Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Things We Can All Learn From 2016

It was a hell of a year. Where to even start?

The general mood of 2016 was a low one. I stopped using social media as much and started avoiding the news. I barely followed the American election, I felt numb after Brexit. But I have to try harder in 2017, we all do. Which brings us to what I think is the most important lesson from 2016...
  1. We can't sit back and do nothing.
I achieved lots in my personal life which took all my energy, but I know I need to put more energy back into the world, into helping and supporting others. I'm not entirely sure how, I'm not sure how we can, but doing nothing isn't an option. If you stay silent, you are on the side of the oppressor. I will be a better ally in 2017.

  1. We do not live in a post-racial world.
This is a pretty obvious one I think. I honestly wasn't surprised when Trump won the election, the racism was always there. Evelyn from the Internets spoke about this on her YouTube channel. Thing is, I know a lot of my readers are white women like me, I saw bloggers I know tweeting about how surprised they were about the election result. Yes, it's that bad, it was always there. Those of us who felt surprised felt so because of our white privilege. It doesn't personally or directly affect us. We need to shut up and listen to black and brown people, especially women, speaking up and help amplify their voices, but not step in front of them.

  1. Life is short.
We know, we know 2016 isn't really out to get us, there isn't a secret conspiracy to kill off our idols. But with all the deaths of iconic people, who meant so much to so many of us, it's hard to not be reminded of life's finality. Bowie, Michael, and Prince showed us there's no one way to be a man. Carrie Fisher was always standing up for those with mental illnesses. Muhammad Ali shone with black pride for many years, taking on the US government and opposing the war in Vietnam. WHY 2016 WHY?! Not to mention the 1000s killed in Syria or the black lives lost due to police brutality.

  1. People care.
OK, not all people care *wink wink nudge nudge* but people across the world care about important things. Or maybe things that seem unimportant to you, like some people really care about animals. We've seen Veganism become the fastest growing lifestyle in the UK this year, and with so many people taking part in Veganuary hopefully it'll keep growing in 2017. Even when some of us feel hopeless when it comes to tackling the patriarchy and racism, there are so many of us who do care. Even the little acts of kindness and support matter. So don't be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve and care, passionately, about whatever it is you care about.

  1. Women are fucking awesome.
Simone Biles, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Dwi Handa, Solange, Heloise Letissier aka Christine and the Queens, Nadiya Hussain, Shirin Gerami, Sian Williams, Winnie Harlow, Serena Williams, Issa Rae, Michelle Obama, Viola Davis, Lisa Rochester Blunt..... need I go on??

What will you be taking away from 2016?

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Instamonth #December2016

Anyone out there? I know its been almost a month but adulting is busy! If you follow me on twitter or Instagram you might know I moved into a flat with my boyfriend over Christmas, exciting shit! We haven't had internet, and I've been ill for like two weeks so just haven't felt up to or really been able to blog.

Personal posts are getting harder to write, I don't know why, I used to babble on about the most mundane things! I'm struggling with words so much and keep second guessing myself, comparing myself to others, and re-writing everything. I don't really feel like I'm bringing anything useful or entertaining into the world with my blog. Basically - what's the point?

I like consistency though, so you're still getting an Instamonth post, even if it is like a month late.
vegan chocolate advent calendar | vegan cupcakes from VBites in Brighton | beautiful Brighton sunset
guess what this is? | Winter Wonderland | Christmas dinner!
festive table decor | vegan white hot chocolate with cinnamon and marshmallows | a message from mam

December was a hectic month, I'm sure it was for everyone! M and I also took a short trip to Brighton, stayed in a hotel, drank our way through many pubs, and ate a fuck-load of vegan munch. We went to a place called Purezza on the first night, a vegan pizza place. It was our first time to a fully vegan restaurant! We could eat everything on the menu! Well, nearly everything, as M is allergic to nuts... but still!

We had mulled wine, olives, and cheesy bites to start with, which were basically dough balls with vegan cheese inside! I could eat those cheese balls forever. We both got a pizza and I made the brave silly decision to order the Vulcano pizza. I was kinda insulted when the waiter asked if I was sure 'cos "it's spicy you know" *eye roll* yes sir, that is precisely why I've chosen it. I'm still on that jalapeno hype ya see, since I first tried them at Handmade Burger Co. Anyway, maybe it was a silly idea 'cos my mouth was on fire and I drank too much water and I swear I nearly exploded. M could barely handle a bite of my pizza!

