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Fourth Day Of Blogmas // Vegan Christmas Dinner

Today I woke up at 4 am with a stomach ache. It was too uncomfortable to sleep so I got up and ended up spending the majority of the day on the sofa watching Netflix and then we went to take the dog for a walk. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the day. I feel pretty tired and not in the mood to blog but I am committed to doing blogmas so here I am. I also feel like I might be coming down with a cold but I’m really hoping not. I’m not a good ill person at all. I feel sorry for the people around me who have to hear the constant moaning and I feel even more sorry for myself. 12 hour days at work with a cold are not fun at all. Getting up at 5.20 am with a cold is really unpleasant.

I have watched so much of the Gilmore Girls today that I am starting to believe it is real. I am literally thinking about the show right now. Who thinks about shows? It’s feeling pretty real to me right now and I need to get back into reality.

In 2 weeks, Carl and I are going to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London. So expect a whole blog post on that! I’ve never been before and am excited!

Okay that was just an update and now lets head in to todays post.

 

What am I eating for Christmas dinner?

 

I am getting asked this question an awful lot. I don’t really get why people think I can’t have an ordinary Christmas dinner with just a few switches. I guess it’s a good thing that people are interested but many vegans are probably fed up with people finding out they’re vegan and asking, ‘what do you eat?’ It’s just another variation of that. Sometimes I feel like telling them to mind their own business. Most are surprised there are vegan alternatives to most animal products but they just think they won’t be as good.

If you are interested to know here is what I’ll be having:

  • Quorn Vegan Meat Free Pieces
  • Vegetables
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Mash with Vitalite (dairy free spread that tastes really good)
  • Vegan Yorkshire Puddings – I’ve seen loads of recipes online so just need to find a really good one
  • Vegan Gravy

And anything else that takes my fancy. I’m going to search Pinterest at some point.

Throughout the day I also aim to eat vegan cheese on crackers, dairy free chocolate and Pringles.

That sounds really good to me and all that matters is that I like it and I’m not eating any animal products.

I’m not big on fake meats because I didn’t like red or processed meat when I was younger so why eat the fake versions of them now? Maybe I’d like them but I’m not that interested in trying them. Plus most have onion in which often gives me reflux.

I say eat what you like anyway. When I was younger, my Mum and I just ate bread and soup this one time as that is all we wanted! It doesn’t really matter what you eat as it is just another meal really. You can make it as special or as not special as you want.

Thanks again. I’m going to get back to chilling on the sofa. Have a nice evening x

Third Day Of Blogmas // Christmas Tag

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So it’s 2nd December and I’ve decided to do the Christmas tag. Thanks to Alicia for tagging me! She is also doing blogmas so you should definitely check out her blog. Let’s jump right in.

  1. When do you put your Christmas tree up? Take it down? 1st December this year! Why not make the most of it? I would like to keep it up until New  Years Day but often it gets left up until 6th January as I’m too lazy to take it down.
  2.  What is your tree topper? Currently a very little Santa with a silver coat and hat. He’s really cute!
  3. Is your tree real or synthetic? Synthetic. I’d like a real tree but I’ve never had one and Carl says that pine needles fall off and we wouldn’t want our little dog Jasper standing on them but it’s okay because we get to have a thin ‘pencil’ tree that fits perfectly as we have very little space.
  4. Favorite Christmas Scent? Er none! Sorry but I don’t really like any of them and by them I mean the Christmas candle scents that all the shops have this time of year. I do like cinnamon but the real ground up powder type that I sprinkle on bananas but that’s not very Christmas-y! Oh hang on, I did smell one I did not mind today and that was a fir tree scent. Still, it was artificial.
  5. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Cupid, Comet, Blitzen and Rudolph. Am I missing any? There’s this Christmas movie (hey – why isn’t there a Christmas movie question?!) that is this little dog called Olive *spoiler alert* that believes she is one of Santa’s reindeer and kind of becomes one and she’s got this little penguin friend. It’s called Olive The Other Reindeer (get it?) and it’s so cute and one of my favourite Christmas movies and it’s the cutest story about dreams and beliefs. Okay that question got a bit sidetracked and it does have some relevancy…
  6. When did you stop believing in Christmas? What do you mean stop believing in Christmas? What is this nonsense? Magic is real. Who wrote these questions anyway?! This is my first vegan Christmas so there’s extra magic available to me.
  7. White lights or colored lights? We have coloured on the tree and are going to be putting up white lights in the window. I’m the type of person who has trouble making decisions.
  8. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Morning? Morning. When I was a kid Mum would let us have one the night before which got us all excited for the rest of them but now I just wait until the morning. I’m a grown up now you see and have mastered patience (just don’t ask anyone who knows me if I’m patient).
  9. Have you ever had a white Christmas? Yeah I think there was a little bit of snow one time when I was a kid but I don’t remember it well.
  10. Are your wrapping skills pinterest worthy or “Let’s use a giftbag” worthy? Well I’m not super neat but I like using gift bags, stickers, ribbons, washi tape etc to make them look really pretty and original. I also use tissue paper to wrap them rather than traditional paper.
  11. All time favorite Christmas Song? I’m not a fan of Christmas songs really. I’m more the Lane-Kim-from-Gilmore-Girls type of music fan but if I had to pick one I’d say that one by  The Pogues but then it’s a push to say that I like that song. I like that song as much as I like Oasis. There was that one on the radio a couple of days ago which sounded okay but I have no idea what it was called and I spent a good few minutes trying to find it online.
  12. Have you ever made a snowman? Yeah of course! We had a really good couple of snow days (quite) a few years ago and my sister and I made one in our front garden. However, our neighbour kicked it down. We lived in the ghetto, you see, and this incident was about a 4 on a scale of 1-climbing over our fence to 10-throwing dead goldfish at our clothes on the washing line. I mean the snowman would have had a life expectancy of 4-5 days but it lasted a measly afternoon. Poor cold lifeless chap. We had high hopes for him being the centre piece for cult witchery dances.

