Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sunday Snippets - 30th April 2017

It’s been a better week thankfully, as the antibiotics seemed to help and I’m now recovering from the infection. I’ve still got a nasty cough and a bit of a sore throat, but I feel better than I was, which is the main thing. I’ve been working hard on my university assignments, and managed to get one submitted this week. I’ve still got quite a bit to get done over the next couple of weeks, and am feeling rather stressed out, but I’m doing my best to do as much as I can physically managed. I can’t quite believe I’ve only got two weeks left of my second year at Uni. Where is the time going?!

I got up ridiculously late last Sunday morning (like 11am – whoops!), which I really hadn’t planned. I was just hoping that sleeping was helping me to get better. I sorted out my medication for the week ahead and then started doing some blogging. David and Emma came round so I chatted to them for a while. Once they’d left, I had my Fortisip and finished my blogging. For the rest of the afternoon I watched some TV and spent a while working on my dissertation proposal. This book by Emma Hatcher, who created ‘She Can’t Eat What?!’ arrived in the post (I know, post on a Sunday!) and I’m really excited to look through it. I’ve really struggled to find any decent recipe books for the low FODMAP diet (I’m on a similar diet but a bit more strict, although I’m pretty crap at sticking to it sometimes!) so it will be good to see what’s inside. Richard and Lisa came over for dinner, so it was nice to chat to them.

I spent Monday morning editing some photos and then writing and uploading a blog post, which was nice because all I’ve managed recently is my Sunday posts. I also had a flick through my Uni handbooks to check exactly what I need to hand in over the next few weeks. My afternoon was mostly spent working on my dissertation proposal. I was finally starting to feel like the end was in sight, which was good considering it was due in on Friday! This little chap kept me company for most of the afternoon – he’s such a cutie (even if he does climb all over me). When I got bored of doing that, I filmed myself opening some post because my voice was finally coming back!

I had to be up fairly early on Tuesday morning, as I’d decided to try going into Uni. My Mum drove me over and we met up with my support worker, who took me up to the classroom. Our lecturer went through some guidance on what to write for our reflective commentary, which we have to submit with our long form piece. It didn’t last as long as I thought it would, so I spent some time on my dissertation proposal. I was almost finished!! I then met up with my mentor to check in on how things were going. My Dad came to pick me up and we drove over to The University of Surrey in Guildford. We went to the canteen first to have a bit of lunch, and then headed down to the archives. The lady there showed us some letters that E.H.Shepard and his wife wrote to each other during the war and we chatted to her a lot about old letters in general too, so hopefully that will help with my article. This fish on a bicycle is outside the archives and it made me smile. I’m not sure what this statue represents, but I found a saying “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” which I rather like!

I was up early on Wednesday for my counseling session, which was helpful. I can’t see her again now until June because I’ve got a News Week at Uni and am then going into Stanmore for three weeks. My Mum picked me up and brought me home. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I had so much to do. I spent the morning editing a video and uploading it to my YouTube channel. I then watched a bit of TV with my Dad (Paul O’Grady in India, which was lovely). After a bit of a break, I finished writing my dissertation proposal and submitted it, which felt so good! I then did quite a lot of work towards my narrative article. At the moment I have no idea how I’m going to get it done on time. I felt really sick by the time the evening came round, and was struggling a lot with acid reflux. But I found Alfie on the little sofa in our back room – he was spread out over the whole sofa fast asleep and looked so cute (but I managed to wake him up trying to get a picture!)

I had to be up super early on Thursday morning so my Dad could take me over to Frimley Park Hospital. I had an appointment with my physio and she did some more acupuncture with me. When we got home I rested for a while and watched This Morning. My Mum then took me down to the hairdressers, where I had a treatment and hair cut. I came home, watched some lunchtime TV and wrote my cards for May, including this cute hedgehog one. After lunch, I popped to Waitrose with my Mum to get some ingredients for dinner. I did a bit more Uni work on my laptop when we got home, and then dozed a bit because I felt so tired. My Dad helped me cook some dinner, as I had a recipe idea I wanted to try out.

This is the dinner I made with my Dad – I’m rather impressed if I do say so myself! It’s based on a halloumi burger that I had at Bill’s and because I love it so much I wanted to try and recreate it at home. There are a couple of little changes I would make if I cooked it again, but overall it was really tasty.

I was up early again on Friday morning, so I could go back over to Frimley Park Hospital. This time it was to see my Urologist. He was running about half an hour late, which wasn’t too bad in the scheme of things. I told him how I’ve been since I had the Botox and, because it hasn’t really made much difference, he’s going to refer me to a specialist in London to discuss the possibility of having a bladder nerve stimulation device implanted in my spine. I came home feeling absolutely exhausted and fell asleep on the sofa for ages. I didn’t wake up until about 2pm – oops! Once I’d woken up a bit, I had my Fortisip and watched some TV. My afternoon was spent doing work toward my university narrative article. Bekkah brought her goddaughter, Trinity, over so I got to have a baby cuddle with her, which was nice. In the evening, my Dad and I went to the Beefeater for dinner, as I was kindly invited to review it on my blog. There will be a full post up soon, but here’s a sneak peek of the seriously yummy lemon gin and tonic trifle I had.

My Saturday didn’t get off to a great start, as I was so exhausted when I woke up. My Mum and I went to Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke for their fashion event. We watched the first catwalk and then chatted to a lady from Clarins who tried out some make-up on me. We then headed off to Primark - I was looking for some exercise leggings and a rucksack to take to Stanmore, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. We also popped into Boots and Superdrug, so I could have a look at the make-up. I treated my Mum to lunch at CafĂ© Giardino, which was very nice. We then watched another catwalk and chatted to some girls from The Body Shop, so I now want to buy everything in the shop! After looking round a few more shops we made our way home. I had such a bad headache and felt so tired, but really wanted to see my friend Sarah. So I popped across the road to see her and baby Charlie. We played with Charlie for a bit and then I helped Sarah get him ready for bed, while we had a good chat.

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!

post signature

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.
post signature

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!

post signature