NEW SHOES HAUL

Good evening beautiful souls,

The other week I received an exciting delivery in the post from Office. I had decided that I was in real need of new shoes for work and as much as I’d tried to reason with myself that I already had plenty, I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted a pair of plain black comfy shoes that would go with almost any outfit and as I didn’t own a pair of plain black comfy shoes it totally justified buying new shoes right?! At least that’s what I told myself as I kept adding shoes to my basket. Then a couple of day later I was browsing the charity shops and found two more perfect pairs of shoes, well one pair of beautiful boots and also a pair of platform sandals! Four pairs of new shoes in a week, I felt naughty haha but was in shoe heaven! In case you can’t tell – I am a shoe addict! I admit it! I really have to work hard to restrain myself from buying shoes and the other week, as you can see, I totally failed. Anyway, I’ve been excited to show you what beauts I picked up, so let’s go:

The first pair are these beautiful black with rose gold New Balance trainers. I’ve wanted a new pair of New Balance trainers for a while now as they are so comfy. I own a pair of orange ones already which I’d bought in an attempt to bring a bit more colour to my wardrobe, but I always end up struggling to match them to an outfit and so I decided I needed a black pair that would go with almost anything. When I stumbled across these black and rose gold trainers in the sale I couldn’t believe my luck and added them to my basket straight away!! I’ve worn them to work a couple of times now and I am very pleased! They are a little on the narrow side (damn my wide feet) making them tight to get into at first and they only have very short laces (barely enough to tie a single knot, let alone a double one); however they feel great on and give my feet good support unlike any flat soled trainer – these are a keeper!

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Next I thought I’d try out a cheaper pair of shoes. I did have a pair of beautiful suede vans in my basket, but opted for these van styled office own brand shoes instead because I mean I had to be at least a little sensible and not splash out too much right?! Another reason I don’t like spending too much on shoes is that I tend to wear my shoes down quite quickly; I have a heavy step and because I am on my feet at work all day my shoes get dirty and sweaty rather fast. Anyway, I’ve worn these to work a couple of times now too and they are also quite comfy, although I must admit that I don’t find the material very breathable which for work ain’t the best.

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Now onto my charity shop bargains! The first pair I found were these beautiful delicate olive green boots (the photo doesn’t do the colour justice sorry!) for only £4.99 I think! I immediately fell in love with them! I think they’ll be the perfect autumn shoe and I can’t wait to style them up with some of my dresses and cosy knits! Hurry up already autumn!

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Last but not least are these fab black platform sandals that I got for £3.99! I love platform sandals – I can’t walk in heels to save my life and my feet kill after like 2 seconds, so platform sandals/heels are my saving grace, giving me that nice bit of extra height and at the same time keeping my feet happy! I took these with me to the Vegan Camp Out festival as I had a skirt I wanted to wear which was too long without heels and my feet were comfy all day! However I am sooo gutted to say that on the last night the straps on one shoe just kinda snapped! So so annoyed as I wanted them for the Lindisfarne festival too and now I’m not sure what shoes to take aha! I don’t know if it’s worth looking into getting them fixed, but it might be as I love them so much aha. We’ll see I guess.

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Well there you have my recent shoe haul. Four more shoes added to my already extensive shoe collection!! Maybe I should do a shoe haul of all the shoes I currently own some time?! Would you be interested in seeing my extensive collection?! Also what’s your favourite comfy shoe/trainer?! Any recommendations for the future? Well lovelies, hope you had a great bank holiday and aren’t feeling too sad to be back at work!

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VEGAN CAMP OUT 2018

Good morning beautiful souls,

Last weekend I went on my first proper solo trip! I went camping, to a festival all by myself and I’m glad I did! I get huge travel anxiety so this was a big deal for me, but I coped! Woohoo! I didn’t have a panic attack and best of all I had great time and met some lovely people! The festival I was attending was the Vegan Camp Out Festival at Newark Showground. With this being a very new festival (only it’s 3rd year running) I’d say it’s still a learning curve for the organisers too, but considering the number of attendees more than doubled from last year, it went down super well, there were no major hiccups and everyone had a blast.

