A Little Life Update and a pouring of thoughts…..

Hi Guys, I thought i’d do a little catch up on here. I haven’t done much of this type of blog for a long time. After Covid hit- I tried to hide all emotions because everything seemed mundane to the bigger badder Pandemic waiting outside our front door.

This is not to say I struggled, because I really don’t think I did. Yes their were days I struggled, but overall, the Lock down was a blessing to my life.

Is it ok for me to say I have anxiety, anxiety of going back to the ‘old’ normal…… Read more on www.acupofme.blog

Productive Week. How to Set Yourself Up. My Tips…

In all fairness I don’t think I am the best person for this…. I really am not.

I live off adrenaline, panic, overwork myself, get anxiety, forget everything and then get Ill after a productive day of running around, crying in between errands, and….. getting everything done.

My superpower is I get things done at the expense of my own health and body.

With age and hormones the anxiety and the crying are more trife then ever. I can no longer be that person- I need a clear brain, I need extra time, I need organisation and I need planning……. And more than ever, I need to organise a way to set myself up for a productive week…… Click here for more…

https://acupofme.blog/productive-week-how-to-set-yourself-up-my-tips/

Istanbul Diaries, Day Two: Covid, Hagia Sophia, Eminunu, Eyup, Taksim Square

Our first productive full day in Istanbul, and boy were we excited. Lock-Down made us feel like we had to make the most out of this trip especially with talks of a second lockdown happening at anytime soon…… (these talks are still going on)

So first thing we do….. well Breakfast. Of course……but not as we know it.

Breakfast is served in a cosy little room but once again, Covid! Oh Covid. What do we do with you?! There is no buffet, we were asked what we would like and it gets put onto our table. Yup breakfast is turning out to be my worst meal of the day now.

The views from the Terrace is nice though- with views of the Hagia Sophia its actually breath taking, especially early morning in the cool fresh air. (If you missed it here’s my review of The Great Fortune Hotel and Spa.)

The Terrace at Great Fortune Hotel and Spa
View from the Terrace.

…….and so we headed off- with just tea, a few chunks of cake and watermelon for breakfast in our bellies and a mask covering our faces to the Grandeur that is Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia

We were planning to go yesterday but when we saw the queues, we decided to leave it till today, Today we were ready to queue and much to my surprise we were in within 5 minutes. Social Distancing was being maintained outside and inside as best as it could. You would need to take a prayer mat with you, but if you do not have one, you will be provided with a disposable plastic sheet to pray on. Also covering of the body is a requirement, however once again if you are not suitably dressed there is a clothes bank where you can borrow some clothes to put on. And masks are mandatory inside and outside, So keep it with you at all times!

Once inside- the world stopped:

It is so breathtakingly big on entrance, and it has an eerie silence to it, although there were so many people inside, it left a dull murmer, but I could tell that a loud cry would definately echo off the walls. The darkness of the Fortress was kept alight with the natural light from the large windows and also the large chandelier in a warm glowy burnt orange adding majestic to the place.

I could actually imagine the cast of Ertugrul (netflix series) inside here waging deals and hosting dinner.

The Hagia Sophia is so stunningly beautiful inside, so grand and so much detail. At Almost 1500 years old, the beauty and the structure has been well maintained, and we can see the detail of the tiling, the mosaics and the beautiful stained glasses. It really is truly amazing to see how the roof so high up has been held together by the hundreds of columns. Masks are to be worn inside at all times. We made our prayers and then left with the intention to come back at prayer time so that we could pray with a congregation for any of the 5 prayers we could manage. It truly did take my breath away.

Buy an Istanbul Kart for Public Transport.

The next thing we did is to buy an Istanbul Kart (around € 1.50) with which you can travel by public transport. You can buy this card at any small kiosk on the streets. I would advise All of you to purchase one of these and use this to travel around. Travelling on the trams give you the experience and also its at a fraction of the price. The Card can be used on any public transport whether that be the trams, bus or boat. Although there are 4 of us, we only bought one card and topped up. All four of us used the same card. All forms of transport require a mask to be worn otherwise they will not let you in.

Eminunu

We used the card and the trams to get to Eminunu. Eminunu is a harbourside, and on one side you have the docks, and the boats. On the other side you have the buzzing Markets, the Spice Bazaar, and various different places to eat.

So why did we come here? urm …… Burgerillas….. you guys know Burgerillas? the most awesome Burger Place in Istanbul. EVER. We had this the last time we came and it is forever going to stay in our ‘To Do’ list for EVERY Istanbul visit. Having said that I recently noticed that they are opening a store in Knightsbride in London!!! I am sooooo excited!

Well we hyped this place up to the boys as it was their first visit, and it did not disappoint. At all. So much so that we actually came back again.

After Burgerillas we walked to the Spice Market. On entrance to the market, masks are put on and temperature is checked. It is here were I picked up some Apple Tea and Sumac. The Spice Market is what it says, a huge market full of vendors selling spices, fruits and Tea. Each vendor is identical to the other, and you just go through rows and rows of spicy and sweet smells, and it is the building once again that makes it an experience not to be missed.

The Spice Market

Eyup Sultan Mosque

From Eminunu we caught the number ’99’ Bus to Eyup once again using the Istanbul Kart card. Here we wanted to visit the Eyup Sultan Mosque. This mosque is Istanbul’s very first mosque and also holds the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, A fellow companion of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW). It is a area full of tourists and locals. Set on a forecourt with a fountain said to be flowing with sacred water and olive trees that have survived from the Ottoman era. It is so Picturesque. But also the environment is so different from Sultan Ahmet. There is a sense of calm and coolness that you can feel in the air.

