Things I Love Thursday

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❤ Lush bath bombs

❤ Sunshine finally starting in England again

❤ Salads full of yummy colourful things

❤ The perfect oversized denim jacket I found in a charity shop

❤ My growing pin collection on my denim jacket

❤ Good post days

❤ Actually starting to feel better finally

❤ The Life Is Strange soundtrack

❤ Basil tofu

❤ Black salt

❤ Oli just being a general babe and looking after me

❤ Train journeys

❤ Soy chai lattes

Toodles!

Things I Love Thursday

Guess who’s back to the gratitude lists? Oh yes, that would be me. I haven’t been very good a writing these lately and this might actually be the first one of the year. But, I am back and ready to be grateful for the amazing things in my life because I know how much it improves my outlook.

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❤ My amazing new “Purrmaid” bedding from George at ASDA. I saw it online and was hoping I could find it in store and I luckily did. It was only £12 for a double set as well which I think is amazing. Its got a cute shell print on the other side which is a nice touch. It also matches my Bei Badgirl merkitty tattoos.

❤ My amazing friends and readers for being so supportive after I posted my post about my mental health struggles. Thank you so much everyone, it really means the world to me that you are all there for me, thinking of me and relating. I hope anyone out there struggling with similar difficulties knows they are not alone and we can fight through this.

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❤ The first hints of spring in the air. Spring is my favourite season and it is finally starting to peak through the clouds here in England. We have had a few weeks of flooding and ridiculously strong winds to it’s nice to see some hope in the weather. Flowers are starting to bloom and all the plants are looking leafier- yay!

❤ Veganaise!!! Veganaise it by far the best vegan mayo I have tasted yet. It’s so rich and creamy and thick. I cannot believe there’s no eggs in it. Seriously, even if you’re not vegan give this mayo a taste, you will be amazed. I purchased mine at Ethica in Plymouth. Yay for mayo without the cruelty.

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❤ Banana nice cream- basically blended frozen bananas. Somehow when you blend up chunks of frozen banana until smooth it creates this amazing soft serve icecream consistency. It’s so tasty and you can blend in things like peppermint extract, cocoa powder or cinnamon to give it some extra flavour. This was plain banana topped with chopped up date, Jordans strawberry cereal, flax seed, Graze cherries and berries and some Choc Shot. Om nom nom.

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❤ Finally treating myself to some Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks. In the photo I am wearing Prom Night but I also got I’m royalty which is an awesome purple that makes me feel like a Disney villain! These lipsticks are amazing, they go on so smoothly, dry quickly and last all day through eating, drinking and talking. And it’s not drying on the lips, what more could you ask for? I got mine from Cocktail Cosmetics for £14, they are so worth the price and arrived really quickly.

❤ My numerology reading with Momoko today. It was an amazing experience, I gained so much insight about my inner self and where I need to be heading in life. It gave me loads to think about and work on, I nearly ran out a pen taking notes! I feel like a whole new world of seeing has been opened up for me. I might write a longer post about this experience when I get my notes together. For now I will just totally recommend having a numerology reading to anyone.

That’s all for now folks, I’m gonna try to keep on top of this to lift my mood and keep on the path to positivity.

Toodles.

Breaking My Silence

Okay, time to be honest. I haven’t been very well lately and I am really struggling. It’s taken me a really long time to come to terms with this and actually reach out for help and give myself a break. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since I was about thirteen or fourteen. I didn’t know what was going on back then but that was what it was then and what it is today.

Back in my first year of uni in early 2014 I tried to get some help but gave up too easily and just tried to keep pushing through, constantly exhausting myself and making excuses for not meeting up with my friends or attending my classes. However this year I decided I have had enough and went to the doctors and got a formal diagnoses and some help. My doctor was really lovely and a felt like I could open up and be really honest with her about how much I have been struggling to just survive. I sound like I am being over-dramatic but trust me I’m not. That’s how it can feel for people with depression- you just loose the will to live and find basic everyday tasks like getting food and having a shower virtually impossible. When you throw anxiety into the mix it makes things ever more frustrating. I panic and worry about all these things I could and should be doing but the depressed voice in my head tells me that it’s not worth the effort anyway and there’s no point even trying. It’s a constant contradiction and it is so tiring to go through again and again.

