A positive spin on 2016 (if you can believe it)

I feel as though 2016 will be known as the devil year for a very long time. So many terrible things have happened in the past 12 months, I’m unable to keep count of them. I found myself lost in thought on a train a few weeks back and started to think of positive things that have happened to me this year and without meaning to brag, it really hasn’t been THAT BAD. In many ways, this year has ruined me. So much has happened and everything in my life has changed. Thankfully, some of the events of 2016 have been fantastic and it’s always better to focus on the positives. So here are some of the nicer things that happened to me during this Black Mirror year…

I left England for the very first time,

Sadly, until I was 21 years old I’d spent my entire life in the UK. For years I’d been desperate to get out but time, money and a fear of the unknown held me back. It wasn’t until February of this year that I finally hopped on a flight to Budapest. I was what can only be describe as a fear-ridden zombie walking through the airport, I cried on the plane, the air hostess had to calm me down. It was all very embarrassing, particularly after ten minutes in which I realised flying is nothing to be worried about, if anything it’s pretty boring. Not to mention, the Hunger Games is hard to enjoy when you can see a woman in your peripherals praying you won’t have a panic attack.

I stepped off the plane expecting the air to feel different, inhaled deeply and my nose filled with the stench of fuel. In the same holiday I travelled over to Vienna; went ice-skating, fell and cut my head open. I had to get stitches and acted as though they were amputating my leg. It was definitely a holiday for firsts.

 

I decided to try out veganism…

…and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I finally have a healthy relationship with food and I feel so much better in myself. It may sound silly because for many people veganism is simply not eating animal products but I feel as though it changes your everyday life, it’s inspired me to be healthier and aware of what I’m putting in my body (unfortunately meaning I’m also more aware of all of the bad stuff!) Veganism has undoubtedly had a positive impact on my life and has introduced an abundance of fantastic food into my very accepting tummy (I love you tofu scramble, never leave me.)

 

I got published by Cosmopolitan,

Fast forward to April and I had my first internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was quite literally a dream come true and the entire experience was unreal. Particularly when they decided to publish my work! If you fancy having a nose at it, click here.

 

I faced many fears, 

When I started University I was hit with a crippling angst and for years I purposefully avoided events, activities and people. I dodged absolutely everything I could, whether it was the dentist or simple activities like swimming. .

This year I entered in the sea for the first time since I was 8 years old, I went to one of the biggest (scariest) waterparks in the world AND I even visited the dentist without crying. I know that these are simple everyday tasks but after years of not even being able to be myself in a room full of my friends – I’m so proud of where I’m at.
I spent a FANTASTIC weekend at Boomtown with my pals,

I’d just returned home after spending 4 years away from Rugby and drifting away from so many of my friends. Being able to spend time with them at arguably the best place in the world was unreal. I’m pretty sure I’ve never laughed as much as I did throughout the course of that weekend.
I travelled around Italy with my best gal, 

I’m still in shock that we stuck to a drunken plan, I had been dying to go to Italy since seeing the Lizzie McGuire movie in 2003 and it was even better than I could have imagined. The food was everything. It was undoubtedly one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen and spending time with Jen after a year of living apart was perfect. I literaly think about it every single day, if you ever see me looking at my phone, I’m not contacting anyone, I’m looking at pictures of food from Italy (okay food from everywhere, but they are the closest to my heart.)

 

I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

and it was AMAZING. Still not over it, probably never will be. I really want to write more about it but I don’t want to be the person who spoils it for you. Nobody deserves that.

 

My blog had it’s year-aversairy

I can’t believe that I’m still posting on this blog nearly a year and a half later. I remember sitting in my third year bedroom, terrified for the future and itching to get some of my angst out. Furiously typing with no idea of where I was going with my babble. I like to think it’s gotten better over time but I’m probably far too self-critical. The main thing is that even though I post every once in a blue moon and spend half my time berating myself for failing to write anything – I’m still here and people are still reading what I have to say. This makes me a very happy person and hopefully in the New Year I will stop neglecting my little blog and develop it further.

