Who’s an SME News Award Winner?

Who’s an SME News Award Winner?

SME News Awards

It’s been a long while since I’ve shared good news about my eco friendly wedding jewellery. You can probably guess who’s an SME News award winner? Yes, this is the official announcement that I have won a prestigious award. This award is from Small and Medium Enterprise News (SME News) as part of the Midlands Enterprise Awards program. May this be the start of lots of good news for everyone in 2021. Happy New Year!

Best for Bespoke Eco-friendly Wedding Jewellery 2020

Way back in July 2020 I was nominated for an award in the West Midlands region from SME News Midlands. It was a lovely surprise but then a nail biting wait for any further news. It wasn’t until September 2020 that I officially found out that I had been awarded the “Best for Bespoke Eco friendly Wedding Jewellery 2020” in the Midlands. Following this, a press embargo had me keep this news under my hat until November 2020. After some unavoidable delays the official awards announcement was published on 22 December 2020. And with Christmas getting in the way it’s taken me until now to announce my award to you here.

Want to know about SME News? Alongside their quarterly publication SME News also offer an easy to use website, newsletter and a series of awards programmes. This makes them much more than just a magazine, but instead a vital business resource. Their Midlands Enterprise programme is in its 4th year and continues to recognise the very best SMEs across the region. SME News prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition. To have my eco friendly wedding jewellery recognised by SME News is amazing!

sme news award sugar gold wedding ring - eco friendly wedding jewellery
Sugar Gold Wedding Ring

A Welcome Uplift

Given the nation’s circumstances in 2020 it has been a welcome uplift to receive this award from SME News Midlands. The Midlands can be described as the beating heart of British business. This really is something I am proud to be part of. 

See my official award page click here. Browse my award winning bespoke eco friendly wedding jewellery click here

sme news award Pink Tourmaline gold ring eco friendly wedding jewellery
Pink Tourmaline Gold Ring

My Experience of Long Covid

My Experience of Long Covid

My experience of Coronavirus and Long Covid 

Introduction

I’ve been meaning to write about my experience of Coronavirus and Long covid for months now. Unsure whether to write it at all, I asked my friends and the majority said do it. If this article gives information to others or perhaps resonates with someone else’s experience then it will be good. Or perhaps someone can offer some tips on how to get through it? Also, I know there are some people who don’t believe coronavirus is real. The more people write about their own experiences, the more people will realise that it is very real.

I have split this blog post into “The Science” which are facts based on research done by others and the “Personal” bit which is merely my own experience, interpretation, feeling, conclusion which is not based on scientific fact. Also, I know others have suffered from Coronavirus much worse than me so I am focussing this on the Long Covid part of the illness.

 

The Science

According to Zoe, the covid research programme based at King’s College London there are two broad groups of long covid sufferers. One is dominated by respiratory symptoms as well as fatigue and headaches. The second group was ‘multi-system’, affecting many parts of the body including the brain, gut and heart. 

Zoe Covid-19 app

My Virus Timeline

March 2020

I believe I contracted coronavirus in early March, but given that there were no tests available to the public at this time I can only conclude that what I had was coronavirus. Doctors that I have spoken to since March have also concluded that I had coronavirus. I had all the main symptoms of this virus namely cough, fever, lethargy, loss of taste and smell. I also experienced dizziness, stomach upset, heart palpitations, aching lungs, aching kidneys, restless legs and a hoarse voice. At the time when I first got ill I was not prepared. I live on my own and had not stocked up on food or medicine. I had recently moved to Birmingham and didn’t know many people in the area. I was pretty scared. My lowest point was one night when I was dizzy, sick and needed to get to the bathroom. I had to crawl there because I was so dizzy. I ended up lying on the bathroom floor, for I don’t know how long, with the room spinning. I was on the verge of calling the ambulance. After a long while the dizziness subsided and I managed to crawl back in bed. Luckily I felt a lot better the next day.

After 14 days of isolation I felt much better so decided to venture out on a cycle ride. This was a big mistake. I felt ok but was not 100% and I realise now that I overdid it. I relapsed in a big way and was sick again. 