I’m currently on some medication to attempt to sort out the chemical imbalance in my brain that is causing the depression so I can start working on coping strategies to overcome the anxiety. Annoyingly right now after five and a half weeks the tablets are making my anxiety much worse and my mood hasn’t really lifted that much overall. However I’m not going to give up, there are different doses and different medications that work best for different people. I was so scared to go on medication because it felt like giving in but it’s not like that at all. It’s a super strong thing to do. It’s stepping up and saying “hi, I need help, I can’t fix this illness with sheer willpower” and there’s nothing wrong with that. Depression is an illness and just like any other illness you deserve to get the right treatment for you so you can live your best life.

I’m having a pretty good day today which feels pretty weird as I have been feeling so shit lately. It makes me feel somewhat guilty which I know is ridiculous. My rational brain hates this illness. To combat that guilty feeling I decided to write this post to share my truth and let other people know they are not alone. I also hope if you are one of my friends reading this it explains why I have been so distant lately. Since being open and honest with myself I have felt so much less pressure.

My university has been amazingly helpful since I told them how bad things have been for me. I have an extended deadline for my work as I literally cannot focus on anything, not even a movie, on a bad day. The living support team and my personal tutor have been amazing at pointing me in the right direction and letting me take things at my own pace. My friends and family have also been way more understanding than I ever imagined. I know that won’t be the same for everybody but you never know until you speak up.

Speaking up can be the hardest thing for some people, let alone people with mental health conditions but it really does lift so much pressure from you to just tell someone and start down that path to a better life. I don’t know if I will ever be fully better but I do know that things can improve. I will always have good days and bad days but being open about my depression and anxiety means that people know why I’m acting the way I am, even if they don’t fully understand it. Anyway, I’m going to stop rambling on now. I hope this blog post explained some things and maybe gave some people some hope. Thank you for reading this far. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

Toodles.

Reflection and Renewal

Happy new year to all you wonderful people. I hope you had a lovely new years eve doing whatever felt right for you. I really wasn’t in the mood for partying so I went round my Mum’s with Oli and we watched Comedy DVDs, ate pasta and watched the London fireworks at midnight on the BBC. It was a lovely and relaxed way to enter 2016.

I thought I would do a post reflecting on my promises to myself from last year as well as making 5 new ones for this year. I will link to last years post here if you want to go back and read it.

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So last years promises;

1- I promise not to speak or think badly of my body.

I have totally succeeded in this area. I have been so much more body confident and have been working towards bettering it some more. I have taken way too many selfies and embraced the crop top in a big way. I even took a selfie in my bikini!

2- I promise to look after myself better. 

Well this one is both a success and a failure. I have bee looking after my skin much better. I have been cleansing and moisturising almost everyday and slather myself in body butter after every shower. Exercising has been a bit of a fail. I mean I’ve been to the gym a few times and have been doing some yoga but not very consistently. Same with going to bed earlier. I did do well at this for about 7 weeks over the summer when I had a job but that stopped pretty much as soon as the job did.

3- I promise to blog at least 3 times a week. 

As you will know already, I totally failed that! I think 3 times a week was a bit ambitious.

4- I promise to read at least 12 books. 

Yeah another kind of fail. I mean I might have read about 12 books when you add up all the little bits here and there for uni and I did actually finally read The Art of Asking and it was amazing! Need to work harder at this because I used to be such a book worm.

5- I promise to keep myself organised. 

In my opinion I actually did quite well at this. I got myself an amazing filofax style organiser in the middle of the year and have been really good at using it. There is still room for improvement though and I am going to keep this up because it really helps me stay a bit calmer and focused.

So all in all I think I did pretty well! Now on to next years promises;

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1- Read at least 12 books. 