I tag the following people. Feel free to do the tag or not. I promise won’t be mad.

katipereira18 – https://katiphotographyblog.wordpress.com

Mon – https://lifeofmon.wordpress.com

Maya – https://artsyteenblog.wordpress.com

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Second Day Of Blogmas // New Clothes!

Hi all and welcome to the second instalment of the month. Today has been interesting. I worked 11-7 as overtime (I normally do 7-7) and it’s been a breeze in comparison. I had a really relaxed morning. I stayed in bed until 8am , watched 2 episodes of the Gilmore Girls, showered and listened to music.

At 10am the doorbell rang and a parcel was delivered to me. However, it was not a parcel that I was expecting. It was from Select. I wondered if my sister had gotten something delivered to my house. I opened it and saw a bunch of things and wondered if I had placed an order and forgotten about it. But no I definitely hadn’t. I text my sister and it turns out she had bought me a few things! I almost cried I was so grateful!

Here are the things she got me.

This shirt and these purple high waisted skinny jeans, which are my favourite type of jeans! I decided to wear my Led Zeppelin top with them and it gives it a grungy feel.


Along with that came a black long sleeved top, some cool socks and a chocker, which is my absolute favourite type of necklace.

It all makes an entire outfit. Aren’t I lucky?!

My day at work was somewhat enjoyable for once. I was in my favourite area and I had to speak to the health and safety auditor as I am the health and safety rep and I always get really worried about these sorts of things but they usually seem to go really well for me!

In the work canteen before I started

Today’s advent chocolate was a little strange. I couldn’t figure out what it was meant to be but I think it’s a monkey.


One final photo. Here’s me by the tree.


I’ve just been to pick up my sister from the train station and I’m about to dig in to that mac and ‘cheese’ I’ve been wanting all week.

Thanks for reading X

PS There is snow on my website!

First Day Of Blogmas // Vegan Advent Calendar!

Hi guys! Happy Christmas month! I am very excited to announce that I have spontaneously decided to do blog Blogmas. As in, I literally just decided that I wanted to do it after no thought at all! I am a very spontaneous person, although I do appreciate planning and organisation.

I’m just going to write about anything I want to each day! About what’s going on with me, self improvement,the world, the animals, what’s on my mind and of course each one is going to somehow mention Christmas. So expect a random assortment of posts!

So let’s get on with today’s post!

This morning I got up early to start work for 7 am and I had to de-ice my car! Whilst I was waiting for the condensation to be blown off my windscreen, I heard on the radio that it was the first of December and I realised that I hadn’t started my advent calendar! On the way to work I heard a Christmas song being played and it wasn’t a really bad one either like most of them are. It was one from Home Alone 2 I think they said. I’ve been listening to BBC Radio 2 recently and I must say I have been really enjoying it. They play all different kinds of music and the presenters are somewhat comedic and talk about interesting things. Unlike Radio 1, which I really don’t like.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Christmas. I feel like I have multiple parts of myself that have opposing views. I don’t like commercialism and greed that it represents but I do like giving and receiving presents. Does that even make sense to anyone else? I hate that millions of turkeys will be slaughtered just for one day and I’m not forgetting the other animals. I hate that as a kid you got two weeks off school but at work I get one lousy day.

