Cough Remedies?

Has anyone got any cough remedies that work?

I have a cold and nasty cough coming on. I was completely miserable yesterday and luckily my older two kids were doing an “Instant Restaurant” (from My Kitchen Rules) for us for dinner, so I had a 3 course meal handed up to me by my children, so didn’t have to cook. I basically spent the day on the couch wrapped up, doing bare minimum and dosing off when possible.

Being sick this time, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I am not pregnant, nor trying to get pregnant, or on my two-week-wait hoping to be pregnant so I can actually take any suggested remedies!

I went to the chemist on Friday and got “Day and Night” tablets and a cough bottle called Exputex. I didn’t start taking them then because wanted a hot whiskey that night (I love them but only drink them when I’m sick, seeing as then they’re medicinal!), so had that and then started taking the other stuff on Saturday, and spent the day wrapped up drinking hot whiskeys without the whiskey (honey, clove and lemon drinks).

I also have a Homeopathic Remedies kit that I started trying to self-treat myself on Friday morning as I was getting shooting pains in my throat on the left side and there’s a remedy for pain starting on the left. The pain stopped by evening, but the cold and cough was getting worse so that’s why I was hoping to get in early with some meds to avoid it getting really bad. (I had a horrific dose last Christmas, while pregnant, that had a cough so bad it pulled muscles in my stomach, and I am prone to bad coughs)

I do feel a bit better today, but my guess is that is from taking it easy yesterday and sweating it out a bit too, but as of tomorrow when himself is back to work and my life is back to normal, I won’t have time to take it easy or rest. So I definitely need to stay on top of it and hopefully kick this thing in the ass before it gets any worse.

So anyone got any hints or tips of what I could do to put a stop to it?

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Finding time for my health

Every time I try to get fit and healthy, I break myself. Sounds a bit mad, but it happens every time. I have learned over the years that I need to go slowly and build myself up, and that I need to make sure I wear proper footwear. Somehow though every time I start to try to get fit, I fall apart. My shins, my knees, my sciatica and my hips and lower back. At different stages, different parts of me seem to fall apart!

Last year I got a fitbit and increased my steps, and made sure to wear my good running shoes on the treadmill – but because I was doing most of my steps off the treadmill, I got shin splints.

Another time I made sure not to increase my exercise amounts too fast (think you should only increase steps/distance by 10% a week or something like that), and I was being very careful about it – but was trying to build up to jogging and went to the local hilly woods and got shin splints. Seemingly the additional bending on the ankles/shins on inclines and hills aggrevates the shin splints.

I tried to use the exercise bike, and my knees stopped working. I started getting shooting pain through my knees when walking.

Thought maybe the cross-trainer would be a good option because there was no pounding the shin down like on the treadmill. I ended up damaging my Achilles tendon and my plantar fascis (the muscle running under your foot). I could barely walk for weeks, that was severely painful.

So I’m very conscious starting off exercising, because I want to be able to exercise consistently and make it a habit. So during the summer, I started on the treadmill. Before I started, I made sure that I got proper runners, and also got proper insoles fitted and molded for me. I was stretching a bit before and afterwards. I started very slowly, not pushing myself, and barely even going the speed of a fast walk. More a leisurely paced walk. I was enjoying the time out in the shed, with my music on, on my own. I built it up slowly, taking rest days even though I didn’t feel I needed them at the pace I was going. I was at the stage where I was going out for about a 30 minute walk on the treadmill, at least four or five times a week. I was loving it and really happy that I was actually making a habit of it, and that it was really good for my head as well. If I went out there in a bad mood, by the time I was coming in, I was happier again.

And then I went to the Electric Picnic festival with my eldest daughter. I wore wellies. I did put my proper insoles into the wellies, but they’re still flat rubber boots. I walked over 25,000 steps on the Saturday and over 18,000 steps on the Sunday. On the Tuesday I walked up to the playschool to collect Biz, and I wasn’t 5 minutes into the walk when I couldn’t actually put weight on my legs. Luckily I was able to use the buggy to put my weight on to help me, but it was so painful. So I knew I was going to have to take a break from walking. Annoying but I didn’t want them to get worse, and rest is the most important thing for them to heal.

I was back with the physio about my stomach and core muscle exercises that she’s working on with me, and asked about the shin splints. She gave me exercises for them and told me to stay off them for the two weeks until she saw me next. I did that, but wasn’t great at actually doing the physio exercises. I was back with her last week and she’s given me more, and again told me no treadmill.