Yes I know I know, this was one of my promises from last year but I didn’t achieve it and I really want to! I want to mostly read positive, inspirational books but I’m sure some others will sneak in there. I’m going to start with Radical Self Love by Gala Darling which I got way back in the summer and started reading but only got about a chapter in. I might even write little reviews when I finish them.

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2- I promise to stop biting my nails and take good care of them.

A totally cliché one I know. I have been biting my nails for as long as I can remember and I feel it is time to stop. I have already started this but I really want to keep it up and not slide back into the habit. I want to be one of those women who always has beautiful nails with rainbow polish and little gems. I really want them to be in good enough condition so that I can treat myself to my first ever manicure.

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3- I promise to put myself first. 

That sounds kinda selfish I know but hear me out. I am terrible at putting myself first. So much so that if I’m ill and can’t go to a seminar I worry that the teacher will be upset, not annoyed, upset. I find it hard to speak up and do what I want to do or not do as the case may be. I always beat myself up when I need to have a mental health day and I feel like a failure when I need help. This year I want all of that to change. So far so good- I spent new years the way I wanted to even though all my friends were out partying and I have booked a doctors appointment for the 4th to finally address my anxiety and depression properly.

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4- I promise to keep my positivity journal throughout the year.

I’ve ordered the Sprinke of Glitter 2016 diary (it should get here tomorrow) and I plan on using it as a positivity/gratitude journal. My Mum had the idea so I’m following suit. Every day I’m going to write down at least one positive thing or one thing I am grateful for. Hopefully that exercise will make even the darkest days seem better because there will always be at least one good thing. The diary has lots of fun little activities too so that will be fun to follow along with.

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5- I promise to experiment more with food and start a recipe book. 

Since going vegan 6 months ago I have been experimenting more with food but there’s still so many more  things I want to try. I also really want to start writing things down in some sort or recipe book or scrap book because I almost always tweak recipes to suit my tastes. Then I will have a great resource for not only myself but also Oli and my future children.

So there you go! I feel fresh and ready to tackle 2016. I am going to aim to blog twice a week but I’m making no promises. I hope you all have a lovely start to the year. If you have any promises/resolutions you want to share with me feel free to comment below.

Toodles.

 

 

A Very Jolly, Very Vegan Christmas

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely festive period. We are now in that odd floaty time between Christmas and New Years when no one quite knows what to do. I’m filling some of that time with some slightly self indulgent end of year posts. First things first I want to share some photos and memories from My Christmas with you.

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Firstly we have a tale of mince pie woes. I attempted to make mince pies using a jar of mince mix and some Just Roll puff pastry. Too bad I forgot the fundamental property of puff pastry… it PUFFS up! Yeah they kinda exploded just a little bit. But they were super tasty and that’s what matters right? I chucked some Alpro soya custard on them and all was good.

Christmas trees galore! The one on the left is mine and the one on the right is my Mum’s. I did a post last year about the decorations on my tree but this year I added a freaking Deathstar bauble! How awesome is that? Mum’s tree is always a beautiful colour coordinated masterpiece where as I kinda just chuck my decorations at the tree and hope for the best. The photo of Mum’s tree isn’t the best but it is whit with stunning purple and sliver decorations.

Family! Christmas for me is all about family. Me and Oli trundled up to my Mum’s house on Christmas eve to spend the Christmas period there. Nana came up on Christmas morning to open presents with us then she popped of to my Uncle’s house across town for dinner. We spent the day playing with our presents, eating great food watching Love Actually and playing silly card games like Adventure Time Top Trumps (thank you Oli for the awesome present) and Cards Against Humanity.

On Boxing day Nana came round again and we had another lovely meal and played yet more games- this time the Trivial Pursuit made it’s annual appearance with Nana taking home the crown.

On the day after Boxing day me and Jenny ventured into Truro the brave the sales. Honestly we were mainly going to see what was in the 50% off sale in lush. I got a lovely body scrub bar and some hair oil. We went for a festive Starbucks trip before heading home. Before me and Oli left to go back to ours we sat down to tea and watched the Big Fat Quiz of the Year and didn’t do too bad. Although we would have lost if we had been on the show, we did totally nail the last bonus points round.