I felt this same feeling on both times I have been here. The mosque once again is so grand and beautiful, the beautifully soft carpets, the low hanging chandeliers and the attention to detail on the mosaic tiles and high arch windows take your breath away. Unlike the Hagia sophia this is a very well lit Mosque and decorated with a lot of light. It was Originally built in 1458, but was reconstructed in 1800 due to damage by an earthquake, but it still holds its magic.

We offered our prayers inside the mosque and went to visit the Tomb. I did not take photos of the Tomb due to respect but it definitely not a place to be missed.

On exit we then made our way up the hill to the Cable cars sitting on Ayup. The cable cars take us further up the hills to a sweet Café ‘Pierre Loti’ where we can sit and watch the breath taking views of the city below whilst having a cup of traditional Turkish Tea. It is a breath taking view and not to be missed whilst here, especially because we can use the Istanbul Kart card once again and the cost of roughly under a £1 per person.

Cable Cars
View from Pierre Loti Cafe.

To get back to our hotel we used the Cable cars once again, and then used the Bitaksi app to catch a taxi back. Bitaksi is similar to an Uber. It roughly cost just under £4 to get back.

Taksim square

After having a bit of a late afternoon lie down we headed off again, this time to Taksim Square- now that we know about the ‘Bitaksi’ app, getting on trams and buses seemed a chore. We got to Taksim for just under £6.00, around a 25 minute drive. Taksim Square is a shopping, dining, nightlife busy area. It was pretty busy considering Covid, but at the same time, we had seen it busier on our last trip. This area holds the High Street and Designer shops to the likes of Zara and Lacoste. Honestly speaking we walked up and down Taksim Square, but didn’t really go into any of the shops. We have all this at home, so it didn’t seem worth going into. One thing we did go into though was McDonalds. I know we can find a McDonalds at home too, but its not halal- so this has to be the highlight of our day…….. but and wait for this…… Mcdonalds had run out of food! yes. I will say it again. McDonalds in Taksim Square did not have any food. Not only were we annoyed but we could not stop laughing. Never heard of that before. Right? (Hey McDonalds. Sort your act out!) I am still in disbelief today.

We did find another McDonalds- but it was in an amusement arcade, so seating wise it was not the best of places, but we got our McDonalds fix and it was worth it too.

Hasan Pasa Konagi

And last up- Our night Cap. It can only be one place…. This absolute heaven of a place sits further down from the Grand Bazaar and you can get to it from the trams, we preferred to walk it down. We needed to shift the Burgerillas and McDonalds.

This is ‘OUR’ Place as my hubby calls it. We ended our night with shisha and desserts out in the open, and then walked it back up to our hotel, a good 40 minute walk. And hit the bed within seconds, ready for the next day.

And that ends Day 2 in Istanbul.

If you missed Day 1, click here.

More to come on Day 3….

Love and Regards.

M11bna

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Istanbul Diaries. Day One: Covid, Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque

After the long haul of the flight with the mask over our face for 4 straight hours, We landed at Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Turkey. But yet the mask had to stay on for a little longer. I had a little breather where I dropped my mask took a deep breath and then stuck it back on, and then resumed my journey. In Turkey masks are mandatory and worn by everyone. The Airport was empty once again, and the whole arrivals process was quick…. so quick that we ended up sitting down for half hour before our luggage started coming through on the turning belts….(That has never happened before!)

We landed mid day at 5’oclock, so the evening belonged to us. With the flight being only 4 hours and the overnight stay we were not as tired as we usually are after a flight and decided straight after checking in to our hotel we will start exploring.

The Hotel.

The Great Fortune Spa and Hotel.

Right where do I start with this one….. Claiming to be a 4* hotel near SultanAhmet Square, it ticked the boxes we needed for what we were after and also fit the budget with a little extra to spend! So Bonus and Bonus….. that is until we got there…..

On arrival, we were a bit dubious as the reception area had no real reception- it was just a long….. urm reception area. Nothing else, nothing to lounge on, or anywhere to sit and have a drink, but having said that it was super clean and it was nicely decorated….

We went for a family room. The boys room was quite big, 2 large beds, and sofa seat and fitted furniture. The bathroom was sufficient. The room we had for ourselves had a double bed and there was literally no room for anything else. It was cramped to a point that we had to leave our own suitcases in the boys room. Lets be fair in saying that the internet pictures of this place are far more glamourous then the hotel itself.

Boys Room
Our Room
The bathroom
This is literally the only space I had to change into my clothes

The hotel boasts a spa- once again its not the best. There is only one changing room for male and females (OMG! I could not deal with this! we are in Turkey!) It has one tiny corner where it seems like they have tried to make an effort to do something with, the pool was tiny- enough to do 2/3 strokes and we reach the end of the pool- it felt deeper in depth than in length!! but…. yes there is a positive, the steam room and the sauna was really good, really clean and big!

That’s me posing 🤣. But swimming pool behind and 2 deck chairs. Anymore people in here and we would be overcrowded.
The sauna was quite big. Was impressed with this.

