Mar 242013
 

“The Black Dog” is a term used to not say the word depression.  I’m not a fan, but there it is.  I’ve lived with a battle with depression and anxiety for over 10 years.  It’s probably been longer, but I didn’t identify with the word until I was almost 26.  I’ve been on and off medication over that time, the last time (until recently) was 5 years ago.  My decision to return to anti-depressants was not an easy one, I had been doing fairly well, or so I thought.

I found myself, sometimes, spending a whole day not really doing anything, nor having the desire to do anything.  Even doing things that I love, including playing with my son, held no joy for me.  I had become joyless and a little slothy, I was certainly no fun to be around.  I was also becoming mad or upset with just about everything and everyone.  Not always without reason, but still.  I am not an angry person.

So I made the decision to go back onto anti-depressants.  The first month was not great.  I remembered lethargy, nausea, and insomnia from the previous bout with meds, but it was so much worse for at least the first 2 weeks.  Only slightly improving in the following 2 weeks.  Once my GP & I made the decision to switch the time at which I take them (before bed, instead of with breakfast), I found I was improving.

I’m almost at the end of my second month now.  I am feeling SO much better.  I am laughing with my whole being again.  I am waking up and feeling like I can face the day with both feet on the ground.  I am feeling inspired again.  I am feeling more like myself.

As a side benefit, whether it has to do with the medication, or the fact that I’m eating more properly and drinking herbal tea instead of cordial or soft drink, I’ve lost about 7kgs.  Doesn’t seem like much, but as someone who struggles with weight, diet and exercise, I find this utterly brilliant!  I have a new set of headphones, a playlist ready to rock to, great walking shoes, and the desire to seize the feeling!  I am going to start my walking right after Easter.  SO PUMPED!

May 022012
 
Tefal Pro Express Turbo

This a Product Talk by Nuffnang post – I didn’t receive payment for this post but I did receive a free sample to review.

I’ve never hated ironing, but it is a time consuming chore.  I’ve always been up for things that would make it easier, whether it’s an ironing spray, a new way of hanging the washing so it dries less creased or heck, even a spanky new iron!

The arrival of the Tefal Pro Express Turbo Steam Generator could not have come at a better time.  My previous “Steam Station” iron had not long given up the ghost, and I was using my Mother in Law’s standard iron that she had recently replaced.  The iron worked perfectly fine, but it just wasn’t as powerful as I had been used to … ironing had become labourious again.

Reading through it’s specs I was rather surprised at just how powerful this thing was.

1.8L tank, Lock System Clip, Anti-Calc Cleaner, Retractable Power Cord

  • 120g/min continuous, 220g/min turbo steam
  • 5.5 bars pressure
  • Eco setting for energy saving
  • Autoclean soleplate
  • Removable 1.8L water tank capacity – extra large
  • Unique lock system for safety and easy transport
  • Fast heat up (2mins), refill during ironing
  • Auto shut off, automatic electrical cord rewind & steam cord storage plus Ultracord system
  • Power: 2200W

Now, as a techno-junkie I know that no matter what’s on paper, the real test is putting it to its use.  So I set it up and got going on a few bits and pieces, business shirts, school uniforms etc.  I set it to the upper medium heat and eco steam, it simply breezed through it all, including a hanging steam.  My ironing was done quickly, with a great finish.

Now for my Pro & Con lists…

Pro:

Autoclean Soleplate

  • Great steam pressure
  • Steam button in a more intuitive place (the underside of the handle)
  • Large water tank, 1.8L, which is removable to refill while the unit is still on.
  • Retractable power cord
  • Storage space for steam cord
  • Nice point on the iron unit
  • Locking system so you can lift the entire unit by the iron
  • Auto shut off

Cons:

  • Power cord is only 2m long
  • Weight of the steam cord can make the iron feel heavier than it is
  • Generator and iron unit can get quite hot

One thing I would have liked to have seen is a post to hold the steam cord up over the ironing board, rather than let it just hang.  It would alleviate the apparent weight of the iron unit.  I think I’m going to have to find one to attach to the ironing board.

Having owned a steam station style iron before, it was good to have that previous knowledge to know what I should expect from this device.  The Tefal unit, in my opinion, has operated far better than my last steam station.  It’s more powerful and a little over half the price of my previous unit.  It’s by no means an inexpensive iron, but if you have a larger family, or a lot of dress/business clothes to look after, then the investment may well be worth it.

Apr 092012
 

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good cup of tea.  I usually buy loose leaf blends from places like Adore Tea or T2.  They both have lovely ranges, from plain Assams to pretty floral blends like French Earl Grey.

For me, these teas are a little ritualistic.  Made in the good pot, sat down with and enjoyed.  When I have time to take the time to make it.

Sometimes though, I just need a cup of tea, and I need it now!  For these moments, I usually turn to Twinings of London tea.  They have a great range, and usually something to meet all of my tea moods.

teatradafterteasimply
Simply Tea – This is a great every day tea, but not terribly strong.  But it’s good to have on hand for visitors if you don’t know exactly how they like their tea.

Traditional Afternoon – Nice and full bodied!  Very smooth and is a great tonic for those days where you need a little bit ‘extra’ from your tea.

 
teacopteachaiCeylon Orange Pekoe – I only use this to make iced tea with and it’s PERFECT for the job!  I’m not a big fan of it for a regular cup of tea, though.  Not strong enough.

Chai – One of the best chai-in-a-bag teas.  When I don’t have time to do the traditional steep in hot milk thing, this is my go to.  Spicy enough to give me the kick I look for in a chai, but still quite gentle.  I’d like more black pepper, but until I make my own blend, this one does just fine.

 

teaausblendteabcurrBlackcurrant Scented – I love this tea.  It’s not terribly strong, but some mornings, it’s just that little twist that perks me up.  I always have a small box of this in the cupboard.

Recently, Twinings released a limited edition tea.  Australian Afternoon Tea.  I initially wasn’t going to bother with it, as it was limited edition, and I already had my tea bases covered.  But I picked up a small box and thought I’d give it a go anyway.  I’m SO glad I did!  This tea is nice and full bodied and it really tastes like someone has made you TEA.  (Yes, big capital letters TEA)  This tea reminds me of the tea my Nanna used to make for me when we stayed over at her house.

So that’s me and my tea.  I hope I’ve inspired you to try a new flavour, or revisit an old one.

Now I think about it.. I think it’s time I introduced you to Professor Elemental, and his love of the Cup of Brown Joy.

 

**NB: These are my own opinions.  I am in no way affiliated with, or endorsed by Twinings of London.  I just really like these teas.