SAYING GOODBYE

Good evening beautiful souls,

This week although amazing has also been very busy and exhausting. Anthony and Tom, two good friends of Jessica and myself were in Durham this week for their Masters Graduation. As Anthony is from Lebanon and Tom from down south, we won’t get to see much of them especially Anthony, so we made the most we of the short time we had with them. I worked long days Thursday through till Monday and then spent the evenings relaxing with them eating good food, playing games, watching Once Upon A Time and Black mirror and of course enjoying some drinks.

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On Sunday Anthony and Tom cooked a feast for us which was scrumptious and included plenty of Vegan options for me including Ratatouille, a Lebanese aubergine salad, deep fried cauliflower, beetroot risotto and deep fried beetroot risotto balls – mmm… It was all soo tasty! It was nice to be able to relax with the guys and catch up with them fo a couple of days. We played lots of games including our favourite, Settlers of Catan (which I won to Anthony’s annoyance and my delight as even though he kept blocking my every move I still managed to best him hehe) and a new favourite Cluedo.

Last night after a lovely full last day together we settled down to our latest night yet playing another round of Cluedo before binge watching Black Mirror until 3am!

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This morning it was time to say goodbye to Anthony. I hate it when good friends have to leave and who knows when I’ll see them next! I really hope they both receive PhD placements near Durham so that visiting each other won’t be so difficult! I’m really going to miss these too, but thank god for the Internet and Skype, at least keeping in contact won’t be too difficult!

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So after a busy week with very late nights I am now settling down to a quiet evening and some self care time. A bath, an early night and some much needed sleep are in order I believe!

Love Carina xo

CHRISTMAS TAG!

Good evening beautiful souls,

The other day I read a great Christmas tag post written by the beautiful Hollie from https://holliesblog854.wordpress.com. It oozed festive vibes and I immediately wanted to write this tag too and answer all these Christmasy questions for you; so without further ado, here is my Christmas Tag:

1. What’s your favourite Christmas Film?

Hmm, The Holiday is pretty high up there and Love Actually of course. Those are probably my favourite two.

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes many!!! But not in a long time and I miss it soo much! For me Christmas just doesn’t feel complete without snow.

3. Where do you usually spend the holidays?

At home in Durham with my parents and sister.

4. What is your favourite Christmas song?

This one is so difficult, I don’t have a favourite Christmas song! I love all festive music; from having classics like ‘All I want for Christmas’, and ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ on repeat to belting out carols like ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, I just love nothing more than a good Christmas singsong! There isn’t really any festive music that I do not like apart from perhaps ‘Fairytale of New York’, that song just annoys me for some reason.

5. Do you open any Christmas presents on Christmas eve?

Yes, I open all my presents on Christmas Eve bar my stocking and one present from Santa. I was born in Germany and the German tradition is to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, however as my mother is from Northern Ireland, we also have Santa and stockings on Christmas day, so we kinda get the best from both worlds.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers?

Dasher, Dancer, Comet and Blitzen, Prancer, Vixen, Rudolf… and I’m stuck aha, so nope, I can not name all of Santa’s reindeers.

7. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Real. Our family tree is always real!!! I love our Christmas tree tradition. We decorate ours with mostly natural objects like red apples, straw stars, wooden ornaments and candle like fairy lights.

Saying that, in my own house the tree is fake this year. My housemate Jessica and I got given the tree from our landlady and although I don’t think there’s anything better than having a real tree and fresh pine smell in the house at Christmas, I’m just glad to have a a tree at all, even if it’s fake, it’s way better than nothing.

8. What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?

Hmm, I don’t have a specific favourite, but I love all the German treats like Lebkuchen and Stollen. Ooh and mince pies and mulled wine of course!

9. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Ooh over the years definitely gift giving. I love nothing more that treating people and finding cute gifts for friends and family! Gift giving brings me a lot of joy!

10. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

I’m not sure, about ever but I got a huge wok last year and that was pretty awesome! I use it for almost everything I cook!

11. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Somewhere in Germany or Austria, somewhere with amazing Christmas markets and lot’s of snow and staying in a cute chalet with a real fire to cosy up next too whilst working my way through mountains of books and drinking copious amounts of tea.

12. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

I can’t say that I am a pro, but I definitely don’t fail either!

13. When did you realise the truth about Santa?

The truth about Santa? What truth about Santa?!

14. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?

Of course I do, I mean don’t most people?! Aha now that is a different matter. Erm I try to stick to them and I usually do for a couple of months before things just go down hill and I fail miserably. But there is always another year and another chance to try!

15. What makes the holidays special for you?

Spending time with my family, especially now that I don’t live at home anymore and my sister is away at university. There aren’t that many chances for us all to get together, but our Christmas’ are always intimate affairs with just the four of us celebrating together, which I love. My fathers side of the family all live in Germany and my mothers side in Northern Ireland, so we don’t have big family Christmas’. I like it that way though and wouldn’t change it for the world. There is no big hassle worrying about seeing all the family over the holidays and having to cook for hoards of people or being in a chaotic noisy environment, it is just nice quiet, cosy and peaceful family time.