I am not going to knock the Hotel, it is a good Hotel, for the price we paid of £100 per night for a joint family room including breakfast, I cant really expect it to a haven, but this hotel definitely does not fit the 4* rank it has, its a 3* or below. If I had known it was a 3* I probably would not complain as much.

Having said that the staff from the kitchen staff, to the receptionist to the cleaners were overly eager to help us throughout. So all in all, its not a bad Hotel, it just doesn’t say what it is on the label and that’s what I am cheesed off about more that anything else.(*roll eye*) For a city break, it will do the job I want it to do.

SultanAhmet Square

The Blue Mosque

First stop- the reason why we came here- the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia which now has a small quarter available for prayers. I know there was a lot of controversy around the conversion of the Hagia Sophia from a Museum to a mosque, but I do need to advise it is just a small area that has been given for prayers. This area is accessible to anyone who wants to see inside the building and also pray.

Hagia Sophia

The beauty of this is we can go inside without having to pay, so if you really did want to see the construct without the full museum tour- this is perfect.

Turkey is very strict in its wearing of the mask- Everyone wears a mask- its a norm! if I did put my mask down for a little while- you can be sure that someone will tap you on the shoulder and advise you to put it back on politely. This was actually really nice- and shows that people have a love for themselves and others and also a love for their country by adhering to the rules.

We tried to get into the Blue Mosque but were told it was closed due to renovation, and not due to open for maybe a couple of years….. so we decided to take a walk around. We ended up at the Terrace of the Seven Hills Hotel to have a breath-taking look at both the Blue Mosque and Sophia Hagia from what is the tallest building in Istanbul (Apparently although after this we learnt that a lot of hotels say the same thing, we are tourists, we believe everything people tell us!)

Hagia Sophia from the Top.
View of the Blue Mosque from The Seven Hills Hotel.

My brother’s family who arrived to Istanbul a week earlier, were spending the last day and so we decided to join them.

We met up with the family at The Panoramic Istanbul Roof Terrace- apparently the highest building in Istanbul which boasts the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. (**rolls eye. where have we heard this before?**). It truly was breath taking I wont deny that, but yet the food was not quite to our requirements. It was expensive (for Turkey!) but also just bland. This is definitely a place I ticked off and not going back or recommending to anyone. If you want, just go see the views- but make sure you eat elsewhere!

Tea with a view from The Panoramic Roof Terace

We were lucky in that we got to listen to the Adhaan (The call to prayer) from here… from both the Mosques. Truly a beautiful experience. It was our first day, we did not want to do too much, so we wined and dined (somewhat with bland food) and then we ended up with Shisha at night (which was just as awful). But the beauty was I caught up with my sister in law.

Night Cap with Babs

Before the end of the day, we walked down the beautiful streets of Sultan Ahmet square. The perfect end to our half day in Istanbul….

More to come on Istanbul. Stay tuned

Istanbul Day Two: can be found here

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Flying- What its like to Travel whilst in Covid-19

When the Lockdown happened back in March, and we were all glued to our television screens and like being in a movie saw Boris state that Covid-19 had come to take over the World…. I thought that travelling abroad in 2020 was off limits……. That was up until August when a few countries still had their borders open for us British people……. Our first trip since lock down. We were anxious, excited, curious, scared, nervous…… all the emotions put into one. But one thing we definitely were was ‘Ready’. Having gone through the Covid-19 we felt invincible….. like we had superpowers….. I know, I know, we can catch it again, but I also know that we can fight it too….. so we are now ready to conquer the World again…. or maybe just Istanbul for the time being…..

We decided on Istanbul because it was the only place which doesn’t require us to Quarantine after the trip, so we could potentially go straight back into work on return. Having already lost out on days off whilst we were unwell, this was a priority when booking.

I thought it would be important to talk about our experience whilst travelling because I know a lot of people are really anxious about travelling, and I have got to admit that the world and travelling has definitely changed to a ‘new normal’. It actually is a bizarre and surreal experience, yet we felt safe throughout, so rest assured….. its not all bad.

We were flying from Stansted and the flight being at silly’o’clock in the morning we decided to book one night in with parking at the Hamptons by Hilton which is actually on the grounds of Stansted Airport- so that the morning is easier for us all. The stay also includes airport parking for the duration of our trip. It really is a no brainer as we now don’t need to rely on anyone to pick or drop us off or even arrange Taxi runs- especially because it was at Silly’o’clock.

The reality of the fast and Changing ‘Covid’ world hit us on entrance to the Hamptons….. where we were met by a platform advising us to sanitise our hands and a dude with a temperature gun pointing at our foreheads….. do keep in mind we have not even got to the airport yet. The Hotel felt empty and there were direction signs around the reception area. The reception desk was blocked by a perplex glass with a tiny cut out for any transaction being made. The receptionist had the Perspex mask on, and we were directed to put our masks on, on entrance.

The bar was empty, no people, no buzz, no feeling of being in a hotel…. Once we got our keys we entered the lifts, once again we had a little guest in the lift encouraging us yet again to ‘Sanitise’

The rooms had a sticker which broke apart on entrance- clearly used for our purpose to acknowledge that it was last cleaned and since then no one else has entered the room.

If you guys have been reading and following me you will know that one thing I love is breakfast in every hotel, its a bonus of the stay and I love the whole experience…..well once again….. Covid just took the fun out of breakfast! Firstly we had to give a time we will turn up for breakfast so that they can manage the amount of people at the breakfast hall. Secondly we were given this…..