But it’s almost a week since I was with her and I have probably done the exercises on two days. That’s not ok. This is important, and this is for me. I can’t start to walk for exercise again until I sort them out. The exercises aren’t particularly difficult, but it is just the fact of trying to find the time to do them. But I need to. I need to find time to prioritise my health, and sort my body out once and for all so that I can be fit and healthy.

So I have just done the full set of exercises tonight, and will make it a priority every day now going forward. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to say that she has noticed a difference and that I really have done them every day. (Fingers crossed!!)

Packages Arriving!

The excitement! All my orders from over the weekend and earlier this week are starting to arrive. Its very exciting! I have to wait for a quiet time, when I can be sure that I won’t be surprised by a little person appearing beside me, to open them up.

Just a note to remember when ordering online – make sure to double check the measurements! One of the “big” Christmas presents arrived, and the box is tiny compared to what I was picturing. It is not the end of the world, because really it is about the contents inside – but just when you picture it standing under the tree, its not what I was hoping for. Particularly as it is for my eldest, and all her bits are teeny tiny sizewise but expensive lol.

Natural Deodorant

During the summer I decided that I was going to try to change to natural deodorants. This is something that was on my radar a good few years ago and I remember I tried a crystal stick and some other type of deodorant. I can’t actually remember at this stage (can I blame baby-brain? even though I think I’ve just forgotten anyway lol) – but I am guessing that whatever I did try didn’t impress me much, because I went back to using a main brand antiperspirant and have used that for the last six or seven years.

I had been seeing all these reviews on one particular Facebook page I’m on for a natural cream type deodorant made by Warrior, which is an Irish company. I decided to try it and bought myself and the hubbie a tin each, different scents. They recommend doing a deodorant detox when you’re changing to a natural deodorant, so go for a few days to a week without any deodorant and then start using the natural deodorant. So as unpleasant as that was, we both did it! And then started using the Warrior cream.

I’m just going to talk from my own experience because I don’t think my husband has fully changed over, its much easier for him to just spray something on in the mornings running out the door, than rub in a cream. For this reason I actually have bought a whole range of other natural deodorants to try out, to see can I find another option for him to use that is handier in the early mornings! That’s another post lol.

The cream is a mix of mostly shea butter, coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate and arrowroot and essential oils. And the two we got smelled beautiful. Because of its ingredients, it changes consistency with the heat in the house – in the summer it was much runnier, now more solid. You need to take a pea size bit and rub it into your armpit, so its a bit messier because obviously you have to wash your hands after using it. But it works. It keeps me fresh for 24hours usually. There’s times where I’ve put on a tight top straight after putting it on and must have rubbed it off because I notice a slight smell later that night, but usually from one morning to the next, there’s is no smell of sweat from me.

One thing though is that it doesn’t stop the sweat – which of course is one of the points of using it, letting the body clear the toxins by sweating them out – but still you sometimes forget about the fact of what that means until you’re sweating and have patches showing on your top!

But I love the fact that I am using a natural deodorant, with no aluminium or nasties in it at all. And that it works!

Bargain Hunter

So my husband always says if I think I’m getting a good deal, I have to buy. And he’s right. But I don’t just believe I’m getting a good deal because the shop says it, I always check around. If its food, I’ll double check the Tesco and Supervalu websites. Depending on what else it is, I’ll check Amazon, Argos and then more specific shops depending on what catagory its in (you know – toys, technology, clothes, etc) – to make sure I really am getting a good deal. I hate wasting money! I always have loads of items in my Amazon basket, waiting to buy (until payday, or until closer to when they’re needed etc) – and so I see the prices go up and down. And if I know they had been cheaper, then I won’t buy them until they go back down in price!

But as I said about hating wasting money, that also goes for quality. I hate wasting money on poor quality things. I feel if you’re going to spend the money, you should make sure to get the best item possible for your money. Its like the story of the pair of boots; the poor man can only afford to buy a pair of boots that last one year and they start leaking before the year is up, and they cost 20e… the rich man buys a pair of boots that last 10yrs and don’t leak, but they cost 50e and the poor man can’t afford that out of his salary. In the 10yrs the rich man only had to buy the one pair at 50e whereas the poor man has to buy 10 pairs of boots at 20e a pair costing a total of 200euro (so 150e more than the rich man) and he still had wet feet.

