Aromatherapy: A Blend To Take On Holiday

img_0213

I love a posh aromatherapy blend like Aromatherapy Associates, but my budget doesn’t often stretch.  However, if I have treated myself, then I hang onto the bottle as you see here and use it to make a blend to take on holiday.  This bottle takes 55 mils which is perfect for taking in your hand luggage.  I’m off on a cruise soon so it’s time to get creative!

I’ve made a blend which is deeply relaxing and the first thing I’ll do when I get to my cabin on Celebrity is step in the shower and zing the place up by putting a glug of oil on a flannel and taking it in with me.  It will make the whole cabin smell wonderful.

I’ll use it mostly as a body oil and make sure I give my feet some TLC with it at the end of the day as I plan to do a lot of walking.

The blend I’ve chosen is frankincense, lavender and bergamot and the carrier is sweet almond.  I’ve chosen the essential oils not just for the scent, but for their therapeutic properties as follows:

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) this works on an emotional as well as physical level which can help you move on when things have been tough. Just what I need right now. Its action is to relax you and slow down your mind. Physically it also helps to relieve coughs and sore throats and if you’ve ever been on a cruise you will know that the aircon can make your sinuses a bit dry after a few days, so using this in the shower and inhaling the vapour will help counteract any scratchiness.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is hypotensive, so lowers blood pressure to aid relaxation.  It’s also an insect repellent – very handy for a holiday in the Med.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is an uplifting oil which has a comforting action.  It’s important not to use this essential oil on your skin when out in sunlight as it can cause sensitivity, but as I’ll be using it in the evening, this isn’t a problem.

If you would like to make this yourself, you need 50 mils of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed.  For a 50 mil bottle I use a 3% dilution which means 30 drops of essential oil. Up to you how you vary the blend, but I have used ten drops of each.  Don’t be tempted to add more as this is plenty strong enough.  Add the drops to the container with your carrier oil and give it a good shake – then you’re done.

PS I qualified as a clinical aromatherapist in 2005 and this little book that you see is my bible which I took notes in during the course and I’ve referred to ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Flower Arrangement

This week’s homework for my Julie Davies Flower Workshop course was to create an arrangement in a jug.  All the flowers and foliage this week have come from my garden: hebe (two types), Russian vine, pyracantha berries, euonymus, yellow daisy, rose, hypericum and nicotiana.  I’m finding it tricker as each week goes by but feel that I am definitely improving and I am loving the challenge!  I’m looking forward to making some more seasonal arrangements now that I have some basic knowledge.

img_0193

It’s All Good!

DSCN1300.JPG

Saw my consultant this morning and it’s great news!  No evidence of dissection in the head or neck, or of  TIA.  So after weeks of worrying myself sick, I can get back to normal.

I know not everything is fixed as my heart is not right, but this is such a huge deal for me that I feel like I can make a new start.

One thing stuck on my mind through all this.  Janet Street Porter was on TV and was saying ‘If I don’t like doing something, I stop doing it immediately’.  I thought to myself, blimmin’ heck, she’s right.  If I’m not finding joy in something and I don’t have to do it any more then just stop!

This has led me to ditch a number of things that were just not working for me any more and now I have the all clear, then I am going to focus on what I really enjoy.

The things bringing me joy at the moment are blogging, travel, gardening and being creative with crafts.  So for now, that’s where I’m putting my focus.  I’m planning to go back to badminton, Pilates and yoga too.

One good thing to come out of all this is that I’ve significantly increased the amount of walking I’ve been doing because it was the only exercise I was allowed to do.   I’m loving getting down the country lanes and will build on this.

I’ve also reviewed my diet and in a bid to be as healthy as possible, have made a few more positive tweaks, so again, this is something I can build on.  You may have noticed I’d stopped whingeing about being fat – that’s because I had bigger things to worry about – so I should try and keep that mind set that food is fuel and also medicine.

So, onwards and upwards!  Where’s that travel brochure……..

A Plea To Be Treated Holistically

I’m struggling with a few things at the moment and don’t know how to sort it out.  I have a number of medical problems that are being treated individually, but they seem to contradict one another in terms of treatment and what I really need is for someone to sit down and look at the whole blimmin’ lot holistically rather than treating each thing in isolation.

img_0139

If you read my blog you’ll know that I’m waiting on the results of the MRI/CT scan I had a couple of weeks ago for a suspected dissection to the carotid or vertebral artery.  I have a hospital appointment on Friday but I anticipate that this will deal with the one issue only. I’m guessing we will have a chat about stroke risk and how I can mitigate it.   What about all this other stuff though?