April  to  October 2020 

It would be nice to describe this period of time as “recovery time” but it was more like better days and worst days. Since first contracting coronavirus in March I have not felt 100-percent well. This has been coined by many thousands of sufferers as Long Covid. Some days I feel slightly better, some days I feel completely drained and unwell. On a good day I have that feeling that I’m coming down with something. You know the feeling when you don’t feel quite right, you feel a bit unwell not at full capacity? On bad days my main Long Covid symptoms are swollen throat glands, sore throat, hoarse voice, sinus pain, extreme fatigue. I had a relapse during this period and have had to take time off work when I was not well enough to work. 

Another persistent symptom, which is annoying rather than debilitating, is altered taste and smell. Some things taste and smell very different, even now, 8 months on. Household cleaning products smell really strong and chemically, quite unbearable. Mint toothpaste doesn’t taste the same anymore. I still get the cool sensation in my mouth but none of the minty flavour, very disappointing. It just tastes weird. I can no longer smell sulphurous things. I use a sulphur based chemical in jewellery making and it smells completely different now. It used to be really unpleasant but now it smells quite nice, almost nutty. It’s very strange.

Now, November 2020

So, 8 months on and I’m still suffering with long covid. At the end of last month and the beginning of this I have done quite a lot. I moved house, went on a long country walk and been busy at work. I believe this has caused yet another relapse. For 3 weeks I have experienced my symptoms (swollen throat glands, sore throat and fatigue) in an extreme form.  For approximately 3 days I could not do anything but move slowly around my flat and rest. I feel like I’m through the worst of it but I’m still recovering. I realise now that this long covid is ongoing and I don’t know when it will end. I am learning what my limits are and thinking how to plan my life accordingly.

Personal Opinion

Why did I get Long Covid?

Prior to getting coronavirus my doctor suggested I might have high blood pressure and wanted to investigate more. Alas the pandemic intervened and the investigations couldn’t go ahead. During lockdown I bought myself a blood pressure monitor. I measured my blood pressure every day and as the doctor had suspected my blood pressure was high. Having read the news reports and scientific research in the press it became evident that my high blood pressure could be a cause of my long covid.  

Trying to cure Long Covid

Diet

Realising I had hypertension prompted me to purchase several recipe books on the DASH diet, the mediteranean diet and the Doctor’s Kitchen (my favourite). The DASH diet is doctor approved to reduce hypertension. I made it my lockdown mission to eat healthier, lose weight and reduce my blood pressure. I really enjoyed learning new recipes, making delicious food whilst I had the time. I learned how to prepare food to make myself more healthy. To a certain extent the diet helped me feel better and my blood pressure did go down. I did lose weight. I did have more energy. However the diet did not cure my long covid. I must admit I don’t stick to my healthy diet every day but I do try for the majority of the time. Mentally I feel that a healthy diet is helping me a bit even though it hasn’t cured my long covid symptoms. 

Recipes from the Doctor’s Kitchen include lots of medicinal spices including ginger, turmeric, garlic & cinamon. The dishes are really tasty but they haven’t cured my long covid symptoms.

Some people with long covid had said that giving up sugar, caffeine and alcohol helped with their symptoms. So I tried to give up processed sugar, reduce my caffeine and alcohol intake. Again I did feel very virtuous for a while but unfortunately it did not cure my long covid symptoms. 

I have also been taking vitamin supplements but cannot say that they have made any improvement to my long covid symptoms or not? 

Exercise

I got myself a fitbit and started walking. Because of my energy levels and anxiety my first walks were short. I slowly built up to longer walks. When we came out of lockdown I joined the Ramblers and managed some fairly long walks over the summer. Whilst they mentally boosted my wellbeing I felt completely shattered for a couple of days after each walk.

Whenever I’ve felt well enough I’ve continued to do Pilates with Kate on Zoom during lockdown and briefly (whilst we could) in King’s Heath. Kate is a brilliant and supportive teacher and a wonderful lady. She came to my rescue with paracetamol when I was in isolation with Coronavirus. Thank you Kate.

Lymphatic Drainage

I’ve watched many videos on lymphatic drainage self massage and tried it for 2 weeks. I don’t know if I was doing it correctly? Perhaps you’re not supposed to do it whilst you are sick? Anyway, it made me feel worse so I stopped.