Food glorious food! There was lots of food, as yo would expect from a family Christmas in England. Top right hand photo is my Christmas day  lunch of nibbles including crackers with vegan spread, pickles, pretzels and Violife vegan cheese. The bottom picture is my epic Christmas dinner pre stuffing and gravy. I had the Tofurky vegan roast as the main part of my meal and boy was it good! So moist and yummy. It was also great cold the next day, as seen above, with chips and peas. I also had 2 sandwiches full of Tofurky so I call that a success.

Mum also made me my very own bactch of 18 vegan cupcakes, the last of which I ate yesterday, ooops! I’m honestly kinda impressed that I ate that many! I had plenty of boiled sweets and snacky crackers as well as vegan chocolate- Mum even found vegan chocolate coins!

I got so many lovely presents that I am so super grateful for! Thank you everyone for being so generous and knowing me so well! Some of my personal favourites include a Harry Potter colouring book, The Vegan Stoner Cookbook, a beautiful Lush gift set, Adventure Time top trumps and adorable stickers. I love you all so much, once again thank you times a million!

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I also once again took part in the Crown and Glory Glitterati Secret Santa. Mine arrived in the post about a week before Christmas but I really wanted to save it for the big day. I love everything! The book looks fascinating, I love looking at other peoples tattoos and learning more about its history. Also “Beautiful” is my favourite shower gel from Lush and I’m just running out so absolutely perfect timing. Thank you to my mystery gift giver.

So that was my Christmas 2015! I hope you all had a lovely time and are feeling happy and positive about the new year. I’m hoping to post again before 2016 but just in case I don’t I hope you all have a fabulous night leading into an amazing year.

Toodles.

 

Tis The Season To Be Rocking!

Hello people!  I have been trying to get into the festive spirit lately and I suddenly remembered about a playlist I made last year. I created an awesome playlist of alternative Christmas songs, mainly rock inspired jams. So I thought I would share that awesome list with you guys. The Youtube list is a bit better as it has more songs on however I did make a Spotify version too. I hope you enjoy rocking out to some Christmas jams!

 

Happy holidays to my lovely readers!

Toodles.

Things I Love Thursday

Welcome to another instalment of positivity! I’ve just finished uni for the term, yay, so I hope to be blogging a bit more often. I’m going to the Cornwall Vegan Festival on Saturday so expect a post about that sometime next week. I also might cobble together a post about the Harry Potter Society’s Yule Ball that happened on Monday if I can get any photos from someone as I somehow took none, oops. Anyway, bring on the Gratitude!

❤ I am so grateful for Sarah. She really helped me out and cheered me up on Saturday when plans changed. My anxiety really doesn’t like it when plans change especially if that change then leaves me alone. So Sarah stepped in and cheered me up and we had a lovely sleepover round hers. Thank you so much hunnie, I know you don’t always understand me but I’m glad you’re always there for me.

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❤ Days where your outfit is just on point and you feel amazing because of it. Last Friday the Pagan Society was hosting a presentation at uni and we decided to dress somewhat smart. I opted for something pretty simple by my standards combining a charity shop find pencil skirt with a beautiful turquoise top from Dorothy Perkins… and a shit ton of necklaces of course! I also wore my new ankle boots from Newlook which have a wee heel that clip-clops when I walk which always makes me smile and feel grown up.

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❤ My friends and family for being super understanding, supportive and open about my choice to become vegan. Saskia came to a vegan festival with me, Taylor messaged me the other day asking for non-meat sources of protein and Oli eats whatever I do and is even thinking about becoming vegan himself! Nana came to a veggie cafe with me the other day and is always tagging me in posts on Facebook linking to vegan recipes and Mum loves my vegan cakes and is getting in lots of vegan treats for Christmas. Even the little things me so much to me and of course to the animals.