A tray full of breakfast. No choices. Just this. Plastic plates, plastic cutlery, no moving around…. I was so disappointed….. I understand that its not the hotels fault….. but I also know now that I will not be paying the extra for breakfast. This was not worth waking up for…….

Now the Airport……… My god I have never in my life seen such an empty airport, it was quiet and eerie. Masks are mandatory inside the airport and their was surveillance team walking around making sure that we all were social distancing and adhering to the ‘new normal’ as well as hundreds of signs all over the place, on the floor and the walls, and the famous Sanitising stations at every point…… In all honesty….. apart from the mask thing I actually enjoyed it. The queues were short, check in was quick and easy, getting a seat was easy, and everyone around was also considerate, everyone played there part to make it an easy experience to travel in the ‘new normal’…. it really was the best trip in terms of going through the whole getting into departures.

Sanitisers are everywhere and in every corner in the airport, cafes and restaurants are sticking to ‘social distancing’ within their confines, the chairs that we sit on in the lounges are limited and spread apart or have ‘X’ stickers on them so that we do not use them….. so all in all, in whatever manner possible the airports are adhering to the ‘new normal’ and although its a new ‘wake’ for us, its also quite reassuring to know that matters are put into place for our safety.

Next up the flight……Boarding the plane was yet another experience, nobody seemed in a hurry or a rush to get in, it was all done calmly and maintaining the social distance rules. On entrance to the flight, once again we are pointed with a temp gun to our forehead- I am assuming this is the last one before we jet off.

The seating is done according to the bookings, a seat is always free if a new booking ‘bubble’ comes in. We were reassured that the plane was cleaned and sanitised between every flight. Meals are not permitted on the flight, if we did want to purchase, cold foods- like sandwiches cakes and drinks are available all with contactless payment. We were advised to stay in our seat at all times, unless its really necessary, and to try not to queue up outside the toilets, but rather go in when there is space. All in all I think everyone adhered very well to the rules…… and…… You have to wear a mask throughout the WHOLE flight, and when I say Mask, they want a mask- not a scarf pulled over the face- which is what I did! (Oooops)

In all honesty this was the hardest part of the whole journey, keeping a mask on for 4 hours straight is not a joke, especially because I have a reflux problem, so I forever felt like I needed to breathe. I did fall asleep whilst on the flight, but I was woken up by the flight attendant to advised me that my mask had dropped, so this is just to advise you that the ‘Mask’ on a flight is taken extremely seriously!

Leaving the Plane was another ‘new normal’. No one seemed in a hurry to get off the plane either. Usually as soon as the ‘belt sign’ goes off- everyone jumps. No jumping off today, people patiently waited for the plane to stop, and were waiting on each other to get up and leave. It really made the travelling experience enjoyable.

So All in All. Yes!! ‘Travelling’ now has a new normal which we all need to adjust to, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact I enjoyed it better than the ‘Normal’….. checking in was Quick and Easy, people are more considerate, staff are there to ensure our safety….. the only thing that I found hard was the wearing of the mask on the aeroplane the whole way……

Next up: We landed in Istanbul….

Stay tuned for my days in Istanbul

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Create a Spa Day at home…

I know that spas are now open, and their seems to be a little more of the ‘going out‘ into what is the ‘new‘ normal, yet Covid has also really made us appreciate our homes, and taking ‘time out‘ within our homes is now the ‘new‘ normal that we would never have phantom before.

Before Covid ‘Home‘ was just a place I stayed in before I went out….. Now Home is where I Live, and I can do all the things I love whilst in the comfort of my own dwellings. It does take a bit of effort, but the beauty is, once I am done…….. well I’m already home…..there’s no driving back, no making an effort to get dressed, or wearing the 6inch heels that make my feet sore for days. I could potentially just get into bed……what could be more Bliss than that?

Something I have learnt to tell myself over the years is that, Our body is a working machine and just like everything in life needs maintenance, (whether that be a car for service, a boiler service, or washing machine……) It too needs a service now and again, and my service is a day out to a Spa…. (the hubby forever rolls his eyes at my theories *me rolling eyes back*).

With Boris’s constant mood swings about whether to open spas or not….its been a roller coaster in terms of fitting it in, and also just trying to get out is nerve racking with the anxieties of Covid.

So its time to make a little haven in our own homes, its safer, its easy, and its a saving in the bank.

Lets do it shall we?

Spa Water

Is there something about ‘Spa Water‘ that’s different?…….not really its usually just water served up in a pretty jug with fruits inside and ice…… it makes a pretty picture and it has all the spa feels…..and so refreshing. This is the quickest and easiest thing to do….. Serve it up…..

Bath Bombs

I know generally we don’t get coloured water in spas- but the blue of the jacuzzies and the swimming pool, makes it all a spa kinda feel…… so how will we do that? Easy Peesy…..Bath bombs, and the plus side of this is, get a nice smelling one! and maybe you want to go for pink, or purple! Do YOU!

Face Mask

Ok so we got no-one to give us that facial we needed, but we do have masks at hand, just glaze it on, and let it soak!

Foot Soak

When you think of a spa- what do you think of?….. ill tell you what I think off, I think of relaxing, soft sounds, water, smooth smells and ….. Lemons….. Yup you saw that right Lemons….. because Lemons are refreshing, and pretty and yellow… and feel like a Spa? …. Not understanding me? How bout a foot soak in this?

Now you get me? ahhhh Bliss….. I am in a Spa!