 

I think it’s easy to dwell on the harder times in our lives, it’s simpler to get frustrated with what we can’t change and accept that everything is crap. But I truly believe that if we all took five minutes out of our day to think about the brilliant things that happen in our daily lives, we’d all be much happier people.

Happy New Year friends, here’s hoping it’s a good one!

 

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Unusual jobs that I REALLY wish I had

Currently googling how to become a fortune cookie writer. 

I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s sat at work daydreaming about other potential career paths before. Unfortunately, I tend to completely skip over regular, normal people jobs and go straight to Scuba Instructor (something I’m now wishing I had included in this list.) My brain wandered into a yet another strange place on the underground the other day and I began thinking about jobs that I could live happily ever after doing – I mean who really wants to be an investment banker when you can spend the rest of your days when you can be a radio DJ that obsessively plays outdated pop-punk. Okay maybe not that, but THESE would be great:


Credit: Imgur

Disco Ball Maker

I feel as though this would be therapeutic and lovely…or time consuming and really irritating. Who knows?! Least you could cover every ceiling in your life with disco balls – you’d basically be Disco Stu and I think I speak for everyone when I say that that is the dream.

Make-Up Product Name Giver

Who names them?! I’m not entirely sure but in my head this job would be ALL of the fun. Although you’d definitely have to be a queen of sass so I’d probably fail at it. Every lipstick would be called something stupid like Coco Pop.

Rented Bridesmaid

I found out about this job the other day, this sounds dreamy! Weddings are great, free wine is great, being paid to dance around is great. Sign me up! It would be just like 27 dresses without the annoying male lead and the awful sister.


Credit Blog Daraio

Greeting Card Writer

Okay, I’ve watched 500 Days of Summer too much. Sue me.

Foley Artist

There’s something really awesome about the fact that right now somebody is sitting in a studio trying to make thunder and lightning noises by rolling some marbles around in a box – I’m all about that life.

Food Taster

Maybe it’s just the chubby child inside of me, but I was under the impression that this is everyone’s dream job.

A Voicemail Voice Actress

There’s just something strangely satisfying about knowing that you’re annoying thousands of people across the country, y’know?

Credit: The Morris Agency

A Sing-o-gram Performer

I’d meet a range of people, brighten up the day and I maybe I could even reach new levels of happiness and form a Mariachi band. I’m so sure that one day all of my dreams will come true, in the form of four men dressed up, singing at the top of their lungs and ruining everyone’s day.

An Extra in an Aerobics Video

I’d definitely have to do some exercise at some point in my life before embarking on this job venture, but it would be funny. And the outfits would be FAB.

 

Credit: Balboa Park

Dog surfing instructor

I mean COME ON. If I knew this was a job I definitely wouldn’t have gone to Uni. I could watch dogs surfing all day, imagine being the person that was responsible for putting this fantastic entertainment on the earth. Whoever you are, I salute you and I pray that you teach me your skills.

Why I’m Turning Vegan

I thought I’d write this post about my dietary habits because who does love to read about what other people eat, right? Or is that just me? Either way, this is something that I’m very passionate about so I wanted to share some of my thoughts about it and my reasons for trying a new lifestyle.

I just wanted to mention that by writing this I’m not trying to push information onto you in an attempt to turn you vegan. I do however feel that it should be promoted and discussed more as it has so many positive effects and is a really simple lifestyle to have.

So, to give some back-story, I became vegetarian exactly one year ago today – I’d been thinking about it for a while but kept failing to commit to it. Meat had always made me somewhat squeamish; I hated cutting any raw meat and couldn’t look at whole chicken or anything that clearly resembled an animal. I think this was probably the first sign that I should consider a meat-free diet. Anyway I began looking into the lifestyle more and gaining confidence that I could actually commit to being vegetarian.

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To cut a long story short, I stopped eating meat and really enjoyed it. I became passionate about what I was eating and preparing meals. I uncovered a love for food and an interest in healthy eating. Something I must say I was quite proud of, as I was that chubby kid that wouldn’t eat something unless it was fried or covered in chocolate.

