8-STEP WINTER FLU SURVIVAL GUIDE

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As you can probably deduce from the title of this post, I have been cruelly struck down in my prime. My life and all it contains came to an abrupt halt this week and I withdrew from any form of functional society to reside in my bed. The only signs of life that can be observed are the trail of junk food, numerous glasses of blackcurrant juice and the intense, not at all dramatic and totally justified wailing about how imminent my impending death is.

And yet, despite all this hardship, I’m surviving guys. So, here’s a little insight into how you can too when I finally break the internet barrier and take you all down with me:

 

1. GIVE IN. GIVE IN, TO THE DARK SIDE.

Trust me when I say this, do as little as humanly possible. Don’t move. Become horizontal and choose an unsuspecting loved one to unknowingly become your flu-related slave. Comparing yesterday, a day of rest, and today, a day in which I naively tried to function in society, I know which I’ll be replicating for the next twenty-four hours. And trust me, you should too.

2. TV, TV AND MORE TV.

Now that you’re sufficiently immobilised, the only thing that can begin to make your spirits feel lifted is what I like to call ‘easy-watching’ TV. Now, to me, this means the kind of familiarity which results in very minimal concentration, since you can already quote each episode in your sleep. Watch until your heart’s content and your mind has been sufficiently numbed. Examples of which include: Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls and the wonder that is Gossip Girl.

3. JUNK FOOD – TRUST ME, I’M NOT A DOCTOR.

What is it they say again, starve a fever and feed a cold? Well, that’s just what I did. Now, I know there is a queue of health professionals out there ready to slaughter me for this. But don’t you even begin to try to tell me that your throat and all of the suffering that it’s endured so far won’t thank you for the entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s you’ve consumed.

4. ENOUGH WATER TO SINK THE TITANIC ALL OVER AGAIN.

If you’ve stuck around long enough to remember my nuggets of wisdom from last year in, “11 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Twenties“, then you’ll remember my waxing lyrical about the wonder of hydration. This is triply true when you’re incapacitated with the flu. If you think your impending flu-death is unpleasant, try your impending flu-death and dehydration on for size, you’ll never take your eye off the ball again.

5. COMFORT IS KEY.

You’re ill, you’re exhausted, you’re bloated from inhaling an entire tub of ice cream before Friends’ theme song has even begun. The only thing that’s going to improve this situation is blankets. Blankets, blankets and more blankets. And don’t forget that soft toy you pretend you didn’t purchase from the Disney store, to accompany you in your time of need.

6. DRESS TO IMPRESS.

If the person you’re trying to impress is a onesie designer, that is. The bigger, the fluffier and the more OTT, the better. Bonus points for each Disney character onesie you can find.

7. THE LONGER THE BATH, THE BETTER THE BATH.

I truly believe that the answer to everything is a good bath. This is only quadrupled in truth when one has been taken down by the flu. Overload on bubbles, you’ll instantly perk right back up.

8. LOUDLY ALERT YOUR LOVED ONES TO YOUR IMPENDING DEATH.

And if they are anything like my friends and family, you’ll immediately be met with a chorus of “SHUT UP”.

 

On that note guys, I’m off to return to my Night Nurse induced coma.

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VALENTINES DAY

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Today marked my aunt and uncle’s 30th Valentine’s Day together. (Way to go guys, I can’t even commit to a sandwich for the duration of lunch!) Today also marked yet another Valentine’s Day which has fallen during a period where I’m single. However, that does not in any way mean that I’ve spent today moping, nor have I taken to social media in a bid to declare my recurring singleton status as I have witnessed so many people do today.

I started my day with a small time-related freakout, wondering at which point in my year I sneezed and completely missed January, before making the calculated decision to give today to myself. Why on earth should anyone out there spend a day intended for the celebration of love, feeling terrible about themselves? It just doesn’t make sense, bubs. Listen to your embarrassing Aunt Alice.

So I stayed in my pyjamas, gathered up the dog for a marathon cuddle and put on a box set I’ve been meaning to finish for three billion months. I proceeded to demolish a pack of Sour Patch Kids and call my good friends at Domino’s. Now, to many that may sound like that a bummer of a day, but to me it was the epitome of self-care. A shower at a temperature deemed unsafe for human habitation and a dance around the living room in my underwear to the cheesiest, most in your face, love related pop-songs. Because let’s face it, what’s a better addition to any day than screaming Whitney Houston at a pitch that only dogs are physically capable of hearing?