Add Lemons, some sea salts, maybe a few plants and get that refreshing and relaxing Spa feel in.

Candles and Oils

Get the candles out, dim the light, get the hubby/partner or friend to join you or do it yourself, face massage, scalp massage, any massage. Oil on the body is the ultimate ‘I have been to a Spa’ feel.

Hair Mask

From the usual errands of the day, hair masks are a chore, but Today is the day! Get the hair mask out and add that moisture back into the hair whilst you soak.

Music

How easy is to to get music on now? use your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, whatever….. get some relaxing tunes in to get you into the flow

Light Lunch

If I have a friend over- then Lunch is mandatory, Sandwiches, Salads, Refreshing Juices are the way to go…. all light, cool and refreshing….. or maybe even Afternoon Tea (Of course!)

And there you have it, the Ultimate DIY Spa Day in.

And now ill get back to my day….Enjoy Yours!

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Create the Perfect Afternoon Tea at Home

Im having Withdrawal symptoms. This whole Covid experience has got me craving and doing thimgs I dont normally do, or want to do.

Like…..I just want Afternoon Tea, but I dont want to go out, or get ready or get dressed, or do anything…… so what do I do?……

I do it at home! Crazy, right? yes I know….. but its 2020 and nothing feels ‘normal’ any more…..’Crazy’ is the way forward. Trust me on this…..

So what did I do, well firstly I needed to invite someone, and I didn’t want to do anything big, as I didn’t know if it would turn out good, and also their is the whole ‘Dont invite people into your house‘ Boris debate… (feel free to go out with them though, among other people you dont know and could potentially catch the virus from) but thats for another blog post……

The thing with Afternoon Tea is …… the dishes/cutlery and the whole set up is key to making it right……… The thing with me is….. I Love dishes and I have a weakness for Cups! Yes. Cups!! You heard me!!….. Don’t be naughty now! I’m talking about Teacups!……. Buy me a mug over flowers any day of the week! I will be your best buddy….

So the essential part in afternoon tea is the set up, so I rummaged through a few of my afternoon tea photos and wrote a list of requirements

  • Tablecloth
  • 3 tier stand
  • TeaCup and Saucer
  • Cup for water
  • Cup for juice
  • Utensils
  • Teapot
  • Water Jug
  • Juice Jug
  • Side Plates
  • Suger bowl
  • Props to make it look pretty!

The first thing I did was rummage around my kitchen to find it all and it was so exciting! …… and then I set it up on the dining table to see if I thought it would work…… and yes…. I can say it worked…..

Have a look for yourself….

Ok ok, not quite the Dorchester, but I did well I think!

Next Up the Food….

Now that the setting was done……Time for food……On standard Afternoon Teas, the 3 tier stand usually offers a variety of Sandwiches, Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam and Desserts. Thats the basic, and thats exactly what I did….

I made prawn sandwiches, cucumber and cheese sandwich and tuna salad sandwich, I also fried up some filo prawns from iceland with some sweet and sour sauce because it gives that extra oomph needed for the photos! (the photos are essential people!)

It probably sounds crazy because I use to be a baker, but I am such a ‘Buy Everything’ person, and so I bought the scones and jam and clotted cream….(I’m sorry, but it’s so much more easier) and I found the cutest little spoon bowls to put it in… Ain’t it the cutest?

And what did I do for desserts…… Urm Iceland is the saviour to my life. I bought a few of the frozen desserts and preetied up the top of my stand.

And There you go peeps…..The Ultimate Afternoon tea at home. So quick, So pretty and so affordable….

Whos coming next?

Love and regards

M11bna

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THESIS: …….Is it Love? Or Tolerance?

Due to the popularity of my last thesis I thought I’d give this a go again. You guys know that I’m 37 by now ( ye I do mention it in nearly every blog post, because I can’t get over it. Really 37! But I haven’t even seen the world yet!) And I’m somewhat happily married (on most days) for the last 18 years, and you guys know how on certain days we question: “Why do we do this s***?, like Why?!!” and that’s where this popped up.

So the Thesis is “Is it Love or Tolerance?”

A little bit of of a background before we move onto the fun part:

Love: A Passionate Affection for another person, a personal attachment or deep affection for another person (dictionary.com)

Tolerance: Able to endure (dictionary.com)

Methodology: You guys understand the way I work by now hey?

For this project I will be asking my fellow Instagram users “Is it Love that makes us Tolerant? or Tolerance that makes us love?

and here are a few responses:

For my case study I have decided to use the characters from “The Big Bang Theory” I know this one is a hit and miss, either you love this show, or you don’t…….but I absolutely LOVE it!! seriously give it a Go, I promise you will get obsessed …….

Big Bang Theory” Cast & Creators Emotional After Final Taping ...

Case Study 1: Sheldon and Amy Farah Fowler

The Big Bang Theory' Season 12, Episode 19, Recap: Amy Is Feeling ...

When it comes to Love and Tolerance I really don’t think there can be a better example than these two. We all know how intolerable Sheldon actually is- this is a man who has ‘room mate agreements,’ ‘friendship agreements,’ a ‘Do not sit on my couch agreement‘ he also has a ‘relationship agreement‘ with Amy Farah Fowler. He is very proud of his IQ, yet because of his head always being in science, he seems to have lost out on his emotional quotient (EQ)

He is forever putting his friends down, doesn’t understand ‘feelings‘ or ‘sarcasm‘ and yet although on television we can have a laugh at his odd behaviour- in real life ‘would I really be friends with this guy?“…… However all the things that we find odd, Amy Farah Fowler seems to be blind to;

“… your personality quirks, which others find abhorrent or rage-inducing, I find cute as a button.’

