stanmore. In the evening my Mum, Dad, David, Rosiie, Callum and I went round to Richard and Lisa’s for drinks and nibbles, which was really nice. I was feeling really unwell after a while, so we came home. I also seemed to be losing my voice.

I curled up on the sofa on Tuesday morning feeling pretty ill, watched TV and ordered some cards for May. I also dozed a bit because I felt shattered. At around lunchtime, my Dad drove me over to Farnham Road Hospital in Guildford for my Psychotherapy assessment. I spent an hour and a half with the lady, which was really difficult for someone with no voice! We somehow managed to go through a lot of my past history and also how I’m feeling now, which was pretty tough going. I’ve got to go back in a couple of weeks to continue with the assessment. When we got home I went in the garden for a few minutes to look at some of our flowers. Our little crabapple tress is blossoming and it looks so pretty. A man came to fix a couple of problems with my electric wheelchair, so fingers crossed it will now be a bit easier to use. I had absolutely no voice by the end of the day, which hasn’t happened since I was at secondary school. I was also finding it really hard to breathe.

I felt pretty fed up on Wednesday to be honest. I woke up still feeling really unwell and still didn’t have any voice, which was incredibly frustrating (especially when you’re a chatterbox like me!) I spent most of the morning watching This Morning and then falling asleep on the sofa. It wasn’t what I had planned, as I have so much Uni work to do. In the afternoon I was meant to be going to visit my friend Vikki, who set up Postpals but I just wasn’t well enough so had to cancel. I was then going to go to Pets at Home with my Mum, but decided it was going to be too much. So I spent some time doing a bit of Uni work, but not as much as I needed to do. My Mum did take me down to Waitrose so I could get a couple of bits for when my friend came round the following day, but it completely wiped me out. The best part of the day was opening this letter from my friend Suzie – I love the Disney TsumTsum stickers she used on it!

This postcard definitely describes how I’ve felt this week! Sass and Belle have got it spot on!

I got up later than I’d planned on Thursday and felt pretty terrible. Bekkah helped me to set up a little Easter Egg hunt in the garden, and then my friend Charlie arrived with her children, Izzi and Joe. We went straight out in the back garden and Izzi and Joe went searching for eggs, which they seemed to enjoy. It started to rain just as we were finishing, so that was lucky! We all came inside and Charlie presented me with a huge pile of these Haribo Rhubarb and Custard Splats because I haven’t been able to find any anywhere recently, and a Disney TsumTsum from their trip to Disneyland Paris to add to my collection, which was so sweet of her. We did some arts and crafts with the children and then had an indoor picnic for lunch. In the afternoon we chilled out and watched Tangled – definitely one of my favourites. Charlie, Izzi and Joe left at about 3pm and unfortunately I was feeling pretty poorly with a terrible headache. So I curled up on the sofa, watched a bit of TV and then fell asleep for a few hours. Since having this infection my taste seems to have completely disappeared and I’ve been feeling so sick. I kept my fingers crossed on Thursday night that my GP would be able to work out what was wrong and give me something to make it better when I saw her the next day.

I had an awful night on Thursday night, with really strange dreams, sweats and dizziness. I had to get up quite early on Friday and managed to get downstairs, but kept feeling like I was going to faint so ended up wrapped round the loo. Eventually I managed to get a bit of porridge down me, which seemed to help a bit. My Mum took me down to see my GP – my chest sounded clear but she was concerned that I’ve been ill for so long (this has been going on since February) and have such a nasty cough, so she prescribed antibiotics in the hope they will help. I came home and dozed on the sofa for a while. My friend Katrina came over – we were meant to be going out for brunch but I didn’t feel well enough, so we stayed at mine and chatted (as much as we could with me having no voice!) We also booked a mini hen do, as I’m not able to go to her proper one. After Katrina had gone, I had a bit of lunch and watched TV. I managed to do a bit of Uni work and dozed a bit – I haven’t been able to stay awake for very long recently. I was struggling a lot with nausea and have been finding eating even more difficult that usual, so have been trying to sip one of these Innocent smoothies to try and get some vitamins inside me.