We’ve got to stop putting the kind of pressure this holiday brings upon ourselves girlies, it’s a celebration of love and how on earth are we able to commit to loving another human being if we can’t show ourselves a little first. So, let your best friends be your valentine’s, eat your favourite food and worry about the calorie counting another day, watch your favourite shows and sing your best cheesy anthems.

And just in case you need a little push in the right direction, here are a few of my personal unbelievably cheesy faves, which my family have begged me to stop singing three times tonight:

  • Like A Prayer – Madonna
  • Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
  • Take My Breath Away – Berlin
  • Hooked On A Feeling – Blue Swede
  • I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  • Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
  • Everything I Do, I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
  • Eternal Flame – The Bangles

CHRISTMAS CATCH-UPS AND NO NEW ME’S

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Before I even begin to put thought to keyboard, can we just take a second to focus on the fact that it’s January? It’s 2017. I.. How? When the fluff did that happen?

Anyway.

Christmas flew by quicker than a Sunday Grey’s Anatomy marathon this year. I swear one minute I was eating an entire box of Thornton’s chocolate and wrestling the button of my jeans open, next the calendar pinned to my cupboard door became about as useful as a chocolate teapot. However, the speed it flashed by at definitely doesn’t reflect how good a festive period it was. Not only did Santa Clause shower me in all my favourite things, but I went to my first Christmas market.

Now, getting me into the festive spirit isn’t exactly on a par with the more difficult things in life. – In fact, at times, Buddy the Elf has quite the rival in spreading the Christmas cheer. – But let me tell you, nothing quite got me into the Christmas mindset quite like Edinburgh’s attempts at the festivities. There were endless stalls filled with the most pleasant smelling diet-ruiners you could ever imagine, absolutely out of this world little gifts from all over the Christmas joyed planet and to top everything off, a Christmas tree maze which was intended for children yet myself and my also not-a-child sister, got completely lost in. But by far, the beautiful Christmas themed icing on top of the Christmas pudding was undoubtedly the Ferris wheel. What’s better than seeing Edinburgh, than seeing Edinburgh from a great height, whilst being recorded swearing like a trooper about the fact you’re at a great height?

It’s definitely something I’ll be revisiting this Christmas.

However, the festivities have come and gone and now we’re in the January blues no man’s land, where everyone is setting themselves unrealistically high goals for the year. But you can all rest easy, my friends. You will have continuity in your year, you can continue your week safe and sound in the knowledge you will not be receiving any ‘new me’. I pledge to remain the same serial Dominos ordering, excessive wine drinking, life-stumbling, money spending Alice that you have all come to know.

I’ve decided that my approach to 2017 will not include any mahoosively unrealistic resolutions, it merely will revolve around the premise that I will tackle the year with the same clumsy gusto that I always do and will try my hardest not to half-arse anything I do.

But if there’s one thing I will make a conscious effort to change is my self-sabotaging ways. It sounds extreme but we’re all guilty of it, you make it to the end of another year and claim that the next you’ll do more, or you’ll see your friends more or even simply exercise more. But behold, when your best friend rings you up and tells you to get yourself ready cause you’re going out, you look at your Disney pyjamas and suddenly it seems much more appealing to remain potatoed on the couch. Only to find you later regret it. Or you find yourself in a deathly staring match with your gym shoes and walk past them daily in spite of it. But not anymore, not this year. As sweeping a statement it seems, the reality is much simpler, just stop saying no to things and yet I never do.*

2016 was… Well, it was really something. So here’s to another a year of chaos, clumsiness and trying to navigate this nightmare that we call our twenties.

*To any of my friends reading this, please god make this transition easy, I beg of you. (And yes Charlotte, I mean you and your knitting groups.)

OCTOBER FAVOURITE’S

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Okay, I know we’re now halfway through November and suddenly it’s socially acceptable to play Christmas music, but I digress. I am a painfully unorganised person, so I’d like to think I get at least one blogging ‘hall pass’ for my disorderly ways.

However, here’s the things that I regarded as having floated my boat last month..

