6 things that helped me not go crazy while having a cold

I had my entire week planned: printing half a million pages for school, doing the laundry, trying all the recipes from this new magazine and of course write some blog posts but then I had a cold the entire week and because I cannot skip school or work my usual tactic of 'sleep until it goes away' wasn't an option.

So I figured I needed to find a couple of new things that would make me feel better as soon as possible, preferably things I already have at hand. (careful though, if you are having an actual viral influenza you should go see a doctor!)

1. water: drink. all. the. time. Carry a stainless steel or BPA-free plastic bottle with you everywhere you go and drink every 5 minutes. I mean it. I trained very hard to be able to drink 3 - 4 litres a day and I know this seems like a lot when you don't pay attention to it usually, but belive me this is the minimum you should drink when you're sick. Of course it doesn't have to be all water, tea will make you feel warm and fuzzy and my number one tip of all time ever:

2. ginger: boil water, chop 3 pieces of ginger, add fresh lemon juice and a huge spoon of honey and you have a magic elixir that will cure all your headaches, sickness, stomach aches, sore throats and it will also help with that dizzy feeling.

3. tiger balm: if it feels like you can't breathe, use it twice a day on your chest and back, I also use it on my nose but be careful to a) not get too close to your eyes or you will never see through the tears again and b) obviously don't put it on sensitive or broken skin.

4. mints: they help you breathe. The stronger the better, it's likely you won't taste anything anyway.

5. baby cream: really thick, oily baby cream. Because your nose will be thankful and although everytime I touch it I will instantly have to blow my nose again, in the end it pays off to keep it moisturized. I use this one because it has the best package and smells like babies.

6. fresh air: As I said, few things are better than sleep when you are feeling under the weather, but fresh air is preferable to spending all day in a heated room with dry air. A short walk outside will help you breathe and gets your circulation going. (just don't go outside alone when you feel dizzy and remember to keep yourself warm).

And now I will have a nice cup of ginger-lemon-honey and then go back to sleep.
If you have any tips to make a cold more bearable do not hesitate to let me know. Seriously, tell me, please!

How strange it is to be anything at all...

But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see

It has been raining here for a few days now. Rain does something to me, at first I am so unpleased and grumpy because if it was to me, we'd have sunshine 24/7 (yes, at night too) but then I get out there and feel the rain and suddenly I am so glad it rains!
It's a very special mood I get in when I walk through the rain (to work, the train station, the grocery store, doesn't matter where I'm walking) I wouldn't call it melancholia but it's something close to that but with a more positive vibe. Is there a word for that? 

I start thinking about my Papa a lot and how we would go for walks in the rain but it's not the usual sadness that comes with it whenever I think of him, but pure love. This sounds sappy but I swear it isn't. Rain reminds me of how much love we must have had for another if I can still feel him with me every day of my life.

During our walks we would either talk for 3 hours straight or hardly say anything at all, and to be honest, I never felt closer to him than during our time of shared silence. 
As a child I had extreme fear of loss including panic attacks because my parents got divorced so very early. Being with him made me feel at ease, I was free to think without being scared constantly, free to just be and exist in the moment.

Lately I've worried about not enjoying the time I had with him, but whenever I am walking through the rain, I realize that I did. We both weren't talking a lot about it or showed our affection all of the time. We didn't need to. 
To know he was walking besides me in the rain, and to feel that he still does is all I ever needed. 


Sometimes talking about how I am dealing with the loss of my father migth seem like oversharing, but when I was going through this, I didn't know anyone who could actually help me. As much as I appreciated the love and care I got from everyone around me, all I wanted was someone to tell me "I've been there, I know you feel like the world should have stopped and to know it didn't makes you feel angry and alone but believe me, you will heal. Not completely, of course not, but a little. Every day the tiniest bit until one day when you touch the wound it won't burn anymore, just sting a little."
So I write this in case anyone needs to hear it.

diy: 30 minutes tablet case

We've got this tablet a while back with our tv & internet contract in Switzerland but until now we've  only used it to listen to audiobooks at night, but now that I'm going to school I found out how useful this little thing is when you don't want to print and carry hundreds of pages of scripts with you. However, I like to be careful with my things and carrying a tablet around without any protection made me feel really uncomfortable. Hence this project.

What you'll need:
thick felt (I bought 40cm x 120cm and I have enough leftovers to make a second case)
elastic band
one button
some scrap fabric
sewing machine, thread, scissors and a pen

1: First measure how much felt you'll need by placing the tablet about 1 cm from the edges, mark with a pen, double the length and then add another 10cm for the flap.

2: Cut!

3: Fold at your mark and sew on the sides.

4: Put a 10cm piece of elastic under a scrap piece of fabric and sew to the inside of the flap (place it in the middle!), make sure a small loop stays outside. Fold the flap over and mark where the loop meets the case, this is where you'll add the button (by hand).

5: (optional:) add another piece of scrap fabric to the flap to hide the stitches from where you attached the elastic.

As you see, my stitches are still all wobbly and especially with thick fabric such as this, it's not always easy and there's so much left to learn, but it's these easy little projects that help me make progress little by little.
I am still rather proud of how it turned out and think I will make another one with black fabric so M. can take the tablet to school when he needs it (he's not that big of a fan of polka dots, so sad).
You can costumize this to your heart's desires and add another pocket for headphones or a pen etc.

diy: tea & teabags

And some more tea-time! It's November and we should start talking about Christmas presents. If you like to give simple, homemade gifts, this might be an option. I made my own tea combinations (without artificial flavours) and teabags, too.
Let's start with the tea:

Step 1: chose a base. I decided to use rooibos tea this time because it's rather mild and goes well with nearly all flavours.
Step 2: chose flavours. I made the following three mixes:

lavender & jasmin
I pick and dry my own lavender every summer and use it in icecream, 
in my closet, for baking etc. the jasmin was already a 
tea I got as a sample from the teashop

apple & cinnamon
I used dried apple chips with no added sugar and a tiny piece of cinnamon stick, 
all chopped up to fit a teabag

cranberry & marzipan
this was a bit tricky as both ingredients don't really dry out completely, 
they stay sticky and moist and should be consumed within 
2-3 weeks as they'll turn bad quickly

Step 3: mix well! I used about the same amount of tea & flavour combination but it would probably be wiser to use less tea and more flavour combination as  rooibos tea is very aromatic.
Now you have your own, homemade tea - fill it in a nice little box and enjoy!
Or you could make some teabags. Because now you're in the crafting mood anyway, aren't you?

I used tea filters meant for teapots because I had them at home but a regular coffee filter or even very thin, undyed fabric works too. Cut out a rectangular shape about 1cm wider and 2 cm higher than a teabag would be, turn the edges and sew them together on the sides. I used my sewing machine with a 60-needle and sewed very slow to not rip the thin paper. For a pop of colour you could use naturally dyed thread (or even dye it yourself with beet juice for example).
Then use a spoon to fill the teabags!

Now just fold over the edge, roll it up once and using a 15cm embroidery thread and an embroidery needle secure the edge. Make your own little tag out of whatever you have at hand (I used an index card and washi tape) or print one with a personal message, a quote or a picture. Or little christmas-tree shapes, that would be funny!

And you're done!

I'm already thinking about other combinations to try, I'd love to make my own ginger-lemon green tea next time, orange-clove would also be a very nice winter-flavour or aniseed for a more spicy tea.