I had a better night on Friday night and managed to have a lie-in on Saturday morning as well, which I definitely needed. I took things pretty slowly when I got up, just watching The Simpsons and Come Dine With Me. I then fell asleep on the sofa for quite a while. In the afternoon I did some work on my dissertation proposal, but kept falling asleep. I popped down to the chemist with my Mum to speak to the pharmacist about getting some cough medicine, so I’m hoping it might help a bit. The lovely people at Tea Tourist sent me another one of their awesome boxes to try. It seriously brightened my day, especially considering I’m living on tea at the moment to try and soothe my poorly throat.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

If you don’t already, please give me a follow on Bloglovin here - I would love to reach 800 followers and we’re so nearly there! I do have a little giveaway planned for when I get there!

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sunday Snippets - 16th April 2017

Happy Easter! I hope you’re all having a lovely day and enjoying lots of yummy chocolate! The last week has been pretty up and down. My parents were away for part of it, and while I am so happy that they managed to get away for a break together, I found it hard not having them around. I have also come down with yet another cold/virus thing (seriously, what is going on with my immune system?!) so finding the energy to do anything hasn’t been easy. But it’s been nice to have some time off Uni and to see a few friends and family.

Last Sunday I managed to have a lie-in, which I didn’t expect Jaffa to allow me to have, as I thought he would be pestering me for food! Richard and Lisa came round to collect the bunnies, so I said goodbye to them. I then wrote my Sunday blog post and watched The Simpsons. In the afternoon I ordered my last couple of Easter gifts and then worked on my dissertation proposal. Bekkah and I also watched all three episodes of The Replacement, which was really good. I popped out in the car to post a letter, then filmed myself opening some post for a YouTube video. Alfie decided to help me and looked so cute.

My bleeding heart has started to flower again. It’s one of my favourite plants in our garden and always makes me smile. Considering when it arrived after buying it online we thought it was dead, I can’t believe how huge it’s got!

I’m really loving this month’s Pink Parcel box. It’s such an awesome idea to make that crappy time of the month a little nicer, and I love the little treats you get! I can’t wait to try everything, especially the tiny pudding in a jar.

I put together an Easter basket for my friend, Sarah’s, baby, Charlie, on Monday morning, and also wrapped up Sarah’s Easter gifts. Bekkah and I then went down to Waitrose to get some pudding for the following evening, as we were going round to Richard and Lisa’s. I spent the rest of the morning editing and uploading a YouTube video. I then had lunch and relaxed on the sofa for a bit, whilst doing some work on my dissertation proposal. When Sarah was free, I went over the road to see her. We chatted for a while, played with Charlie, he opened his basket and then I fed him his dinner, which was fun, as his new favourite game is blowing raspberries! So we ended up with food everywhere! When I got home I was feeling exhausted, so crashed out on the sofa.

The April Crown and Glory Glitterati box is full of all things floral and is so pretty.

The Pain Clinic rang me on Tuesday morning and asked if I could get there any earlier than my appointment time, as my doctor was running ahead of schedule! I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to come early before – usually most doctors I see are running late. So Richard came and picked me up and drove me over to Aldershot Centre for Health. I saw my Pain Consultant and he examined me. He wasn’t concerned about the numbness I have from the procedure. The nerves that they stunned are linked to the arms, so he said the procedure can cause side effects down your arms – mine just seem to have been particularly bad. But as the numbness is gradually improving he’s happy that it should continue to get better over the next few weeks, so that was reassuring. Richard dropped me back at home, and then Bekkah and I popped to Waitrose to get a few bits we’d forgotten to pick up on Monday. I’d had a really bad headache since I woke up, so ended up falling asleep on the sofa when we got home. I spent the afternoon working on my dissertation proposal, which really didn’t help with my headache or my stress levels! We all went over to Richard and Lisa’s in the evening for dinner and I gave them their housewarming card and present from Sass and Belle (plus some flowers to go in the jug). All my siblings were there – we laughed a hell of a lot (so much that I ended up with a stitch!) and Lisa made us a lovely meal.