There are many things that I love about it though. The excitement, the wrapping, the lights and not to mention the movies. There are some really great Christmas movies. I also love that I get to spend the whole day with my partner and my dog and we can do our own thing. I love taking the dog out for a walk when no one is around and those that say Merry Christmas to me. I love the morning when I first wake up and actually want to get out of bed. There’s so much to like.

After my parents split up, I didn’t have so many great Christmas days like you’re meant to. Once my mother’s abusive boyfriend had drank too much the night before. We were sat in the living room opening our gifts when suddenly out of the window we witnessed vomit raining down from the room above. The last Christmas I spent at my mother’s house was when I first moved out 5 years ago. She was so drunk just after lunch she couldn’t talk. No surprise I haven’t been back since and it’s no surprise that I have had such a negative attitude to Christmas in the past.

So I’m home (I was writing the above on my break at work) and I’m disappointed that the nutritional yeast that I ordered off Amazon hasn’t come yet as I am craving mac and ‘cheese’ so bad.

Not to worry as I get to eat my advent calendar chocolate! My partner bought this vegan calendar for me and it made me super happy as I didn’t think I’d get one. I had a huge nostalgic feeling when I opened up the first window.


I must go now. I have decorations to put up! Hope you all had a good first of December.

How To Let Go Of The Past

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Everyone’s experience of life is different but we all have things we hold onto. Here’s a few tips I have gathered and learned through my years from within and from others. Yeah I learned a lot in therapy. Yeah I like sharing stuff and helping others and as I have gotten a lot from other people, online and offline, I want to give something back. Anxiety and depression got really bad for me because I was too busy focusing on the past and how that will affect my future but I have been on a journey to release me of these struggles and accept who I am now.

No numbers today, I’m just going to jump right into the good stuff in order to help set yourself free!

Make a timeline

Like the ones you used to do in school. Draw a line down a blank piece of paper or open up paint on your laptop. Whatever format is up to you and you can make it fun and be creative. It doesn’t have to all be serious. Write the year you were born at one end and today at the other end. Write down all of the good things that happened to you in the top half and all the bad things at the bottom. OK you might not fit them all on there but just set yourself an allotted amount of time or just write until you’ve filled the page. As you write you will remember more and more things. There’s no point in me giving you examples as it is your life. Really think whether something had a good or a bad impact on your life. Some things might go onto the centre line.

Next, have a look at your completed timeline. Remember all the things that you have written and think about them for a while. Then have a look at how many bad things there are compared to how many good things there are. You might be surprised. Focus on your accomplishments. All the great things that you have experienced.

Speak to a councellor

This one’s obvious. If you can go to a therapist I’d recommend it a thousand times. It can be a really uplifting experience. If you decide to go, take your timeline with you! They often make links that you cannot see for yourself and help to boost your esteem.

Experience gratitude and abundance

Be thankful for what you have now. One way you can experience gratitude is by living a minimalistic life. Go backpacking in developing countries. Keep a gratitude journal. Go a week without a phone or a laptop. Volunteer to look after those in need. There are so many ways you can experience gratitude and even the simplest things are beneficial and will make you a better person. Realise what you have now would not have happened if it wasn’t for what happened in the past.

Stop being a victim

I can’t stress this one enough. If you keep blaming others for what happened, you will never be able to accept it and move on. It was out of your control. It’s happened and if you keep thinking, ‘it’s because my Mum hit me as a kid,’ or whatever it is, then you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself for the past and start living in the now. It’s not happening right now, it’s over. Stop playing the victim card.

Realise that thoughts are beliefs

Beliefs only happen because of recurring thoughts. Thoughts are not real. They do not control you – you control them. Learn to be mindful and watch your thoughts. There’s so much about mindfulness on the internet and in books that I’m not going to write anything about it here.

Self care and self love

Give yourself time to do the things you enjoy. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be like someone else. Be you, love you and look after yourself first. You can’t look after anyone else if you’re not taken care of yourself.

Today is a new day. Fill it with love and give yourself what you need to shine!

xxx

The Best Ways To Recharge // Introvert, HSP, Empath

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Everyone needs to recharge in some way but everyone has a different cut off point, in regards to stimulation, that they can take before they break down. Highly sensitive people have a much lower level than most people, introverts also have a lower level but this does apply to everyone in some way. Too much stimulation can mean different things to different people. To me it means being around people, conflict and negative or strong emotions of others, loud noises, bright lights and generally a lot of things going on at once. There is so much stimulation at work that I like to spend the weekends recharging. I work 12 hour shifts so it is really important that I give myself some time away to do what I enjoy in order to allow myself to feel happiness.

If I don’t recharge, stress and anxiety builds, negative thoughts build and I become depressed or experience strong unwanted emotions. I know in order to balance my emotions I need to take care of myself and put myself first otherwise my life is a constant struggle and it affects other people as well as myself.