  • ALOE VERA GEL – This worldly beauty is constructed one hundred percent, from the purest angel kisses. Fact. Or at least I think so. This wonder product fixes everything, and I mean everything. Dry skin? Aloe vera. Spots? Aloe vera. Boyfriend left his pants on the floor? Aloe vera. A career related existential crisis?.. Have I mentioned aloe vera?
  • PRIMARK MUGS – As we know, we are all partial to a casual stroll past Primark’s window and somehow find ourselves £80 lighter before we can say, “Do I really need this?”. But upon one fine October day I happened upon the best mugs a person could ask for. Now before you mistake this for a sweeping statement, allow me to point out that these magnificent pieces of porcelain can hold two, yes two, cups of tea. And the best part? Oh, the very best part? They are currently on sale for one glorious pound. *
  • HALLOWEEN Am I regarded by society as an adult? Technically. Do people generally see Halloween as a holiday for children in adorable costumes? Technically, yes. Did I use it as a means to dress up as the Joker and get blindingly drunk?.. My parents must be so proud.
  • THE WALKING DEAD – Hi, I’m Alice. I take six years to finally watch a TV show and binge watch six seasons of said show, in an astonishingly sad, two weeks. The most devastating part of all this being, that I’m finally caught up in the show’s hype, whilst the majority of my family and friends stopped watching two seasons ago. It’s a cruel world out there kids. PS. You are all cordially invited to my wedding to Rick Grimes.
  • TOPSHOP GLITTER POTS – Now as a woman who has often been referred to as a magpie, through an intense love of anything that sparkles, you can imagine my delight when I happened across Topshop’s glitter eyeshadows. Which seem to combine the glory days of Barry M Dazzle Dust, with the 2016 hype of iridescent highlighters and the result? A party on your eyelids, which with the right primer, I can confirm will last all night in even the most drunken states. All for a mere nine quid. (Don’t worry guys, I put in the hard work, I did the groundbreaking research.)

* Disclaimer: I, as a person, cannot be held responsible for the aftermath of impulsive mug buying. Please do refrain from directing your families rage at their ever decreasing cupboard space my way, as I’m still searching for a leg to stand on with my own.

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DEAR DIARY: WELCOME TO THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENT OF MY LIFE

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Lately, I’ve been feeling just that little bit shit.

Stay with me here, I know this post’s coming across as a bit of a bummer, but trust me, you will get your gloriously awkward ending.

Now, I firmly believe that everyone should have a thinking spot. A place that you can take yourself off to when life just gets a bit too much and give things a good old mull over. So, that’s exactly where I went.

After a while of being tucked up on hidden patch, of what is already a relatively secluded beach – Aside from the odd dog walker, who lets face it, merely adds an element of animal therapy to an already pleasant half hour – scribbling what little wisdom nuggets I have left into my pretty patterned notebook, I quickly realised that this situation was, in fact nearing fatal and I could not resolve it on my own.

So, I called for back up.. My best friend. She has to, by law, put up with my monthly mood swing, right?

And there I sat, contently whining about life and all it entails, while my furry baby snuffled her way around every individual pebble and attempted to take on a flock of six mutant sized seagulls.

It was then I glanced up and noticed a couple making their loved-up way onto the middle of the rocks, a mere thirty foot away from me. – Cue my regaling my best friend with my cynicism surrounding romance and all it contains. – So, I made the conscious decision to gather myself up and leave their little love-bubble untainted by my sad Susan aura of the day.

Did he, or did he not, at this exact moment drop to one knee with a surprise photographer blocking my only exit?

Of course, he did.

There were tears, loving embraces, loved ones bursting out with balloons and a small photoshoot on the rocks to follow.

Stage right? My good self, looking like I had crawled out from under a bridge. I’m talking all kinds of glamorous. (Trackies, spotty face and huge top knot.) All the while wrestling an old beach-found Space Raiders packet from my furbaby’s jaw.

The phrase “pulling an Alice”, which has sadly become a frequent amongst my nearest and dearest ones, now holds a whole new meaning.

… I’ll see myself out. – Much like I eventually did from that beach.

11 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE MY TWENTIES

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Here I sit, fetal, Winnie the Pooh pyjama clad, Pot Noodle in hand and water bottle tucked beneath my jumper. It’s a hormone extravaganza in here today, so what better to do than impart what little wisdom nuggets I have collected thus far…

 

1. Baking is good for the soul. – Never underestimate the power of baking. Those calories don’t count, you’re their ruler and creator, they can’t stage a coup.

 

2. Tea. Lots of tea. – I spent the first two decades of my time on the planet, blatantly defying the genetically inbuilt British tendency to drink tea and those are two decades of my tea-less life I will never get back. Sit back and let the beigey, warm goodness wash over life’s troubles.