You also know about my heart attack, caused by SCAD.  Since this happened I’m left with premature atrial contractions which are irregular heart beats.  I’m told this is not serious or life threatening in most cases but I am prescribed a beta blocker for it.

Now the trouble with beta blockers is that they slow you down.  Not a bad thing you may say.  However, combined with my next problem, an underactive thyroid, then that makes me doubly slow.  If I have a few days of action, then I may spend the next couple of days in bed, good for nothing.

Well can’t you take levothyroxine for your thyroid? Well yes, but guess what, if I take the recommended dose I get more palpitations and I twitch incessantly at night.

So, if beta blockers make you slow and PACS are not dangerous, why take the beta blocker? Good question – I asked my GP to refer me to a SCAD specialist, which he duly did last November – nothing has happened.

I’m also told I have high cholesterol.  Must be down to diet you say.  Have you seen how much porridge I eat? Did you know that an underactive thyroid can raise your cholesterol? Would taking the correct dose of thyroxine sort it out? Who knows as I can’t tolerate it.

Why not take a statin then?  Great idea.  But don’t statins make your arteries more flexible?  Isn’t the reason I had a SCAD the result of over flexible arteries in my heart? Oh yeah! Back to the drawing board on that one then.

As you can see, I don’t know what to do.  If I put it in the hands of the professionals, which one’s advice do I follow, because I can assure you they all want to treat me with something different.

They want to fix whatever I have presented with and of course that makes sense, but I, you see, want to be treated as a whole person.  Who will look at all this stuff and make some sort of judgement call?

Who knows.   I don’t.

 

 

Planning Evening Chic for Celebrity Cruises: Fifty Plus Style

We are going on a cruise with Celebrity next month and I have to pack two outfits that meet the criteria for ‘Evening Chic’.  In previous years I would have chosen a full length gown or something blingy, but as I’ve matured, although I still like a bit of sparkle, I favour a more toned down look.

IMG_0166.JPG

For my first outfit I’m packing this Phase Eight sleeveless dress. I am wearing Wingz underneath to give the appearance that it has sleeves.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, at 55, my arms are not as firm as they used to be. Secondly, cruise ships are a bit chilly in the evenings and as pashminas seem a bit passé now, I need a cover up.  The Wingz were sent to me for the purpose of review and I think they look pretty good with this dress, so I’ll definitely be packing them.

img_0168

Onto the shoes.  These are the Charlotte Olympias that I won last year and try as I might, I just can’t do anything but totter in them.  I look ridiculous. If anyone wants to make me an offer they are size four and have never been worn (apart from trying on!).   They won’t be making the edit that’s for sure, but I have some black spiky Carvelas that will work.

IMG_0175.JPG

Next up is to figure out outfit number two!

Linking Up with

Not Dressed As Lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tea Cup Flower Arrangement

Last week I wrote about the flower arranging course I was doing with Julie Davies Flower Workshops.  Well, it’s time for week two homework: a tea cup arrangement.

IMG_0160.JPG

I bought the tea cup and saucer for £2 in an antique shop in Chester and my first thought was to try and mirror the colours in the china.

IMG_0153.JPG

I chose a yellow daisy, euonymus,  ivy and hebe foliage, all from the garden and set about following Julie’s online instructions on putting it all together.

First I cut the flower foam to size and soaked it, while I conditioned my flowers and foliage in a jug of water.

IMG_0155.JPG

Next (and this is where it goes a bit wrong) I tried to arrange them artfully as directed by Julie.  Somehow I don’t think the balance is right, but practice makes perfect and Julie will give me feedback so that I can do better next time.

IMG_0157.JPG

If you fancy a go yourself, Julie’s next online course starts on 26 September.

 

Fifty Plus Style: City Break Outfit

DSCF0061.JPG

I think it’s quite tricky to pack for a hot weather city break because you have to consider temperature, comfort and of course, style.  You can’t simply pack as you would for a summer holiday as you may want to visit churches and museums but on the other hand, you want to be put together as opposed to any old t-shirt and jeans.

Here, I’m wearing a cotton tunic from White Stuff which is cool, but covers up a fair bit.  The silk scarf is from East and is great for holidays as it weighs nothing and can be used for day or evening.

I usually take a cross body bag when in big cities as I like to feel that my purse and camera are secure.

I take both flat sandals and trainers if we are walking around a big city, so that I can swap to sandals early evening and give my toes some breathing space!

What’s your failsafe city sightseeing outfit?