It’s important for me to set boundaries and this is something I am still working on. Here’s is a list of some of the things that I avoid:

  • Going somewhere other than home after work – social events are a definite no after a really long day
  • Arranging a holiday where I constantly have to be around people all day and night
  • Spending time around toxic/negative people as much as possible
  • Violent movies
  • Spending the whole weekend out
  • Planning to go out when I know I won’t have had enough time to recharge
  • Crowds – in large doses

Here’s some things I do to recharge and you could do them too:

  1. Spending time with family who I find easy to be around
  2. Spending time with my partner and with my dog
  3. Keeping the house tidy – I tidy on the first day I have off work which makes me have a better weekend
  4. Having candlelit baths with essential oils, incense and a book
  5. Taking photographs/video/writing/some other creative pursuit
  6. Walks in nature
  7. Yoga – in particular taking a class
  8. Meditation
  9. Reading in bed at the end of the day
  10. Watering my plants
  11. Cycling
  12. Watching something really good on Netflix – current favourite is Gilmore Girls
  13. Being idle
  14. Watching videos on Youtube
  15. Reading blogs
  16. Creating videos and blog posts
  17. Playing music – whatever I feel like

What do you like to do to recharge?

The Difference Between A Vegetarian And A Vegan

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The only viewpoint here I can give is my own. I have never eaten a lot of meat. I thought it was disgusting because of what it was. At the start of 2015 I told everyone that I had become a vegetarian. A couple of people asked me why and that was that. A year later I told everyone that I had become a vegan. 9 months on and people are still asking me questions. They get more and more ridiculous over time.

So, what changed for me? Becoming a vegan was not an easy decision. I wanted to give it a go and not tell anyone. So the first time I did and I failed. I had hardly anything to eat. The second time I found so much I could eat and am still continuing to do so. I also had a lot more knowledge on the way animals were treated. I will never go back to eating animal products ever again.

As a vegetarian, I did not want to consume meat. To me, meat isn’t something you just eat. You’ve paid someone to raise, confine, kill and package a dead being. Equality is rooted deep in my core. To align my values with my actions, I had to stop eating it. The fat and gristle I was continuously repulsed with was just a reminder of where the product came from. At that time, I didn’t feel strongly about what others did. They all have different beliefs, or so I thought. Ultimately, I do believe (or hope) that most people do strive for equality and are against animal cruelty but eat meat for convenience, tradition and social reasons. Oh, and don’t forget those who make jokes about how good bacon tastes.

As a vegan,  I do not want to consume any animals products and I am completely against any kind of animal cruelty and exploitation. I never did but it took people showing me how wrong it was, for me to realise what I was doing. I also realised that dairy cows live two decades less than they should as they are sent off for slaughter and their young are slaughtered a few days old or have the same fate as their mothers. Also that thousands of day old chicks get killed for being male. So as a vegetarian I was still paying for animals to die. As a vegetarian I didn’t know that in order for a cow to produce milk, it has to be pregnant. So they are inseminated. I truly believed they just kept producing milk and had to be milked. Yeah, dumb I know but many still do believe this. So when you hear farmers saying that the cows get milked willingly, it’s because that producing all that milk (by the way the cows were bred by humans to produce way more milk than their calf needs) and it’s uncomfortable and they want it out of them. Like when we need to urinate, we use a bathroom.

As a vegan, I think that animals are deserving of freedom and equality, just as humans are. However, we all know that the human race is far from equality and free from suffering but it’s something we are striving for. That’s why I am also striving for a world where no animals are made to suffer at the hands of a human. That’s why as a vegan, I don’t just want the animals that I could have potentially eaten to not be eaten. I don’t want anyone to eat them.

As humans, we have the power to protect all creatures. We can help them live comfortable, happy, free and the way they would want to live. They don’t want to be used, as much as we don’t want to be used. They don’t want to be killed, just as we don’t want to be killed. It’s not humane. We should treat others as we would want to be treated.

Yet people think it’s extreme to care so deeply and it’s normal to be selfish and go with the crowd. Some think it’s laughable and cute to have taken an interest in animal welfare. As a vegetarian I was left alone but as a vegan I am not. I try to look at it positively though. If people are talking about it and asking me questions, I can try to normalise it. I can try to show them that it’s the right thing to do. I can try to get them to make more compassionate decisions.

If you are interested in hearing more. I highly recommend the Youtube Channel Bite Size Vegan. Her videos are absolutely amazing at explaining veganism. I recommend the following video. It includes a story about a cow who hid her calf in the grass because the farmers kept taking her calves away and how farmers trick people into thinking that the meat and dairy industries to be anything but cruel.

Thank you for reading.