The next day we ended up at the VBites cafe for lunch, in the middle of some intense Christmas shopping. We both had the festive Christmas stuffing burger with sweet potato fries and a milkshake each. Hea-ven. Do you know how hard it is to find a vegan milkshake?! It was all divine and has inspired me to try and recreate the stuffing burger 'cos it was the best burger I've ever had, yes, ever.

The cafe has a lil shop downstairs too so we bought some vegan mayo, squirty cream, and chili chocolates for my dad. We also bought two chocolate muffins to go and had them back at the hotel room. We drank our way round as many pubs and bars as we could manage, always choosing mulled something.

We did the same, hopping from bar to bar at Winter Wonderland, consuming all the mulled wine. It was packed as usual, and had security checking bags causing huge queues, which I'd never seen at Winter Wonderland before. It felt weird for M to go home to his family for Christmas after doing lots of Christmassy things together in the run-up.

December was a really good month for food. My mam made me a nut roast from scratch for Christmas dinner! That's a big deal by the way, she never used to cook anything from scratch, she just didn't enjoy it. It was meant to be in a pastry but we forgot the pastry so yes, it looks like stuffing.

So I seem to have babbled like I used to and given you the mooost exciting details of my December, finally. Oh, Christmas was good too, yeh! 

How was your December? 😃 Did you celebrate Christmas or nah?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Has everyone finished their Christmas shopping? I nearly am... If you need to pick up an extra few bits I have a few vegan-friendly suggestions below if you're stuck for ideas. You're very welcome 😃

'Not your bae-con' pin

These I found on Etsy, but Lush is always a fail-safe if you're really stuck! Not all of their products are vegan, though, but this Lush Vegan List tells you which products are vegan-friendly.

It might be a bit late to order from Lulus this year, but maybe you can have a scan of the sales after Christmas... It's where I got my over the knee 'suede' vegan boots last Christmas!

Vegan cookbooks are a pretty good idea, for a new or well-seasoned vegan to find different recipes to try. Personally, I'm dying to get The Vegan Stoner Cookbook, also available on amazon. Tell me the illustrations aren't cute af?! If you're not sure it's the right thing, have a good browse of The Vegan Stoner blog first, It's full of easy yummy recipes.

I'm sure it was harder to find vegan tasty goodies last Christmas? Or maybe we just didn't know where to look! Instead of the usual selection box, I got two satsumas and an apple from Santa... Maybe this year he'll find the vegan selection box I keep seeing in Holland & Barrett... Supermarkets are catching onto the popularity of vegan treats, Sainsbury's have some great options, Waitrose and others probably do too.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Got any good gift suggestions for vegans? Let us know in the comments!

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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Bookmarked #26

My saved articles on Facebook are ridiculous. I scroll through and realise I will never have time to read them all. Priorities. We're so inundated with information every day it's hard to know how to pick out the good stuff. I tend to stick to what I know and trust.

Then I share some of those articles I do get around to reading with you! So you don't have to trawl through countless pointless crappy articles, I do instead 😃 

1. New emojis! - they're here! Unless, like me, you haven't updated your phone... I will be after seeing that there is a woman scientist! 

2. Eco & Ethical Christmas Gifts - the best Christmas gift guide I've seen this year from Eco Fluffy Mama!

3. It's time to take pets seriously as mental illness support - I deffo think having a pup would have helped at some of my lowest points. Pets offer so much silent support, company for when you're lonely, someone to get out of bed for.

4. Kerry James Marshall And The Limitless Power Of Black Paint - stunning, detailed paintings of black people, have a read about their work.

5. A Christmas Loaf - damn I can't wait to try this recipe! I love tofu and can make some delicious things with it, but this is something I've never tried before.

6. 30 Gifts From Black-Owned Businesses Your Loved Ones Will Adore - another Christmas gift guide! Support black-owned businesses! Personally, I love the 'Lit' candle.

7. Ladybits – Angry Uterus Heat Pack - another one from Eco Fluffy Mama! Maybe I should have included this heat pack in my Feminist Christmas Gift Guide?! I would looove one of these!

9. Navigating the global skills crisis - I've been reading this during quiet periods at work and found it so interesting. It's been known for a while that we're in the middle of a global skills crisis. Core skills are in high demand, like basic computer and software skills, flexibility, time management and the ability to prioritise, and basic reading, writing, and maths skills to name a few! Who do you think is responsible for ensuring employees have the required skills?

If you have read anything good recently please link it below. If not go ahead and link to your latest blog post! 😃