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❤ This absolutely amazing illustration of me and Oli drawn by Valerie Doty- aka The Tiny Hobo. I love it so much! I looks just like us right down to the way I’m smiling really big and Oli has a wee little grin. Also check out Toby and Bob (the dinosaur and penguin) at the bottom! You can add pets to your commission and sadly me and Oli don’t have any pets yet so I asked if we could add our favourite toys (because we are totally cool adults). I would recommend her to anyone! Her style of art is just adorable, colourful and fun! I will for sure be ordering from her again in the future and can’t wait to find a place to display this beauty.

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❤ Spending time with Jenny at the lights switch on in town tonight. It was particularly pretty this year and Jenny vlogged the whole thing so I will share that with you when she uploads it to Youtube. The weather cheered up a bit and the choirs were great. The town was packed with people and it was really nice to have a yummy hot drink and browse around some shops and not one but two Christmas markets.

On a less cheerful note there was also a protest going on in town about the UK’s decision to bomb Syria. The protest was peaceful and had an amazing turn out. Me and Jenny watched it pass and showed our support. War is a horrible thing especially at this time of year and I hope the people of this country can convince our government to rethink their destructive plans. I am heartened to see how many people oppose this latest development which somewhat renews my faith in the country.

Peace and toodles.

Things I Love Thursday

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❤ Quality time with my Nana. We went to Truro last Friday and had so much fun. We did some shoe shopping, bought some Christmas presents and had lunch at Archie Browns. It was such a nice day. I think it’s so important to make time to chill with your loved ones. Planning on doing it again some time before Christmas, woo!

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❤ This beautiful rainbow of a salad from Swanpool Beach Cafe. It’s Moroccan style quinoa  with mixed leaves, humus and loads of yummy roasted seeds. It was one of the best salads ever, I’m so glad I gave quinoa another chance. Me and Oli had a really nice lunch at the beach. I love going to the beach in winter because you can watch all the happy dogs bounding around the sand and splashing in the sea.

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❤ Winter. I really like winter. I’m not keen on the rain we get a lot here in England but there’s a lot of thing I love about winter. I love snuggling up in scarves and jumpers, lie ins in warm beds on cold mornings, that crisp chill in the air, Christmas drinks at coffee shops, Christmas light switch ons, present buying trips. I could go on for ages!

Not a long list today but I am happy and grateful and that’s what matters. I’m inviting you all, once again, to comment 3 things you are grateful for this week in the comments section.

Toodles.

Things I Love Thursday

Hello everyone! I am feeling so super positive and amazing today! Don’t you just love it when you have days like that where everything is just so chill and falls into place and you just feel at peace. Anyway, I am going to do today’s gratitude list a little bit differently. I just finished watching Gala Darling on Periscope and she shared 5 specific things that she is grateful for today with us then asked us to comment our 5 things back. She read two of mine out which felt pretty rad. So I’m going to list my 5 things below then it would be a super way to spread some gratitude and positivity if you could all post 5 things you are grateful for in the comment section below. Try to be as specific as possible. Also you should totally check out Gala on Periscope, her chats are always so inspiring and magical. Right, on with the gratitude;

1- My new glittery red nail polish from Barry M. It’s limited edition and sadly I can’t find it online but I managed to get mine in a Superdrug in Camden so they are out there. It’s a beautiful shiny gelly polish with great coverage. It has small, subtle glitter pigments so goes on really smoothly and lasts really well. It makes me feel really sophisticated but fun at the same time. I love it!

2- Once again the new Pagan Society at my uni which I am the secretary for. We had our first event the other night which I sadly couldn’t attend but I hear it went well. We have 76 followers on the Facebook page so not that long until we hit 100! Gala thought this was really cool and progressive which made me smile.

3- Home made humus. Since getting my Nutribullet for my birthday I have been making this a lot. It makes such lovely smooth humus in seconds. I love making my own because it means I can make it super garlicy. It’s also cheaper than buying it and as I almost always have the ingredients in the house it means I can have it whenever I desire.