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I departed lunchtime on Friday with far too much stuff (but hey I was only used to going camping with the car where you can chuck as much as you like on the back seat aha, so considering this I think I managed to reduce my camping kit considerably!). Jessica kindly helped me carry all my things to the train station and from there on I just about coped; luckily I had a direct train and once I arrived in Newark it was a just a taxi ride from the station to the showground and a little walk to the campsite.

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It was soo windy when I arrived that being by myself and with a brand new tent (which I hadn’t practised putting up beforehand) I really struggled to set up camp. Luckily some kind stranger next to me asked if I needed any help and together with the tips of two passing guys who had a similar tent we eventually, after what felt like hours, managed to erect it although I was a bit dubious as to whether it would stay up with the way the wind was knocking it around. Once I had my sleeping mat rolled out and the fairylights put up though I was very happy with my spacious but cosy home for the next 2 nights (I had a 4 person tent all to myself which was rather lovely I’m not going to lie).

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Before going to the Vegan Camp Out I’d joined a Facebook group created for all the lone travellers, so that we could interact and arrange somewhere to all camp together. However I also knew that my experience would be ruined if I were to be kept awake all night by loud neighbours haha so I decided to camp in the designated Quiet area. I had been nervous about plonking my tent amidst strangers but before going I by chance ended up making friends with a lovely girl named Molly via Instagram. She was coming to the festival with her boyfriend and they decided to camp with me for which I was very grateful. About three hours after I got there Molly and her boyfriend Will finally arrived and set up camp next to me.

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After settling in, we decided to check out some of the talks and went to listen to guitarist Jona Weinhofen’s personal vegan story, before ALF (Animal Liberation Front) founder Ronnie Lee took to stage and gave a very motivating speech about why we should not just be passive vegans but take to the streets and become activists. Having spent a  good 9 year in prison himself for being an animal rights activist this guy’s passion for animals and their welfare is seriously inspiring!

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Later in the evening I met up with Sam (a guy who’d messaged me from the Facebook lonelies group a day or two before the festival). We went to listen to the reggae legend that is Macka B and then sat down to chat the night away. Okay, okay you got me, we didn’t actually chat the night away. I mean I would have loved to, it was so lovely just chilling and chatting and Sam was super nice but I was literally yawing like every 2 mins come 12pm haha, so we called it a night.

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The next day Molly, Will & I went to some more talks and workshops, including one by founder of the Carnisim Debunked website, which were all very informative and thought provoking. One of the talks held by Earthling Ed had such a huge crowd I only just managed to squeeze in at the back, but I’m glad I did – it was amazing hearing him talk in person, what a guy!!!

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We treated ourselves for lunch and had some vegan pie & mash (I went for the mushroom one) which was so yummy and went off to listen to more talks such as by Peter Hammarstedt a Sea Shepherd Captain.

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In the afternoon we decided we wanted to go to the screening of Dominion. Watching Dominion was so difficult, not everyone made it through the whole film. It was very harrowing to watch – it’s a stark & emotional reminder of why we as vegans do not eat animal produce! Hearing the cries of anguish from mothers and calves being separated, bearing witness to the thousands of animals repeatedly abused, watching as foxes are skinned alive for their fur, seeing baby chicks get conveyorbelted into a shredder just because they are male, having hidden cameras reveal the disgusting dirty & cramped conditions farmed animals live in….. the list of unnecessary, inhumane cruelty we inflict is truly endless, terrible and heart-breaking!

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, START DOING SOME RESEARCH TO INFORM YOURSELVES MORE ON THE IMPACT ANIMAL AGRICULTURE HAS ON ANIMAL WELFARE, OUR EVNIRONMENT & OUR HEALTH! IT’S SUCH AND IMPORTANT TOPIC!

Here’s some sites to get you started:

Carnism Debunked – Plant Proof – Must Watch Informative Vegan Documentaries

Well after a difficult afternoon, we went back to our tents to rest a little more before having dinner. I’d brought most of my food for the weekend with me (far too much in the end aha) and so I made an avocado salad sandwich but joined Molly and Will by the food stalls to treat myself to some vegan Churros for dessert. Annoyingly they ran out of chocolate sauce, 2 people infront of me?! Say what?! But they were just as tasty with just sugary cinnamon!

