SOBER OCTOBER

Good afternoon beautiful souls,

It’s that time of year again that I like to raise awareness & money for a charity close to my heart – namely Macmillan Cancer Support. Nearly all of us know someone who has been affected by cancer and Macmillan play such an important part in helping people get through this difficult time in their lives.

So this year I will be Going Sober for October – that means, for the full 31 days of October, I’m going completely booze-free – not one single drop! Those who know me well know I may have a slight addiction to that post work glass of wine/pint and so I think it’s fair to say that this will be a bit of a challenge for me.

But Go Sober is much more than giving up alcohol for a month. It’s raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support so that they can continue helping people living with cancer live life as fully as possibly.
I’d really appreciate any support you can give and any donation is a good donation. So if you have any pennies to spare I would be very grateful if you could head to my Go Sober Profile and send any spare change my way!

Thank you ❤

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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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MY FAVOURITE FRESH JUICE

Good morning beautiful souls,

I hope you had a great weekend! I must apologise for not posting last night, I had a busy weekend and was busy socializing both evenings and thus didn’t get around to finishing a post. So I thought I’d recycle a post this morning as it’s an easy peasy recipe for a fresh yummy start to a new week.

Here goes, this is my absolute favourite fresh juice of all time. Sadly making fresh juice can be quite expensive sometimes, so this is a treat, however occasionally you can find reduced fruit so keep your eyes open and look in local fruit and veg shops too!

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The drink – it’s nothing special, just freshly squeezed oranges, grapefruits and lime with a sprig of mint, but the combination is kinda amazing!

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I would usually squeeze 3 oranges, 1 red grapefruit, 1 lime and garnish with a sprig of mint. I would also recommend popping the freshly squeezed juice in the fridge to chill before drinking or adding and ice cube or two – it is the most tasty and refreshing when cool!

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Well I really hope you all make this because I’m obsessed with this juice aha. Do let me know if you try & enjoy it too!

Love Carina xo