4- Planning my gluten free, vegan brownies for tomorrows charity vegan potluck I am attending in Truro. I’ve never baked anything gluten free before so I hope it comes out okay! I just wanted to be as inclusive as possibly so when I saw that quite a few people coming are intolerant to gluten I jumped on the opportunity to try something new. I’m quite nervous about going as I don’t really know anyone but it should be fun plus I’m going to get to try so much yummy food!

5- Having freshly dyed pink hair. Although it’s been over a week now it still makes me so happy when I look in the mirror and see a mass of vibrant locks. I’m super lazy so only do my pink dye once every 2-3 months and only bleach my roots every 6 months so when I do both it’s so awesome. I feel renewed and energised. Hot, bright pink is for sure my power colour.

Right, that’s my 5 now get commenting! I want to hear about all the awesome things both big and small that have been going on in your lives this week.

Toodles.

“But I can’t live without cheese!”

As you will know if you know me or keep up with my blog I am now vegan! This has been a long time coming, I had been vegetarian since I was 13 and had been cutting back my dairy intake since moving away from home about 2 years ago. But about four months ago something clicked and I realised I needed to take the plunge. I’m not 100% sure why I decided that day that it was the right time, but clearly it was because I haven’t looked back. Warning- lots of kinda crappy photos of really yummy food (mainly pizzas) ahead!

This was meant to be a post about all the changes, both big and small, I have made on my vegan journey. I was going to talk about how you can make the transition smooth and easy… but instead I ended up rambling on about cheese. So I’m just gonna work with that for this post. Maybe I will write the post I was intending on writing at some point in the future, maybe I won’t. Let me know in the comments if you would like that and I will try my hardest to do so without getting distracted.

I was one of those people who always used to say “Yeah I could totally go vegan… except for cheese… I could never give up cheese”. Now I know you don’t have to give up cheese as a vegan! Vegan cheese has a bit of a reputation, people think it’s bad and is never going to live up to it’s dairy counterpart. This simply isn’t true. My personal favourite vegan cheese is Violife Original. Not only is it super yummy (it kinda tastes like edam but if you leave it open for a few days it matures a bit and tastes more cheddary) but it’s also super accessible; I buy mine in ASDA and it only costs £2.28! I love using it on pizza or just in a sandwich. It’s available in most supermarkets, healthfood stores and Holland and Barret and also comes in other varieties like cheddar and pizza cheese (although the original melts pretty well in my opinion).

If Violife isn’t for you then there’s loads of alternative out there, just pop to your local healthfood store and look in the fridge, there’s bound to be at least a few different brands. You can also make your own using soy milk or cashews or anything on this great list! Or if you just want that cheesy flavour how about trying Nutritional Yeast! It has a really cheesy flavour and is great to sprinkle over dishes much like parmesan. It also dissolves in liquid so can be used to make a great cheese sauce as well as containing lots of B12 goodness and being available at most healthfood stores, online and in some supermarkets in the freefrom section.

There are ready made food items involving vegan cheese too for those lazy days. I got the pizza and potato skins from Holland and Barret (I swear this isn’t sponsored by them, I just shop there a lot). The pizza was okay but the potato skins were amazing, although I currently cannot remember the brand name. Filled with gooey yummy vegan cheese and spicy meat free chorizo. Honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten. Some pizza places have vegan cheese as an option such as Village Pizza, I ordered from there twice when I was in London a few weeks ago, no regrets. You can also ask for no cheese and add your own at home (although do check that the base is vegan before doing this).

These cheese alternative not only cut out cruelty from your diet but they are all healthier than their dairy counterparts, yay! I hope this has inspired you to maybe think outside the box when it comes to cheese. If you want to know more about what vegan options there are in your area maybe have a look on facebook and see if there’s a page for local vegans like my local page Cornwall Vegans. Also be on the lookout for local vegan festivals- there were loads of stalls with different types of fancy vegan cheese at Vegfest so I know there’s more out there. I know I haven’t mentioned all the different brands and recipes that are out there so feel free to leave any more cheesy ideas in the comments.

Toodles.