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In the evening we went to see the last bit of Simon Amstell’s show on the main stage and have a good laugh. Molly and Will went back to their tent after this and I headed off to find Sam and hang out with him and some other lonelies grooving away to JME! After JME it was time for the afterparty, but I was pretty tired by then and knew I had an early enough start the next morning so I made my way back to my tent. Sam came back with me to my tent (I was forcing my leftover booze on him as I did so not want to have to carry it all the way home again aha) but instead of going back to the party straight away he stayed a while and we talked a bit more which was really nice as I felt like we’d just clicked really well. Eventually I did go to bed though and Sam went off to continue the party, well into the early hours of the morning apparently (I’m so glad I’d listened to myself and did not sleep in the lonelies area of the camp as this had apparently been the afterparty of the afterparty area where I would have got 0 sleep).

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Anyway I woke the next day to a grey sky and chilli morning which made getting out of my toasty sleeping bag rather difficult. I had hoped both mornings to be up and awake to join in on the morning yoga sessions, but totally failed both mornings, preferring my cosy lie ins aha! But this morning I couldn’t lie in too long as our taxi was booked back to the station for 11.30am (following the horrendous queues for taxis to the festival we made sure to book on Saturday for Sunday, and I’m glad we did otherwise who knows how long we’d have had to wait!). I’d packed my things together quite quickly and was having my breakfast by the time Molly & Will woke up and in the end our tents were all dissembled quicker than I thought, which was good though because it meant we could still go to one of the morning talks before leaving. I was also a good call getting up earlier as it started to rain and so we just about had everything packed away before it got too wet!

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Once we made it to the train station the last leg of my trip began as I had almost 4 hours to wait for my train home. It wasn’t too bad though, I read my book (The Handmaid’s Tale), drank coffee and before I knew it 4 hours had flown by and I was on my way home.

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I apologise for this essay of a blog post, but I guess I’m not good at being short and precise aha, so you get the long winded ramblings of my weekend adventure! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what I got up to and might even be inspired to check out some of the links 🙂

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COFFEE CATCH-UP

Good evening beautiful souls,

I was sitting at my kitchen counter this morning with my coffee in hand and calming Celtic music playing softly in the background as I tried to think of what to write for my next blog post. I hadn’t slept well, my back was killing and I was feeling annoyed at myself because it had been over a week since I’d last uploaded a blog post. Although I have all these ideas floating around in my head I just never seem to manage to create enough time to write them up. Anyway, the Celtic music was soothing and my mind began to wander showing me all the mundane little moments that had brought me joy in the last week and I suddenly realised I had found a topic to blog about and on top of that noticed that my mood had lifted. Hurrays all around!

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life we so often get caught up in the stress and overlook or quickly forget the moments of joy we have experienced. This morning it dawned on me just how guilty I was of this. I’d been filled with so much negativity, but my clever brain had realised I was in need of more positive vibes and gave me a little wake up call so to speak by reminding me of all the things I had to be grateful for.

I also decided I would reinstate my coffee catch-up posts into my blog as I thought it would be the perfect way to share what’s been making me happy recently, and also peoples ‘if we were having coffee’ posts are some of my favourite to read so without further ado, I hope you enjoy this format to.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that Jessica and I recently did a spot of spontaneous shopping and finally bought some household items that weren’t super necessary but I’d been wanting for a long time. I’d tell you we got a new house plant (a little Aloe baby that now sits on the bathroom windowsill), a toilet roll stand (instead of the dust gathering box we had before) a smaller lidded bathroom bin and new bathroom mats. You’d probably laugh at how silly a cheesy grin I’d be wearing as I told you how satisfying it felt when I’d proceeded to deep cleaned the bathrooms before adding all the new items and how happy the, although not much altered, new look made me feel.