 

3. You can’t please everyone, stop trying. – Are you a Nutella jar who’s recently acquired the ability to read? If not, chances are, you won’t be pleasing everyone anytime soon. Live your life, let them live theirs.. And eat Nutella. In vast quantities.

 

4. Non-padded bras are key to boob comfort. – There’s a fifteen-year-old version of myself, quietly rocking in a corner somewhere as I type this, but just trust me. It’s true. No, nobody can see your nipples. No, you don’t look strange. You are, however, embraced in a kind of boob comfort that money can indeed buy. It’s a boob hug waiting to happen, if you let it.

 

5. Comfy pants. – Following on from all the boob talk, let’s take a second to endorse the comfortable underwear. No matter how many times your teenage brain tells you that a Tammy Girl thong with monkeys printed upon it is a good idea, step away. Think about your options, come to terms with the fact that Bridget Jones really did have a clue and tell me how much better your day is when your butt has a hug.

 

6. Water. – You’re like a plant. – For some of us, staying hydrated is a chore. But hindsight is a wonderful thing and the dawning realisation that I spent the first two decades of my life severely dehydrated and didn’t need to suffer half the dull throbbing my brain was rewarding me with, has left me clutching at water bottles for life.

 

7. Red lipstick. – You want to look like an alluring 1940s siren? Red lipstick. You want to up the makeup ante, but cannot for the life of you, force your fingers to coordinate long enough to achieve eye makeup? Red lipstick. You wan-… Oh, you get the picture.

 

8. He’s not worth it. – Now, lets face it, by this point in our list-making you’re a red lipstick wearing, comfortable-boobed, tea-drinking, watered plant. So, it really should be a given that whoever he (or, she) is, they’re just not worth it. But, it often takes even the best of us far longer than they deserved for us to see this. If Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie can get over Brad Pitt, you can get over that fuckboy driving you to Maccy Dee’s in his 2007 Corsa.

 

9. Travel mugs. – Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only thing better than consuming vast quantities of caffeine, is consuming said vast quantities of caffeine whilst on the move. Not only do you have the added boosts of energy throughout the day, but you also combine that with the added suspense of, will I make it to the loo before the primary school classic ‘Stop The Bus I Need A Wee Wee’ becomes a tragic adult reality.

 

10. Life starts when you stop caring about what you look like. – Who knew I’d grow to regret the teenage years in which I would recreate the crying scene in Alice In Wonderland, in the Topshop fitting rooms? Who would’ve guessed, that I’d stop restricting what I felt I could wear because of how I felt about my lumps and bumps? Not me, anyway. However, if there’s one piece of advice I could journey back in time and give the blonde bombshell, that is my 16-year-old self – Did I say bombshell? I mean insecure wreck. – it would be this, if anybody who’s opinion you value highly has anything negative to say about your appearance, ditch ‘em. Consider this number one nugget of Alice wisdom, if you will.

 

11. Terrible TV, is the best TV. – Because let’s face it, there’s absolutely nothing better than a Teen Mom marathon. Except maybe a Teen Mom 2 marathon. I will never be ashamed to proudly admit to my seven years of avid viewership. You shouldn’t either. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed by tea and trash TV.

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ROMANCE

To have grown up into a culture where terms such as ‘side chick’ are commonplace, I can’t help but feel horrendously out of place. Growing up, I was the typical delusional Disney child who’d been convinced by our good friend Walt that she’d grow up to one day fall in love with her handsome Prince Charming and they’d ride off into the sunset together, having overcome some great and torturous evil.

The reality? Not so much.

Twenty-first-century dating, is no walk in the park. All the romantic, nervous and quaint ideals that were once surrounding the act of “courting” someone are now a distant memory, and what we’re left with is a distinct lack of morals, with a side order of wanting your cake and eating it too. Intimate, romantic dining has now been replaced with sloppy, drunken nightclub settings. Beautifully composed love songs, have now been replaced with the unbelievably sexist musings of Robin Thicke. Eyes meeting across the room, has now been replaced with a ‘swipe right’ on Tinder. Forgive me if I sound outdated, but when did we let romance die?

At which point did we lose the social structure of meeting, courting, dating, relationship? Everybody knew where they stood. Nobody was left tentatively awaiting a text message during their walk of shame the next day and nor were people left pondering, scrutinising each and every communication from their date, frantically rationalising that ‘seen’ button along the way.

What changed? At which point did we decide to drop the 1950s style courting rituals, for the 2000s style ‘quantity over quality’ mantra.

And, more importantly, how do we get it back?