16. List your three favourite festive wintery activities:

  1. Being crafty and decorating the house for Christmas, making wreaths, putting the tree up…
  2. Baking Christmas treats
  3. Ice skating

And that’s my Christmas Tag done. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you’d like to have a go at this tag then please do leave a comment below with a link to your post – I would love to read all of your answers!

Love Carina xo

MY FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Good morning guys,

Hope you’re all having a nice day so far! I may be stuck at work until 5pm today, but the sun is shining so it doesn’t seems so bad. At the moment the cafe is quiet so with the music softly playing in the background and nothing to do I thought I’d write a quick post sharing some of my favourite YouTuber’s with you.

I only really started getting hooked on YouTube about 2/3 years ago when one of my flatmates from uni told me about some of the YouTuber’s she followed and showed me some of their videos. It was then I realised I enjoyed watching vlogs, learning more about beauty and watching peoples latest fashion hauls. I became hookedand have since discovered the Youtuber’s who inspire me, make me laugh or who I can relate to. So for today’s post I just wanted to let you know who my all-time faves are (the YouTuber’s where I won’t miss a video) as well as some of the others I watch on a regular basis too.

Helen Anderson

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I absolutely love watching Helen’s videos, especially her vlogs. I love her style and she is such a laugh. Her vlogs are very honest, really showing her everyday life with all its ups and downs including her squabbles with husband Matthew which just makes her even more relatable. She includes a whole mix of things from beauty, fashion, DIY, homeware, music… I just think she’s fab!

Zoe Sugg

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Zoe I love best for her vlogs and favourites videos I think. She is just the cutest. Zoe has such a smiley personality and is always up for a laugh which is infectious. Also although she’s about ten sizes smaller than me aha I enjoy watching her fashion hauls as she always has fab outfits. She’s just an overall good bean!

The SacconeJoly’s

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The SacconeJoly’s are a family of five, Jonathan and Anna, their kids Emilia, Eduardo and Alessia as well as their six Maltese dogs. They upload a vlog every day and I love watching them. The kids just put a smile on my face with their everyday shenanigans.

Kate Flowers

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I am so glad I found Kates channel last year! She is such a natural beauty and sweetheart; I quickly became hooked to her vegan lifestyle videos; what I eat in a day’s and other vlogs sharing her passion for health, veganism, dancing and LGBT.

Kalyn Nicholson

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I have been following Kalyn for a while, but have only recently started watching her vlogs more religiously. She has such a chatty friendly personality and her content is great; a real variety from books to makeup looks.

Other YouTube channels I like:

Tanya Burr, Raw Alignment, Mae FlowersJenny Mustard, Inthefrow, Ryan and Aiden, Zoe London, Carly Rowena

Well those are my favourite YouTuber’s. Who are yours? I’d love discovering new channels so please do let me know!

Love Carina xo

MARCH FAVOURITES

Hello my beautiful friends,

So we are now into April and it’s time I share my March monthly favourites!

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Vikings – OMG you guys, so if you haven’t watched this yet you must get onto it! Vikings is a historical drama which follows the story of Ragnar Lothbrok a farmer who filled with a curiosity to explore rises to fame by raiding England. I don’t really want to give anything away, but there’s a great set of characters, cinematography is dark and matches the style of the show and it really is up there with Game of Thrones regarding brutality and action. Of course it is fictional however it is inspired by the sagas of the Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France, and I love getting a look into the culture of past societies.

Ratings:      IMDb – 8.7/10       Rotten Tomatoes – 91%

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Face Spritz: I have been loving this Vitamin C face spritz from the Body Shop. I use it every morning after I cleanse my face and it just makes me feel fresh and awake!

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Ball Mason Jars: After watching so many bloggers and vloggers drink their smoothies in beautiful jars I had to get myself some of these gorgeous Ball Mason Jars! I love them so much and use them every single day! I made sure to buy big jars, 945ml, as it makes me drink more, and I never drink enough aha. So if I have one of these glasses filled with water next to me I will continue to sip at it throughout the day.

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Smoothie Bowl: My berry smoothie bowl or smoothie has become so much part of my morning routine that I don’t feel right and refreshed in the morning if I don’t have it aha. Here’s my recipe:

1 large banana – frozen berries (about double the amount of the banana) – 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder – a little almond milk

Blend together, you will need a good blender and something like a muddling stick to stir the fruit, you want a nice thick consistency, so start with only a little milk and rather keep adding to it. Then top with whatever your hear desires aha. I usually use oats, chia seeds, cocoa nibs, fresh fruit and coconut.

Audible – Ok so I am obsessed with audible at the moment! Audible is a monthly subscription service of audio books. I only  signed up for the free trial and payed for one month before cancelling as I can’t afford £8 a month at the moment, however they also have some cheap books which you can buy without being subscribed. So I stocked up on a couple of audio books which keep me company on my walks to town. 4-5 days of the week I walk to town and back whether it be for work or for the gym and it’s around a 25min walk so I get a good 1h of listening in most days.

The book I enjoyed most recently was Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I had seen the BBC adaptation years ago and enjoyed it, but the book was even better and is definitely worth a read, although the BBC adaption is totally worth a watch too.

Well that wraps my monthly favourites up, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know what you’ve been loving in March too!

Love Carina xo