Of course I can’t say that I’m a picture of health, I enjoy Oreos as much as the next person. Also I wouldn’t say that I’ll never eat animal produce again but I must say that at this moment in time, I’d be happy not to. Over the year I began thinking about veganism more and researching the various benefits from this lifestyle choice and finally decided to give it a go.

I’m really interested in learning more about nutrition and using food as a fuel for the body. I think that so many of us indulge in food that has little nutritional value and barely any positive effect on our wellbeing. It appears that over the years eating has become recreational –something that I will never complain about – but unfortunately with this, we’ve developed diets in which we are eating often but failing to gain the necessary nutrients needed on a daily basis. I know that many people will scoff at this statement due to misconceptions about a lack of protein and iron in a vegan diet but I truly believe that we can not only thrive on an animal-free diet but also live healthier and happier lives.

I’d realised that I was relying heavily on dairy products. It’s no secret that many dairy products are loaded with saturated fats and chemicals – particularly my two favourite things in the world, chocolate and cheese. I started to feel really sluggish and gross every time I consumed dairy and it was beginning to get me down. I started questioning my own health, weight and whether what I was doing was actually benefitting my wellbeing. Naturally I watched a ton of YouTube videos, bought an idiot’s guide from Amazon and became a self-proclaimed food genius.

map of world in grains, lentils

Of course other than my own wellbeing, there are so many fantastic reasons for turning to veganism. The production of animal products does terrible things to our environment and is responsible for deforestation, pollution and land degradation, amongst other things. The demand for meat and dairy is exhausting our resources and causing problems worldwide.

I’m also really happy to be maintaining a lifestyle that stands against the torture and murder of animals. After writing that statement I felt as if it was perhaps too negative but there is no way of beating around the bush when it comes to the production of meat and dairy. Billions of animals are killed in the UK each year so that we can eat a roast dinner and add a splash of milk to our cup of tea. I feel as if it’s something that is dressed up and ignored in our society – as I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t cut up a chicken breast but I’d happily eat chicken nuggets.

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I’m sad to say that when it came to the production of dairy, I actively ignored the facts and completely wrote off the idea that I could live without cheese. Something that even after such a short time of giving up these things, seems so silly to me. We all seem to think that we couldn’t live without a small sprinkle of cheese on our meals, or a milkshake that was made without one of many milk alternatives. Call me crazy but it just doesn’t make sense to me that we should continue using animals for our food when there are so many delicious and healthy alternatives.

Obviously I still understand how it feels to be a non-vegan and I feel hypocritical writing this when I was eating mac and cheese three weeks ago. I completely get that sometimes hearing the classic vegan speech can be frustrating. From my opinion I think that whenever someone spoke to me about it and questioned my diet I felt as though my moral compass was being tested – and to be totally honest I’ve never been very good at handling harsh truths. What I’m trying to say – in a rambly and incoherent way – is that I’m not trying to condemn anyone, I’m just really interested in all of this and I would love if other people became interested too!

So it’s been around around two weeks and so far I’m feeling great. At the very beginning I went into my local Sainsbury’s and had a temper tantrum because I was sad about the amount of things I couldn’t eat. I instantly thought of just saying fudge it and stuffing a Kit Kat in my face. I had a moment of sanity and realised that I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food, which urged me to continue making this change. I suddenly became so aware that I was getting upset about something so unimportant and it was scary to me that these products have affected me in such a way that I’m physically angry when I can’t have them. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something messed up about that.

I’ve started trying new recipes and failing to turn cashews into cheese sauce and I’m enjoying it! I feel as though I’m eating a lot more but I’ve read that this is totally normal and to be honest, I ain’t complaining. I haven’t been feeling sluggish or tired recently which is great and all of the food I have eaten has been FAB. So overall, it’s all gravy. I’m happy with everything I’m doing and I’m actually really proud to be part of this community and to be doing something I believe in.

I hope you enjoyed this food for thought, if you have any tips or delicious recipes, send them my way! I’d love to try some new things.