If we were having coffee we would probably have at least one food related conversation and I’d tell you that on Saturday Jessica and I had enjoyed a delicious meal out for practically free, thanks to our Tesco clubcard points. I’d explain that as we do most of our grocery shopping together we’d decided to use our clubcard points together to treat ourselves to meals out. I’d get my phone out so we could drool over some photos of the food I’d had, but I would end up showing you my outfit and makeup first because I’d been rather pleased with the somewhat bold purple look I’d gone for. Eventually, after probably going off on a makeup tangent and chatting about products we’re currently loving, we’d get back to food and I’d tell you that the vegan menu at ASK had quite a few nice options of which I’d shared the olives & dough balls for starters with Jessica as well as the sorbet for dessert but that we’d had our own mains which for me was a yummy veggie pizza.

Another thing I would definitely tell you is that I was feeling rather nervous but excited at the same time for the Vegan Camp Out Festival that I’d be attending tomorrow because it’s my first time going and I’d be going by myself! You’d reassure me everything would be fine and I’d calm down a little and get all hyped telling you about the bits and bobs I’d been buying to get festival ready and how excited I was to meet so many like minded people, hopefully make some new friends and who knows maybe even find some romance!

Of course we also always natter about new fashion pieces we’ve recently found and so if we were having coffee I’d tell you about the amazing charity shop bargains I’d picked up in town with Jessica. I’d probably have taken photos of them and would once again swipe out my Huawei to show you 1 pair of beautiful green boots, 1 pair of black platform sandals, 1 plain black jumper and 1 amazing jeans skirt! We’d rave about how amazing charity shops can be and that we definitely need to make more of an effort to shop in them especially as we’re recycling clothes rather than supporting fast fashion!

And last but not least I’d be gushing over how well my first little Courgette is growing and how ridiculously excited and happy I am to be growing my own veg!!!

So if we were having coffee this week you’d be able to see just how many mundane things have made me happy and how I’m trying to appreciate the little things in life more!

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DAY TRIPPING – DESTINATION ALNMOUTH

Good evening beautiful souls,

Last week I was luck enough to have 3 days off, which for me is very rare and thus meant that I actually had time to do something nice for myself once all the housework and various other tasks were completed. The weather was so nice and I was craving a beach trip, but not being able to drive made this wish a bit problematic. Sadly there aren’t many easily accessible by public transport beaches around, well not unless you want to sit on a bus for over an hour which for me is a big no no as I get serious travel anxiety when it comes to bus journeys that are longer then 20mins! After some research however I discovered that Alnmouth station was pretty easy to get to only being a 30min walk away from the beach and so I had my day trip destination.

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The walk to the beach is quite a pleasant and easy to follow as it’s just along the main road. From the station you firstly walk through a small housing estate and then it’s out in nature with wild fields on your left and glimpses of the sea on your right. After about 20 minutes you reach central Almnouth and walk through it’s floral hanging basket lined street until you reach the golf course and the beach.

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On my way down to the beach I came across these beautiful roses and I had to stop and give them a sniff – does anyone else do this whenever they see roses?! They smelt divine and I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to snap one off and take it with me!

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The beach was relatively busy, the sun was out and there was a light breeze rippling through my hair as picked a little empty spot to put down my picnic blanket. Once settled I sat back with my feet in the sand just enjoying being in the present moment and watching the world around me; the grandparents sitting in their folding chair reading their papers, children hopping from stone to stone and family’s running around playing Frisbee and flying kites. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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It wasn’t long until I unpacked my picnic full of healthy vegan goodies and read a bit of my book whilst savouring my lunch. I had grapes, blueberries, pretzels, veg, hummus and crackers as well as a little can of G&T. It was the perfect picnic! Afterwards I lay down with my headphones on listening to my audiobook (The Count of Monte Cristo) and relishing the feeling of the sun warming my skin.

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Sadly the clouds came in not long after and they didn’t seem to want to budge meaning I got chilly quite quickly and ended up deciding to pack up and head on home again, but not before I took a stroll along the beach and dipped my toes in the chilly sea of course. Although I was only there for about 2 hours, it really was worth it and I enjoyed every minute of my mini excursion!

I hope you’ve all found the time recently to go out and do something nice for yourselves too! I know I need to make time for myself like this more often. I don’t do it enough and it did me the world of good!

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