Paracetamol

As several doctors have prescribed, I am taking paracetamol 3 or 4 times day to help relieve pain in my glands and throat. I’ve been taking paracetamol everyday now since mid March. That’s 8 months! This is not really something I want to do but it does provide some relief so I will carry on as long as it’s not detrimental to my health. 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Stress and anxiety reared their ugly heads during my illness with coronavirus. My anxiety got so bad I had to speak to a counsellor. I feel in a much better place now but it was a scary experience. I don’t know if the anxiety was bought on by coronavirus or by the media? I have put myself on a strict media diet now and this is definitely helping to reduce my anxiety levels. Counselling, meditation, Zen with Kim, gratitude, aromatherapy and reflexology have all helped to get me through the worst. I’m happy to say that now I feel much more able to cope.

abloom candles

Support

I couldn’t have got through the last 8 months without my close friends support network. They have been amazing, thank you to you.

walks with Birmingham 30s 40s meet up group

More…

Friends, family and colleagues ALL want to help and offer me suggestions of how to get rid of long covid. These include cold water swimming, Reiki, chakra cleansing and more which I have yet to try.

Long Covid – The Conclusion…?

So, I still have long covid symptoms 8 months on. They haven’t improved at all. I don’t know how to cure them. I don’t think the doctors or researchers do either? I don’t know how long they will last? I don’t think the doctors or researchers know either? Have you had a similar experience and want to share it with me? Perhaps you have some tips on how to improve long covid symptoms?

Please feel free to share this article with anyone who might find it useful.

Please write your comments below, all are welcome. Thank you, Ellie

My Magazine Interview is out!

My Magazine Interview is out!

My magazine interview is out!

Read it here… I recently found out that my magazine interview has been published. I’ve included a copy here for you.

An interview with ETC Magazine

I was contacted about 6 months ago by a Jasmine from Etc magazine, an award winning lifestyle publication that covers our fair county of Sussex. I was thrilled to be invited for a magazine interview to chat about my jewellery designs.

It’s been a while since my last press coverage so I was nervous but excited about this request.

Delving into my past

When it came to it I really enjoyed my interview with Jasmine. As we chatted my nerves diminished. She asked me about how I changed career from environmental scientist to jeweller, you can find out more about that if you click the image to read the full magazine interview.

I was also asked about the jewellery making workshops I run in Birmingham, including my beginners workshops and wedding ring making. Honestly, I can say I enjoy running these almost as much as the couples who attend.

Of course Jasmine asked about my jewellery designs too. Making jewellery is the main reason I quit my previous job and is still my main joy. I may have slipped in that I was recently awarded “Best Eco-friendly Jewellery Brand 2018” by Lux life magazine! Incorporating my environmental stance into my jewellery is something I’m proud to be recognised for.

Chuffed to bits

Finding out my magazine interview, double page no less, is in print has been very exciting. You can pick up the February issue of Etc magazine all over Sussex, for free, so do grab one when you see it. I’m certainly chuffed to bits about how lovely the article is. What do you think? Please leave your comments below. Thank you, Elizabeth

Claim your free gift card worth £10

Claim your free gift card worth £10

Claim your free gift card worth £10

Mama Mia, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?! Resist no longer! You’ll make a song and dance of the free gift card worth £10 you’ll receive with your order this August. Here’s why…

Free gift card image 1

What is this free gift card?

Throughout August, every order you place at Elizabeth Anne Norris jewellery will include a free gift card worth £10. That’s right, we’ll pop a £10 gift card in with your jewellery to be redeemed at any time in the future. Keep it for yourself or give it to your bestie? Ah! how nice. Your gift card is easy to use. Each card has a unique code on it. Next time you want to order anything from our online shop enter the unique code on your gift card in the “coupon code” box at the checkout. As if by magic, £10 (or your countries equivalent monetary value) will automatically be deducted from the total. Each gift card is unique and can only be used once but it is valid forever.

We’ve had some great offers for you already this year like our best sellers offer in July. We plan to have more so please stay tuned.

free gift card image 2

How do I get my free gift card?

So you’ve been day dreaming that prince charming will surprise you with that beach inspired necklace you’ve been drooling over? You’ve been lusting after that eco silver ring for a while now and haven’t taken the plunge? Wait no longer. If you order anything this month you’ll automatically receive a free gift card with your order. Why not give it to prince charming as a subtle hint? Or you could order a ring size tool to claim your gift card.