I mean forget tolerant- this is clearly a case of ‘Love is Blind’.

Yet on the last episode (did I really go through 12 series off this? Yes I did, and each series is better than the one before.) A bombshell is brought down:

Amy: “You never mean to. It’s the only reason people tolerate you”

Sheldon: ‘Does that include you?”

Amy: ‘Sometimes, yes’

Amy here clearly states that she tolerates Sheldon, as does everyone else around him. We should know this anyway, yet when someone you love says it its quite a bit of a ‘bombshell’ So is Amy here stating that she Tolerates him because she Loves him?

Case Study 2: Leonard and Penny

Leonard and Penny | The Big Bang Theory Wiki | Fandom

I mean the Big Bang Theory really does not give us any easy relationships to work with hey? Its one big psychological nightmare to be honest.

When it comes to Leonard and Penny there is a very stereotypical undertone apparent- ‘the nerdy genius gets the fit dumb blonde girl‘, isn’t this what all scientists fantasies are about?. But because of of his ‘Infatuation’ over Penny he is seen to be ‘under the thumb’ and always prone to insults.

I personally think that their are 2 ways of looking at this. (Psychological M11bna taking over here) Firstly Penny could be mean towards Leonard, because she feels insecure because she knows that she is not clever, and her insults are a way of fixing that insecurity……. Or that Leonard generally is such a nice guy (and he really is!) that Penny generally looks like a bully next to him but she is just being her sarcastic self.

Lets get back to the question at hand, is it Love or Tolerance? Does Leonard Tolerate the insults because he is infatuated that his fantasy has come to life? or does he Love Penny and that is why he tolerates her insults?

Hmmm….. that’s a tricky one, but also…..Why is Penny with Leonard? Love? Tolerance? …….its one Big Bang Theory…… (Hehe *wink *wink)

Case Study 3: Howard and Bernadette

How The Big Bang Theory Just Proved That Howard And Bernadette ...

The smallest person but the biggest bully by far Bernadette. I absolutely Love her! And this women by far is toooooo damn tolerant….. or is it the other way round? …… I’m really worried about this relationship out of them all…….

Bernadette acts as a replacement mother figure to Howard rather than a wife, and she takes up that role too. Both gladly accept this… (too weird)

As well as a mother figure she is also the breadwinner, which she forever reminds Howard, and she also makes it very clear to Howard on numerous occasions that she can do better than him- Which he also agrees to.

Is this why Howard is tolerant of her? Because he also knows that she can do better? or because he loves her? Is this another case of Leonard and Penny?

Why does Bernadette take over the role of his mother? She has children of her own, yet is seen forever babysitting Howard and his friends? Does she Love him, and that’s why she tolerates?

Now that we have had a look at the case studies…. lets move on,

Conclusion:

Firstly lets go back to the definitions of Love and Tolarance:

Love: A Passionate Affection for another person, a personal attachment or deep affection for another person (dictionary.com)

Tolerance: Able to endure (dictionary.com)

And now we can take these definitions and look at it from the couples perspective; Tolerance would be to be able to tell your partner that there is something you dislike about them, but you are going to deal with it anyway because you generally Love them.

Lets put this into the couples:

Amy tells Sheldon clearly that she and all the friends tolerate him. Leonard tolerates Penny snide remarks because he genuinely cares for her, and Bernadette tolerates Howard because….. well she must love him right? Otherwise why would she still be there? This women clearly doesn’t need him.

So now the question really is; Is Loving and Tolerating Linked?

Evaluation;

My understanding from everything that I have put down is : Do we become more Tolerant because we Love?…..

We all go through days where we do things we don’t want to, like….. really don’t want to, like really really, it makes you burn inside ‘Dont want to‘, but yet we smile (although mine is a hard fake one) and we do it? Why?? Tell me Why?

Tolerating does not mean hating or wanting to leave or ending a relationship. Tolerating is actually how the relationship is managed, and how much you want that relationship will allow you to grit your teeth and accept it. (Though a bitching session with the ladies is always a must afterwards)

The reality is, we will never find anyone who has the same thought logic as ourselves, and if we did….. then how boring would that be?! so we have to learn to understand that the other person has a different understanding to life than us. In a marriage or a relationship you may find that you disagree over a ‘matter’. That’s not to say that you are right and he is wrong (though in 99% of the time, us women are right. Obviously. We go have the Superior Gene *wink wink*). It just means you have a difference of opinion, and the crucial part of this is ‘trying to accept the difference without it affecting the relationship’

Obviously tolerating also has a danger to it…. Tolerating has to be done to a degree, do not allow yourself to tolerate the wrong things for the sake of Love. That is a sign of a very unhealthy relationship. If there is Love, Tolerance should come from both sides, and it should be easily accepted and not something that is forced or mentally draining.

And this balance between Love and Tolerance is not just about marriage or having a partner, its a balance that we bring to all relationships, that can be friendship, children and parents. We tolerate more from some friends than we do from others….. we tolerate more from our own children, than we would if someone else was to talk to us in a certain manner.