So I look for the best quality possible, at the best prices!

In some ways it is quite stressful, because I’m constantly double checking I’m getting the best prices, and reading reviews for quality. But I do enjoy getting good deals, and very rarely do we buy anything that turns out to being pure crap.

My most recent research was for an art set for my 12yr old daughter for a Christmas present. She wants to try different styles of painting, so has asked for a paint/art set. The problem is that it could just end up being thrown into the corner and barely used, so I don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on it. But then if you get really crap quality paints, they won’t be fun to use and when she uses them they won’t give her the proper try out of them she wants.

I started on Amazon looking at sets and reviews and brands, and there was a lot of hit and miss comments on a few differnt products, so I wanted to get more information. I grew up in an arty family, so Kennedys Art Shop in Dublin was my go-to from my memory for art supplies so went on to their website, and also another art shop Evans that I’d been brought to with a friend a few years back. On these sites I was able to get a bit more of an idea of what was out there (loads and loads of options!) but nothing that jumped out at me for my daughter. Then I had a look on Hobbycraft, and again they had a few “mixed media art sets” – some looked very cheap, but there was one with great reviews and while it wasn’t what I had been looking at originally (a full paint set with only acrylics, oils and watercolours) it also had colouring pencils and it all folded out of a box which was something my daughter mentioned, and with more things in it, there is more liklihood of being used. The reviews on this item really swung it for me, and it means that if she does like one of the types of painting over others, then we can get more specific supplies in the future for her, but this covers what she is looking for.

So you can see how much research goes into each purchase, so it’s not just me jumping at a good price. I do try my best to make smart purchases, but love when I get the good purchases at the best price!

Next research project is baking stuff, also for the 12yr old… she wants to add to her cupcake decorating skills and equipment! I have nozzle head sizes going around in my head lol!

Offers on Toys at the Moment

So, I’m on the countdown to Christmas! I know, I know, its still months until Christmas (well actually 12wks, 4 days!)… but I spend all year planning for it lol, and go into major mode in September once they go back to school. In fairness, we have a pretty big family to buy for – and I like to be thoughtful about my gifts – and its a huge cost if we don’t plan and budget for it. And I love Christmas, and the planning, and I like to be mostly done early and have nothing to be stressed about in December so I can just enjoy all the festivities!

So for anyone who is similiar to me and likes to get some bits sorted, both Smyths and Argos have offers on on toys this week.

Smyths has 10euro off on every 50euro spent – and unlike other years, there’s no vouchers or limits. If you spend 50, you save 10. If you spend 100, you save 20. If you spend 500, you save 100. Its 20% off – but only on each 50. In other words, if you spend 60, you still only get 10 off. Thats running until Sunday. I saw a few people say that things they were looking at went up in price just before the sale, therefore making the discount pointless. But I had filled my basket about 2 weeks ago, and nothing I had in my basket increased in price. So I was very happy with my 20% off on all my shopping. My son is Lego mad, so I always know its a safe bet buying him Lego even at the early stages, and then of course there are a few other bits he’s mentioned he’d like over the last few months so I picked them up too as surprises!

Argos then have a 3 for 2 offer. This is great if you know you’re getting a good deal, but you do need to be more careful. Their prices are usually more expensive to start with (when its sale time) and so you technically are getting 33% off – but when you think that the item might be more expensive to start with, you might not be getting a good deal. In other years, I’ve found it great for the more expensive items – if you’re spending over 80e on three things, it has generally worked out better than elsewhere. So if three items are 80e each, and you’re getting them for the price of 2, thats 160e, so that will work out as just under 54euro each – so that could be a great saving, as long as you can’t find those items cheaper elsewhere! I know I did this the year the kids wanted the Furby Booms and Teksta Dino/Kitties – and I saved a good bit, even compared to other sales. But you really do need to make sure you’re saving on this one!

I always price check off Amazon as well first, to be sure I am getting a good deal – and this gives a good idea too of whether the shops are marking way up just to discount them for the sales.

September, again!

Another September, another back to school, and another fresh start full of plans and hopes – for me! Of what I’ll be able to get done, and what structures and routines I’m going to be able to implement. Which of course never have actually worked out, because life just gets crazy and busy and there’s so much going on.

But here we are, and this time I’m hoping will be different!

See if you see me managing to write some posts, and we’ll see how I’m doing 😉