To claim your gift card worth £10 all you have to do is place an order at Elizabeth Anne Norris jewellery before the end of August 2018. It’s really as simple as that.

free gift card image 3

Don’t miss out on future offers

Loved our free gift card offer? Be the first to hear about future offers by signing up to our mailing list*.

Click here to sign up now.

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Upcycle Recycle Exhibition Lancaster

Upcycle Recycle Exhibition Lancaster

Upcycle Recycle Exhibition Lancaster

You can currently find a handpicked selection of my recycled sterling silver jewellery exhibited in the “Upcycle Recycle” show at Arteria with Gallery 23 in Lancaster.

Showcasing Design with Conscience

My invitation to join the artists exhibiting in Upcycle Recycle was gratefully received and my handmade eco friendly jewellery is now part of a fantastic collection of art, design and craft that is created with conscience. You’ll find pieces like the Squares and Pearls charm bangle (shown below) and others from my Floral Hearts and Squares and Pearls Collections, all made from 100% recycled sterling silver.

The Artists at Upcycle Recycle

The exhibits on display at Arteria with Gallery 23, Lancaster, are the works of predominantly local and national artists and designers. The expo features wall art, plinth work, textiles, jewellery and gifts, all of which is handmade with the environment in mind. The eclectic mix of works on show are indicative of how refined and desirable upcycled and recycled design can be.

The ethos of the exhibition is being carried through to the marketing of the event. The postal invitation (shown) is printed on brown 100% recycled card that is manufactured using wind power. The illustration on the front of the invitation is the work of Ruth Allen who is exhibiting in the show. The font used on the invitation is an “eco font” it has dots running through the centre of the letters and so it only uses half the ink when printed.

Plan Your Visit to Upcycle Recycle

The Upcycle Recycle exhibition at Arteria with Gallery 23 in Lancaster runs from 17 May through to 6 October 2018. For more information and to plan your visit go to http://www.arteriashop.co.uk/handmade/

If you don’t live near Lancaster you are always welcome to browse our eco friendly jewellery collections online here.

My personalised floral heart pendant feature

My personalised floral heart pendant feature

My personalised floral heart pendant feature

The floral heart pendant from my floral hearts jewellery collection has been featured!

Valentines picks with hearts and flowers

It’s always lovely to have my jewellery designs recognised. Seeing my personalised floral heart pendant in pride of place in the latest Ethical Market newsletter is no exception. Thank you Ethical Market!

You may have seen my previous blog post when my stacking rings were featured by ethical market? Ethical Market is the place to go for fairly made and ethically made products. If you haven’t read that yet you can click here.

Eco-friendly Valentines Day gift ideas

I was excited to see my personalised floral heart pendant as one of the Valentine’s Day gift ideas picked by Ethical Market. For anyone who loves hearts and flowers this sterling silver pendant ticks all the boxes as a perfect Valentines gift. Not only is this beautiful pendant handmade and made to order in 100% recycled silver but each one is made unique with a personal name, date or message on the back.

There are four silver heart necklaces for customers to choose from and they’re all available to order online. With different sizes and finishes on offer you may want to click here to browse the options.

How the pendant is made

Using traditional jewellery making techniques a softened sheet of recycled silver is rolled between steel rollers to apply the floral design. Then, using a jeweller’s saw, each heart is hand cut and stamped with a message on the reverse using number and letter punches. The back of the pendant is polished using a buffing wheel while the front is giving a matte white finish, which is a personal favourite of mine. The pendant is domed in a doming block to give depth and shape before hanging it on a long sterling silver chain. I think you’ll agree that this heart necklace would be a wonderful gift to receive on Valentine’s Day.

If you haven’t already, you can head over to see what other valentines gift ideas ethical market have selected here.

Order yours for your Valentine

Although each personalised floral heart pendant is handmade to order there is still plenty of time for me to make yours for you. It will be delivered directly to your door before 14 February, in eco friendly packaging of course. Click here for full details about this pretty necklace and to order yours. 

What personal message would you have on your heart pendant? Please let me know in the comments below, thank you.