So it could be said that the more we ‘Love’ or ‘Have a likeness or affection’ for someone, the more we are prepared to tolerate. Yet once again I have to emphasise that Tolerance has to have a cut off point. Sometimes Tolerance can be misinterpreted for obedience or even misinterpreted as a form of bullying. You have to be very mindful of how much you tolerate and why, and whether you are getting the same amount of effort your way.

And that’s all folks. do share your thoughts on this matter. Would be interesting to discuss

Love and regards

M11bna

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Let’s take a look Inside….. Cougar Cosmetics Beauty Box

I was looking for beauty boxes, that was offering something a little different. Most beauty boxes have similer products inside, and of course I love the whole concept of a beauty box but I was just generally surfing as you do and I came across this….

Intrigued, curious, suspicious,… For a £10, I had to get it…. I mean you want one too right? …..(link here)

Have you guys heard of Cougar Cosmetics? Nope? Me neither…. even better, then it’s definitely different and definitely being added to the shopping basket…

Added it on, and then twiddled my thumb’s waiting for it to come, I even doubted myself at one point…. They have taken my money and run away….

…..and then it came…..

…yup this is the box…. It’s only a tenner- shouldn’t expect too much… Right? …. So let’s open it up…..

I emptied it out onto my bed, and I must say I was impressed with how many products came out… It was packed full… Things are starting to look up….

At the bottom of the box, I found this, it’s tissue paper …. Specifically ‘boohoo’ tissue paper…. Hmmm…. Is Cougar Cosmetics a part of boohoo? …. Something I need to research … And if so…. It does explain the price….

Let’s take a look at the products….

First up: Donkey Milk Face Mask

I’m not so sure how I feel about the name, I’m not a fan of animals in general…. And this is a donkey? The sticker design is quite cheap- like a child has designed it ( maybe the child made the name up? ) …. Ok let’s see inside

The texture was nice and thick for sure, but there was absolutely no smell…. Not even milky…. Or donkey? ( How do they smell anyway?) …. I think I’m going to be very hesitant before I try this out….

Next up, the Wild Cavier Day Moisturiser. This alone costs £29.99 on the web page. The bottle is nice, the sticker once again was quite tacky. I tried ABIT on my hands.. it’s not too bad in all honesty…. Might…. Just might give this a go….

You know my favourite word in skincare? It’s Hyaluronic acid… And inside is a facial oil with it in it. Yipee…. The box was cheap but this one’s upped it’s game in the design for sure….

I was a little confused with the next one….

It’s a body wash… But the logo is so different, and so is packaging, and so is everything really….. Hmmmm….

Then I got this….Gold infused Argan Oil for Body and hair….

this has got the first logo but the cheaper version sticker… But having said that I’ve tried it on my hair…. It’s a keeper!

I was so excited to see this in the box….

For all of us thin lipped women, this is excitings!! …… I did give it a try… course I did! …It tingles and gives a very slight lift, but it probably only lasted all of 40 minutes…. link here

And this was a suprise…..

Ye… I got 2 lipglosses, in the same colour Candy, surely that’s a mistake…. One I’m not complaining about….. Especially because the colour is beaut…..

I have to admit I’ve worn this loads, and I love it. The colour is strong and very pigmented…. And I got 2! Yipee!

Last up I got this powdered 5-in-1 Powder Foundation. It was in a cinnamon shade, which was far too dark for me….

And that’s all folks…. Well actually it’s quite alot considering its a Tenner ( plus I got a bonus)

I’m not so sure how I feel about it, I love that it’s so cost effective, but the change in logos and designs makes it look like they have too many designers…. Yet really no class.

My faves from this is the lipgloss, and I’m actually quite apprehensive to try the other products just incase I flare up….. Keep in mind I’m forever trying products, and never had a problem. But just feel abit reserved over it.

If you guys have tried it, let me know. Might make me feel more comfortable.

And let me know if you buy it and what you get … Here’s the link

Love and regards

M11bna

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Endometriosis- My Struggle.

Had the most perfect day today. Having recovered from Covid19- just knowing that we are now in Boris Johnson’s ‘Herd Immunity’ group has been a relief to my family. The anxiety of not knowing when Covid would hit us, and also how we would cope with it, is no longer an issue. We have overcome it.

And the new incentive ‘Eat out to Help Out’- where we get 50% off our meals (*subject to terms and conditions*) means that Monday -Wednesdays are the new weekends for us. (Thanks Boris) And so I spent the day doing nothing and enjoyed the evening eating out with the family……

…..and then it hit me, a walloping pain in my stomach, my back seized up and my internal organs felt tight, my face flushed up and i had a sickly feeling of wanting to throw up…… all at the time of starting our family movie for the evening…… This people is my world of Endometriosis.

The hubby gets it, he has seen me suffer for the past 10 years, explaining to my boys is a lot more harder (is that a cultural thing?) or is that because generally not many people want to understand what Endometriosis is, and would rather call it a ‘Heavy period?’…… so I put my hand to my head, (why do we do that? ) and say i’m really tired I need to sleep early and head off upstairs. …….Family time gone for this week…..

Although there are 176 million women who suffer from Endometriosis throughout the world, the illness is still so uncommon, and keep in mind that these 176 million women are diagnosed, and it takes 7-10 years on average to diagnose Endometriosis so the figures are not even reliable. They are far higher……. yet if you were to speak to a neighbour or a friend 9 times out of 10 they would not have a clue or put it down to ‘Heavy period’ and ‘Low pain threshold’

What makes thing worse is in our community, any illness to do with the reproductive organs are seen in a negative light and considered a *taboo*

The Endometriosis Society of India estimates that 25 million Indian women suffer from this condition. And yet, it is rarely spoken about and seldom understood, possibly because of taboos around menstruation.