I’m seriously obsessed with this month’s Birchbox pairing with Boden - look at that gorgeous box!! And that £10 gift voucher means I’m going to have to treat myself to something…what a shame!

I was up really early on Wednesday morning, which wasn’t fun, as I didn’t sleep very well and had woken up with a sore throat, cold etc. I had counseling first thing, but struggled to concentrate because I felt so tired. When I got home I probably should have rested, but I wanted to get the house looking nice for when my Mum and Dad got home. So I hoovered the downstairs and made sure things were tidy. I then crashed out on the sofa absolutely shattered and read Sarah in Wonderland’s blogs about her Stanmore journey, as I go in for my three-week hospital stay next month. My friend, Becky, arrived at lunchtime and we had some lunch together. We then spent the afternoon chatting and watching Bridget Jones’ Baby (finally!!) and Beauty and the Beast. My Mum and Dad arrived back from their holiday in Malta late afternoon, and it was so nice to see them and have a hug. I was feeling really poorly in the evening, but thankfully I could rest a bit more now that my parents were home.

I got up on Thursday feeling really poorly with this horrible cold/virus thing. I went down to the Doctors in my electric wheelchair with my Dad. The nurse did my blood pressure lying and standing, and then did my ECG. It took ages because the machine didn’t seem to want to work properly, which always happens with me for some reason. Afterwards we popped into Waitrose so I could get some cash out of the ATM. When we got home I rested on the sofa and did a bit of Uni work. After lunch, my Mum took me round to my friend, Katy’s, and I had a massage, but I found it hard to relax because my nose kept running and I couldn’t breathe! We then went to Waitrose (again!) to do a fairly big shop, and I treated myself to some tulips. When we got home I did some more work on my dissertation proposal – it will be the death of me! I was feeling really rubbish, but this Easter arrangement I bought my Mum from Bunches really brightened the place up.

I got up a lot later than I’d planned on Friday morning, but I obviously needed the sleep. I took some photos of a tea subscription box I’m going to review on here and spent the rest of the morning editing a video for my YouTube channel. My Dad and I watched an episode of Vera while I had some lunch. I then did some work on my dissertation proposal (can you see a theme here?!) and caught up on my Uni emails. My mouth was full of ulcers and I felt so run down and exhausted. But Alfie wearing these bunny ears made me smile.

On Saturday I woke up still feeling pretty awful with this virus. My friend, Sam, popped in to drop something off, so it was nice to see her. I then sorted my video out to upload onto my YouTube channel – it’s a huge collective haul if you fancy checking it out. My Mum and I went down to Waitrose to get a few ingredients for dinner and baking. When we got home, she helped me back some Easter Crème Egg brownies and some Rice Krispie cakes. I felt absolutely exhausted by the time we’d finished, so curled up on the sofa, watched Billionaire Boy, as it was on TV, and ordered some prints from Printiki of David and Emma’s wedding. I’m hoping to make a scrapbook of photos from their wedding, and also Richard and Lisa’s wedding, so I have something to remember them by. In the evening Richard and Lisa came round for dinner, so it was nice to chat to them.

You can check out my YouTube channel here, where I have recently uploaded a few new videos (and hope to continue doing!)

I’m also trying to post on Snapchat a bit more, so if you fancy following me, my username is Jennycole44.

If you don’t already, please give me a follow on Bloglovin here - I would love to reach 800 followers and we’re so nearly there! I do have a little giveaway planned for when I get there!

What have you been up to this week? I always enjoy hearing about your news and adventures!

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