Right So………What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a long-term condition where tissues similar to the lining of the womb grows in other/wrong places, like in the ovaries, vagina, buttocks, Fallopian tubes- basically around the reproductive area of a women’s body. This ends up causing a lot of discomfort every month when its time for the dreaded monthly’s, because the blood flow now doesn’t follow the route it is sopposed to, therefore causing inflammation and discomfort aswell as scarring and damaging more tissues inside the body. This then ends up as severe stomach cramps, menorrhagia, severe back pain, feeling nausea’s and sick, either a case of diarrhoea or constipation, and severe pain during intercourse.

It is not known what causes this, but different doctors have suggested different things, i.e genetics, low immune system, and some have found common cases after a C-section. However none of these are solid findings.

In terms of treatment, their are only 2 options: Pain killers or Surgery. Two types of surgery can be offered depending on how severe the case is and the context of the surgery. For the ones who are trying for a child and the milder yet uncomfortable pain- Laparoscopic surgery is offered which involves the removal of endometrial tissues. However this is not a permanent solution and usually within 5 years the fibres tend to come back. For the more severe cases (where Laporoscopy has not worked) a ‘Hysterectomy’ can be approved.

Endometriosis can have a huge impact on some women and can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness because of the changes in hormones. I have managed with the pain for up to 10 years and have avoided surgery. I was suggested a ‘hysterectomy’ by my doctor, but I was only in my late 20’s and had no real idea if I wanted more children or not at that time, and also dealing with the side effects at such a young age…. it took me a while but I decided against it. Instead I went for the alternative solutions to medical care. I go for cupping, homeopathy, and acupuncture and it actually works well for me.

Its only now that I have realised that I am not the only one. Endometriosis is more common than I actually thought, and also its a hidden illness. Women generally don’t go to doctors for issues in the private areas because of the uncomfortable nature. It took me a while to be fully comfortable with stating exactly what I was going through, and that also because it was affecting my relationship with my partner, and I just needed to know what was wrong with me.

I have struggled with Endometriosis since after the birth of my second child. ( I have had 2 emergency C-sections) I was lucky that I have 2 boys, but their is a stigma associated with Endometriosis and I need to clear up- 70% of women who have Endometriosis do go on to have children, “Endometriosis does not mean you are infertile! It just means that some women have a harder time becoming pregnant.

Endometriosis can lead to other medical issues too. I suffer for menorrhagia, and it can be bad, really bad……. I have had days where I have leaked to a point it looks like a murder scene, I sometimes even wake up to a fully bloodied bed……and I have no control over this. I was off from work for half of the year in 2 consecutive years because of the menorrhagia. It was so difficult to explain to male managers what I was going through, to be honest the females were not much better. Honestly sometimes I believe we women are our own worst enemy. We don’t make it easy for each other. With the help of the Doctors notes, and the Trade Union my job was kept secure.

As well as the Menorrhagia, I also had periods where I have suffered from Vaginismus. (Something else that cannot be easily discussed in the community and has negative associations. Talk about luck!). Both these had a real impact on my relationship as can be appreciated. I was very young and naive at the time, so instead of actually finding out more, and talking to people I went into a sort of unconsciousness. I stopped socialising, I stopped talking to friends and family, I was in my own bubble pushing people away. I was embarrassed. I felt ashamed. This was a hard time as I probably have never felt so alone, and talking about the menorrhagia and vaginimus was hard as people generally in the community consider it to be a ‘taboo’ subject, or said that “its normal to have period pain” . And the ones that tried to empathise just ‘didn’t get it’…. How could they? It takes the doctors 8 years to diagnose us, they dismiss it as ‘Period pain’ most of the time…….I had to rely on good old google to find my own understanding of what my body was going through. (I do need to advise that Google is not the best of places, but on this occasion it helped me to understand myself and my body a lot more.)

We really need to make more of an effort to break down these boundaries, to break down the walls. And although I said that this is something we suffer from because of the narrow-mindedness of the Indian community, it is far more wider than that. Recently in the Guardian i saw this article:

Link to article is here

It made me realise the problem is far bigger, how a person can do a study “Rating how attractive women with Endometriosis are” really left me speechless. This is not a narrow-minded Indian problem, this is a overall, all round problem, that we are still facing in 2020. How does this study help me? How does it help my endometriosis? All resources, money, time spent on this study could have been put to better use.

Its just so frustrating that we have to go through the trauma of this, and then people are out there to ridicule us at the same time.

I’ve managed to accept that I have this condition, I have found my own ways of living with it, and treating it, all of which are the alternatives to medicine because I am not a fan of pumping my body with drugs, or even cutting it open, and dealing with the side-effects. And I must say that the awareness of Endometriosis is improving, yet there is a huge hurdle still in front of us. I think I can speak for all the ladies who suffer from Endometriosis when I say “We are strong, We are resilient, We are not asking for a miracle. All we ask for is a bit of compassion and emphathy. Thats all.

Do you suffer from Endometriosis? How are you coping and helping yourself? Have you been for surgery? Has that helped? I would love to know your thoughts and discuss further.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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